This morning I made four phone calls that have been on my to-do list for...um, a long time. These weren't even SCARY phone calls like calling about a denied claim or a statement error or a lost payment, these were absolutely standard, non-scary, making-normal-appointment calls.
One call had only been waiting two weeks for me to make it. That's the one where I need to schedule an evaluation for Rob with the orthodontist to see if he's ready now for braces. They sent me a little reminder card and it's been sitting on the counter for two weeks.
I couldn't make the orthodontist call until I'd made Rob an appointment with the dentist. We discovered that his "brushing his own teeth" was NOT GOING WELL. The school does dental screenings and sent a note home, and I took a look for myself and was APPALLED. And this brought up my Dentist Anxiety, which is that dentists seem to charge me until I run out of money, so I don't like to go see them unless there is pain. Anyway, we discovered the tooth situation 9 months ago, so that's how long that second call has been waiting. I could have GROWN AN ENTIRE BABY in that amount of time.
The third call is an eye exam for myself. My current glasses are so covered in teensy scratches it's like they're foggy. I can't really say how long this call has been waiting for me to make it, but the last time I had an eye exam and new glasses, third-grade William was still in an infant carrier so that'll give you a general idea.
The fourth call I made because I was on a roll: it's so much easier to make calls when I am already making calls, so I made the cat her vet appointment for next month.
I made these calls about 2 hours ago and my legs are still jittery and my underarms are still damp.
I have been trying to think of ways to conquer this phone problem, since it negatively affects my life. The nickel-psychology is that you're supposed to Face Your Fear and then you will stop being scared, but I've been making phone calls for more than a quarter-century and I'm still scared. I even worked as a RECEPTIONIST, and if that doesn't thoroughly explore the Extinction Through Exposure method I don't know what does.
In thinking about it, I realized that one of my MAIN stressors is not being able to hear very well on the phone. It's partly the inevitable household noises, partly the connection, partly a silly reluctance to say "What?" (and a near-inability to say it more than once), and partly anxiety levels that make it even harder to process what I'm hearing. Our phone is already cranked up as high as it will go, volume-wise, but surely there are phones made for, like, older people, and surely those phones can be turned up to "thinks young people are always MUMBLING" levels.
In fact, a minute's research on Amazon told me what to search for: "amplified telephone." Here's a likely-looking fellow: Clarity Amplified Phone, for mild to moderate hearing loss. It says the volume can be turned up to 18 decibels; it would be helpful to know the decibel level of a regular phone for comparison. There's another one that's more than twice the price but goes up to 43 decibels, so perhaps 18 decibels is for sissies. Or I could get the cordless one (30 decibels) for a price in between the other two.
Another idea: hire a receptionist.
Life-improving products, part 4 - (Continued from part 1, part 2, and part 3.) Stearns Youth Life Vest (photo from Amazon.com). I’d been too scared to take the kids to any body of water oth...