I Love My Phone!! It’s A 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 it’s 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 or other device 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 work call, text, PM, Facebook message etc, etc.

The Pro List

A physically active life is now no longer possible 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.

Using social media to connect and reach out to others living with chronic disease is in essence our work. It’s like a new career choice and we are passionate about it and committed to it.

Whether you use a phone, ipad, tablet or laptop, the world awaits to connect with you. What a wonderful era we live in, full of exciting opportunities.

I believe it’s a positive and essential life activity for those of  us living with chronic disease, particularly those of us who are writers and now have the time to pursue this new purpose in life.

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 or other device. 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

If you would like to read a little more about my journey, here’s the link to My Story

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8 thoughts on “I Love My Phone!! It’s A Chronic Illness Lifeline

  1. I love my new apple phone. I loved my last one as well. I imagine I will even love the next one. Sheryl, loves that she is still using an Iphone 6.

    I am amazed that we carry more than the combined power of the Apollo on ground and in capsule computer systems in our pockets. Oh yeah now that is awesome What is not not love?

    Like

  2. I have no phone signal at my house, otherwise, I’d be the same. For me, it’s my laptop. I often say, ‘my friends live inside my computer.’ They do. But, like you, I also run a support group, so I keep a check on that too. But, I did recently make the decision to always switch off before dinner time in the evening, then spend the rest of the night watching television with my husband.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is an excellent decision and one I’ve made too…..I just fail miserably and end up doing one or two things, which becomes much more (like replying to blog comments 😄)

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  3. I’ve also found it a challenge to find that balance. I feel there’s a (sometimes very healthy!) pressure to spend more time totally unplugged, but like you, my phone is my connection to others (and I wrote a blog post about that struggle too). I’ve also been leaving my phone inside sometimes when I go sit outside, and I especially like your tip to let go of guilt about using your phone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Cassie. I think our health takes so much from us, it’s important to do the things we can do, for as long as we are able to.
      Like everything though, it’s always nice to take a break from any passion or hobby for short periods to ensure we refresh ourselves.
      Sounds like you have a good balance xx💕

      Like

  4. I’m completely with you on this, particularly the past few months. I am so fortunate to have technology, the internet and my phone. I use it for everything, even controlling the tv. The only thing I try to limit is social media scrolling, because as you say it can get exhausting but also addictive.

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    1. Gemma, I so agree scrolling social media is one of the most exhausting things to do. I conserve my energy in that regard for my FB forum but I’ve had to ensure I take breaks even from that regularly to recharge x

      Liked by 1 person

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