Dragon Myself Back to Writing

I haven’t been blogging lately, partly because I have nothing to say or rather nothing I want to say —I have been too depressed to want to share what I’ve been feeling, though depression does go with the territory of being housebound — and also because it’s too hard to type one-handed. (I fell and destroyed my left wrist and elbow a couple of months ago.) Yesterday I installed Dragon speech recognition software on my computer, so now I can blog without typing. I’m not sure if it will change my “voice” or if dragonI will even be able to think while talking, but at least it gives me something new to play with and something new always offsets depression.

It’s funny that the depression didn’t come from the injury so much as being alone in a room for days on end. It’s my room not a hospital room, but still fate has brought me to the thing I’ve dreaded all these years — stagnating alone in a solitary room. I’ve been desperately wanting to go home, but it always comes down to the same thing — I have no home except this temporary one. But maybe that’s the truth with all of us, that whatever home we have is temporary because life itself is temporary.

It seems strange that even though only the arm is injured I am housebound, but there is a whole lot I can’t do. I can’t go walking unless the day is warm and the street dry because another fall at this time would be disastrous, and I have to use a trekking pole to help keep my balance since the broken arm is in a sling. I can’t drive so I am dependent on willing or mostly willing friends to take me wherever I need to go. Mostly I’ve been reading, playing solitaire, checking Facebook for interesting articles, and trying to take care of myself.

Caring for myself is hard. I can’t cook except for simple things, so I mostly eat prepared salads and frozen dinners. Can’t even take a shower by myself. Luckily, an occupational therapist comes once or twice a week to help. I will probably have the external fixator on my arm for another three weeks, and the fixator makes doing anything even more difficult. When the fixator finally comes off, of course, it will be months before I will gain some use of my arm. I really hated the thought of not being able to write during all that time, especially since I got such a good start on my latest book before the accident, but hopefully Dragon will drag me kicking and screaming all the way to the end of the story.

I am writing this blog with Dragon, though I am not sure that technically it can be called writing if one is speaking. I suppose I should say I am composing this blog, but what the heck — it all looks the same at the end no matter what tool one uses to get there.

For the most part, I’ve been accepting of my injury. There’ve only been a few times when I panicked at the thought of not gaining full usage of my wrist and elbow, but mostly I’ve been taking things as they come. Now that the swelling is down, I can see that the doctor is right — there is considerable deformity. Depending upon the mobility I regain, or don’t regain, I might need another surgery in a year, which might also fix some of the deformity. Once the fixator is off, I will do whatever I need to do to get as much mobility as possible, and then wait and see what happens.

Meantime, there is Dragon. The program is actually easy to use. The main problem I have as a temporarily one-handed person is putting on the headphone so I can use the microphone, but so far I have managed. If nothing else I can wear the headphone around my neck.

It’s been good talking to you. I hope you’re having a good year so far.


(Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.”) Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

23 Responses to “Dragon Myself Back to Writing”

  1. rami ungar the writer Says:

    Before I remembered your recent Facebook post, I thought the title of this post was a Game of Thrones reference.

    Sounds like you got bored with Netflix, huh? Well, I’m glad you’ve found a way back to writing. While I’m good with staying in a single space for a while, if I’m not occupied I get bored or frustrated. And writing is a great way to stave off all that. Hope things continue to improve for you, Pat.

  2. Alexis Chateau Says:

    Wow. I would be depressed too if I couldn’t write due to an injured arm. Not sure being confined indoors would bother me though. I’m a homebody when I’m not off adventuring. Either way, looks like Dragon is good company while you wait.

    If you’re looking to amp up your book promotion though, my PR firm works with one self-published author and would love to take on another. We have plans as low as $200 per month.

    All the best, and I hope the depression ends soon!

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Being confined indoors is a lot different from choosing to be inside, but I appreciate the sentiment. When my new book comes out later this year, I’ll check to see what sort of services you offer. Thank you.

      • Alexis Chateau Says:

        To each their own. When I got grounded in high school, I laughed. Can’t ground a homebody.

        All the best, and I look forward to hearing from you about your book.

        • Pat Bertram Says:

          Excuse me? My wrist was destroyed, my elbow shattered, the radius broken in twelve places, I am in extreme pain, which makes it difficult to do anything, even think, besides being alone because my parents and my lifemate/soulmate are all dead and everyone I know was busy with their families for the holidays, so I did not see a single person that entire week. In addition, I have no one to help with the simple chores of life, not even opening a jar or bottle, and you are comparing me to a kid who was grounded, and expect me to laugh? To each his own, perhaps, but none of my predicament is in any way my own choosing. I have never been rude to anyone on this blog before, but I’m sorry — there is no way I would ever feel good about letting you promote my book.

          • Alexis Chateau Says:

            Pat, my comment was specifically about being indoors, not about anything else. I had already extended my sympathies to you. We can both consider this a bullet dodge, as I am just as appalled by your response.

            All the best in your future endeavors. Your book is yours to keep. 🙂

  3. snakesinthegrass2014 Says:

    Your posts last year on your amazing trip around the country were great. I look forward to your healing and more acting blogging from you. Keep the faith. – Marty

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      One of the things that really spooked me about my injury is that I was afraid I would not be able to go on any more adventures, but I’m not can I let it stop me. I’ll do what I can to get as much mobility as possible, and then deal with whatever comes. I’m glad you enjoyed my adventure posts.

  4. Sue B Says:

    Dear Pat, have just read you’re latest blog and my heart goes out to you, you gave me strength and courage through your blog and I’m sadden for you now. I would imagine that at a time like this you must feel at your lowest and the realisation that, that significant other is not there to comfort, encourage, or even make a cup of tea, so it’s not at all surprising that you’re down. I do hope 2017 proves kinder to us all and wish you a speedy recovery. Much love from the other side of the pond, keep talking you have made such a difference in so many people’s lives. Sue X

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Thank you, Sue. It has been hard, especially since this is also the holidays. Or rather it was the holidays. But hearing from people helps, so thank you for your kind words. I hope you are doing well and that this new year will be kind to you.

  5. Terry Allard Says:

    I read your grief blogs most everyday then I use what you’ve said as a jumping off point to write something myself. I am in my 21st month of grief. My husband died April 27. 2015. I keep our (you and I) timelines corresponding, I have written to you before…perhaps you recall my name. I fear illness or accident which will be multiplied a thousand times over because I no longer have my spouse to help me. For me this would be a massive grief issue! It would no more be a depression issue than my grief now is depression. However, I also feel we all approach grief and healing in a manner unique to ourselves, so my intent is not to assume you are the same as me.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Terry, I do recognize your name. Thank you for your comments. You do have the right to assume you are the same as me or that I am the same as you at least to the extent that we are going through the same process just at different times. And you are right this is way more about grief than it is about depression. I’ve been desperately wanting to go home to him, been so desperately lonely, been feeling so lost. It’s funny that at the beginning of grief, illness muted grief somewhat because my body was concentrating on getting well, but this episode seems to be magnifying the sorrow.

      I wonder what it is about the 27th of the month. Jeff died on 27 March. My father died on 27 October, as did the mother of a friend of mine. Wishing you well as you continue going through this horrendous journey.

      • Terry Allard Says:

        I did not mention it but by brother died on Jan 27, 2007 at 46 years old. His name was Jeff. Thank you I wish you well also.

  6. leesis Says:

    Ah Pat I’m so sorry you are now going through this. A trauma to your body is a big thing and the impact it has on our realities can be really hard to adapt to. What a horrible smashing of your arm. Depression is one of our responses as we seek to come to terms with anything that significantly screws up our day to day life. Of course lemons to lemonade one could look for what you can get out of this temporary imprisonment. May be there are jewels to be found :)?

    Big hugs to ya xx

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Funny you should mention looking for lemonade, since that was, in a small way at least, the subject of today’s post.

      These three things — the injury, the incarceration, and now the dragon — are all possible game changers, but I have yet to see how they will affect my life. But I am giving myself to the experience, and hope that something good will come from it all.

      Dance classes for the year start tomorrow, and I won’t be there, (can’t dance until the fixator is off) so maybe I will use the time for another artistic venture of some sort. Maybe finally playing with the water colors someone gave me. I am no artist, but maybe I can play a bit.

      Will look for any hidden jewels.

      • leesis Says:

        I took up oil painting last year and I love it though I am still terrible at it. To pull off good painting requires such a different way of thinking to writing that it challenges the way I perceive things and that on its own is reward enough(though I do hope I improve :)). I love it and I love playing with the color and the textures of oil. Only need one arm sista, even opening stuff. Tricky but I’ve done it after not be allowed to use my right arm for 6 weeks. Though I agree with you, one handed typing sucks! x

        • Pat Bertram Says:

          I don’t think I ever painted, not even as a kid, except for craft projects an maybe a paint by numbers thing once or twice. Don’t even know how to go about it. Wet a brush, dip it in paint, and smear on paper? Well, that’s the plan.

  7. Coco Ihle Says:

    I’m just amazed that you picked up Dragon so seemingly easy, Pat. I think that’s a big deal!! Brava to you!!!

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