Lessons from a Dumb Phone & a Disabled Computer | Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior

Lessons from a Dumb Phone & a Disabled Computer

Last month I ordered a lightweight keyboard to use with an iPad. I planned to get one to downsize for travel, so I’d be more able to manage my briefcase alone when needed. I’m typing on that keyboard today from my sofa for another reason…

Almost 2 weeks ago, I went through a Microsoft upgrade process for the Red Dell I’ve used to write for the past 3.5 years. Long sad story short, a hidden virus was awakened by the Windows 7 install, ruining programs and severely damaging the laptop. A couple of long days ended with my leaving the Microsoft store in tears because, while my files were safe on Carbonite, the techs could not save my emails.

There would be many people who’d wonder why I didn’t answer their letters. People needing information or encouragement for themselves or loved ones. And no email addresses to tell anyone why I wouldn’t respond to whatever request or interview they’d written about. Or post Onset Stories. Or thank people for donations…

What was there to be glad about that day? I got to talk with a woman with Rheumatoid Disease – right there working at the store. Her mom and sister have it, too… We connected on levels no one else could understand, but the staff overheard and said it helped them realize how important it was to get my stuff back!

So I was left with just my dumb phone. This pink phone is like a high school girl with a bit of bling, but not much going on intellectually. Seriously, it takes 5 minutes to send a text message to Facebook or reply to a Tweet.

Typing on my dumb phone, “resting” or “serving” toggle as the same keys. I pondered how much more comfortable I am doing something for someone than resting doing “nothing.”  It’s an old Mary v. Martha argument. Sometimes “just resting,” letting your heart hear, is doing enough.

Kelly and Leslie in DCThere was so much I needed to DO – my sons’ room was dismantled for me to “help” paint; homeschool…; RA Warrior and RPF deadlines; and a trip to DC. Yet, I alternately rested and packed, and caught the plane for DC, still worrying about all the people I’d let down.

The dumb phone delivered a Facebook post that reminded me we don’t believe all is well because everything is going just right. We believe it IN SPITE OF whatever we see. “All is well” usually is something we declare by faith, like the author of the hymn It Is Well did. He was mourning a great loss and made a decision to believe all is well.

Imagine if we could only rest knowing the world was ok if we were accomplishing everything according to schedule.

I made it to DC with my friend Leslie’s help and there is so much to tell about our meetings there! I still worried about the thousands of missing emails, and it was a battle, but I kept reminding myself that all is well and that doesn’t depend on me.

Of course all the mess and the broken laptop were waiting for me Friday night, along with boys needing school help and doctor visits. Saturday, I worked on the missing emails problem for a while, realizing I was probably wasting my time as I had so much of the past month on that machine. Then I thought of something the techs had all missed: the profile name was changed when the email program was restored, so the new name needed to be typed into the path file.

epatient Dave tweet

Suddenly, the emails were back! No one was more surprised than I was. It’s still taking days to restore all the files and eventually there will have to be a new computer. And probably a less-dumb phone, too. But it’s surprising how smart this one turned out to be.

Recommended reading

Kelly O'Neill Young

Kelly O'Neill (formerly Kelly Young) has worked over 10 years as an advocate helping patients to be better informed and have a greater voice in their healthcare. She is the author of the best-selling book Rheumatoid Arthritis Unmasked: 10 Dangers of Rheumatoid Disease. Kelly received national acknowledgement with the 2011 WebMD Health Hero award. She is the president of the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation. Through her writing and speaking, she builds a more accurate awareness of rheumatoid disease (RD) aka rheumatoid arthritis (RA) geared toward the public and medical community; creates ways to empower patients to advocate for improved diagnosis and treatment; and brings recognition and visibility to the RA patient journey. In addition to RA Warrior, she writes periodically for newsletters, magazines, and websites. There are over 60,000 connections of her highly interactive Facebook page. You can also connect with Kelly by on Twitter or YouTube, or LinkedIn. She created the hashtag: #rheum. Kelly is a mother of five, longtime home-schooler, NASA enthusiast, and NFL fan. She has lived over thirteen years with unrelenting RD. See also https:/rawarrior.com/kelly-young-press/

30 thoughts on “Lessons from a Dumb Phone & a Disabled Computer

  • September 17, 2012 at 5:31 am
    Permalink

    rawarrior glad the computer mess is looking up & emails were saved. 🙂 Good to have you back.

    Reply
  • September 17, 2012 at 7:41 am
    Permalink

    I own a computer shop attached to my home. It was one of the ways I could help support myself after being disabled. Owning my own small business, means I can shut down when things get rough with RA. I can tell you, there are so many easier things to do than pay for online backup. One, and probably the simplest being; buy Win 8. It comes with SkyDrive. Although I have had Win 8 for some time, you might have to wait until October, when it comes out. Or buy it on a new computer. I might be able to tell you how to get it, and also how to take care of your own computer infections in a short email. You would be surprised how easy it is. Win 8 is not going to be that expensive, but it is a lot different to the average user. If you shoot me an email, I dont mind helping your cause, and shooting a short email of an outline on how to do these things back to you. Im not selling anything, just offering the information. I have found the RA Warrior emailings helpful for the past several years, and would hate to see them diminish. No pressure. lol I know it’s a lot of work. I dont even remember where or how I started to receive them. I guess since you started, I have received them. It bewilders me at the amount of new information you ascertain. My business is similar, in that one has to stay on top to be in it. If you need the info or any help, just email me any time. Thanks for your ongoing efforts on behalf of all of us. The newsletter/blog/emaail/(?) actually saves me a lot of time spent researching information, because doctors don’t do it. Sad but true, and time is money.

    Reply
  • September 17, 2012 at 7:53 am
    Permalink

    Whoo hoo! Now if you can just find enough time to go through them all! 😉

    Reply
  • September 17, 2012 at 8:20 am
    Permalink

    Kelly, I am beginning a new diet that might help the RA. It is called the Gut and Psychology Syndrome diet. Have you heard of it? I am hopeful that I might see some results! I will be starting another blog, but it isn’t up and running yet. That blog will follow my progress. I will let you know! Melissa

    Reply
  • September 17, 2012 at 9:11 am
    Permalink

    Welcome back Kelly, you’ve been missed :). Glad computer stuff seems to be working out, most o us here woud be able to share that particular pain with you too.

    Reply
  • September 17, 2012 at 10:58 am
    Permalink

    Technology is great, until it doesn’t work!It drives me crazy too!

    Reply
  • September 17, 2012 at 12:46 pm
    Permalink

    Congratulations on getting the rest you needed to hear AND for being smarter than the geeks! 😉

    Reply
  • September 17, 2012 at 2:46 pm
    Permalink

    I was kind of wondering where you went. Even though this was probably pretty stressful, I’m glad it was the equipment and not the user. 🙂 I’m sitting on hold right now waiting for my computer support to get me up and running. I hate this, but I hate my “health situation” more. Right now I’m pretty peaved at my Rheum MD. Thought he was a good one, but am seriously doubting that now after 5 years. Onto the next one, hoping to at least get a diagnosis that doesn’t change every time I come in and start a treatment plan that works. Is that too much to ask? I see myself in so many of your posts and want to thank you for being “out there”. Not even sure if I have RA, but if I had to guess…I think I do. So keep that computer running!!!

    Reply
    • September 17, 2012 at 4:07 pm
      Permalink

      I am not up and running yet and yes it’s so tough to have your hands tied like this on top of RA. Another very long day trying to get help this time at Apple. The new ipad cant do email…
      Good luck w/ the doc search too… changing diagnosis is also very frustrating.

      Reply
      • September 17, 2012 at 4:50 pm
        Permalink

        So glad to hear that you got your emails back! I know how frustrating computers can be and what an expense as well. Some times windows open just enough to allow a fresh look and we see something in a whole new light. I recently just got a “smart phone” having a a dumb phone until July of this year. I can say, what a difference it makes! I have full access to all of my email accounts and can create proper messages. $50 a month is a lot, but if you have any issues with your computer again, it may save you some heartache. I cannot believe your iPad doesn’t do your email!!! Good luck with the “genius” desk 😉

        Reply
      • September 18, 2012 at 6:14 pm
        Permalink

        Why can’t the iPad do email?

        Reply
        • September 18, 2012 at 7:06 pm
          Permalink

          Not sure why it’s broken. Have been to apple store and just noe “re-set” it. Typing on it now! But email broken – shows today’s email & last yr. nothing in between – weird huh, Karen?

          Reply
          • September 19, 2012 at 9:33 am
            Permalink

            It is weird. I’ve noticed on my iPad it won’t download all of my emails either. Maybe it’s a bug with email on the iPad. I tried to look at email last night in both the email app and on the Yahoo website. Both only showed the last 7 emails and I know there are more in there than that.

          • September 19, 2012 at 4:01 pm
            Permalink

            spent so many hours with apple and now asking the server what we could do. its nuts. i have to have reliable email. eventually. 😉

          • September 20, 2012 at 10:07 am
            Permalink

            Kelly, you may have already done this on your iPad, but if you go into settings… click on Mail, Contacts, Calendars… there is a preference of showing 50, 100, 200, 500, or 1000 recent email messages. Maybe that’s the problem? I’m sure you have more than 1000 (!) but maybe this will help??

          • September 28, 2012 at 8:39 am
            Permalink

            We did that and changed all the settings & re-added the email account the first day. Since then I”ve tried a few things but mostly have no help from Apple on it except for a few sympathetic people in the store. The top guy they will let me talk to at Apple told me “I don’t know what you want; I can’t make an ipad do what it doesn’t want to.” LOL> like it’s his girlfriend?

          • October 4, 2012 at 1:47 pm
            Permalink

            If your ipad is still not showing all your emails do this. Look at the earliest mail on your ipad and then go online to your mail server via webmail and delete (or move) the mail just before the earliest on your ipad. Then tell your ipad to check mail and see if it works. Many times there are things embedded in emails that stymy the download process and this is a way to get around it. I have fixed countless users having the same problems on all kinds of different mail readers this way. Good Luck.

            -Chris

  • September 17, 2012 at 9:04 pm
    Permalink

    Kelly, I’ll keep it short. Thank you. What you do makes a difference for everone.

    Reply
  • September 18, 2012 at 3:42 pm
    Permalink

    Kelly, here is the website for my blog on the GAPS diet, which I mentioned above. I wrote only a little today — need to leave school and go home to rest. I would love your input as I go along, and I hope it helps me and other RA warriors out there! http://seekfirstmatthew6.blogspot.com/

    Reply
  • September 18, 2012 at 6:13 pm
    Permalink

    That’s the beauty of Carbonite. It backs up everything and then restores it. I had to replace my computer last month and I got all of my emails back. Carbonite has a solid customer with me. 🙂

    Reply
    • September 18, 2012 at 7:04 pm
      Permalink

      Have still not gotten my other files yet – working on it every day. Trying to not to worry. It’s been a couple wks w/ out ability to work / write. Very hard to get even further behind.

      Reply
    • September 18, 2012 at 7:07 pm
      Permalink

      Every time the restore says it will take ” a few days” &then aborts after 24 hrs or so…

      Reply
  • September 18, 2012 at 6:54 pm
    Permalink

    Kelly, I know your pain, the technology pain not the RA pain (although I too was just diagnosed with RA). I sent you my onset story in August, do I need to resend it?

    Reply
    • September 18, 2012 at 7:09 pm
      Permalink

      Dear Robin, so sorry if I did not reply yet. I’ve got the emails back restored — now I just need to get a working – new- computer and then I can start replying!! 🙂
      Trying to get the rest of the data onto a hard drive so I can buy a new computer ASAP.

      Reply
      • September 18, 2012 at 9:18 pm
        Permalink

        thanks for all you do, I’ve learned so much from your website.

        Reply
  • September 18, 2012 at 9:31 pm
    Permalink

    I am – on a daily basis – amazed at your unwavering determination to “Press On” and I want to send your way a BIG “hug” and “thank you” for all you do to keep “me” from being sucked into the depths of dis-pare with this disease.
    Thank you, Thank you.

    Reply
    • September 28, 2012 at 8:32 am
      Permalink

      Hi Kelly! Thanks so much That helps me to know during these hard days.

      Reply
  • September 20, 2012 at 11:06 pm
    Permalink

    Techno stuff still baffles me luckily I have a techno son who is brillant with all that stuff.I was wondering If you knew of anything that’s works with swollen hands .The RA seems to strike about midnight after I’ve been asleep wakes me up and then finally let’s up pain wise mid afternoon the next day my rhemy says its stress because the rest of me feels good .It is miserable to have swollen hands

    Reply
  • October 14, 2012 at 8:05 am
    Permalink

    Kelly:
    When your computer died you disappeared from my email and facebook. I’m so glad it was just the computer and not you! Your posts indicated that you had injections for back/neck pain and that made me concerned that you might have received some of the fungus tained steriods that have been in the news. Thanks for all you do.

    Will the lady who is trying the new diet please post where she learned about it? My Rhumy says RA does not affect your digestion (or your eyes for that matter) but my gut seems to be very unhappy when my RA flairs so I have to wonder.

    Not to overload this post but has anyone noticed a connection between hair dye and RA? For a couple of days following dyeing my hair I feel cruddy and I’m not sure if it’s all in my mind. Thanks and I’m so very glad that you are OK Kelly.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


“imaware™
    Advertisement
Would You Like Free Email Updates?
Stay in touch with RA Warrior.
We respect your privacy. Your email address will never be shared.