Living With RA: Is It Time To Install The Dragon?

Vanessa Collins Health Guide
  • Voice recognition software has come a long way in the last few years.  I never thought I would ever need such a software program.  Alas, I was wrong.


    I have been struggling this summer.  I am either in one of the world’s longest flares, or Orencia is failing.  My doctor’s can’t decide. 


    In the meantime, I finally realized that I needed a tool to help me maintain my connections with people.  I like to write.  I like to talk to people on FB.


    My computer is my connection to the outside world is so many ways.  It was this realization that led me to consider purchasing “Dragon Naturally Speaking.”  Lene Andersen told me I would be wondering why I waited to long, and she was right!

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    I purchased Dragon 12, Premium Edition a couple of months ago.  I loaded it on my computer by myself.  It is so easy!  It is so quick!


    You do need a set of headphones with a microphone to use Dragon.  Although, a set does come with Dragon 12, I purchased one that I thought would be a bit more comfortable.


    The headset I purchased is made by Inland, and I am very happy with it.  I must admit that the headset that came with Dragon is pretty good, too.  My husband is now using it to listen to instructive videos on YouTube. 


    When you first set Dragon up on your computer, you are prompted to choose what country you are from.  I chose USA.  There is also an option for “Southern USA”.


    Dragon 12 comes with a Quick Reference Card.  This is a valuable tool to help you navigate Dragon quickly.


    Before you start using Dragon you are prompted to go through an interactive tutorial. This little feature provides practice using Dragon.  I found it helped alleviate my fear of not being able to use the software I had just installed on my computer.


    I always thought I spoke clearly, but I have found I could stand to enunciate a little better.  That is one thing Dragon has taught me!


    When I first started using Dragon, it could not tell the difference between “am”, “an”, or “and”, when I dictated into the microphone.  The more you use Dragon, the more familiar it becomes with your speech pattern and its accuracy improves. 


    I do not use Dragon all of the time.  If my wrists and fingers are feeling okay, I still type.  For some reason, I think that it might be good for me to type a little, if I can. 


    I do use Dragon to write articles for HC, and to communicate with friends on FB when it is just too uncomfortable to type.  Dragon has kept me from becoming isolated from my friends, and for that, I am very thankful.


    If you are considering purchasing voice recognition software, you are probably already at the point where it would be beneficial to you.  I would encourage you to take the plunge.


    Dictating does take a little while to get used to, but a little practice will get you where you want to be.  The more time you spend with Dragon, the more you will like it.


    My Dragon is welcome on my computer and in my home.  He even has a name.  Fred has become a trusted and reliable friend.

Published On: September 26, 2013