Monday Musings: Beep This

The wonderful world of Baby Boomers can be a surprise, a minute or so boring; some pray to be called to the place prepared for them. John 14:2 I’m not part of the second group. I’ll go when it’s my time, but I’m happy I wake up on Earth every morning. On the other hand, I get frustrated with the surprises. Take last week, for example.

Wednesday, I went to have my new heart device checked and adjusted. During the session, the nurse and a technician from the manufacturer briefed me on the changes and the reasons for the changes. They also let me know the device notified me of a problem that might need attention.

Yes, my new implant would beep rather loudly if there was a problem with the device or my heart. Should that occur, I was to immediately call my cardiologist. While that was both comforting and frightening, I appreciated the heads-up. However, I was not quite as happy with the idea a day later.

Yes, Thursday night choir rehearsal got tense when I suddenly heard a loud beeping noise. I was frozen for a moment, not certain what I should do. I could not determine the source of the beep, but it was close. Then out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a choir member digging in her purse.

I let out the breath I’d been holding and bit my tongue to keep from saying something tacky about her failure to silence her phone. However, she was embarrassed enough and did not need me to add to her guilt trip.

So, why am I writing about this today? As medical science and other sciences continue to advance, there will likely be more serious opportunities for conflicts than a phone beeping in a fashion similar to a heart device.

My first lesson in device compatibility was my original pacemaker. Keeping your mobile phone close to your pacemaker is a bad idea. I did not learn that the hard way. I got the notice, did some research, and made certain the phone was close enough to record the activity of my pacemaker but far enough away not to trigger a problem.

Which brings me back to the beeps. We need to be aware that our medical devices are not yet made in a way that is compatible with all other electronic devices, and many of those devices are not visible. So, if you’re in an area where you’re asked not to use your cellular phone or to silence it, compliance may help keep people like me from freaking out or worse.

© – 2023

About S. Eric Jackson

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