Calls from Dad Trigger My Panic Button

My dad doesn’t call just to chitchat.  And, to be honest, he really doesn’t have a need to call me since I see or call him everyday.

And, until recently I could count on one hand when my dad called and the corresponding action required by me or my husband.  There was the 6AM call from my dad’s care manager that he was sick and wanted me to come over now!  This turned out to be the Norovirus outbreak of 2012.  Then there was my dad’s first fall in June of 2012.  I was having lunch with a friend in Berkeley when my dad’s name flashed on my phone as his xylophone ringtone sounded.  I knew bad news was coming since it was noon and he should be eating lunch in the dining room.  Luckily my husband jumped in the car to see my dad and assess the situation.  I have to give my husband Tim a shout-out since he’s been a bit absent from my blog, though he’s with me every step of the way caring for my dad.  I could write an entire post on the value of a supportive spouse.  Hmmm…good idea for a future post.

So you get the picture.  I’ve been trained that phone calls from my dad equal an emergency.  So when I was walking BiBi, the most energetic and happy Chihuahua around, my dad called.  Note…BiBi is a daredevil walker.  She barks at big dogs (and since she weighs a whopping 5 pounds, all dogs are big), she loves to eat unidentifiable stuff off the ground and she loves to run in front of oncoming bicyclists, joggers or ladies with strollers.  I never talk on my phone when I’m walking my little daredevil but everything stops (and that includes BiBi) when my dad calls.

Luckily, my dad called just to remind me to bring over paper towels, gum and mints.  He’s starting to call me for random non-emergency things but his ringtone still sparks a foreboding feeling each time I hear that darn xylophone.  Can someone create a system where my dad uses one ringtone for emergencies and another for sundry items.  I can’t be the only care giving daughter out there who feels this way.


  1. I get scared every time I see dad’s Assisted Living Facility caller ID on my phone even though there have been only 2 emergencies and the rest of the time the calls were about routine medication refills. So yes, I would buy that two ring tone phone idea!


    1. Glad you’ve only had two emergencies. After I read your note, I realized that I don’t have a special ringtone for my dad’s Assisted Living Community and it’s been ok. Maybe I should assign my dad the generic ringtone to avoid the sense of panic.


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