Saturday, December 29, 2018

Whining About Typing Again

I have been very frustrated about my inability to get my right hand again cooperating with my left hand at typing.  I just purchased an ergonomic keyboard in the hopes that it might help. It is certainly a little easier.  I did find this set of exercises:

Many times when therapists or stroke patients work on hand function, they focus on gross grasp or pinch activities with the index finger. These activities are good for learning to pick up objects or hold something like a pencil but aren't the most effective for learning to improve an activity like typing. During typing, the fingers have to be able to work independently of each other. This is often difficult for the stroke patient due to tone or possibly stiffness from disuse. 
Exercises I would recommend to improve typing:1)Place the hand flat on a table and try to lift each finger independently while keeping the other fingers on the table.2) Drum fingers on table3) Practice touching each finger to the thumb4) Pick up small object like peg or screw with the thumb and index finger, then thumb and middle finger, then thumb and ring finger, and lastly the thumb and little finger. 5) Push each finger individually into theraputty.6) Use Digiflex to exercise each finger individually (see below for product).7) Pick up marble and transfer to inside of hand (same hand as picking it up). Then while keeping marble inside hand, pick up another marble. Keep doing this until you can't pick up anymore then put each marble back down one at a time.8) Use Chinese balls or take two golf balls and rotate them in the hand.9) Play the piano or just hit keys individually with each finger.10) Place a piece of paper on a table. Use the weak hand to crumple the paper into a ball then try to uncrumple the ball with on the table with the same hand.11) Use online typing games to practice. There are many online typing games that teach kids to type that would be great for stroke patients wanting to practice typing.

I have started to do exercises 1-4 using 1/4"-20 bolts for #4, and I think they are helping.  All of this is touch typing, albeit very slowly and done very deliberately.  Hitting the backspace key, which I have traditionally done with my right ring finger, requires a lot of very deliberate thought, but it seems to be coming back, sort of.

And when I do those exercises, I can feel muscles at work in my wrist telling me that they have not been used much in many years,  I still do not have the coordination to consistently hit only one key at a time or hit the key that I am aiming at.  For exajmpel, and trying to hit t and hnot hitting 6 as well.  But it took many years, starting in sixth grade to develop the coordination to do this well.  Trying to get this back now is really depressing.  I really wish there was some way to tie Control-H to backspace.  Originally, that was the backspace character, and I suspect that it might be easier for me  to use, but with use, that backspace key is getting easier.

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