Monday, May 28, 2018

Technology can help

At first glance, this may seem like it’s the most bourgeois thing I’ve ever posted. But given the context of this blog, it’d be safe to assume that there’s more to it than it may seem at first glance. In either case, we now have a robot vacuum at our house, and sometimes technology creates big and positive changes.

Nigel was lobbying for us to get a robot vacuum for a while now, and I resisted. I thought of them as being as pointless as a leafblower—using a machine to do something that could be done better by more traditional means. While I’ve come to accept that, at least sometimes, a leafblower has its place, I couldn’t see the point of a robot vacuum when we already have conventional ones.

Turns out, I was wrong.

The machines are far less expensive than they used to be—far less expensive than the last “big” vacuum we bought, in fact. They’re also much better than they used to be—they don’t fall down stairs or get easily confused about where they are. It turns out, it does a very, very good job vacuuming the house in about 73 minutes.

But it’s not the lower cost nor the good job it does that sold me: It was the energy saving, MY energy.

As I’ve documented on this blog, I’ve had terrible problems with fatigue and energy levels over the past year, ever since I started taking beta blockers. Add that problem to memory problems and lack of focus, and the past year has been bloody awful. The robot helps with that.

Up until we got the robot, I ran out of steam cleaning the house and was seldom actually able to vacuum. Worse, sometimes having the need to vacuum hanging over my head was tiring all in itself, enough so that it could make me skip other routine cleaning. Things are better now.

Because of the robot vacuum, I can concentrate on all the other cleaning I need to do and let the robot vacuum take care—very efficiently—of that one task. This matters because I need to ration my energy, and if I don’t have to spend any on vacuuming, I can use it for other cleaning. This is a major advance.

A couple months ago, I wrote:
Maybe there’s a better drug for me—or, maybe I already have the best I’ll ever have or, as I put it last time, that what I already have may be “least awful of all the drugs”. And that, to me, isn’t good enough.
My first strategy here is to come up with coping mechanisms to help me in case this is as good as things will be. I don’t have a solution for the memory or focus problems, at least, not yet, but this robot helps with my energy/fatigue problems, and that’s a start.

Meanwhile, I have an appointment with a private cardiologist on June 20, which was delayed because he’s been on annual leave overseas. Ironically, I may have been able to get a public system cardiologist appointment faster, however, this guy is a specialist in heart rate problems, so that’s a good thing. I’m hoping that he can shorten the time and trouble it will take to either find an acceptable beta blocker or a different class of drug, something that a specialiast can do better than a GP. We’ll see.

In the meantime, I’ve found technology that helps me to have a better quality of life than I could have otherwise, and that’s no small thing. Sure, it’s bourgeois as hell, and it’s Middle Class Problems writ large, but that’s my life and it matters to me because it’s my life. The Mainstream Liberal in me is embarrassed at how happy this technology makes me, but after a year of this shit, I can live with that embarrassment because easing the burden matters more. Sometimes technology creates big and positive changes.


rogerogreen said...

I yielded to the electric mower v the reel mower for reasons of MY energy!

Arthur Schenck (AmeriNZ) said...

If we get a mower, it'll be electric (battery powered), but mainly because that's more sustainable than petrol powered when some 80% of New Zealand's electricity is generated cleanly and sustainably (chiefly hydro and geothermal with a smattering of wind).