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by Abigail Van Buren

Mom's Cellphone Robs Son of a Good Night's Sleep

DEAR ABBY: I am a 42-year-old man who lives at home with my parents after getting out of an abusive relationship. A full night's sleep is important to me and waking up early from avoidable noises is upsetting because I am unable to go back to sleep. My mother's cellphone is what's waking me up.

I have asked her numerous times to turn off the ringer at night. She has no reason to be a go-to for emergencies, yet she acts as if she is. The last time I asked, she actually told me the phone calls she missed (because she forgot to turn her ringer back on) are more important than my sleep.

She says she's glad I'm back living at home because I am making life a little easier for them. They are getting old, and I have come to the conclusion I will be here taking care of my parents in the coming years.

I have told Mom numerous times to have her hearing checked, too, to no avail. I think that may be why her cellphone ringer blares so loudly. On numerous occasions I have been sitting upstairs and heard Dad ask her a question in the living room, and Mom, who is sitting right next to him, says, "What?" She's in denial about her hearing.

I would rather not move out, but I am about ready to do it for peace and quiet. Do you have any words of wisdom for me? -- INJURED EARS IN ILLINOIS

DEAR INJURED EARS: Yes, I do. Ask your mother to put her phone on vibrate at bedtime or use its do-not-disturb feature between certain hours. If she refuses, then purchasing a white noise machine might be a solution.

Suggest to your father that he inform their doctor about your mother's hearing problems. Perhaps if the doctor tells her it's time to have her hearing checked by an audiologist, she won't tune out the message.

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