Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Basic is better for me

A few days ago I wrote a post for my other blog about not using your cell phone while driving. In it I mentioned that I used to be attached to my smart phone and was missing so much of what was important. I want to talk about what I've noticed since I've switched back to a basic phone. You can find the post I am referring to by clicking on this link: Put Down the cell phone and I won't hurt YOU!

When I switched from my smart phone back to my basic LG EnV3 it was to save money. I have been trying to find ways to save money so that we can save up for trips. What I didn't realize is how much it would change my day to day life.

My smart phone could be found in my hand almost 24 hours a day. I took it to the bathroom with me, ate with it on the table (at home or in public), fell asleep holding it, and even texted while driving. Yep, I was addicted to it. I played games, used it for FB, texted, searched the web, read the news, and made calls on it occasionally. While watching TV I was on it instead of enjoying the program I was “watching”. I can’t even tell you what happened on the show because I was glued to my phone. I would be on it instead of listening to what Mom was saying to me.

How wrong was I? VERY! I missed hearing what my mom was trying to say. I didn't hear her ask for lunch one day. When she’d ask me a question I would ignore her because I was more interested in seeing which word would get me the most points. It’s my job to take care of her, to make sure she feels safe and secure with me. I was failing at it miserably.

Since switching, it’s a different world. I listen to my mom. Her stories can be quite entertaining. For example, I have learnt that she had a friend named Biff; that she found a man living in a culvert pipe by the hospital she worked at and that she ran for 5 miles a day up until I moved here. Now I know that’s some of what she has told me is not true, but I laugh and nod because it makes her feel good. But I’m also able to hear her concerns. Instead of being so lost in my own self important world, I’m learning to see things her way.

Dementia isn't easy. It’s scary for the sufferer and the caregiver. Right now, we’re “lucky” because one of the medications Mom is on is helping make the symptoms less noticeable. I know it won’t be that way forever. One day, probably sooner than later, the medicine is going to stop working and I’ll have a new Mom to adjust to. On a good day, she sometimes is brave enough to tell me what scares her and I do my best to reassure her. On her bad days, nothing I say can take the fear away from her. It’s part of the disease.
Today is a good day for mom. She’s upstairs listening to her audio book and I’m down in my office writing as well as getting laundry done. I can hear her laugh and that makes me feel good. Before the switch, I didn't realize how much she was missing reading. I saw the book in her hand but didn't notice she never turned the page. After the switch, I found an audio book and mom got her “book” back. On a good day, she will spend an entire day listening to them as she sits in her office and watches out the window. She can visualize the character; she talks with me about the story line. This gives her a topic to discuss. One she likes. One I can talk about with her.

If I still had my smart phone, I would have missed the woman at my dad’s office yesterday. My eyes would have been glued to who was doing what on Facebook instead of noticing that this woman got a small bakery box handed to her by a nice looking man. I never would have asked her what bakery it was from, and mom wouldn't have gotten a paczki. By being in the moment, I made mom happy as well as myself because you just can’t pass up a custard filled paczki. It was fun to go find the bakery with mom, I entertained her with my antics- I kept pointing out people on the side walk we could ask where the bakery was. Mom even pointed out two police officers we could have asked and we both ended up giggling. These are the moments I was missing.

I’m so glad I went back to the basic….

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