iObsession: The Relationship between Pre-Transplant Patient and iPhone . . .

It’s hard enough to have a healthy balance with technology, in 2014, without having my iPhone be my primary means of communication for my transplant centre.

I know one day my phone will ring and it will be St. Michael’s Hospital, in Toronto, telling me they have a kidney for me. And to get to Toronto right away.

I have peace that this call could happen tonight or two years from now, or longer. I have peace that this call could come any time of day – including in the middle of the night. I’m cool with that.

What is less “cool” is never being able to turn off my phone. I know it’s a small price to pay, ultimately, but . . .

*small respectful grumble*

In the past I enjoyed the freedom of turning my phone off at night. Turning my phone off during naps. (People with Chronic Illnesses have to take naps sometimes.) Turning my phone off whenever I felt like removing my attention from the phone itself.

There is a freedom there – from my perspective. A freedom to get away from distractions and interruptions when I want time for myself.

I do have perspective . . . I do realize that this phone call is very, very important. I do understand the delicate timing of receiving an organ. I do understand how miraculous this operation is, ultimately. I am aware.

I just miss the moments when I could check out when I wanted to.

I realize I am having a peculiar relationship with my phone these days. The weight of its importance is skewed. (And necessarily so). I just don’t enjoy the obsessive feeling I experience at times.


I feel nervous I will miss the call from my transplant coordinator.

Missing that call, or responding to that call late, would be disaster. The stars will have aligned for my time to come and I can’t imagine missing it. Especially since missing it could mean years and years of extra life on dialysis to come.

My spiritual side tells me that when my time comes there will be no obstacles to getting my kidney. What is mine, IS MINE. My higher-consciousness reassures me that everything will come together as it should when my time comes and that I should not obsess. That I should just trust and KNOW that things will come together for me when that moment comes.

It’s not always possible to live with our faith at 100%. (For me anyway.)

So, in the meantime . . .

I’m paranoid whenever the phone charge gets low.

I have my phone beside me at meetings –  most times with the ringer on – because I am a little paranoid. My colleagues understand.

I sleep with my phone on my night table. (My pre-packed “you’re about to get a kidney get to the hospital” bag is not far away either.)

Sometimes it’s on the floor beside me at the gym.

I try to be vigilant to do my part in being ready for this moment. Maybe too vigilant? LOL.

If I didn’t have so many loved-ones to report to, when I get my call for my new kidney, I would consider a phone-free day or two after I get my call. *

For my loved-ones sake I will not do that. I know too many people care and want to be updated.

Yes, I know . . . I need to suck it up. There are certainly bigger fish to fry. Keeping my phone on and close (with ringer on always)  is a small sacrifice, ultimately.

Just sharing a little bit of my perspective on this journey.

*big smile*

* I am a member on a forum of people on dialysis (and their care-givers and some clinicians too). You will be thrilled to see how quickly the kidney recipients are back on social media and their phones (with the progress and good news) after their kidney transplant surgeries. I know I will be thrilled to share my good news. My phone and I will have a completely different relationship at that time.

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