Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lifeline Induced Heart Attacks

So here's something that happened on Monday that I'm pretty sure is a situation unique to "stay at home" disabled folks like myself.

I have a little button I'm supposed to wear around my wrist, which is connected to the Lifeline office. (I say "supposed to" because I'm still stubborn about wearing it and thinking I'll be associated with the I've fallen and I can't get up lady.) If I hit this little button it sends a signal to a box in my bedroom and a call is placed directly to the Lifeline people. They come over the line and ask if I'm okay or if I need an ambulance.

Once a month a voice comes out of the Lifeline box and tells me that it's time to check my Lifeline connection. That happened on Monday so, as I do every month, I hit the button and waited. And waited. And waited. And no one came on the line.


So I picked up the phone to call them but since it works through my phone line I couldn't make a call. Finally the phone rings on it's own and it's the Lifeline people calling to check and make sure I'm alright since the normal procedure didn't work. I assure them I'm fine and was just testing it... and then they say this:

"Well, we called your friend Jenny to let her know that you alerted us to a problem and that we hadn't been able to talk to you. Should we call and let her know you're okay?"

Uhhmm... YES. I hang up and wait for my heart to start beating again because my reaction is the same as I'm sure Jenny's is in that moment. One that would cause panic and require swear words to come out of my mouth. (Which, in all honesty, is not an uncommon thing for me. I just try to keep it clean here on the blog.)

The moment I hang up with the Lifeline people the phone rings and it's Jenny on her cell. "Are you ok? We're getting in the car."

I tell her I'm fine and I'm soooo sorry, and again, I'm fine. And again, I'm so sorry. Then her house phone rings and I tell her to get it because it's probably the Lifeline people. So she answers and it's them and they say I'm fine and she's back on the phone with me and OH. MY. GOD. that was stressful.

So I'm alive and she goes to take her kids to tumbling and suddenly I'm left with the realization that the bad day I thought I was having with the rain and the pain and tiredness ... it could have been a whole lot worse. I could have actually needed the Lifeline people. And Jenny could have actually had a heart attack.

I wonder how that would have been written up as a headline in the paper: Woman Has Heart Attack Over Lifesaving Call.

Irony at its best.


  1. Oh my goodness Sara! I am so glad you didn't need the bracelet. Did you do an internet search yet to see if this is common? That's freaking me out.

    I don't want to start worrying about you, so I'm going to ask God to get to the bottom of this.

    And you are as bad as my husband who won't wear his aspirin allergy alert bracelet. The doctors try to tell him if they think he's having a heart attack it will all go South real fast.

    Hey. Why is that saying 'go South'? What's that supposed to mean?

  2. Hi Sara. I saw your response to my comment on Pete Wilson's blog and thought I'd visit you.

    Sounds like you had a hella freaky experience with the Lifeline. (Loved your imaginary headline, though.)

    Your friend Jenny sounds like a wonderful person. I mean, dang, she was ready to drop everything and hop in the car to come and save you! If I were you, I'd email her some M&Ms at the very least, lol!

    Hope today is a little less alarming for you.

  3. At least you can laugh at yourself, and find the silver lining. I kind of sound like Jimminy Cricket, which is sickening, but it's true.

    Oh, I found your blog through Heather's (dooce)--saw you in the comments, in case you were wondering. :)

  4. @anita: I don't know, but if I'm going anywhere I'm going to request they point to the North.

    @jan: good idea with the m&m's... I remarkably have about 5 people who would all do the same thing. I'm wicked blessed with friends.

    @snotty: welcome... quite a name you have there! :)