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So in Further Adventures with The Mom’s health, we have entered a new phase in diagnostics that’s driving The Mom up a wall and back down the other side. For her birthday this year, Health Canada has fitted her up with a heart monitor, which comes with all sorts of wires, and nodes, and some kind of battery pack not dissimilar to the packs a TV presenter might wear for their mic.

To say The Mom is not best pleased is an understatement. She has been raging on and on about this for some time now. Explaining to the good doctors and nurses that she will not, under any circumstances, let this thing ruin any of her fancy outfits, and will not be seen dead sporting this useful device in public.

I understand none of this. Sure, I can see how the wires and the battery pack are a pain in the neck, but this sort of technology I find fascinating. In fact, I’m fairly certain The Mom will give this thing and its data back well before I rock up, if only to keep my prying fingers and eyes away from it.

I’ve always found these sort of medical things intriguing. How does it measure the heart beat? What’s it looking for? What does the data it collects look like? What can we learn from this?

I suppose this is all down to my years of spending rather a lot of time in doctor’s offices. And being someone who will always ask more questions that one would expect. This habit means I do a bit of doctor shopping, in order to find someone who can tolerate my level of… let’s say interest.

Plus, in my mind, this means The Mom is now a bit of a cyborg, which is just cool. I like the idea of farming out one’s health to a machine. It seems like a machine would be best placed to figure out what’s wrong and what the solution might be.

These are, of course, not the thoughts The Mom is thinking. She’s thinking about things like: will people think I’m sick wearing this? Will people ask questions? Will I have to answer them? Am I likely to electrocute myself with this? Will the bird get tangled up in the wires? Will I strangle myself with the cords as I try to fitfully sleep through the night?

The Mom has always prided herself on her excellent health, so this latest round of diagnostics only serves to remind her that she is now poorly. Which couldn’t be further from the truth really. Sure, she’s not as fit as she once was, but you know, she’s also not as young as she once was, and her wee body has earned the right to show a bit of wear and tear.

When she was telling me about this new contraption, her biggest fear was that she’d screw it up, and somehow this monitor would turn on her, as all other bits of electronic tech do at some point. She got a new printer recently, and she and Crazy D have been trying to set it up. I haven’t heard much about their progress which leads me to believe it will appear on my list of chores when I get home. I suppose The Mom wouldn’t mind this heart monitor so much if it was just a notebook that required her to make notes at various points during the day. Which to me would be a giant pain in the ass. But The Mom would be okay with that I think. She likes a bit of analogue in her day. I mean, she still uses a paper calendar to organise her life, whereas the rest of us just put things into our phones and synch them with our laptop calendars later. We’re okay with technology sorting out the bits of our lives we find too complicated to deal with on our own, or, to remember anything without the help of some kind of electronic device.

Maybe it comes down to this: the rest of us are happy to admit that the computers know more than we do, and will deal with things we’re not interested in dealing with. The Mom has been dealing with this sort of thing the same way since the beginning, so this switch to technology might make her feel like the computers are second-guessing her. I’d be willing to bet though, that this heart monitor is perhaps more… shall we say au fait with her inner workings than she is. I mean, the monitor isn’t going to adjust its results because of a stressful situation, it’s just going to record it. No editing required. I think The Mom just prefers being able to edit her own life data.

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