That was the word I was anxiously looking for the other day during a discussion with some friends. Simple word, common I dare say. And it came to me a good six or seven hours later. Much help it would be at 3 o’clock in the morning. It’s not like I could call anyone – or even text them for that matter – and say “you know that word I was stuck on earlier tonight? Well, it’s…” Besides, I even ran the risk of forgetting what I called for while I was calling. That would be embarrassing, not to mention waking someone up in the early hours of the morning on a school night would be extremely rude.
So I did the next best thing. I reached for my Smartphone (I know, it shouldn’t be next to me while I’m asleep, but that is the least of my worries), and jotted – more like dictated, because even typing is hard these days, a note of the word and a vague blog-post idea. Which, having been half asleep at the time, I spent another day trying to decipher. Thankfully, I managed to do so, so here I am!
My thought process is one of the things most severely affected by my MS. And a hard one to quantify at that. But I keep forgetting words, what I was saying – mid-sentence mind you, what I was doing, my immediate task list (like, open the fridge and get the milk, then go to the spice cabinet and get some sugar). Don’t even get me started on names – if you do not have an unusual but easy to remember through some kind of word association name, it’s out the moment I hear it. Sorry! Driving? Well, I drive to places I have driven to a million times, and even then I might end up somewhere else that I’ve been to in the past, but thankfully close to where I wanted to go. Like my uncle’s house instead of my friend’s home, a mere half a mile away, but still.
For those reasons, and many more that I am sure I can not remember right now, just like I couldn’t remember what it was I wanted to watch and I turned on the TV last night, I am extremely thankful of advances in technology, Smartphones in particular and their integration with other devices such as tablets, computers, voice assistants, lamps. Not just for the easy and convenient access to multimedia in your hand at all times. Or for the myriad of communication options.
Remember that note I dictated from before? Well, my phone is riddled with them. Most, unfortunately, end up unused. Some however are helpful. Primarily notes and reminders on the day-to-day things I need to do. The reminders and calendar functions are also heaven-sent. And voice commands? I feel the urge to thank my smart devices from time to time, as if they were actual living beings (at least I think I will fair well when the machines rise). I really cannot imagine how I could handle the day if I did not have my Smartphone. My house would possibly be riddled with post-its and my pockets lined with random pieces of paper, I can imagine a random notebook and pen “attached” to me (I already have one of those, but more for emotional rather than practical reasons), I would spend countless hours in darkness and silences because I wouldn’t have the energy to get up and turn on the lights or the music. I would, not starve, but at least lose weight because I wouldn’t be able to cook or go to the kitchen and grab the menu so I can order food. I could never go out to shops for say electronics if it were not for online shopping and home delivery.
Which also leads us back to my Smartphone being next to my bed. That is not because I have an addiction to my devices, nor that I “feel the urge” to be connected at all times. While you masy be worried about possible health risks, I am not concerned the least bit. My Smartphone is literally an extension of myself, a necessity if you’d like. So, I will not rid of it. I make sure it is always within arms length. I see it as my lifeline, my connection to an outside world that since my diagnosis has been continuously shrinking.
Next purchase? A smart wearable, preferably with a fall alert.
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