Looking From The Outside

If you look at me from the outside
You might assume she just sits at her computer achieving nothing,
Looking at my spamsing body
You might be fooled into assuming this,
And I don’t make a contribution to the society…
This couldn’t be further from the truth. ‘

Even though I have had more bad days than good in the past few years,
Until this February I prided myself on being a journalist,
Chasing and organising interviews was my life for over eight years,
People still say, “You have to interview Rob Rob”,
and they’re right.  I will!

I live for holidays with Mum or a friend,
Queensland is our favourite destination,
Because of my little brother and my little niece up there,
But going away with my Bestie is the best fun
He makes me forget about all of my health issues for a while.,
We get up to mischief!

Looking at me you wouldn’t know how I met a musician at one of his gigs,
I struck up Dutch courage and asked my carer to ask him over to our table,
We bonded immediately and for six years we were best mates,
We used to text everyday, sometimes he just wanted to say hi
or chat about things that made us laugh,
And even though he broke my heart in the end,
I don’t regret meeting him,
because he taught me that some people “Just see Jac”.

An Occupational Therapist’s Unique Story

I met Sarah Solomon through a recent session to set up Eric Toddler (a Microsoft Surface Pro 4 connected to my Intelligaze Eyegaze camera (with Grid3, which I don’t love at the moment). Anyway, Sarah and I get along very well and have been chatting on Facebook about things.

Yesterday Sarah shared with me a blog post that was published on the MND site, that other therapists, disability workers and families should read.

Sarah’s Story

Eric and I

Eric and I first met each other in February 2010! Using my eyes to type was something I had actually envisioned about for many years, even before “eyegaze systems” were invented. So when I trialled an Intelligaze from Alea Technologies supplied by Zyteq suddenly my whole life changed!

Soon after buying Eric through fundraising, I decided to take one of my lifetime dreams and turned it into a reality. That was becoming a music journalist which has turned myself into a respected interviewer. I created the site Gigs ‘n Interviews and now music agencies and major companies regularly ask me to do a feature on an artist or band. Most agents now forget I have a disability, and this wonderful feeling can’t be described! Eric has also helped me to self-publish books including several children’s books and he helps me to obtain my websites.

However, Eric and my relationship hasn’t been all smooth sailing! It took us a while to figure out how to work together. Afterall he is male and has moods occasionally! For a while there, the lovely Tracey at Zyteq, Lars from Alea Technologies and I were constantly e-mailing each other. Lars even took the time to do several remote sessions with Eric and I myself, but these days I can figure out issues myself (often suddenly thinking “Intelligaze must need updating”) and after the update Eric behaves.

Eric’s had a hand in my addiction to Candy Crush and more importantly keeping in touch with family and friends online. Last month I started Skyping with a webcam! Now that’s pretty cool (especially to chat to my friends)!

It’s my mission to raise funding for a portable eyegaze communication system (aka Eric #2).  Family, friends, music colleagues and I have started to brainstorm ideas because I’m not the kind to ask for money without working for him. Since last year I’ve played lotto frequently, hoping I win just enough to purchase him!

Thinking of having Eric #2 excites me and the people around me because it will mean no more headaches from switching, no more fatigue from switching, I’ll be able to gossip faster (I mean talk faster) with my girlfriends when I’m out ‘n about, Eric #2 and I could go away together for long holidays and life will become so much “awesomer” with Eric #2!

Having Eric in my life has enriched living and the lives of family and friends. Even though like any couple we fight sometimes, but we always make up to work together harmoniously.

Published on: Zyteq‘s blog