#583 – A Better Mouse for Rheumatoid Arthritis Hands

Picture of vertical mouse and horizontal mouse
Vertical mouse and horizontal mouse.
Picture of my hand resting on vertical mouse.
Using the vertical mouse.

I needed a better mouse. When you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA), everyday things that many people take for granted can be extremely challenging.

I noticed that my mouse clicking was becoming increasingly difficult; you could say that the clicks weren't clicking. The standard desktop mouse was not working. Maarten's idea of using my non-dominant hand wasn't an option either, since RA affects both of my hands.

My hands speak volumes and when they speak, I listen. I chased after a vertical mouse; it's more ergonomic than the standard mouse. While it's not ideal, it does make computer work a bit easier.

If that didn't work for me, I was prepared to try an external touchpad or track pad. That option is not entirely off the table, er, desk.

To minimize mouse use, I'm learning shortcut keys. As an additional benefit, I give my brain a little workout as I commit those shortcuts to memory.

Instead of a Mouse

The other option is to dictate a post, something I'm not fond of doing. As mentioned earlier, my hands do the talking. When I'm in the zone, it feels as if the words are flowing directly out of my fingers and onto the page or screen. It's a wonderful feeling; one that I'm loathe to surrender!

In the meantime, I'll continue doing what I do and how I do it.

Over to You

  1. How has RA changed the way in which you use the computer or laptop?
  2. Have you switched to using the dictation method of writing?
  3. How has that experience been for you?

5 Replies to “#583 – A Better Mouse for Rheumatoid Arthritis Hands”

  1. Vertical mouse has been a God send. I teach and write assessments for perspective foster parents. The timelines do not give me the luxury of taking a day off sometimes for RA pain. I occasionally have to resort to dictating reports but get extremely frustrated by typos and misspelled names. The vertical mouse has allowed me to continue working with less pain. I also use an ergonomic keyboard. I picked it up at a second hand store because I didn’t want to spend more money on something that did not help. When it gives up the ghost I will be more confident about laying out cash for a new one.

    1. Hi Andrew,
      That’s great that you have found workarounds for all those daily RA challenges. Living with a chronic disease is expensive, so finding ways to cut costs, like your thrift store find, is ideal, especially if you are uncertain if it will work for you.

      By the way, I get your frustration with dictation…it’s almost as if we don’t speak English!

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