Jay and Jacci
We often speak and write about how tech can connect you to loved ones. Tech connected us too, but our story has a twist. When people hear it for the first time, their response is usually “You should write your next column about this!” We sat with the idea for a while and this month decided to do it.
This is our story.
We are seniors and we are newlyweds. That part of the story alone seems to make people smile. We’re not officially newlyweds anymore because we passed the one year mark last fall. But we still like saying it.
Our wedding was the kind that only seniors get to experience, because only at this stage of life could you have your children and grandchildren make up your wedding party. It was magical and sweet.
But there’s more to our story and here’s where tech comes in. Technology, in fact, is how we met. But not on a dating website as you might expect when we tell you “We met online.”
In 2012 before we met, we were both diagnosed with sleep apnea, a condition which causes obstruction of breathing during sleep. At the time, Jay lived in Reno and Jacci was a long-time Davis resident. While struggling to learn how to sleep with a CPAP machine – the gold standard treatment for sleep apnea, and a miracle of medical technology – we both happened to discover an internet patient support forum for folks dealing with the same challenges. Cpaptalk.com became somewhat of a lifeline during that getting-used-to-it phase of treatment, and the term “tech support” now had a new meaning.
Most online forums have options for “private messaging” where forum participants can correspond one-to-one rather than posting a message to everyone on the forum. We exchanged a few private messages about our CPAP adventures – mask leaks, getting CPAP machines through airport security and such. And then our online conversations became deeper. Soon we were talking about careers, our children, and the physical and emotional aspects of getting older.
After a few months we decided to meet in person. Our plan was to review the reports generated by our CPAP machines using a laptop and a cool computer program called Sleepyhead (making tech even more a part of our story). We were looking forward to an afternoon of data diving – clearly we were tech nerds before we ever met.
On the day we met, we may have looked at one of those reports and discussed it briefly, but we were too busy falling in love that day to care about the data. It was immediate and it was mutual. We chuckle at the irony – CPAP allowed us to breathe, and meeting each other for the first time took our breath away.
Shortly after we married, we decided that since technology brought us together perhaps we could grow a little business out of helping our fellow seniors use technology for connection, education and fun. We may not be able to help you find your soulmate on an internet support forum. But we assure you that technology can bring some unexpected and delightful surprises to the lives of seniors. Speaking of which, have you FaceTimed with those awesome grandchildren back east yet?
Jay and Jacci