Monthly Archives: March 2009
Guess what I did yesterday? I talked on the phone! For the first time in nearly a year!
I know this is a milestone and a real achievement, but a big part of me just thinks, “Oh no, does this mean I have to talk on the phone now?!” I have a serious aversion to the telephone and it was kind of sweet relief to just say, “Well, I can’t hear on the phone” and know I was off the hook.
It happened in the blink of an eye. Dave was talking to my mom on the phone. She’s been home for a few days now after nearly a week in the hospital with an unexplained fever and problems breathing. Dave’s been fighting a cold and/or sinus infection the past few days so we haven’t been over to see her since she got home, since we don’t want to get her sick again. So they were talking, and she told him to tell me she loved me. He held the phone to my ear and said, “Just say ‘I love you’”, figuring she’d get a kick out of hearing my voice come through the phone but not expecting me to hear her.
So I did – I said, “I love you, mom!” and she responded. I could kind of tell what she said, so I said, “Hey, I can kind of hear you!” She kept talking and it just blurred into noise, so I said, “Wait, hang on” and I kept the phone by my ear, but tilted it outward in the hopes that Dave could hear what she was saying and relay it to me. (He also has a hard time on the phone, so this was wishful thinking!) When she spoke again, I could hear her better. For some reason, if I keep the receiver tilted away from my ear, I can understand better than if it’s pressed against my ear. Very strange!
So we had a conversation for about 5 minutes. I caught enough to be able to figure things out well enough to feel like I understood everything that was said. Even if I didn’t catch every single word, either it would click into place a few seconds later or once I heard the whole sentence I could figure out the words I was missing. It was a LOT of work – I was actually tired by the time we were done talking. I was tense and really straining to catch everything being said. But it was worth it to be able to talk to my mom, because the phone is her main means of communication. She doesn’t have a computer and doesn’t use text messaging. If we want to talk, we’ve had to do it in person. (Luckily she lives just a 5 minute drive from me.)
I guess I’ll probably never get over my phone phobia. It’s much harder to hear now that it used to be, and even back when I could hear on the phone I still hated it. I just never knew if I was going to end up talking to someone I couldn’t understand, and there’s no graceful way to end a conversation when you have no idea what the other person is saying. I also hate the ‘put on the spot’ aspect of talking on the phone. I like to think about what I’m going to say, and then type it out. I hate having to come up with conversation on the fly. I guess I’m just weird!
I probably won’t use the phone unless it’s to talk to my mom, since I know I can hear her and I know it really makes her happy to talk to me. Even though I still loathe the telephone, I’ll use it for her.