Thursday, August 24, 2023

I ❤️ My Devices!

Wednesday, being cloudy, was a lovely slow day. What a blessing to arise on a day during which the weather does not demand I immediately water the gardens that most require watering. I watered late in the day on Tuesday, so I only had to refresh a few spots during the day.

I cancelled my chiropractor appointment because I feel almost completely recovered. It was scheduled for this coming Friday. I have kept my appointment with Corey the following Monday though, in case he gives me exercises to help strengthen my muscles in my lower back.

When I went to my post box, there was a claim ticket for me from the post office. I was thrilled to discover it was for the rest of my CAYA equipment. The boogie board is absolutely fabulous, I will get a lot of use out of it. And my phone device is here. I have no idea how to use it, but I soon will. I can hardly wait to get it working. 

However, instead of familiarizing myself with all my new equipment and reading the manual that came with them, I started re-rehearsing my lines. I’ve retained a lot, but it’s been 3 months since I have done it, so there were lots of places I was stumped. So, I went through it a few times and it is quickly coming back. I reckon I should do it a few times every day to ensure I get it all back. Our tech rehearsal is on Sept. 14th. I’ve lots of time to get good at it again.

At 3:00, Ali and Pete came by for tea and we had a nice visit. When they left, I lit the fire so that I could enjoy a. nice cozy evening with Sheba, Fred and Ethel. It’s Fred, Ethel and I who love the heat.

I’m glad to be back to memorizing and practicing. It gives me something to do. And although it is going to be expensive, I am glad I will soon have a gardener. If there is a good thing to spend money on, other than food, it’s my garden. Sheba, Fred, Ethel, and over a hundred plants anchor me to Pinecone Park. Soon, for the first time, I’ll be able to walk in my garden and not see only things that need to be done. Plus, I’ll know that all my plant friends will henceforth be better fed.

As part of my work with Bronwyn, we’ll be looking at watering systems. So, I may not have to spend the usual 1.5 hours a day watering by hand next Summer. Instead, every half hour, I’ll move the primary hose to a different connector. The total time investment will be about 10 minutes. And in Dave, I have a partner on wood management. He will help me stack and split my annual wood order. His good company is a bonus. The rest of my time at Pinecone Park will be blissful and far easier on my body.

Even though I am feeling healed, though, I’m a changed man. I know I must be thoughtful about what I do physically, that’s why memorizing is so satisfying. I also have a lot of learning to do on the software I’ll be using to communicate. I particularly love the Boogey Board. It’s extremely practical. What I did not expect, though, was the sense of pride it gives me.

Soon, I will be able to go into a store, walk up to a clerk and push a button that says something like this: “Hello, my name is Chris and I am mute.” Then, I’ll be able to hand the clerk my Boogie Board with a question or statement that states my need. What I love, is this professional way of communicating. I have appropriate devices now, and in my mind, their slick interface subtly shows the world that I have adapted and know how to be mute. I’m less fearful of the world. It’s like I’m wearing a beautiful expensive and perfectly tailored suit. I impress when I present, with my cool tools.

I’m also going to have easy access to a collection of standard prime messages. An example: “I have a seizure disorder. They are psychogenic seizures, not epileptic seizures and I need no assistance, but when it is over, I need a few minutes to feel back to normal.” I will also bank this one: “This is the sign in ASL for seizure. I make this sign to explain the change that overcomes me when I seize.” (I show them the sign.) I also have a telephone system incoming. The parts are here, but I haven’t begun learning how to use them. What I do know, though, is that I’ll have pre-recorded messages to play when using the phone that alerts callers to my challenges with speaking and asks them to phrase questions so that I can answer them with yes, no, or single words.

These devices solve problems, but they also provide confidence and courage. My primary devices will be the Boogey Board and the iPad. They are both small and thin. I have a leather purse on a shoulder strap that they fit into. I am good to go. I’m excited about having something to learn, and it’s come just as I do my monologue for the last time. My next project is finding my technological voice.

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