Hi! My name is Donna. I chase clean air. Let's go! Out of Los Angeles and into the world, chasing clean air, beauty and a sustainable life!
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As part of my wrist injury recovery, I've learned techniques I thought I'd share since a lot of us, whether through an accident or repetitive wrist motion, find we need to minimize impacts to our wrists in order to live pain-free.
I'm not a medical professional, so if you had a recent wrist injury get professional help 1st. Before I got to these techniques, there was rest, icing, and pain meds to reduce swelling followed by gentle exercises that included putty (pinch/squeeze) & light weights starting at 1/2 pd.
It's been a slow recovery where I've learned patience and helpful techniques for our modern world.
1. Dragon Dictation – I would not be able to type without Dragon Dictation on my road to recovery. I spent $200 for the software that comes with a microphone. There was a short learning curve, and while the software isn't perfect, I would not have been able to type this post without it. Simply great.
On my Mac it was recommended that I speak/type in the TextEdit software on my computer, and then cut and paste the copy wherever I need it. For example, I'm dictating this blog post in TextEdit, which I'll cut and paste onto my blog. This ensures a better outcome regarding compatibility of typefaces and spacing. I dictate most of my e-mails, too.
Of course, if, like me, you had a serious wrist injury, consult your doctor or physical therapist 1st. It took three months before I was ready for Dragon Dictation because I had almost no use of my hands.
2. Bamboo Create - I recently got Bamboo Create, which is a tablet with a magical pen that allows me to maximize my computer work without wrist pain associated with repetitive wrist motion and right clicking.
Slow down, you move too fast, got a make this… body last!
I'm not sure where to start after a long hiatus due to an injury to both wrists.
How are you?
It's said that crisis is opportunity. I've learned patience and Dragon dictation and how to be more conscious (slow down). I'm typing with the help of Dragon dictation now, a software program that enables me to speak into a microphone as the program types. It's pretty amazing, though there is a learning curve. A cinch once you learn patience.
It's strange. Words used to pour out of me quickly and now? Okay, I'll start by sharing internal and external changes. You see, for the 1st 3 months after my injury, I could do little but think and be conscious. I was unable to do almost everything. Kind of like a baby I had to find contentment, to be.
Being conscious is like seeing everything in its full context.
1. Patience! I believe it was at least 4 weeks before I could open my door to get out of my apartment. Wrists turn door knobs. They need strength. Mostly, I sat with my wrists resting on my lap, hands turned up slightly. Couldn't even lift a book. I'm still working on strength but I can turn a doorknob and corkscrew very well now. I can even squeeze a lemon juicer (but not every day) and put lemon juice in water bought at Santa Monica Coop in BPA-free jugs.
2. Sensitivity for all people with disabilities: I'm more apt to walk up to someone in a wheelchair and start talking. When you have a disability, and you are limited to reach out to others, it's refreshing when someone reaches out to say hi and offer help. At least I think so.
3. I got rid of television. Okay, not completely. I signed on for Netflix, which I watch on my iPad. But I didn't do this right away. I got used to silence. MUCH less distraction. I do not miss the news. I do not miss anything about not having paid television. I do not miss Time Warner! I bought Apple TV, thinking I'd watch documentaries and movies on Netflix on my big screen television.
But with time on my hands, and no choice but to be quiet and have patience, I decided to be conscious of my own footprint.
I don't need a big screen TV.
The iPad is small and energy-efficient compared to a 36-inch screen energy-guzzler TV. In California, half of our energy comes from dirty coal mines in Utah and Arizona. And did you hear about the leaking nuclear power plant near Laguna Beach? Well, they closed it for now.
Yes, less is more.
4. I got rid of Facebook. Naturally, unable to type or respond to people, I figured rather than people thinking I'm ignoring them, I'll just be off. The best thing I could've done. Even though I wasn't always on Facebook, a number of my friends are very interesting people and they do very interesting things and they post interesting links, and at times I follow those interesting links and there goes my life. Not all my life but enough. I do not miss Facebook. If I sign on again, and I probably will, I'll discipline myself to rarely use. Occasionally, I miss opportunities posted by friends and diluted friends (diluted to the impersonal screen and little consequence to my life) on Facebook.
5. I've been doing transcendental meditation most my life, usually once a day for 20 min. Mom gave me a course in TM when I was seventeen years old. Changed my life. Recently, I started meditating for longer periods twice a day. Going within feels good.
6. Last month, I bought Jack LaLane's juicer, and love it. Costco sells it for $89 and it comes with a beautiful booklet with recipes for juice, smoothies, and recipes that use both juice and pulp.
7. There's something about being frail that makes me want to be stronger in areas I can control. So in addition to buying organic fruits and vegetables, I'm lucky living in California where we have them in abundance, I found organic sulfate-free wines. Trader Joe's sells Daily Red for $5.99.
8. People have been sending me books. I'll probably write a separate blog post but for now let me highly recommend The Wildness Within Remembering David Brower by his son Kenneth Brower.
David Brower was the 1st head of the Sierra Club and was instrumental in saving the Grand Canyon from being made into a dam! Brower helped save America's most beautiful lands by helping create: Kings Canyon, Redwoods, North Cascades and Great Basin National Parks, and Point Reyes, Cape Cod, and Fire Island National Seashores. We owe him such a debt of gratitude! To carry on his conservation work are the institutions he founded and I recommend to get involved: John Muir Institute for Environmental Studies, The League of Conservation Voters, Friends of the Earth, Friends of the Earth international and Earth Island Institute, an incubator organization that has supported more than 100 environmental projects worldwide. This book is a compilation of interviews with environmentalist that worked toward bettering our planet with David. You'll not only learn about this amazing individual, and how he created change to last generations, but you'll also learn about several individuals including Amory Lovins, Tom Turner, and an incredible guy I'd never heard of before named David Pesonen… in their own words. Please buy the book and get inspired to be the best environmentalist you can be. Our planet is worth it. This is the book. Like many movements, there are charlatans in the environmental movement seeking to profit off of a trend; the people highlighted in this book are the real deal, leading with David Brower.
9. After a few readers mentioned their success with the Blue Air Purifier, I got my own. The filter lasts 6 months, therefore I haven't changed it to see how much gunk it picked up. But I believe the air feels cleaner in my bedroom, and I like the various settings for quiet to full blast with a fan, which is loud enough to mask nearby construction noise. And hopefully mitigate any dust that sneaks in. To date, this is my favorite air purifier. I have 3 others, but this isn't the post to talk about that.
10. I don't like shopping centers and I rarely go to them. But for some reason, maybe because I've been away from civilization for awhile, I wanted to see what people were doing in make-believe land. That's shopping centers. Where people reinvent themselves and buy things they don't need, using up resources that are better left in the wild, and there I go being an environmentalist. Like I said earlier, I've had time to be more conscious.
So I'm walking around the Century City shopping center, and a store called The Walking Company catches my eye. So I go in and immediately a colorful woman in a red plaid shirt tells me, I just must try her favorite shoe! Dansko. So, I did.
And here's where my new consciousness comes in; the salesman brought me a shoe and all I could see was leather.
Leather comes from dead cows. Many cows are raised for milk, (that really should be going to their own calves), and cows are raised for hamburgers and steak. I've read rain forests in Brazil have been flattened for cows to graze for the sole purpose of people eating hamburgers. Meanwhile, people are starving and we really need the trees and biodiversity and cleaner air. You might think I sound like a crazy environmentalist, but consider this is our only planet. It's up to our buying choices that dictate how many rain forests will be cut down. I own leather that came from cows that were killed to eat. (If curious I've fluctuated between vegan and vegetarian diet for years) And now, I'll avoid buying leather. I'm more conscious, you see. If you like leather, how about considering buying used? And buying recycled products? Trading with friends. I recall last year I reviewed Brooks recycled shoe. (And consider not eating mammals with a momma and poppa. I take B12 instead. John Robbins changed my life. If you're open to learn, click here.)
11. I wonder if you're still with me. I also just got Bamboo Create to help with my wrist rehabilitation for doing things like Photoshop. See the pretty picture above? I made it in Photoshop CS5 before I got Bamboo Create. It wasn't too many brushstrokes, but enough that I was reminded (pain) to be really careful with my wrists. I'm very slowly building up activities.
Bamboo Create is a device that enables me to use a magical pen on a pad with almost no pressure and get results whether using Photoshop or another program. I highly recommend Bamboo Create if you're an artist using the computer, or like me, need to preserve your wrists when writing, cutting and pasting, right clicking.
12. I need a new bed. So I just started looking. If you have suggestions, let me know. In the meantime, I'm leaning toward a futon made of organic materials. The only thing is I own really pretty bedroom furniture--Ethan Allen Country French--but maybe it's time for an overhaul.
13. Friends and thoughtful people are better than an insurance policy. Without them? Impossible. In the first 2 months after my injury, 10 friends alternated to help out. Washing my hair. Doing dishes. That's enough information. Thank you, kind friends. Truly appreciate.
One thing I'm not sure about
About a month ago, I told myself, self when restarting your blog, stop being an outspoken activist. Instead, focus only on pretty places, adventures, and clean air. Pollyanna, up! Life is short.
But the planet's life is long. I care so much about protecting the environment, I don't know if I can keep my mouth shut.
The thing is, people write me with their local air pollution problems that in the past I got involved. It takes a toll. I'm just one person. There are many fires to extinguish. It may be that in the future I sprinkle ideas regarding activism on matters I find important to keep you informed and active. But I clearly can't touch on as many topics as I did and maintain a quality life. I have to pick and choose. I also want to mention that more than once I've been threatened or bullied by questioning a polluting person or corporation. I started my career in the Washington DC Bureau of Forbes Magazine where, as a junior reporter, fact-checking was drummed into me like the First Amendment of journalism. I don't speak or write without thinking and fact-checking to the best of my ability, which is pretty darn good. Freedom of Speech is extremely important. I just felt like telling you that. It's important to get the truth out. Get it out in your local communities. Be safe. You may not always be popular but someone must do it. If you've got the spirit and will, channel the spirits of David Brower, Howard Zinn, and other truth-telling activitists.
We all have only so many days and hours to go, where will we place our focus?
See you soon with my answer. It shall be reflected in my life.
If my life were a sentence, chasing clean air, I fell into a comma on Jan. 21, 2012--a long pause as a result of two sprained wrists. As a result of a slippery substance in a garage, I fell fast, lickedy-split with arms stretched out to protect my head and slamming my wrists with weight of my body on pavement. Yoga and weight training for years, I am told, likely saved me from broken bones. Nonetheless, I can not do normal activities, including typing. I am seeing an occupational therapist. In order to heal, I am on hiatus. To my Facebook friends, I deactivated my account.