It's all talk…a lot of talk!

I get asked a lot of questions about how I do things in my daily GGB life. People are curious and I would be too! I thought I would start answering those questions on my blog from time to time.

One of the questions I get asked the most is… “How do you write/read things on social media, e-mail, or on your super fabulous GGB blog site if you’re…you know….blind?” It’s a good question. Have a seat & let me “talk” this out for ya!

My absolute favorite piece of technology at the moment is… DICTATION on my Mac mini! Big shout out to my son for setting me up with it! I do all my writing pretty much the same way. I dictate on everything.

A photo of me looking at my computer screen Zoomed in on Black textFor example, on social media, I have to ZOOM in really close on the area/box that I’m going to type in. That allows me to see the words enlarged and I see the words coming across the screen for accuracy as I dictate. For me to see the words, they have to be bigger than my central vision – So I can catch words using my, somewhat fuzzy, peripheral vision. Basically, if anything falls within my grey area or “Scotoma”, It’s not there, vanished, gone! –Yeah, Turn off the lights…Close the door…My central vision has left the building. – Hopefully, you understand this whole bigger or smaller thing. it’s just hard to explain.

What about the blog? Ok, I usually start with a word document, and once again, I zoom in on the blank page so everything will be ginormous. I also increase the font size Which helps the readability as well. Then, I start talking (dictating) and say what I want to say. As I already explained, the computer types it out word for word on my screen as I speak. Even profanity, IF I care to use it!!  I have some friends who would LOVE it if I sprinkled a few of those “colorful cuss words” in my blog. Not gonna lie, it may happen. It will just depend upon my mood or the blog topic.

When I’m done dictating – blah, blah, blah, I reread everything, like a million times. If there is a mistake…. I delete and go back to dictation mode, (or type if it’s minor) to correct it. Then, I read it again. Dictation isn’t perfect and it may get a word wrong if it doesn’t understand me, or if I talk too fast and furious. ….. and THAT never happens! Ha Ha! When I feel that the blog is as perfect as it’s going to be, I copy It from the word document and paste it into WordPress. I’m sure there’s a better way to do this… But, this is what I do for now. Once it’s in WordPress, I put in all the finishing touches, such as Italics, hyperlinks, and photos. And reread it another million times before and after I publish it. I’ve been known to get up at 3 AM to fix a sentence, or paragraph, that bothers me. I might sorta, kinda, be a perfectionist. Ummm. Maybe. 

A photo of my computer monitor zoomed in on Facebook.Needless to say, writing on social media, my blog, along with emails and messenger, can be mentally and visually exhausting. I’ve had many “blog hangovers” from too much blogging the night before! For real! I know I put a lot of pressure on myself,I always have. Vision loss and patience with myself has been a real challenge for me. What it really takes is a lot of determination to continue writing or reading with assistance. But, if I want to stay blogging, and stay connected…. It’s what I have to do.

Dictation helps me keep connected to my friends, family, and the world around me. So, if I talk too much, I hope you don’t mind. I’m just talking about my life as a……… Girl Gone Blind.  

17 Comments on “It's all talk…a lot of talk!

  1. Oh Maria, love hearing your voice come out in your blog! Thanks for sharing! Love you!

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    • Thank you Ellen! I am glad you like it… I never thought I would enjoy blogging so much! Love you XOXO

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  2. My husband has lhon and reading your blog you seem to be so positive about your life. It’s truly an inspiration how long have you had lhon and did you ever go through dark periods?

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    • Hi Meagan…
      I started losing my vision in April 2013, And was diagnosed with L H ON in October 2030. So this is all new to me. You can read more about all of that on my first blog or under “About Maria”. Do I have dark days? Yes, Yes, and yes. I wrote about that too when I was having a particularly hard day. I could have a huge pity party for 20 with the snap of a finger, But I am afraid I would never leave the party. It is a struggle to stay out of the valleys of sadness when we find ourselves longing for the things we have had to get up because of this condition. We didn’t ask for it and there’s no cure for. That’s a tough pill to swallow. I am doing my best to figure it all out myself and this blog is part of. And trust me I know it’s just as hard on the family as it is the effective person. It’s a game changer for sure!!! Keep moving forward and I hope your hubby does too! 🙂

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    • You know I will!!! I’ve been a talker since the day you met me 20 something years ago!!! 🙂

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  3. You write so well Maria…or I should say “dictate” . Thank you for explaining the amazing technology that you use. And, yes, I have wondered how you could create such great blogs. One day, I think you will be publically speaking or published for your experiences as the GGB.

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    • Thank you!! I am hoping that I help others to understand how it is for me and at the same time help other visually impaired people know that there are ways to stay connected on the computer. not sure where this blog will lead me…. Just having fun with it for now. xoxo

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  4. Truly love reading your blog posts. So glad you’re staying so positive through everything… For yourself and so that you can share your experiences with others. Miss you and being in your front row so much!!!! xoxoxox

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    • Thank you for your message Dori! I miss you… Actually, we all miss you in the front row! I can see you standing in your spot right now in my mind 🙂 thanks for reading my blog girlie!! xoxo

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  5. Maria, I love reading your blog! I am in awe of your honesty and strength! Hang in there and we will be sending love and positive thoughts from here in Nebraska!

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    • Thank you Lori!
      I appreciate the nice message and your support all the way from Nebraska! 🙂

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  6. Hi Maria! What software do you use for your dictation? I have heard of Dragon but not sure how user friendly it is for people with LHON. I would love to get something for boyfriend to help him use the computer.

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    • Hello Lorraine….
      Thanks for reading my blog and let me tell you what I know. I use a Mac Computer and dictation feature is built into OS X. if you have a PC, you can use Dragon dictate. It is the best thing ever especially when you cannot see the keyboard very well!! I hope this helps and that your boyfriend can get back on the computer! 🙂

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  7. You have the best kids and hubby supporting you. When you said Bryce set it up my heart melted. Such a great band boy you got there. Keep up the positive attitude and know we support you! Mel, Nige, and Austin.

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    • Thank you so much Melanie! My Bryce is the best! Little did I know that having him live at home while in college would be one of the best decisions I ever made!! We are all adjusting to this challenge… One day at a time. We appreciate your family’s support 🙂

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