|Bad picture of our Magnolia Tree this spring.|
Saturday, March 31, 2012
Todays post has nothing to do with Parkinson's Disease, but it is something you may very well be faced with in your lifetime - (Gasp!) Toe Fungus! (Okay, you can stop reading here if you have any objections to this non-dinner conversation topic and come back again when I'm on a more pleasant subject. he he )
I have had Toe Fungus for probably 20 years on one or more toes and avoided wearing sandals most of my adult life because of it. At one time the doctor tried a dosage of Spornox on me to treat this problem, but I then broke out in a severe case of hives. I stopped that drug immediately and just decided to live with the problem. Oh, I did mention my toes to my family doctor on occasion, and his comment was "Oh feet!" It was very obvious he didn't want anything to do with the subject either.
Fast forward a few years and add arthritis to the toes and spine, in addition to the Fungus. I recently had to go in search off a Podiatrist to treat the fungus problem and find one who could cut back an ingrown toenail or a toenail that I felt was going to become ingrown. That's when I found out that most of the podiatrists today don't want to see a patient for toenail trimming - or fungus nails. Interesting!! Why? I don't know!
I finally found a Podiatrist that would treat my ingrown nail only (according to the receptionist). (He would not trim the nails with the fungus.) I grabbed the appointment while I could get one and went off to see that doctor yesterday.
Fortunately, he did decide to trim my horrendous nails that Don and I have trouble trimming because they are so thick. I did not ask him to - he did it on his own, He was hesitant to prescribe Lamisil (a medication to treat toenail fungus) because it can damage the kidneys and I'm already on lots of strong medication. So we talked about removing the toenail covering the big toe. I'm going to have that done - only will wait until early May so it's warmer outside and maybe I can wear open toed sandals while the toe heals.
I was really shocked when I heard doctor after doctor say that they don't do toenail trimming. i'm fortunate that Don and I have each other, but what about those people who have no one to help them? When you have Arthritis and get to be this age, it isn't always easy to trim your own toenails.
Why is it that podiatrist after podiatrist office told me they were not taking any new patients for toenail trimming? I know Medicare doesn't pay for that, and that's understandable. But if a patient isn't capable of doing their own and is willing to pay to have it done, what is a person to do? Yes, I could have gone to some salon for a pedicure, but I didn't want that. I wanted to make sure the person doing the trimming knew how to work with toes that had a fungus and could maybe offer a solution to the ongoing problem. I wanted a foot doctor! Is that unreasonable?
In the grand scheme of life, this is a minor problem, but it's very annoying.
Does anyone else have that problem and have you also found it difficult to get in to see a Podiatrist for nail trimming?
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
I think I mentioned in my last post that the program Dragon Naturally Speaking had arrived at our doorstep late last week. I have spent 3 days playing with it, and i can honestly say I LOVE IT!
In my opinion, it's a hard program to learn when you are old and technologically challenged. But, it's getting easier each day. Ha ha - those first 3 days were filled with my calling the Customer Service number probably at least 20 times, usually needing help with the blue tooth gizmo. This is my first experience with a Blue Tooth - ya ya - I know we're behind the times here. he he - but at least I knew what a blue tooth was. ha ha
I have to say the customer service was wonderful, patient, and walked me through things step by step. I do much better with learning via hands-on rather than reading.
I'm especially happy that it will work on Twitter, which was my main reason for getting it - to keep in touch with the many friends I've met there and in the blog world.
ha ha - I did learn the hard way tho that one has to be careful when one carries on a conversation within your own household while wearing the blue tooth. Don and I had a conversation yesterday and Dragon transcribed the entire conversation and typed it on Twitter. Fortunately, it was way way too long to send out, but I sure did have a lot of back spacing to do to erase all of it.
Probably the biggest challenge is to memorize all the commands one can use. Presently, I use a combination of dictating to Dragon, but I then correct Dragon's mistakes or mistakes I've made. Dragon and I are both trying to get used to each other. ha ha - someone asked if I was going to call him Puff. Actually, I think that's a good idea. Once Puff and I get used to each other, life will be easier.
It's funny because in all my working years I used to do transcription of School Psychological Reports, and School Social Worker Reports. All of a sudden I have to learn to dictate - which isn't easy. You really need to pre-plan a little as to what you want to say before you start the paragraph. Puff likes to be told punctuation, which you have to remember to toss in as you are dictating. It will get easier as time goes on and I become more familiar with the program. The other strange thing for me is writing something without typing it. My brain has always automatically communicated with my fingers. I never really gave much thought to what I was writing - it just seemed to flow out my fingers. Now I have to think ahead. I suspect this will become easier with use also.
I'm sure a younger person could breeze through this without half the struggles I go through. But, I'll get there - it just may take me longer. Oh yes, the other downside is that it doesn't know cat talk. So Mario has to tell me what he wants to say and then I have to tell Puff in human talk. I could take the time to teach Puff some of Mario's special words, but that will take time also.
The entire program is rather amazing actually. Now i wonder if Dragon can balance the checkbook for me and clean the refrigerator.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
|Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska|
(YES, that is one of many glaciers)
Last night two dear friends asked why I hadn't posted in awhile. Well, I guess several reasons - it takes me longer these days to do anything (including think). Then last week there were a couple of days that I could barely type because my hands were bouncing around all over the place. I was also going through a "dumps" period for a week or two. You know the kind - "poor me" - "why me" - pity weeks. No, I don't want anyone else to feel sorry for me - I did enough of that myself last week. As I have said, there are many young people in this big wide world with worse problems. I really feel that way 99.9% of the time. But I guess a case of the "poor me blues" was bound to creep up on me. It has been a year since I was diagnosed with PD, and this is the first time I've gone through it.
My self-pity period may have been blessing in disguise as it forced me into doing something proactive. I've purchased a computer program called "Dragon Nuance Naturally Speaking." Several good friends on Twitter have been encouraging me for about 6 months to look into it. After having a bad couple of weeks of not being able to type much, I decided it was TIME to at least check into it.
My big concern was that it might not be compatible with Twitter and Blogger, as those are my two big social outlets. A call to the company representative assured me it was compatable. And, it just so happened they had a little special going on whereby there would be $50 off the Blue Tooth head set. My son-in-law (SIL) told me the Dragon has been around for years - they kind of come on strong for awhile, then fade away for awhile, then come back strong again after improving things. He said there was no concern with my computer not being able to handle it. After talking it over with Don, I decided to order it.
What is Dragon? It's a system that will allow me to dictate the words to be typed and the program will type for me. Beats me as to how this is possible. But I've always said (especially when there are problems with the computer) that there are little tiny gremlins running around inside the computer and every now and then they say "gotcha." So maybe now the little gremlins are the ones who will be typing for me. he he.
I'm excited for it to come, which will probably be one day this week. Unfortunately, there will be a learning curve for both me and the software. Dang, I swear this computer stuff is smarter than humans sometimes. I had to laugh when she said the program would have a learning curve too. I wonder if it gets an A, B or a C and who will rate it.
Oh, and does that mean I'll be pacing the floor while dictating. ha ha - every boss I ever had that dictated paced the floor!! Stay tuned for more news on this one.