Tuesday, October 20, 2009

One Ringy Dingy

It seems almost quaint to have two land phone lines now, since 90% of calls are by cell phone, but we are very quaint folk here. I have considered dropping the fax/business line and putting it all on one. I have not stopped it yet, though, because it is part of our emergency night system for Maggie. There is an extension of the fax line in her room. Our room is upstairs in the front of the house and Maggie’s is downstairs in the back of the house. I cannot hear if there is a problem. The nurse can call the house phone if she or Maggie needs help. The house line rings right next to my husband’s head.

This system works pretty well. The weak link in the chain is my husband. If it rings in the middle of the night, he simply cannot wake up all the way. He sits up and stars at the ringing phone in wonder. Meanwhile I am out of bed and halfway down the stairs to find out the problem. There are times it has been life threatening stuff s and other times that the nurse does not have any more diapers.

Last night the phone rang around 1:00AM. Steve stared curiously and I said loudly, “It’s the phone – push the button.” He handed it to me in a stupor. I was already out of bed adrenaline rushing. Maggie had some trouble keeping her oxygen levels up before I went to bed, so I assumed the worst.

However, it was not the nurse, it was my sister Kate calling from Oakland. The tone in her voice made the adrenaline rush start again. Kate told me she had just received a call from the burglar alarm company for my mom’s house. The alarm was going off signifying someone or something was fiddling with the kitchen window. The protocol is to call my mom and if she does not respond to call the police and Kate, as she is the emergency contact. My mom was not answering the call and the police were enroute to her house. .

Ok. My clothes were on and Tim and I were on our way over there within 5 minutes. My mom lives about 15 minutes from here and at least 30 minutes from Kate, so it made more sense for me to go. Kate told the alarm company to expect us and they tell the cops. That is good. The last thing you need is to surprise two cops investigating a possible break in.

Before we were half way there, Kate called back. My mother finally woke up and called the alarm company. The downpour of yesterday afternoon and her leaking kitchen window caused the alarms to short. I kept going anyway. When we arrived, two cops were just leaving. We went in and checked on my mom who looked sheepish. She said the guy was coming to fix the leaky window this week. Didn’t bother me, though. I would much rather respond to a false alarm than the real thing. It is also good to know that the system works like it is supposed to.

When I returned, my husband was sleeping soundly. One thing I learned last night, it is time to change the phone to my side of the bed.

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