I wrote a few days back about BA’s adventure with vestibular neuritis. The good news is that she’s continuing to improve, and while not back to “normal” she’s much better, walking on her own, doing stuff around the house and feeling stronger every day. She’s not driving yet, but thinking about it. Clearly, we’re in recovery mode.

If you read my original story, you may recall that BA found herself stuck on the bathroom floor in a full-fledged bout of vertigo. I was sleeping soundly one room over. I have some hearing loss, notably in the higher pitched voice range. It took BA quite a while to wake me up, and when yelling didn’t work, she started banging the doors on the vanity. I don’t know what finally roused me, but I eventually came to the surface, heard her calling and responded. While this was uncomfortable and scary for BA, the delay in waking me didn’t change the resolution of her illness. However, there are instances where that same time difference could be a big deal, notably stroke and heart attack. So what to do?

In the past, we’ve used a wireless doorbell with good results.  The person who needs help has the button nearby, pushes it, the helper hears it and shows up to help. If you know there’s a situation, it works really well. We used it after my shoulder surgery and when BA had stomach virus with great success.  But, in this case, where there wasn’t any warning? Carrying one’s cell phone at all times is an option, but again, not the most obvious thing to do routinely when going from bed to bathroom in the middle of the night. Aside from those buttons that hang around your neck (The I’ve fallen and I can’t get up advertisements), we need a less expensive and less intrusive option.

It’s interesting to me, that while I tend not to hear voices/talking while sleeping, I hear the phone, and doorbells or door knocking. I started taking night call nearly 40 years ago, I have had a lot of  practice. BA doesn’t hear the phone or bell at night; she had to learn to ignore call night activities from my side of the bed. Past morning conversations: BA “it was a quiet call night last night”. Me: “yeah, after I left to deliver a baby and came home a few hours later”. BA: “Oh”. And yet, I occasionally talk in my sleep and BA will notice that. So I hear doorbells and phones, but not voices while BA hears voices but not doorbells or phones.  Interesting.

While BA was in the hospital, it was pretty clear that when she came home, she would be sleeping on our main floor for a while.  There’s a very comfy pull out couch in our sitting room, with ample room for one and fairly easy access to our most maneuverable bathroom. I’d be sleeping upstairs, so a reliable means of contact would be important.  Doorbell time. I found the chime unit of our old doorbell, but not the button. So I got another, which turns out to have an extremely loud “ding-dong”.  I won’t sleep through it. The neighbors may not, either.

When BA first got home, a week ago today, she was downstairs with the button at her bedside. Now, she’s sleeping upstairs and we’ve put the button in the bathroom she uses at night. The good news is we haven’t had to test it out. I hope we never need to, and its good to know we have more means of contact should there be a problem.  Always something on this adventure we call life.


For today’s Ragtag Daily Prompt of Partner

12 thoughts on “Alert

  1. Even with Garry cochlear implant, the same issues remain. Once he removes the implant headgear at bedtime, he’s deaf. If I yell in his non-implant “good” ear, he can hear me, sort of, but almost nothing else wakes him. We have never figured out what to do. Sometimes, he wakes up because he “feels” something happening, but otherwise, he’s out and he’s a good sleeper.

    I’m not sure — other than a small service dog — there is an answer. But maybe that would BE an answer for you: a small do who recognizes an emergency and wakes whoever needs waking? Because mechanical and electronics aren’t doing it … so what’s left is “living.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The dog is an interesting possibility, Marilyn. Does Garry feel vibration? A vibrating phone under his pillow or in a PJ pocket might work. All this stuff we don’t think of or imagine being personally applicable when we are young.


  2. Between my unbelievably bad vision, my moderately bad hearing loss and the lightweight narcotic I take at bedtime to combat mid-night OCD, I’m completely useless in the event of a night time emergency. My kids are well programmed to go to Mom if something is wrong. Even when they need me, it takes me a hood 90 seconds to become aware, find my glasses and insert my hearing aids. Fortunately BA doesn’t live with me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I sleep with my cellphone. Dusty and Bear would be NO help. Life with my dad gave me very acute hearing at night. I can’t sleep with another person as a result because I don’t go “under” so deeply I can’t hear human sounds. My life as a kid was go to bed, turn on the “dad radar” in case something happened. I now have a white noise machine to block out most of ambient noice, but if a person moves around I hear it. It took me a while to get used to having house guests, which I have fairly frequently, and not wake up to them moving around. My house has a “Jack-n’-Jill’ bathroom so…

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    1. Not unlike what I call “mother ears” really tuning for that emergency. Sounds like you took on care of your father very young. I learned to ignore house sounds very young, and yet to hear phones and doorbells. Conditioning really has an effect.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. When we had my mother in hospice at home for six weeks, we used a baby monitor. It is one way. She would wake up and say “I am ready to be entertained.” I slept out at my parents house quite a bit of that time and one of us would have the monitor by the bed, so that she could wake us at any time.

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  5. So sorry to hear what happened Steph and so glad to hear BA is continuing to improve. It’s good to have a system. Over here alarm pendants and wristbands are very popular and they tend to have a reach of 100 metres. Sending love and hope BA continues to feel better and better 🙂💖 xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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