I Love My Phone!! It’s My Chronic Illness Lifeline.

When I was working my husband always used to stir me about having my mobile  phone strapped to my ear, or in my hand, almost 24/7. He wasn’t exaggerating either!

The other night while I was lying in bed frantically tapping away on my phone screen, I paused for a moment and looked up at my husband who was enjoying a show on TV.  I must add, we were both supposed to be watching it.

I was listening to it but I definitely wasn’t watching it in the relaxed manner I should be as a person “medically retired”. Life in my phone was just way too exciting and compelling to put it down.

I laughed and said, “Do you know what, I’ve just realised I have a whole world inside this phone that is buzzing with activity and I think it’s even busier in there than my life was when I was working”.

Thankfully he laughed too!

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It got me thinking though about whether that is a good thing or not. So, I started to do a pros and cons list in my head as I do when I am grappling with something.

Good news is, for me anyway, the pros list won! Under normal circumstances, with a healthy body, I would probably recommend to put the phone down, go out and do something wonderful and live a full active life, minus your phone.

Who am I kidding……I was never without my phone even when I was healthy and enjoying a full and physically active life. My excuse then was it was necessary in case of an important call, text, PM, Facebook message etc, etc.

The Pro List

A physically active life is no longer possible now due to my chronic diseases and disability. The life within my phone opens a whole world for me that is exciting.

I can, in a virtual context, sail across the ocean and speak to others in different countries, or chat with friends close by or interstate. All from my bed when necessary.

I can connect with others battling serious and complex diseases through my forum and provide them comfort, while also finding comfort from their words of wisdom and kindness to me.

That kind of connection is priceless and so special. In online support forums for chronic illness, we probably share more with each other than we do with our closest friends and family. The connections are genuine, raw and real.

I feel blessed to be living with a disability in an era where this kind of connection is possible. Imagine the isolation others felt in times past, not really all that long ago, without the kind of communications we have at our fingertips today.

The pro list is definitely strong.

The Con List

The con list does exist though. There is one major con…EXHAUSTION!

I get way too tired as I get so involved in what I’m doing in my “Life in my phone”. I struggle to put it away and just stop and allow my brain and body to completely rest.

I always thought if I was resting my body it would be fine to keep my brain super active but I’ve actually found, if my brain gets too tired, my physical pain increases, so a balance is really important. I now realise “burn out” is a real danger.

Tips to get the balance right

I do have a few tips to hopefully try and get the balance right. Remember though that these are tips for those of us with Chronic Diseases who are disabled to a point where getting out and about is difficult. Many of us can no longer work and have given up exciting and rewarding careers because of our health.

Connecting with others through blogging, writing, managing or participating in online support forums, provides opportunities to connect with the wider community, in a meaningful way, from our homes or hospital beds.

It is in essence our work. It’s like a new career choice and we are passionate about it and committed to it.

It’s a positive and essential life activity for those of  us living with chronic disease!

The balancing act is a work in progress for me, so if any of my Chronic Illness friends and blogging colleagues have tips to add, please let me know.

Tip One: Schedule quiet rest times that are phone free during the day. Even 30 mins is enough just to rest your brain and dial down physical pain levels;

Tip Two: Get your head out of the phone at least for 15 mins every hour. If able use this time to stretch your body, go into the garden, speak to your partner ( oops, probably should have put that first ), make a cuppa etc;

Tip Three: Don’t feel guilty about using your phone. It’s how those of us with chronic debilitating disease can best connect with others, in what would otherwise be a pretty lonely existence. Think of it as your work, your new career. It’s a positive tool in many circumstances in life but particularly under these circumstances;

Tip Four: When you are ready to turn the lights out at night or even 30mins before that time, turn your phone to silent. I have my phone beside my bed so that when I do wake up in the morning, I can start checking emails, messages,  Facebook forums, Twitter etc, while I’m waiting for my pain meds to kick in. You don’t want a buzzing phone by your ear during the night. Remember many Chronic Illness sufferers can’t sleep well and will be quite active on their phones during the night, so if you are able to sleep and don’t want to be disturbed, definitely make sure your phone is on silent. Your partner will thank you too!

Above all, enjoy the wonderful connections that await us each and every day in the “land of our phones”.

Now it’s time for me to put the phone down and have a good 30min rest.

I’ll definitely be back soon though.

Take care

Sam xx

Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8)

 

If you’re looking for genuine support, care, understanding & friendship, you are so welcome to join my closed Facebook support forum, Medical Musings with Friends . It’s a safe place to connect with others living with chronic & complex diseases, who truly understand the daily challenges. A warm welcome awaits.

I’m also a Contributor at “The Mighty”. You can check out my published articles at My Author Page

I also write @ Blogs by Christian Women

I’m a member of  the Chronic Illness Bloggers Network,  the  Grace Girls Facebook Group and Salt and Light Linkup Group

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5 thoughts on “I Love My Phone!! It’s My Chronic Illness Lifeline.

  1. “bing bing bing”……………oh goodness I do so hate PHONES. I have an old Alcatel flip phone. I love it and mourned it when I dropped it into the washing bowl with epsom salts. I was having a foot bath and the phone rang and somehow i managed to drop it splat into my foot bath. It wouldn’t work I was so upset. It didn’t have android capabilities. Just text or speak.

    I decided to put it in the airing cupboard see if it would dry it out. My daughters have been nagging me for ages now to get INTO THE 21st century MOTHER. So well I thought i would buy myself a nice Alcatel android.

    Well it came and my daughter was here and she set it up for me. This strange being arrived and I was supposed to connect to it. All I see around me even when i go on the rare occasions for a meal is people with their phones on their laps busy typing messages. my daughter showed me how to activate the online keyboard, and she set me up with messenger, and facebook etc.

    So as a test I sent my first email on this modern beast. It was HORRIBLE. I have huge fingers like a navies and it was alien to me. she showed me how to get on messenger, and facebook but it looked all so different, i could hardly see all my facebook wall.

    I have been trying to use it now for 2 weeks. I even bought it a posh new cover and one of those stick things to try and make it easier to type. I found out how to download ringtones too I felt quite accomplished. Then i tried to ring someone and well it was so complicated.

    I sat in my sitting room with this phone in my hand, and thought what the hell am I doing. It has done nothing but stress me out. Notifications, bing, bing, bing, was the sound in my head.

    I tried to ring someone again nope it came up with YOU HAVE DISABLED A PERMISSION………..what the …….HOW? I had no idea what it was trying to tell me. I have to say I totally lost the plot and chucked this alien thing across my room in temper lucky for the phone my sitting room is tiny.

    When my daughter came for her visit even she couldn’t understand why it was doing that. So i begged her, please please put my sim back in my flip phone. So she did and peace was once restored in my home and the beast was chucked in a drawer.

    My little Alcatel was back with me. She had survived her bath in epsom salts. I sent an email it was bliss, so easy, no more binging, and we have been in love since. I will be much more careful with her in the future.

    NAH you can keep your androids and your fruit i don’t like apples anyway lol.

    I have THREE LAPTOPS. One in my bedroom, and one in my sitting room and one spare just in case.

    I have 2 special tables that extend so i can type away on them in my bed or whilst reclining.

    When i go to bed at 6pm my laptop goes off, no more facebook or messenger. I use it in the day for my afternoon chill out with amazon and HOUSE, or another programme I like. I do have groups on facebook for PPMS, and i run a group for poultry lovers.

    I access MS SOCIETY and i do all my shopping online. My laptop goes on in the morning when i wake up which is usually around 4 or 5am. (its 4.30 in the uk now). Having said that I was asleep easily by 8pm so all in all 8 hours unusually no potty breaks lol.

    Nah you can keep your phones. Turn it off. when you go to bed cuddle with your husband instead. talk to each other as you never know when the space in the bed could become empty. do not waste it talking to people over the water or trying to help others, you can do that all day. You must have time for yourself and your partner.

    You have made your own PROS. I challenge you to restrict. From 6pm to the morning, no phone.

    I do not miss my laptop from 6pm as i watch something funny on the T.V. I turn it off between 7.30 and it never goes back on again until the evening at 6pm.

    My laptop is my phone. It is easy to type on, it doesnt bing at me, I can chat for several hours before i get out of bed usually at 7am for my daily routine.

    It goes back on again in the sitting room around 10 or 11 am.

    From 7am i get myself up in a fashion and sort of dressed lol. the animals fed. I might if i am lucky spend some time looking out of my patio window at the hedgehog who visits me most days eating her breakfast yesterday she was joined by a magpie. I love to watch the birds. the dog goes out for a pee followed by 2 cats. Breakfast and tablets, then i take my dog out for her walk on my scooter she is trained to walk alongside me as long as its not raining. The fresh air is invigorating. We enjoy our 40 minutes out, chatting to HUMANS lol.

    Most i dont know they are strangers but we talk about mundane things.

    Then back home usually by then my care lady will be in and we will chat and she will do me a shower if i want one, and my washing and ironing and clean my flat and change my bedding.

    Life is so busy. I miss my husband as when i would awaken in the morning he would sit in the conservatory and we would chat.

    Nah stick your Androids……… I HATE THEM LOL.

    Right I am off now to do my grocery shopping tat ta for now, Have a good day when you wake up. I am going to request to join your group. xxxxxxxx

    This was my sight at 7am.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m so glad you pick up on the positives because I think phones & the Internet can get a rather negative rap. When you’re living with chronic illness and your life changes as a result, these things can have a serious amount of ticks in the pros column. For me, I’m more about my laptop; I find phones a bit fiddly and it’s personal preference but I like having a proper keyboard. I’d have it surgically attached if I could 😉The con I find is as you say with exhaustion, and I can get overwhelmed with keeping up on the blog side of things. I try not to overdo it on social media so I have a better balance there and I think you’re spot on with needing that balance. Where parts of my life have slipped away because of illness, a new life and a whole new tribe and friends have become my life through the Internet, as you’ve found too. For that I’m eternally grateful.
    Another great post, Sam!
    Caz xx

    Like

    1. Morning, its 4am and i am on my LAPTOP lol. I LOVE MY LAPTOP. I too find phones fiddly. My sister is 72 and would be lost without her phone. She does everything on her phone, books holidays, pays parking she has so many APPS. I wondered what an APP was not that long ago.

      Bit like a shortcut bookmark on my laptop. I do a lot on my laptop. so really its technology but with mine you can’t carry it around. I have tried truly i have. 2 android phones later and i have still not progressed. I suppose it’s my hands. They are big and not strong and i find holding the phone really tiring.

      I too find things exhaustive. Brain gets tired. I have to switch off. I was always on forums trying to help people but i felt like i was drowning with all these cries of help me, help me, or trying to write a blog. It was like a full days work. a 9-5 job. Yes balance is the key.

      In a way i envy my sister but then i think when does she get time to do anything if she is always on her phone?

      without bloggers life would be a lonely place, and i thank them for all their time and efforts. I love Sams blogs, and i now have joined her group which is amazing, and everyone is so kind. It makes me feel humble to meet so many people who are out there so ill with illnesses I have never even heard of. It puts my PPMS into perspective.

      Anyway i now have a nice android phone i dont need and i have been wondering what to do with it. I dont even mind giving it to someone if they have the need.

      but it will be staying in its box. Long live the laptops lol. xxxxxxxx

      Liked by 1 person

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