October 24th, 2018 My timeline of progress

I decided to do a timeline - an interesting cognitive exercise, as well as visual - Early Sept., 2011 - wake up to terrible VERTIGO ...

December 17th, 2018 Ready to try to live the best life I can

My goal with this blog is pretty simple - I want to show - myself & others - that life with invisible disorders/disabilities is not only possible, but worthwhile... I'm in good company - there's loads of people with disabilities of one kind or another... & loads of people with chronic illnesses.

The more people - in my case, with vision & vestibular disorders - with invisible disabilities/disorders
speak out, the less stigma, and the more encouragement there is - I know *I* love seeing others' stories - it helps ME!

Christina said to me months ago that she wanted me to live the best life I could... I feel like I'm finally ready to try to do that... so I decided to think about what (most of the time) makes me happy - I mean, really, how many of us stop to think about that?

my pets - our 2 social ones pictured with this post - Molly & Cosmo

my husband Ron
my daughter is Leena and Cara
other family
friends - this definitely includes those I'm connected to only by phone or online

making music
listening to music
listening to a good audiobook
watching a good movie
taking walks outside
my houseplants
pretty flowers

being able to do some things without help
trying something new, and having it work

I'd say this list is a pretty good start :-)

photo credit Ron

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December 15th, 2018 I've come a long way

Instead of comparing myself to how things were before I got sick in September 2011, I decided to compare myself to how I'm doing now, compared to the first year of my illness -

I can take walks outside - in fact, I can walk Cosmo by myself

I can cook at the stove - & not be wiped out

I can do a load of laundry without Ron's help - I use a bag to take everything down, I can get stuff from the washing machine to the dryer, & then back upstairs in multiple trips

I can put things in my oven, which includes lifting things in and out of it

I can prepare 2 separate grocery lists - 1 short one for smaller errands, & 1 long

I can put groceries away - including some downstairs in basement storage if Ron is not available

I can play my flute for a few minutes a day

I can listen to audiobooks, both on my iPad and my talking books player

I can listen to music on my iPhone

I can use my computer, with help from Dragon NaturallySpeaking

I can draw, & use our piano keyboard

I can think, problem solve!

I spend more time OUT of bed, than IN bed!

I can handle some phone calls

I can water the houseplants

I can load and unload the dishwasher

I can wash pots

I can write reminder notes to myself

I can write this blog, including sometimes posting pics now! The pic for this piece is part of my little corner of the basement - including my started List #3

I'm using an iPhone!

I sometimes do outings - I'm trying!

I have diagnoses, and I'm showing up for my therapies!

I take care of our pets

I can take taxis

I'm watching movies again

I'm using special glasses, & I'm back to using reading glasses (now tinted), & sunglasses 

Some of this list is a repeat, but that's on purpose - I want to keep reminding myself of what I've accomplished ... Clearly, even though I still have symptoms, I've come a long way - I need to focus - REALLY focus - on what I CAN do.

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December 14th, 2018 iPhone 6s review from a disabilities perspective

I've been using my iPhone 6s for about 2 weeks, & thought I'd give a review, as a user with vestibular and vision disorders. I'll get the not-so-good out of the way first -

1) it's still a screen - & a very small one - so I definitely have to limit my time.  This isn't surprising, but still frustrating. Due to screen size & animation/touch screen features, I'm not using my iPhone for e-mail or FB  - that's still my desktop.

2) voice over feature - found by, & demonstrated to me by Ron - good idea (intended to read what's on the screen), but needs work - annoying, unhelpful - not using it.

3) Siri - apparently a lot of people have some complaints about this feature, so I'm not alone.  when Siri works, it's wonderful, but very annoying and frustrating when she doesn't - sometimes she's pretty dumb (I know, I know - it's software, not a person LOL).
So, definitely using Siri, but I feel mixed about her. Ron just told me about the command "Hey Siri, speak screen" - which seems to work better for reading texts to me - here's hoping.

4) voice recognition - I'm using this to compose texts, just as I use Dragon NaturallySpeaking on my desktop.  Using Dragon meant I've already done the learning curve for this type of tool.  Much better than using the touch screen/animated keyboard, tho I'll use that for really short responses.  Definite plus.

Reasons I got an iPhone -
5) music! I can finally listen to what was on my 12 yo iPod -  learning this feature was fairly easy, sound is decent. Definite plus.

7) taking pics - yes, this is fun.  Challenging for me, due to my visual and vestibular disorders, but a definite plus. 
Pic for this post is an artistic rendering with colored pencils, of all the creative stuff I do - writing, playing music on my flute & piano keyboard, listening to music, & drawing. Doing this complex drawing was major for me!

8) I was running out of storage on my basic phone, & had serious software incompatibility problems. 

9) it's a phone! the sound is better than my old basic phone, & I use my directory feature.  Voicemail, etc. pretty easy to learn, and Ron helped a lot.

Overall, I'm glad I'm now in the smart phone world.

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