Tuesday, March 23, 2010

4 a.m. phone tag

No. 2 on my list of most hated but most needed tools, just after the wheelchair, is my cellphone.

I got a phone on Sept. 12, 2001, after being carried down 13 flights of stairs when our building near the Pentagon was evacuated on 9/11. I figured I ought to have a way to call for help or let people know where I am.

And it has helped, but I don't like being "always" reachable. I put always in quotes because have the time I don't hear the ring or I don't reach it in time.

This, of course, makes the people trying to call me uncomfortable, thinking I am unable to get my phone so they try other ways to contact me and are sometimes forced to come check on me in person.

And of course, talking on the phone is not one of the pleasures for someone who hears poorly.

But that isn't the worst of it. The worst part is the battery that runs out every few days even though I hardly ever use it.

About 4 a.m. last night, I woke up because the low-battery alarm started going off. At first I tried to ignore it. That didn't work, so I reached precariously out of be, turned on my wheelchair and wheeled it near enough that I could reach the pouch where I keep the phone.

I reached in, felt something smooth and pulled out my work ID. I tried again and this time I got my wallet. The phone was the last rectangle in the pouch so on the third tried I got it ...

And proceeded to fumble it somewhere on the ground.

I didn't see it or feel it. I tried to get Claren to get it, but she came over, looked around, then wandered off.

I again tried to ignore it, putting a pillow over my head, and the pause between beeps is just enough to make you think you can successfully ignore it. Then it beeps and freaks you out.

About quarter of 5, I turned on the light, got on my glasses and rolled partway out of bed to look for the phone. It was nowhere to be seen, so I rolled further off the bed, rested my head on the floor and looked under the bed.

There, about three-quarters of the way to the wall was my beeping phone. I was barely able to reach it and then it was quite a hassle to get back in bed without falling out.

I flopped back on the pillow, just as Dad got up at 5:15.


Anonymous said...

Maybe Claren should wear the phone.

Matt Trott said...

Maybe when I have a bed big enough to sleep together with her.

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