‘Tis the Season for Cheer and Chills, Family and Fevers, and Gifts and Ginger Ale

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Person laying on a couch with a blanket covering their head and most of their body

By Jen Gosett, BS, CTRS, MATP Staff

Recently, a virus swept through my house and left my partner and me in slow recovery mode.  As I think about how we got through the worst of it, I now realize that Assistive Technology definitely made the process better.

After years of apartment living, my partner and I purchased our house a few years ago.  Our first winter in our house was a sobering experience; it was one of the coldest winters on record and our heat bill was really expensive.  After talking with some friends of ours who own a house as well, we invested in a few space heaters which we put in our bedroom and den.  We also bought some thick, microplush blankets.  Now instead of keeping the thermostat in the low-mid 70’s in the cooler months, we can turn it down when we head to bed and switch on our space heaters; the heaters cost less to run than keeping the furnace at a higher temp to heat the whole house.  While I was getting through the worst of the virus, I was so very thankful for the space heater in our bedroom.  I closed our bedroom door, set the heater to 80 degrees, and fought the chills underneath our thick blankets.  Tall, ceramic heater.The heater we purchased for our bedroom is a tall, ceramic tower heater with remote.  I really appreciate that I can change the temperature from bed using the remote!  The heater also has an oscillation function so it slowly tuns to blow warm air all over the room.  One thing I’ve done to get even better air circulation is to place the heater up on a sturdy chair so that it’s up off of the floor and circulates a little more effectively.  Normally I would be nervous about keeping a heater off of the ground, but the heater we have has a tip-over and overheat protection for added safety (I keep it unplugged when not using it).

I was the first one in our family to get the virus (we tried to keep my partner on the other side of the house for the most part so he wouldn’t catch it).  While I was battling the germs, I found it incredibly helpful to be able to text with my partner; even if he couldn’t be in the same room as me, we could still text and share words of comfort.  Though, sometimes when I tried to use the voice to text feature, the message got a little lost.  Text message asking if my partner would go pick up a few things for me from Kroger. Siri translated my speech to text incorrectly and left my partner confused.

KindleWhen I started feeling a little better, but still didn’t feel I could get out of bed, I found the bright, direct light from my smart phone hurt my eyes (and head) too much to check facebook.  I found solace in reading books on my Kindle Paperwhite, “Kindle Paperwhite guides light toward the surface of the display with its built-in front light—unlike back-lit tablets that shine in your eyes—so you can read comfortably for hours without eyestrain.”  For more about supportive features of e-readers, check out my Book Scents and E-Reader Sense blog posts (Part 1 & Part 2).

What AT do you use to feel better when you’re sick?