I know this has happened to all of you. You hear the faint sound of an alarm. Bink. Bink. Bink. Bink. And you can’t tell where it’s coming from. You think it’s your imagination. But the binking sound is incessant. And it’s driving you crazy.
There are certain noises that explicably drive me nearly insane. Noisy fans. Car radios that aren’t turned up loud enough to hear and are only background noise. A rattling car window. And a faint sound of an alarm that you can’t find.
The thing is, Bill’s hard of hearing. There is a range at which he can’t hear a thing. An example is every morning when the coffee pot turns off, there is an alarm alerting us that we’d better go grab our last cup before it gets cold. He simply doesn’t hear it. Nor does he hear the sound the smoke alarm makes when the battery is low. He is completely unable to hear that extremely annoying sound. Woe betide him if he’s ever alone in the house and an alarm goes off alerting him to something dangerous.
So, we’re sitting quietly in the living room, and I am reading. All of the sudden, I notice a binking sound — three shorts binks and a long bink, a pause, and repeat. And repeat.
“What’s that sound,” I asked him.
Of course, his response was, “What sound?”
“Seriously?” I asked him. “You can’t hear that noise?”
He couldn’t. So I am running around the house like a madwoman, putting my ear next to everything that could possibly have an alarm. Our phones. Our pads. The water dispenser. The refrigerator. The alarm clock. I’m getting warm. I’m getting cold again.
“Please help me,” I said. “I know you can’t hear it, but just help me know what could possibly be beeping.”
He got up to help. I was standing by the water dispenser and the noise was louder. It had to be the dispenser. Except then it wasn’t. By then, we were both wandering around.
“The smoke alarm,” I said excitedly. We both ran into the den and sure enough, the sound was coming from the smoke alarm.
“I’ll have to take it down,” Bill said, and wandered off to gather tools.
And the sound became faint.
And a light bulb went on over my head, just like the cartoons.
“Come here,” I shouted to Bill. “I think it’s you. I think it’s your pump!”
As you will recall, Bill has participated in a study since September 2018 in which his very important Parkinson’s medication is continually pumped into his body. The pump runs via a battery. And though he wears the pump for probably 12 or 13 hours every day, the battery has never indicated it was getting low. I have commented on it many times to his nurse. She always nods, telling me they last a long time.
But it’s time was up. So I put on my face mask and ran to CVS to get the necessary battery. When I got home, we opened up our handy dandy instruction manual. The first instruction was to turn off the pump. Only it wouldn’t turn off because, well, the battery was dead.
Plan B: We called our helpline and talked to David, who frankly IS the helpline. I wrote a blog about it. And when we told him our predicament, he said, “Oh, oh.”
Oh-oh? It turns out the pump should have alerted us that the battery was running low. It did not. The bad news was that if it has to be reset, that can only be done at the doctor’s office. You know, the one in Denver.
I quickly envisioned packing up our car yesterday afternoon, and driving all day today to get to the doctor’s office in Denver before Bill had to go cold turkey without his meds.
But once again, God provided. David (who is one of God’s angels) talked us through a procedure that he HOPED might work. And it did. Bill is happily hooked back up to his pump, and we can return to Denver this weekend as planned and at a normal speed limit!