Tuesday, June 28, 2005

A Scary Day

Yesterday was a scary day for our family, especially for me and Brad. Right after I left work, Brad sent me a text message on my phone that said, "Mom! Kayla was in a wreck! I'm on my way to the hospital!" Kayla is his sweet girlfriend and I'm her "second" Mommy. This was one of those times when I wished I could talk on the phone but I couldn't. I didn't want to text Brad back because I knew he would be rushing to the hospital and didn't want to cause another accident by texting him. So . . . .I waited for 20 very long minutes until he texted me again. I didn't know if she was hurt, alive, or anything. All I could do was pray. It was so hard not knowing anything. I wanted to be there for Brad and Kayla. I love my children so much and their special friends and when they hurt, I hurt, too. Brad texted me again and said that she was okay but had totalled her mom's car. Another message said he was bringing her home as soon as she got done with X-rays. When Steve came home, I had him call Brad to find out what was going on. Apparently, she had just had lunch with Brad and was on her way to the airport to pick up her grandmother and got caught in a quick downpour on the highway. She hydroplaned the car and lost complete control of it. She is so lucky to be alive because the car is almost split in two. Luckily she didn't hit any other cars and the guy behind her stopped the traffic and took care of her until the rescue squad could get there. Brad said she wanted to come and see me as soon as she got back. I was so thankful to be able to give her a hug and see that she was going to be okay when Brad carried her in the house. Her whole left side is bumped and bruised and she can hardly walk.

Using the phone by voice has always been a struggle for me. There was a time years ago when I was able to talk and understand short conversations on the phone. I can remember exactly when I lost that ability in my early 20's. We had a great telephone when we lived in Connecticut but after we moved, I could never quite use the phone very well again. I often wished I had taken that phone off the wall and moved it with me but it belonged to Ma Bell before the telephone companies changed the way they operated. Now, I rely almost totally on Relay service. For those of you who don't know what relay is, it allows people who use TTYs/TDDs to phone others who don't have one. A TDD/TYY is a telephone with a keyboard that displays printed text on a screen. My computer serves as my TDD/TTY. I found a wonderful Relay service on the Internet through AT&T (http://www.relaycall.com/national/relay.html) and don't even use my TDD/TTY anymore. (I recently sold it on eBay!) I just use the website and my computer for relay calls and it is great. The Relay Service is basically a three-way call where the Relay operator has a TDD/TTY between me and the hearing person that I am calling. I will type to the Relay operator what I need them to relay/say to the hearing party and the operator types back to me what the hearing party's response is. This allows me to speak directly to the hearing party and gives me the independence to make my own phone calls. The calls take a little longer this way and people have hung up on me, not realizing that I am the one actually calling them and not the AT&T or some other phone company! I have been using Relay for over 20 years now and cannot imagine being without it. It doesn't have that personal touch (ever try to say "I love you" through another person to your spouse or child?!!! Or tell a third person something personal that you want to say to a doctor??) But it is better than nothing. Better than driving to and from a doctor's office with a fever or sick child to make an appointment and then driving all the way back later for the actual appointment. It has been my lifesaver, especially since Steve or the kids aren't always around when I need them to make phone calls for me. I wonder if I will be in a hurry to use the phone after my implant. I have too much emotional baggage associated with phone calls.

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