Before I received my first Alexa-enabled smart display as a Christmas gift in 2019, I was not a big fan. I just didn’t feel like I could trust an Amazon device with a camera inside of it. I’d heard about all the privacy concerns, and I was determined to avoid it like the plague.
But then a plague really did happen — and right when my mom got sick. And then, suddenly, this device I was once suspicious of became a vital part of our support system. Those people Amazon always claim love Alexa I somehow suddenly found myself becoming one of them.
To be clear, Mom had been sick for years. Mom has Parkinson’s disease, an incurable neurological disorder that affects everything from mobility to memory. At first, she suffered from a few tremors..
To be clear, Mom had been sick for years. Mom has Parkinson’s disease, an incurable neurological disorder that affects everything from mobility to memory. At first, she suffered from a few tremors every now and then, but she was still able to go for a run at the gym. Then the pandemic happened. I don’t know why — maybe it was the stress and isolation of the time — her condition suddenly took a drastic turn for the worse.
The woman who impressed even the diehard gym buffs with her ability to quickly run a mile was suddenly unable to walk longer than ten minutes.
Thankfully, there are medications the doctors prescribed to help her manage the condition, which allows her to walk for a little longer. Side effects — like high blood pressure — were the tradeoff. Shortly after the stay-at-home order went into effect in March 2020, she was hospitalized for a hypertensive crisis and nearly had a stroke.
It was the first hospitalization of many more to come during the pandemic. The list of medications began growing at as rapid of a pace as her Parkinson’s symptoms — and the side effects of those