Gadgets to Help with MS: Question of the Week

Vicki Health Guide December 20, 2011
  • Have you found some software or gadget that is useful in your daily routine?For example, I use voice recognition software because I lost the use of my right hand, and my left hand is not proficient with typing.  What products or gadgets do you find useful when you face new symptom challenges?I n...

6 Comments
  • Amy Gurowitz
    Health Guide
    Dec. 27, 2011

    So, I'm reading your question, and thinking what gadgets do I use. It's funny how hard it was for me to list them in my mind. Some of these things have become so much a part of my every day, I don't even consider them. But some... I relish every single day. Gotta appreciate the little things, right?!

     

    First off:

    I have the most wonderful pill dispenser....

    RHMLucky777

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    So, I'm reading your question, and thinking what gadgets do I use. It's funny how hard it was for me to list them in my mind. Some of these things have become so much a part of my every day, I don't even consider them. But some... I relish every single day. Gotta appreciate the little things, right?!

     

    First off:

    I have the most wonderful pill dispenser. I've been using weekly dispensers (and by dispenser, I mean a box with the days of the week, and four timeslots in which to divide my gazillion little pills) More often than not I would be irritated that I would have to set it up once a week. It usually took over an hour to do and while I found ways to make the time feel well used (listening to the Stuff You Should Know podcast is a great) I would still resent the time required. And then I found an awesome alternative. A pill organizer that stores a month at a time. Ah Yes, MedCenter 31 day pill organizer changed my life. I now only load 'em up once a month (and with my husband's employ it takes me 1 hour to do the whole thing!) It has eliminated confusion about days and dates that sometimes occur, and keeps me on top of my stock for reorders. I love love love it.

     

    Wow... I rattled on a bit there, didn't I. How 'bout some bullets for the next few. These are assistive gadgets for my assitive devices!

     

    • I use a little rubber thing on the bottom of my walking stick that is supposed to make it stand on its own, which works sometimes, but has an overall better feel than using the stick without it... and thus I like it.

     

    • I'm ordering a similar "thing" that has spikes for icier walking expeditions. (and by expeditions, I mean leaving the house!)

     

    • I'm also getting one of those little rubber items that will attach my stick to a table so I will no longer have a soundtrack following me everywhere to the tune of clack, clack, clack!

     

    And yes, I use the apple suite of organizing software. The iPad is great to use my iCal on the go (replete with alarms for the immediate reminders) Everyone in this chaotic, overbooked, ADHD world, benefits from these!

     

    And while I have more to mention: I'm just going to say that if I had any wiggle room in my budget I would be all over that iPhone Siri. Voice activated everything. Everyone with MS should be provided with that baby.

     

    Sorry to run on so long.

     

    Thanks Vicki for giving me the opportunity to appreciate all that exists to make my life easier. 

     

    Happy New Year!

    Amy

  • Michaelbgerber
    Dec. 21, 2011

     Vicki– please let Jan know my address so that she can send me some zucchini bread. Mmmmm.....

    At my beautiful wife's insistence, I have a lot of gadgets. The one that seems to be making the biggest difference is a software program called  Dragon Dictate. I can now speak into a headset and it does all of the typing. It is not perfect (lots of...

    RHMLucky777

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     Vicki– please let Jan know my address so that she can send me some zucchini bread. Mmmmm.....

    At my beautiful wife's insistence, I have a lot of gadgets. The one that seems to be making the biggest difference is a software program called  Dragon Dictate. I can now speak into a headset and it does all of the typing. It is not perfect (lots of proof reading required) but it is much faster and easier than why trying to type on my own. As a result I am doing more writing, responding more quickly and making more comments on my favorite blogs..... like yours. ( :>

     

    Wishing you a wonderful holiday season and the new year that is filled with blessings and miracles.

     

     Michael

  • just2tired
    Dec. 21, 2011

    Hi Vicki!  I hope you are doing well this holiday season!  I just finished my project of baking for family, since I will not be seeing any of them.  Over 150 dozen cookies, 8 loaves of pumpkin zucchini bread, and some peanut caramel candy.  So the holiday is over for me and I can just relax for the rest of the year.

     

    I depend on many...

    RHMLucky777

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    Hi Vicki!  I hope you are doing well this holiday season!  I just finished my project of baking for family, since I will not be seeing any of them.  Over 150 dozen cookies, 8 loaves of pumpkin zucchini bread, and some peanut caramel candy.  So the holiday is over for me and I can just relax for the rest of the year.

     

    I depend on many gadgets these days.  I kept my old cellphone and use it as  double calendar alarm for scheduling chores like the cat box and laundry, camera, a couple games, stuff like that.  Plus my activated cell phone which I use when I go out as a safety feature in case my body does not want to let me drive safely I can call for help.  I use the Swivel Sweeper instead of the vacuum cleaner and keep one in each end of the house.  I have several of the Swiffer dusters stationed in each part of the house to prevent me from having to wonder where the heck I left it.  I would love to have one of those electronic tablaets, but that would be mostly for pleasure so it is not a necessary expense just a 'want one'. 

     

    There are so many things out there that can help us.  Most of us women have to get out of that "well I can do without" attitude.  I had it real bad until I bought my first Swivel Sweeper and when it kept me from spazzing and overheating, I decided if all these things can make my life a little easier for me and my family, then it is worth the money.  You don't have to 'justify' it anymore-MS is enough reason.

     

    Hope everyone out there has a wonderful holiday!  Many blessings to all!

     

    Jan

    • Cathy
      Health Guide
      Dec. 21, 2011

      Vicki,

       

      Another great post.  I love hearing what gadgets others use - it can be a bit overwhelming trying to keep up on, or even hearing about, the newest thing that can help make our lives easier.  Remember "better living through chemistry"?  Now it's better living through gadgetry!

       

      I use my google calendar to input my daily calendar...

      RHMLucky777

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      Vicki,

       

      Another great post.  I love hearing what gadgets others use - it can be a bit overwhelming trying to keep up on, or even hearing about, the newest thing that can help make our lives easier.  Remember "better living through chemistry"?  Now it's better living through gadgetry!

       

      I use my google calendar to input my daily calendar of events, from changing cat litter to webinars to food shopping.  I then indicate when I want a reminder (1 min/hour/day/week before the event), hit SAVE,  and then I can sync that to my cell phone.  My phone will give me a beep depending on the amount of time I designated, reminding me of my daily event.  Very simple, yet helpful with my cognitive issues.

       

      I have a Kindle for reading (the original Kindle) and it's simple and easy-to-use in one hand.  Books, newspapers, magazines can all be downloaded onto it in seconds.

       

       

    • just2tired
      Dec. 21, 2011

      Hi Cathy!  I have been thinking about getting the Kindle original.  Is it easier to read than large print books?  I also have a neat program called Desktop iCalendar Lite.  It has a basic calendar and a to do list and is right out in the open on the desktop-can't avoid seeing it if the computer is on!  lol  Long ago in a world...

      RHMLucky777

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      Hi Cathy!  I have been thinking about getting the Kindle original.  Is it easier to read than large print books?  I also have a neat program called Desktop iCalendar Lite.  It has a basic calendar and a to do list and is right out in the open on the desktop-can't avoid seeing it if the computer is on!  lol  Long ago in a world far far away when I was working, I used Microsoft Office Outlook Pro, which can stay open on the destop until you close it and automatically opens when you boot up.  I can't afford Office Pro but it was a great calendar and to do list and organizer.  This little iCalendar program is just the basics that I need.  Unfortunately Firefox Thunderbird does not work like Outlook did, a pity.  I would also love to get those little Nintendo DS things that you can play brain games and stuff on.  Almost as small as a cellphone but lots of games.  Playing games is important.  I really notice a drop in my cognition ability  when I have not played my games for awhile.  Gotta keep the gray matter busy and good exercise for hand-eye-brain coordination!

       

      Jan

    • Cathy
      Health Guide
      Dec. 25, 2011

      In short, I think the Kindle is worth it. 

       

      As far as brain games, I download free apps on my iPhone to do crossword puzzles with friends.  Right now I am using "Words with Friends" and have 2 games going on.  You can find people to play with from Facebook or Twitter, or just invite someone you know will play.  Like you said, gotta...

      RHMLucky777

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      In short, I think the Kindle is worth it. 

       

      As far as brain games, I download free apps on my iPhone to do crossword puzzles with friends.  Right now I am using "Words with Friends" and have 2 games going on.  You can find people to play with from Facebook or Twitter, or just invite someone you know will play.  Like you said, gotta keep working that gray matter!

       

      Happy Holidays!

      Cathy