wings and things

Please answer the phone!

on June 28, 2012

Every day, whether I visit Anthony in the nursing lodge or not (this is now every second day, and I bring him home twice a week for the day), I ring him. If I am not coming into town, I ring him an average of four times – morning, afternoon, early evening and bedtime.

The trouble is he has difficulty answering the phone and often can’t work out what button to press, and sometimes he accidentally locks it. So my method now is to dial his number and let it ring 4 times, hang up, and repeat this several times until he finally answers. This saves the phonebill from skyrocketting, it gives Anthony time to answer the phone, and it drives me insane.

Ming and I spent the morning with Ants today, recharged his phone and put it within reach. Ants said to ring as soon as I got home and I have now been trying to for nearly 3 hours. I know he is in his room, warm and comfortable and watching television, with the phone right next to him on a side-table. I also know he is sad because he will think I haven’t rung him when, in fact, I have tried a zillion times!


45 responses to “Please answer the phone!

  1. Ingrid says:

    You could ring the nursing staff and ask them to put you through

  2. Ingrid says:

    just so he won’t be worrying and thinking you have forgotten or whatever

  3. Technology isn’t always a blessing.

  4. ugh! It’s maddening that he’ll think you didn’t call.

  5. You are doing the best you can, Julie. I know it is frustrating but please don’t beat yourself up over this. Perhaps the staff could go in and hand him the phone if you call them first and let them know you will call in the next minute or so.

  6. Tammy says:

    Too bad there’s not a flashing light that he would see to know it is ringing…

    • jmgoyder says:

      He wouldn’t see it anyway, Tammy – he has become so incapacitated now, but thanks for the suggestion – Juliexx

      • Tammy says:

        I’m sorry, Julie. I didn’t realize that. But darn it all, it would be nice if he could, no? I hope that somehow the phone situation will be relieved. Maybe get those nurses to help out, as your other reader suggested. Or just another cross to bear. Building character. (You’d have a lot of that!)

      • jmgoyder says:

        Thanks Tammy!

  7. frustration, thy name is an unanswered ringing phone and wrong assumptions!

  8. jmgoyder says:

    Yes! He finally answered the phone but by then I was exhausted and didn’t have much to say – alas!

  9. terry1954 says:

    that has to be so frustrating. i am not number one with patience, and i get myself too worked up when things don’t go according to plan. not sure what i would have done in this instance after three hours of trying. i am proud of you for not being a quitter

    • jmgoyder says:

      It’s every day now – he just doesn’t seem able to even answer the phone anymore (although he eventually did this arvo) – but Terry you are in a much more difficult place looking after Al all by yourself.

  10. victoriaaphotography says:

    How frustrating for you.

    Mobile phones drive me nuts, especially when I first bought one. I had the ring tone on a tweety bird sound. First time I walked around the Botanic Gardens listening to the birds, my phone rang in my pocket and I thought it was a bird. My Brother was so worried when I didn’t answer, he drove over to my flat an hour or so later, and let himself into my flat with his spare key and scared the s—- out of me. I was in the bathroom doing you know what, and had not closed the bathroom door.

    People used to complain that I never answered the phone (when I had a landline), and I thought about installing a second & third phone in the laundry and bathroom (big grin).

    Now I’ve only got a mobile phone and no landline, I tell people not to ring during the day (especially if its fine, as I’m likely to be at the zoo and won’t hear the ring with the animal sounds in the background). I tell them to ring me after 6.00pm. They still complain that I don’t answer the phone, so I’m thinking about CARRYING my mobile phone in to the laundry and bathroom (every time I go there).

    I often carry it out to the rubbish bin with the rubbish in my other hand, as I keep thinking someone will probably ring me while I’m putting the rubbish in the council bins.

    When my Mother was alive, she used to complain I was never home and she could never get me on the phone. I asked her who answered HER phone (when she was in the laundry and bathroom), because she never answered HER phone.

    I’m thinking of drowning the mobile phone & getting a walkie talkie.

    • jmgoyder says:

      Yes – I am nearly going mad with the frustration of not being able to get hold of Ants on the phone. All the friends and relations know the phone number but he never answers it unless you do the ritual of ringing, hanging up and ringing again. Your stories of your brother and mother are hilarious but also comforting because at least I am not alone in my phone frustration!
      Many thanks again, Victoria, for your wonderful words – Juliexx

      • victoriaaphotography says:

        You’re welcome dear Julie.
        That is the point of the stories (which are true, by the way).
        ….to let you know you are not alone. No one is ever alone, no matter how much sad and isolated they feel. There is always someone, somewhere, who is beside you. There is always someone to listen and share.

      • jmgoyder says:

        I feel like I know you – thanks V!

  11. You may have to give up on the phone thing and ring the nursing staff when it’s important. You visit him lots anyway. Maybe you’re putting too much on yourself. This whole process is a gradual “letting go” isn’t it?

  12. That really must be frustrating. Hang in there.

  13. niasunset says:

    I am glad he answered you dear Julie, but I am thinking too now, should be a better way for this… Technology how much we need…. new things, new projects… Thanks and Love, nia

  14. You should string an electric buzzer from the phone to his hand!

  15. viveka says:

    I also belongs to the club – that don’t like mobile phones .. when I worked I needed, but since I put work on shelve – I don’t even put my mobile on anymore. Hate when it rings … Julia, can’t he get a land line phone to his room ???? At least he doesn’t have to press any buttons to answer.
    There is an Irish low cost airline where you can use the mobile phone in the air – hate it. The only place there we don’t hear all the silly ring tones – they are what annoy me most. Plus I only a mobile that I can talk in. Don’t want to surf .. listen to music.

    • jmgoyder says:

      I’m like you – I don’t even know where my own mobile phone is! Your suggestion of a proper phone is good but the modern ones still require the pressing of a button to answer – argh!

      • viveka says:

        LG had a phone with big buttons and big screen – bought in UK is’t for the day my eye sight is going – and all it can do is ring in and ring out – plus text. LG KF 300 is the model number. Don’t know if they still do it. Check it out. It’s a flip phone.

      • jmgoyder says:

        Ok – thank V!

  16. Robyn Lee says:

    somehow missed this post!! Wow – just read Romance Novel about the ringing phone for princess… 😦 This strategy of ringing and hanging up sounds good – is it working? Frustrating… you tell him a lot I’m sure that you keep trying right? xo

  17. I’m laughing at how many of of us who have commented are not into cell/moble phones. I’m in the same club. I have one that I add minutes to only when I’m traveling.
    My husband retired from the phone cmpany after 31 yrs. with free life time land line service so we have never given up pur land line.

    About not getting a hold of Anthony. … Especially if you are concerned that he could becoming worried and even maybe agitated the staff is there to help. Please try to remember that they are working to provide care and comfort to Anthony when and where you no longer are able. This inclused receiving phone calls from family who are concerned about the patient or have something they should inform the staff of.

    I know its hard, I recall from D’s uncle and my own grandmother. If it helps you to make the call try to remind the staff that you’d be fine with them following through at their convenience or when they can, if it is not urgent.

    I just do not want you to feel bad about asking for their help. I’m willing to think that you are no doubt the kindest and most respectful family member they see.

  18. eof737 says:

    Don;t worry about being a pain… the staff will let you know if it becomes annoying.

  19. Fergiemoto says:

    Oh dear…it sounds sooooo frustrating!

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