Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Challenge 8: Returning the Panic Button

After my one and only seizure--which happened about six months after the stroke--my family arranged to get me a LifeLine button, in case I had some other emergency and no one was home to help me or the kids.

It has been very helpful. I've never actually needed to use it in the almost three years I've had it, but it has put my fears at ease when I'm alone at the house. I'm guessing that it's been just as helpful as talk therapy to address my fears, and more cost-effective.

But as I get more and more mobile, I knew that it didn't make sense to keep it. I'm driving on average four days a week, sometimes with kids in tow. I'm on a low  dose of anti-seizure medication. LifeLine is is cheaper than psychotherapy, but still expensive.

So my last challenge was to make arrangements to surrender my LifeLine equipment. I called them last week to tell them I don't need it now, and on Monday, I packed up the equipment, drove to the hospital that rents the equipment, and turned it in. Other than the fact that it was tricky to juggle my cane and also haul the stuff in a bag through the long hospital hallway, it went smoothly.

I wish I could say that I feel relieved. But the fact is, I'm still scared a lot. I wish I could have some implanted (and free) device that would call 9-1-1 if fell or had a sudden change of brain wave activity. At least now my fear is usually is sort of a low-level anxiety, rather than a stop-you-in-your-tracks panic.

When I told my kids that I had returned the "panic button" and the intercom, my kids were surprised. My daughter was disappointed that she couldn't test it one more time. My son smiled, and gave me a big hug.


  1. Every day is therapy, isnt it?

  2. Beautiful and true, just like all your posts. Thanks for writing them.

  3. Congratulations! I remember celebrating and being a little scared when we removed the safety bars in the shower. Every step towards my former life was liberating, exciting and a little bit scary! Good for you!

  4. I won't go anywhere without my cellphone. It is my tiny safety net and I am not ready to give up my shower chair yet either. I love your description of your kids reactions. They are sure wonderful.

    1. I should have mentioned that we bought 5 telephone receivers for our (very small) house ;)

  5. This post touches me.

    I'm like Linda ... my cell phone comforts me. In fact, if I'm driving and realize I forgot my phone, I turn around and go get it.

    You are very brave to go without it now, and the kids are wise to recognize the act as significant.

  6. Every step forward is a scary one. I had thought about getting one for my husband because of his seizures but realized after he wore a Holter monitor for 24 hours he could push the event button let alone a pendant button to call for help.