Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Cell Phone Follies, part deux

In an addendum to the SB135 issue, I tried to call my mother's cell phone this weekend and what I heard on her end sounded a lot like the demonic hexed-telephone voices in "Bell, Book, and Candle".

When I did finally get her on the landline, my phone (AT&T, fewest dropped calls, my hind leg!~) kept cutting in and out. In the end, I had to borrow The Boyfriend's little prepaid phone, that uses AT&T and T-Mobile networks, to call her back. This issue with my service is ongoing.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, The Boyfriend's mother was hospitalized with pneumonia last week and we didn't know about it until after she was released and back home...because her gentleman friend is functionally illiterate (not entirely uncommon in their generation in Kentucky) and cannot manage dialing a long-distance telephone call. In light of this information, I sat down, made a list of what needed to be addressed, since I've been through this situation repeatedly with my own mother, and packed The Boyfriend off to the Holler with instructions to program his mother's cellphone speed-dial to contact him. He has also contacted his aunt and left the numbers with her.

My mother's heart attack followed a bout of pneumonia four and a half years ago. The medical issues that we've experienced with her are subsequent to and a product of that 'cardiac event'. I know where this road leads; I've lost someone in my direct supervision at work to a pulmonary embolus, and my best friend's mother died very suddenly last spring due to cor pulmonale, or catastrophic failure of the right side of the heart brought on by pulmonary issues. I've had pneumonia twice myself, been in respiratory failure, and had a couple of rounds of bronchitis that were not a whole lot of fun in elementary and high school. Don't kid yourself, folks; pneumonia can kill you. If your lungs go, it's a trip up the bridle path to heart failure...

The Boyfriend was kind of okay until it hit him a day later how serious the situation had been, and nobody had contacted him. Did I mention that he's an only child, too? I had no choice but to sit there and watch him crumple as the gravity of it sank in. She'd been hospitalized once before for a fall the previous year, to similar result- he didn't know about it until the crisis had passed. Given the history of cell service spottiness in the Holler, I'm not sure the cellphone was the best choice, but it's his family and none of my business. It's better than nothing, though, and surely his aunt will call us if nothing else. One can hope.

At the end of the day, unless you're living in an urban setting where there's a tower or transmitter every ten feet and the cell phone signal is absolutely stable (there is no such thing; 'as stable as possible' perhaps?), landline phones are a must. That said, I need to call AT&T and take them to task over their specious "fewest dropped calls" claim...

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