Connectivity – More tools to enable sanity

by tim1bgdpo

The Electricity category suggestions apply to most of these items.

Cell phone

Of course.

Prior to your surgery would be a good time to program in phone numbers for family, friends, neighbors, docs, pharmacy, medical insurance company, your supervisor at work, and any phone numbers you might need for your company’s Human Relations department or short-term disability administrator.

If your cell phone is old, and/or the battery no longer holds a charge very long, and/or your service contract is up and your provider may have a good deal on a new phone (with a new contract, of course), then it might be a good time to upgrade.  But do this well before the surgery to give yourself enough time to get familiar with the new toy and all its features before you get the pain meds.

An excellent suggestion from a self-defense and safety podcast  I respect is to keep your cell phone charger on your bedside stand.  That way, you will remember to put the cell on the charger each evening and if you need it in the middle of the night for any emergency, it’s within your reach.


Make sure you have a telephone handset within arm’s reach of each of your recovery venues.

If you don’t, consider adding cordless phone handsets at each recovery venue (and the associated base station for the cordless handsets).

Cordless phone

These make it easy to place a handset at each recovery venue.  Make sure you have a handset charging station at each location, too.

If you are using an existing, older cordless phone system, consider replacing the rechargeable battery in each of the handsets.  If the battery is more than a couple years old, you probably will not have much talk time before the battery dies.  You can probably find replacement batteries at a Radio Shack, Best Buy, or on-line.  For online shopping, you will need the manufacturer and model number of the phone, and I’d also open up the handset and get the part number off the old battery.  If you are shopping in person, take the old handset and battery with you to make sure the new battery is identical and the plug on the battery matches the old one.

Baby monitor

We have one like this, but you will have many sources and models from which to choose.  Good for one-way communication from the patient to the caregiver.  Test its useful range before you need to depend on it.

FRS walkie talkies

Good for two-way communications.  You have lots of sources, brands and models from which to choose.  Try here, here, or even here.

Test its useful range before you need to depend on them.  Don’t believe the optimistic ranges in the advertising.  Sure, if you have perfect, unobstructed line of sight between the radios, they will communicate over many miles.  But if there is anything between you and the distant end, like a tree, hill or your bedroom wall, the effective range will be dramatically reduced.


Texting with your cell phone.  You probably already know this, but SMS text messages can get through to their destination in situations where a cellular phone call connection cannot be completed.  If the cell system is clogged up with people trying to make voice calls, or if you are in a marginal signal power area, try sending a text message.  It has a better change of being delivered.