I wore a watch since my 8th birthday until a few years after my brain injury when my skin and tolerance to skin irritation made me take it off. I figured I’d use TTC clocks (OK, hard to see after they upgraded to those screens), city clocks (where are they‽), or my Palm, later my iPod Touch to check the time.
I calmed my skin down several years ago through my hypothalamus fix and all the neurostimulation and neuromodulation treatments I did for my brain injury. But I didn’t get back into wearing a watch. I’d gotten used to not wearing one.
And I’d gotten used to looking at my iPhone or guesstimating the time.
I’d thought about getting a smartwatch when they first came out, you know, the way you drool over a temptation. But I had my iPhone, the smartwatch didn’t look that useful or attractive — I’m not a fan of digital dials. But late last year, my doctor wanted me to get a pulse oximeter. Oh? I was getting short of breath again. I chalked it up to stress or fatigue from the combination of my neurodoc disappearing into an “ongoing medical emergency” and the neverending greening of my home.
I thought about it. Every time I’ve been at the hospital and they’ve put one of those pulse oximeters on, the darn thing alarmed the whole place. My blood oxygen was too low for it. They were calm, reassured me, adjusted it or took it off. I wasn’t sure I wanted some home device having a fit over that where I wouldn’t have a professional reassuring me. I also had to measure my HRV. My doctor thought I could do it manually. Suuurrre. I can do the math. But did I want to? Uh, no. I asked another health care professional what tech to get. His suggestion looked good, well researched, but I was beginning to realize something.
I have so much on my plate, and my shortness of breath is a sign my brain is super tired, that unless the device measured my blood oxygen and heartbeat automatically, they’d sit on the shelf unused.
That lead to a smartwatch. Sigh. I researched several. Too expensive or didn’t automatically measure blood oxygen. And did I want to get into wearing a watch again??
I forgot about it. Then the stress bit me hard last week. And my left leg burned its indignation at me always carrying my phone to track my steps. Great! A new source of pain!! I knew I had to get the phone out of my pocket, work on my sleep, my 150 minutes of walking each week, my heart rate and HRV, and shortness of breath. I vented to my mother. She’d worn one for years. Her experience had taught her to get the one that matches your phone. Since I have an iPhone, that meant the iWatch. I chose the latest, lightest one because it can measure body temperature. I think mine has stabilized, but every so often, it’s a bit off. So that seemed good to measure, too.
I received it today. Dead battery. Needed updating. Hours later, I’m wearing it and have it set up. It’s already giving me good news about my blood oxygen — 99% — and the who’s surprised at the heart rate bad news. I got it down to 85. I have to learn how their HRV relates to the number I’m used to seeing at brain biofeedback.
It’s been a heck of a day, and I’m zonked. But I’ll have some numbers for my doctor. And, oh yeah, so far my arm is tolerating the new weight and my skin the snug-but-not-tight iWatch. I’m still adjusting to having something on my wrist.