I am going to try unplugging from my digital nervous system for seven days.  Semi return to the 17th century: pen and paper for writing, printed paper books for reading.

In part this is simply change for variety. It is also a response to a nearly fatal omen. Something happened at dialysis this week that could have been ugly. For dialysis treatment we sit usually for four hours, These treatment chairs have foot rests and can tilt back.  The foot rest is a hardish cushion or pad. On both sides of the arm rests are two small flat flaps.  The nurses use these to hold stuff to get us going for dialysis.  And for taking us off at the end of the treatment.  In between, we patients can use them for our stuff: drink cup, snack, headphones, pen and notebook, etc.

I had my Macbook Pro with me this week.  It often lives on my lap, but if I nap I like to put it for safety to the arm flap.  It could slip off my lap if I shift while half asleep in my nap.  These flaps are held in their upright position by two flap pins.  When dropped they narrow the width of the chair.  This helps when moving the chairs around for cleaning the floors or if they are pulled out of use and rolled to the back room for repair.

I had set the Macbook on the left flap. It was fine for half an hour. Near the end of the treatment, I set a pillow on top of it.  Down it went. The Macbook Pro landed on the floor.  Deep breath. A nurse came over and lifted it up to me.  With a prayer on my lips I checked it out. Started fine.  DVD drive was ok, as well.  One cat life used up.

The reason I bring it to dialysis is to watch DVDs.  For Christmas I received the entire collection of The Man from UNCLE.

We have a small TV to watch during treatments.  Trouble is they are analog.  Digital cable supplier has cut and continues to drop analog channels. We are down to just a handful of channels.  I have given up on this free TV service.  For me the las straw when Sportsnet (Rogers sports channel) disappeared.  Fortunately the Shopping Channel is still available.

So do I risk the laptop on these notoriously tricky chair flaps?  These hard wearing chairs are almost comfortable and an integral part of treatment.

Part of unplugging is part of winter fatigue.  So with a drum roll, 1, 2, 3, UNPLUG.


Author: William J. Gibson

62 year old - writer/photographer Canadian, survived open heart surgery, received kidney transplant, sometimes dour, sometimes amusing, over six feet in height, severely follicle challemged

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