LAL: Life Alert Lessons

You want the good news or the bad news first? Okay, the good news is: reaching my senior year-s (not as a high school “senior;” but a 67-year-old “senior!”), and living in their cumulative confidence and wisdom.

The bad news: everyone’s concern that “I fall-l-l-l and can’t get up.”

Alright! I fell. (Here’s the 911 if you missed the event )

Enter LIFE ALERT! Dun-dun-dun…you know there’s a catch: my life “alert” pendant has a-leer-ing (malicious) intent. It’s sneaky and fickle.

Why is it so-o-o hard to press the activation disk yet, so-o-o simple to accidentally “activate it?!confused look The first time I unknowingly hit it was while North Hope and I were making muffins. I was chopping nuts on the chopping board in my lap when a disembodied voice rose from the base unit. Wide-eyed, we ran to the unit to reassure ADT (my home security) that it was an accident—NOT a fall!

The second time was while putting plates in my lap. (I know. I know. It’s better to be safe than sorry, but I’m sorry!) This last one is, still, only partially solved.

I heard a fire engine, and wheeled to my front window to see which neighbor’s house it stopped in front of…to watch it stop at mine. Reality hit when the driver looked through my picture window at me looking at him. Embarrassed reckoning came as I met the three medics IN my kitchen…after they unlocked the back door (with my hidden key), making the call to ADT: “She’s fine. It’s a false alarm.”

After repeated apologies, the medics left.

Trying to solve the riddle, I mentally flipped through possible scenarios of the 10-15 minutes prior to hearing the fire truck. I remembered, while in the bathroom, thinking I heard a voice, twice. I stopped to listen, twice. I wondered if the TV had been turned on by a weird frequency: an 18-wheeler on McFarland Boulevard; the sanitation truck or school bus breaks?

Then, VOILÁ! It must have been while the commode was flushing that the “voice” was inquiring as to my “alert.” Still, I have no idea how I hit my pendant. The wheels on the bus go round and round….using past experience and common logic, doesn’t always fill in the blanks.

Seriously though, it does provide security to all, particularly loved ones—whose insistence only costs YOU around $30 a month for THEIR peace of mind.

An Apple A Day and Disability Aids

With the prevalence of computers, laptops, ipads, mobile devices, and all their gizmos, it sometimes seems that the state of our society is grim.

By the radical technology of the 21st century, we (able-bodied and disabled) appear advanced and are technologically savvy. But, how can we read another’s honesty, integrity, or motivation by relating over a “device.” One-on-one, eyeball-to-eyeball communications are being sacrificed. Learning to interpret interactive body language and the associative heart-mind connections is becoming a lost life-line.

Are we becoming a robotic society?

On the other hand, one can travel faster than a cheetah’s 60mph in three seconds with the touch of a mouse; can explore foreign lands without making reservations…deciding what to pack…waiting in lines, risk, hassle, and expense-free; earn a degree; have a world of knowledge at our fingertips.

As well, today’s mobile apps not only afford mindless amusement but can provide driving directions for travel and beyond to expand horizons.

For those of us living with a disability, there are iphone apps for providing helplines and medical care, apps for functional movement and alignment of prosthetics for the disabled, language learners for learning new languages, as well as providing expressive vocalization for the nonverbal, blind, and physically paralyzed.

The first bite out of the apple wasn’t such a good idea. However, that company with a bite-out-of-the-apple logo is a good thing!

Here I am talking to you on a lighted screen. Via whatever device, you’re reading my letter at home, at work, in transit, or as you wait.

I’m grateful to be communicating. I’m thankful I have a message. And, like many of you who are confined or shut-in due to SCI, illness, injury, or disease, I’m blessed to have a worldwide avenue where my words can travel into cyber space with an echo you can hear.

I hope you’re not just reading my words. I hope you hear what I’m saying in my letters to you, because Conversations with Cynthia aren’t conversations until you reply.

Let’s talk. I miss hearing back from you.  

R.S.V.P. with your “comments,” questions, and reviews on my books.

P.S. Don’t forget to enlist for my monthly newsletters with health hints and humor for whatever ails you! (After enlisting by adding your email address, remember to confirm my email to you.)