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June 2021 Chit Chat

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    I have been involved in trying to straighten out a phone problem.

    I've had this Assurance Wireless smartphone for about 6 years now. It replaced an older type of cellphone also provided by Assurance Wireless. Also known as an Obamaphone, these phones are provided free if you qualify. I use it only to make occasional outgoing calls about transportation and don't know much about its other features. If I used it to text a lot, I'd have to pay for that but I'm allowed a certain amount of texting every month (which I never use).

    They sent out an offer of a new phone because they were switching to TMobil. I had the impression I was expected to take that offer, and so I did. Cellphones typically don't last more than a few years, I've heard, and I probably needed a new one. The phone they gave me 6 years ago has always used up its battery charge pretty fast and nowadays it's been even faster.

    The new phone came but I couldn't get it to charge up. I was on the (landline) phone with Assurance Wireless a couple of times with lengthy discussions about how to fix it. I had to do some swapping of cords and so on while on the phone. This type of tech support call tends to unhinge me for quite a while.

    Having to tinker with phones and cords while someone is waiting on the phone is unsettling, and the "someone" they provide was always someone who said he couldn't hear me (and so I had to shout) and who had a thick foreign accent so I couldn't understand him.

    Lots of numbers (IDEM number, PIN number, phone number, etc.) had to be disclosed. I shouted them slowly and distinctly into the phone until he understood them. He told me that I should change the settings on my phone because he couldn't understand me.

    So I ended up calling the Caption Call people, who are responsible for the phone I was using, and asking what settings I needed to change. I was told that everything was fine and that the problem would have been at the other end of the line.

    I suspected that.

    The outcome? They're sending me a new battery, which I will have to install myself. I'm not sure I can do this but I plan to try hard, without any more calls to Assurance Wireless.

    Meanwhile, I took a closer look at an advertising flyer I'd recently received about a phone called Lively, a new version of the Jitterbug phone that is often advertised in the AARP magazine. I don't know anyone who has one of these phones (Jitterbug or Lively) but have noticed that it looks as if it's a no-frills phone that even I might be able to operate--buttons large and easy to press, large print, not too complicated.

    I do wonder about a phone that is as often advertised as the Jitterbug and now the Lively are. Does that mean that the company is desperately trying to sell its product? Or is it just a very good product that the company is interested in promoting by a continuous advertising blitz, reaching as many seniors as possible?

    If anyone has any information on the Jitterbug or Lively phone, I'd like to know. Here's their Website info (there's a Lively Flipphone and a Lively Smartphone):

    Only registered and activated users can see links., Click Here To Register...

    One problem is that I know nothing about the type of plan that would be involved. Before Assurance Wireless, where I never see a bill, never pay a cent, I had a TracFone, which I first heard about through none other than Cat Dancer, who highly recommended it.

    I was quite happy with the way it worked. Every 3 months I paid about $18 for basic service, whatever the minimum number of units was, and I never had to pay any extra on it because I just didn't use it much. But these other plans involve a monthly bill that would always be different based on your usage that month. That sounds like one more thing to keep track of.

    The Lively phone offers 24/7 contact with emergency help if needed. So I wonder if that could replace the Medical Guardian system I now pay $35/month for. I'd be interested in knowing how well that works for people.

    So I've been busy weighing the pros and cons. I'll probably stick with the free phone if I can get it to work. It looks enough like the phone I've had for the last 6 years, and to make the change I'd have to cancel the Medical Guardian, return their equipment, order the Lively phone and get used to it--and its billing. That's more adjusting than I really want to do.

    There! If anyone has waded through all of this, there should be a reward. A trophy of some kind!
    Last edited by agate; 06-10-2021, 01:20 PM.
    SPMS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2006-2009. Glatiramer acetate since December 2020.


      I won the trophy. I went through every word. Agate, I think Consumer Cellular might have the Lively phone. If so they could tell you about the monthly bill and how it works. However, I also think you can get them through some pharmacies if you are so inclined to call them.


        My latest news regarding my brother. I had text message from SIL who wrote "Per Doctor, feeling of ribs moving normal - ribs have to move to breath. Rest and elevate. Wean off pain pills as pain subsides. Walk every 2 hours and blow on spirometer often. Its going to take time to heal". (End of text)

        So, I guess he is alright for now - just time and living with the pain for awhile.


          Virginia, that's what I was told when I had injured ribs: "Ribs take a long time to heal." And it was years before I could be in a room with smoke in it without having to leave immediately because my breathing would just shut down completely. It just wasn't there. I'd make a mad dash to open a window or get out of the room as fast as I could.

          Years before I was without pain though gradually the pain while talking, laughing, coughing, etc., did go away after maybe a year. Pain while breathing went away the soonest, but I can't recall how long it took. I know it seemed like a long time but might not have been more than a few months.

          I was also told at the time (1978): "So what if you have broken ribs? There's nothing we can do. We used to wire them but now we just let them heal."

          That was so long ago that things might have changed a lot since then but from what you say about your brother, it doesn't sound as if they have.
          SPMS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2006-2009. Glatiramer acetate since December 2020.


            Agate, the thing I worry about with him...he has zero patience. Even at his age he wants to be doing something like going out socializing or building a set of golf clubs or more likely playing a little golf. He can't do 18 holes anymore, but he goes out several times a week and plays 9 holes. He says the guys he plays with are younger and can play longer, but I guess since he has his own golf cart he just goes back home. He has always been like that. Always wanting to do something.

            It doesn't sound as though treating ribs has progressed much since 1978. I am sorry to hear it took you so long to heal. He might try to push the needle on that and the bad part of it is his wife is the same way. She is 3 years younger than he is but plays golf and pickle ball and all that physical stuff. Seems like they have not learned with age that sometimes you just have to do what you can do and not push it. Maybe they will do alright.


              Um, the symptoms that will come on whenever he does too much will probably stand in his way.

              After that doctor told me there was nothing that could be done about broken ribs, she said, "Let the pain be your guide." I found that to be good advice, though it was also absolutely necessary. There was no way I could have plowed on in spite of the pain. Maybe your brother will be able to do that, but the breathing problems might also cramp his style.

              Maybe someone can persuade him that there will still be time to do things he'd like to do--later.
              SPMS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2006-2009. Glatiramer acetate since December 2020.


                If anyone wants to look it appears that one of the eaglets has left the nest. The other one is sitting out on the branch, but b/sister no where to be found right now.


                  I just looked and couldn't find one of them either. The other was out on that branch.
                  SPMS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2006-2009. Glatiramer acetate since December 2020.


                    ((((((Hugs to All)))))) ~

                    Virginia ~

                    While it is difficult to reconcile that we are no longer as young and as fit as we were once, at some point, reality has to set in. We have to recognize our limitations. After falling twice and suffering with multiple broken ribs, I pray that your brother understands that he's not as young as he used to be.

                    I agree with everything agate said, because it does take time for complete healing for an injured/bruised/broken rib. And rest really is the only alternative.

                    His body will dictate what he can and cannot do. I pray for patience, strength, healing, positive energy for him.

                    Love & Light,



                    *Virtual Hugs Are Germ-Free!

                    Mom to Jon, 49, & Michael, 32, born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease. Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Angel Jon received his wings in 2019. In 2020, Jim, their Dad, joined them.


                      Agate, you might be right about my brother's symptoms guiding him. Received another e-mail from SIL that read "Too much for Reade going out to Dr yesterday. I finally woke him at 11:30. He was very tired. Mary Margaret follows him step by step when he does his walking." Mary Margaret is a little dog they have. My SIL named her. So sounds like he may not be trying to move as much as I thought. I would kind of hate to be in SIL's place right now because he probably will get ill natured when the pain gets a little better.


                        Hello all. It’s a rainy morning in Boston and since I garden it’s very much appreciated.

                        I changed my raised bed over from a Spring garden to my summer crops. I lifted all the remaining lettuces and kale and a spinach or two. I tried to take enough dirt so the roots don’t know they’ve been moved. Then, all that was left in there was a big oregano plant and garlic down the middle that comes out in July.

                        We added another 4 inches of compost, I amended the soil with fertilizer and some worm castings and then planted my tomatoes and peppers. I grew everything from seed except two tomato plants. Then I added back my remains lettuce, spinach and kale. Hopefully, I can keep them going in the shade under the tomatoes.

                        Today, Peter has a vacation day. He took me to PT and afterward we went to the farm. I bought their radishes and strawberries. Both are really tasty. I also bought some plants: big leaf basil, spicy basil, another rosemary, calendula, giant zinnias and two flowering perennials that I never heard of. A purple and a yellow. I Am a happy woman.

                        Best to all,
                        There comes a time when silence is betrayal.- MLK


                          Ann, you really are getting to be quite the farm girl. You are pretty much raising everything the two of you like to eat. By going to the farm I assume you mean the farmer's market. The flowers sound so beautiful. I use to buy mine from the farmer's market when I was still able to get there. Then when I got home and got them put where I wanted them, I remember thinking how pretty it made everything look. Now, I have to use fake greenery. I try to get the good stuff thinking that maybe I will fool some of the neighbors, but I doubt that I do.

                          They have put new gutters on my house. We had a special assessment a number of years ago, but they are just getting around to doing mine. Very nice man who is doing them. He is working alone.

                          We had 3 days last week that it rained quite a lot here. We were almost in a drought so everyone was glad to see it.

                          Brother is doing well. I have been texting him everyday, as have other members of the family and of course his kids. He is now talking on the phone to his kids. The picture I got today was good. He was dressed and looked good. So funny....yesterday I got a text from SIL that said "would someone please email/text Reade. He is feeling neglected." I sent him a text and I am sure the kids and brothers did. So, he was probably bombarded. Men do not hesitate to let their wants and needs be known. Maybe that is good!


                            Hi all
                            well, we are picking sugar snap peas in great abundance. Last Saturday at market we were the only ones there with them so we sold out. This week there will be competition and if it rains none of us will sell out! Tough for farmers to get a break! Too much rain, too little rain, no rain all week but lots of it on Saturday during market times….goodness ! The rows of potatoes look just wonderful..I love it when plants are young and weeds are few.

                            I got rituxan yesterday and am feeling great energy from the steroids I get as a premed. Came home from infusion and started mopping the very dusty floors!
                            I am happy feeling energetic. Always something to do here if I have any energy. It seems more precious this year as we were so confined last year but also as we age I realize that it may all come to a halt at any moment. I know this is a universal truth…it just occupies my thinking because the farm is so busy with machinery and workers and yet we are so much nearer the edge of it all crashing down. I don’t want to sound down. I am satisfied with all we created and just sad that it is so tough to maintain.
                            anyway, gotta go to greenhouse!

                            Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says:"Oh Crap, She's up!"..


                              Linda, glad to hear that you got energy from Rituxan and are accomplishing some things you wanted done.

                              I hope the market will be profitable and fun.

                              Virginia, the farm is Allandale, the last farm in the city:
                              Only registered and activated users can see links., Click Here To Register...

                              Stay well,
                              Last edited by stillstANNding; 06-15-2021, 03:46 AM.
                              There comes a time when silence is betrayal.- MLK


                                Linda, so glad to hear you have energy to spare. Even if it last only a short time it is still nice to have it for that time. The peas sound wonderful. My brother and SIL have bought me some tiny little potatoes twice. They are smaller than the regular tiny red skins I have gotten in the store. They are so good. You never know with the Rituxin you may be able to keep on with the planting and harvesting for a number of years. I would think the heat at the farmer's market would be kind of bad, but maybe you are use to it and you do love it, and sometimes that keeps one going.

                                Ann, the pictures of the farm look like a great place to go and browse and get a few things, especially flowers. Glad it is available to you.