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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Like a Fish out of Water

With the headset for my environmental control unit (ECU) in the shop for repairs the past two days, I have felt helpless. The voice-activated ECU -- which makes it possible for me to answer and dial the telephone, control my stereo, TV, VCR and DVD player, operate my hospital-style bed, and even page my nurses when they are not in the same room with me -- has become a vital part of my life.

While it is true that I have a nurse with me all day who could certainly help me answer the telephone, for example, there is nothing like being able to do things for myself. Before purchasing the ECU, I never realized how great that felt. But after owning the system for more than a year, I had come to take it for granted.

Having lost much of my independence as my disease has progressed over the years, it's important for me to maintain as much of it as possible. That's what makes the ECU so wonderful.

I should have the repaired headset back by Saturday (overnight shipping is a godsend) and then all will be well. That is, until the first time I tell the system to change the channel on the TV and it answers the phone instead. Then, things could get nasty!

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