Phones are so useful, right? We all already know that because they help us keep in touch with friends and family, help us find places easily, allow us to search for information on mostly everything, and are great for distracting us with streaming services and games.
My phone is usually always by my side, but I didn’t realize how addicted I could become of it until earlier this year.
A few days before last year’s Christmas, I had to do a pretty significant cut for the first time in my life. I was given all the usual advice on everything related to your stomach – don’t bend, don’t lift anything, wear loose clothing, rest as much as possible for the first few days.
I continued to underestimate the effect it had on my body and how much help I needed. Being able to take care of you at home helps, but sometimes you just want to do the basics for yourself. There, my smartphone became a miracle worker.
Remote control for my bedroom
The bedding is at the same time very dull and gorgeous when you are recovering from surgery. Getting out of bed feels like a military movement when you have to attach a pillow to your stomach so you can feel unstable enough to lift yourself up. I soon realized two handy things on my phone in addition to being able to send a message to a dedicated caregiver whenever I needed a drink.
At its simplest, I could use the phone to set alarms at any time because I would get more painkillers. I was told to take painkillers every four hours without failure. When you forget and feel rough, it’s easy to forget. Forget and eventually regret it. However, set a regular alarm and you will be covered when it comes to love of vital medication.
My favorite feature though? I can control the lights in my bedroom. While the rest of the house is Philips Hue smart lighting scattered, my bedroom has one Lifx smart lamp and that’s all I needed.
I was able to rotate the selector in my Lifx app, I can enjoy natural light or dim it to the darkest. Whenever I had to get up at night to go to the bathroom, I could use a moment to use the Lifx app instead of having to walk on the light switch while a little shaky on my feet
Entertainment (and comfort) during recovery
Over the days, I got stronger, which meant I found more ways my phone was useful. I didn’t really have the energy to play a game or watch a movie, so I took Audible and podcast shows.
Quick ‘Hi, Siri’ and I could start listening to my favorites without bothering to stretch my phone. A small but awesome victory while I was still wondering what movements my body hated me to do.
When my brain returned, I realized I could do more than just listen to Audible. Thanks to my trusted caregiver, I moved the Eufy robotic vacuum cleaner into my bedroom. It’s not the latest robotic vacuum cleaner, and it can’t compete with the ‘real’ vacuum cleaner when my cat loves to pull fur on a white carpet, but it’s still useful.
In the absence of Siri support, this time I relied on Alexa, who took a short setup but wasn’t too complicated for my recovering brain. It gave me something to do at the same time and at the same time made me feel useful. Although mostly I told it to suck breadcrumbs.
My idea was half fried, but I have plans
I accidentally found the Holy Grail of recovery tools (on my smartphone). As a freelance technical journalist, I should have thought about it long before my surgery, but hey, I was busy taking care of the actual surgery. No recovery. It’s amazing how much you take for granted until the ability is taken from you.
If you are ever called for a major operation – and you are notified in advance – I would advise you to install smart home devices to smooth out the recovery period.
In hindsight, I actually hope my home would have been smarter. I have postponed the installation of a Nest thermostat too long. This would have been an ideal opportunity. Can I warm my room from my bed without moving muscles? Perfect.
Similarly, a Ring video doorbell would have been great to avoid once every few weeks as I tried to rush down the stairs to meet the door and pushed my recovery back only a few days and caused myself a lot of unnecessary pain.
Smart blinds also feel appealing, albeit a bit out of my budget, when I could just leave the curtains closed during the bed and rely on smart lighting.
As a long-term solution? I see how things go. It’s definitely tempting if I still have flares. I also can’t stress enough how useful a long charging cable is for your phone, because otherwise you’ll have a big problem about over a day (if you’re lucky).
Ultimately, my phone provided a strange source for the club and at the same time was very practical and useful. It can’t beat a real person, of course, but it was still incredibly helpful.
It became a lifeline in many ways than I expected. I will probably need a new measure again at some point in the future. Hopefully it won’t happen for several years, but I’m totally going to make my home smarter ready for that day. After all, who wants to be in pain when a swipe of their phone could have helped them out?