Tuesday, September 29, 2015

In spite of Multiple Sclerosis

Really, it's more like 'in spite of anything barring my path', but I think you'll get the idea. It's helpful to remind myself what spurs me on to overcome disability and be even borderline productive. With the seasonal change bringing barometric changes, the cognitive fogs have been slapping me around. Imagine allergy season getting you moderately stoned every day instead of plugged up. Or consider that your cognitive abilities (to think clearly) are plugged up instead of your sinuses.

All the more reason to fight like a cornered animal.

The less you do, the more MS takes away. The less you use any particular life skill (especially physical) the faster MS takes that away. You have to pace yourself, but definitely don't want to just give up. Even so, MS, or as people are calling it now 'the MonSter; does a lot of damage to a lot of people. It's not so easy to just overcome.

I really hate the fact that I can't work a regular shift job. I have to be able to rest at any given time my body requires. I also have to be able to move around because my nerves go haywire from time to time. So I work from home and put my power into things I always wanted to do.

Wanted to write books about my fantasy universe: published 3 of them so far.

Wanted to make my own board/card games: published one board game so far.

Want my son, who has autism to understand that Dad is still productive: working so far.

My hands don't want to do my artwork. I force myself forward anyway. I will fight for what I love to do until I can't sign my name anymore. That's why I dedicate my artwork to everyone who fights MS or other disabilities  to keep doing what they love to do. That includes just being able to get out of bed on any give day.

You have to have some spite against the disease. You really do. It's amazing what you can accomplish if you just turn Hulk against MS. Decide that MS can go to hell and you're going to make it across the room today (or to the park, or whatever). Yeah, I'm stubborn in some of the wrong ways too, but you kind of have to be. What are the wrong ways? Well, you pay for what you do in a day when you have MS. The harder you exert yourself, the harder MS tends to hit back. So if I got outside and dig that rotten portion of tree root sticking up in my yard, I'll probably be physically and mentally useless for about three days.

I'll probably still try to do it.

Just to spite my MS as if it were an entity that could understand said spite.

So, between showing my son the importance of never giving up and giving MS the finger; you pretty much have my reason for doing anything. What do you do in spite of your MS? Let me know in the comments. I'll end this with an uplifting song:

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Amazing People: The Blind Roboticist

They call him, Robo Doc. Dr. Marco Bitetto is an award winning roboticist. That means he develops robots and artificial intelligence programs for robots. But hold on. Those of you who follow me regularly, know that I'm all about people who don't give up based on various disabilities to do what they love. So how does Robo Doc fit the bill. Well...

He's blind.

Not only has he had to overcome blindness, but when he was a kid; the so called experts labelled him as retarded. He had to overcome blindness and dysgraphia to teach himself how to write. He also learned two languages on his own. Wait a second; what the heck is dysgraphia? For him, it was insult to injury.

Dysgraphia is a disorder in the ability to write. We aren't just talking about bad handwriting here. It's more like a short circuit in the neuro-process that allows you to write words. It also messes with other fine motor skills as you might imagine. But the Doc didn't let this stop him.

He developed programs that helped him move forward. He achieved a Bacheoler of Science Degree in Computer Systems Engineering from the State University of New York in 1991. He even worked as an engineer for a radio station.

During his education at the University, he was so distinguished in his skill set that he earned scholarships and grants the whole way through. Basically, he was paid to go to school. Try that on for size. He built two laboratories in his house to do his undergraduate work.

Really, you can see a great deal about him to the technical and historical at his Amazon page HERE. Read down the column on the left!

Now he's developed artificial intelligence programs that could seriously change the world for the disabled. And he's not looking to start a business, rather help the people of the disabled community overcome as he has. Some of the AI programs he's developed have worked for him as a voice interviewer, translations of color and patterns to sound, and the applications for these could be limitless.

You can see a video that demonstrates an artificial intelligence called Kate on his Amazon page. If you have a love or fascination with robotics programming, you should check out his books too.

You can also find Robo Doc at Goodreads HERE.