Update 1/12/13: I got myself a new pad for Christmas. It’s a MID Android Pad and it’s 9 inch rather than the 7 inch I had previously. My only complaint is the short battery time but the navigation controls are much better than the Lenovo. Here’s a link to the site where I got it. It may not be there after a couple weeks. At 9 inches it’s still light and can be handled with one hand while I’m in dialysis. The battery lasts about 3-1/2 hours which in just long enough for me. I watch a little TV, then power up my Angry Birds and suddenly it’s time to go home! LOL
For those of us on In-center Dialysis, we sit in a chair for many, many hours and some are fortunate enough to sleep some or most of the time. If you’re like me, I can’t sleep with two 15 gauge needle in one arm and a blood pressure cuff on the other. So, I watch TV. But after a while that gets old. Really, really old. In fact it’s mind numbing. I spend most of my time “watching” the Turner Classic Movie channel because it doesn’t have commercials. But I’m not really watching, I’m viewing. My brain usually goes to sleep.
A while back my center put in WiFi but I didn’t have anything that connected with it. I considered a laptop but after careful thought, I couldn’t see it as very practical. It’s too large, frankly. Even a netbook style laptop is too bulky and cumbersome for use during dialysis. I needed something that can be used with just one free hand (when the BP cuff isn’t inflating anyway).
My solution also had to be inexpensive. I looked at iphones and the like but I like my simple flip-phone and iphones displays are way too small for my old eyes. I couldn’t imagine trying to navigate a website on a four inch screen. Plus I can’t see the expense of an extra $40 per month for “data services” with the chance that those could be limited and end up costing me more.
I needed something with a large display, light, one-handed operation, cheap and uses WiFi. An Apple Ipad was way too expensive. My brother bought one for his wife so I had a chance to play with it. Loved it, but the hefty price tag was not in my range. Then I stopped into Office Depot and discovered the Lenovo Idea Pad for $199. (Read about experience with Depot’s and Lenovo’s customer service is another blog.) I’ve since then found many others at lesser cost but this had all the features and was in my price range. I have no problem with the Lenovo IdeaPad just their customer service. Most importantly is runs the Android operating system so it’s the same as my son’s phone. He helped me with getting acquainted with the technology. Using my fingers to manipulate it was all new to me. I needed a kid to show me how to use it!
I have a wireless connection (WiFi) at home so it was easy enough to practice with it before using it during dialysis. By the time I took it to dialysis, I had installed several games and other practical “apps” (I learned a new word!) like calendar, clock, etc. But I found that some games are not accessible while on the center’s WiFi so I’m limited in what games I can play. But Solitare, a game called “Coin Dozer”, a slot machine game called “Slotmania”, Pandora for music, and 3-D Golf all work so I have plenty of distractions for my 4 hour treatment. (Since then I also discovered WordFeud — a Scrabble-type game that is played with friends or random players from around the world. More about that in another blog.)
But most importantly, I found the world of social networking! As a result, I’m twittering like the best of them! (More about Social Networking and Dialysis in another post.) See my tweets under @DevonTexas and under the hashtag #dialysis
Suffice to say, this little pad has opened a whole new world for me and that 4 hours goes by so much more quickly now. In fact, the other day, I was stalling the tech trying to take me off because I had a word to play in WordFeud against an opponent in Northern England! And getting off dialysis at the end of my treatment is one thing I have never avoided! That last hour used to be torture. Now I don’t notice it at all! Me and my pad! Best friends!
Now, during treatment, I still “watch” TV, but I use my TV as a holder for my pad and “watch” TMC’s oldies in the background or perhaps watch a news channel in silence as I tap my pad in gleeful pleasure and the hours fly by!