A week before Thanksgiving I unintentionally embarked on a solo trip. Acting much like a millennial, I was briskly walking on my daily midday jaunt around the neighborhood and playing a game of “Spelling Bee”, a complex letter sorting game from the New York Times, on my phone at the same time. And then I wasn’t. I hit something with my foot and with my phone glued to my right hand, I fell on my left side. I knew instantly that I really took a tumble. I really hurt myself. In an instant I went from enjoying two favorite daily activities – simple physical exercise and mental exercise – to doing neither.
Being mobile has always been a priority. It’s why I walk and do some exercise most every day. Loco-motion is what I like. Little Eva sang it well in 1962 in her one and only gold platinum record:
“Do it nice and easy now, don’t lose control, … A little bit of rhythm and a lot of soul, So come on, come on, do the Loco-motion with me”.
I knew immediately that this solo trip was a real screw up on my part. Whereas walking is a prescription to stay out of the hospital, my screw up was going to land me in a hospital. (Count that three hospitals and two ambulances in a matter of two weeks).
There was a crunchy kind of sound when I tried to walk on. Something was not right. Something was very wrong. I was really worried.
So I proceeded to do something really stupid again. I walked on down the road for about 1/2 mile in the woods back to my house. I did not call ”911”.
I went to Urgent Care, had X rays taken and learned I broke my pelvic bone – in two places – on my left side. Fortunately it was a ”stable fracture”, and required no surgery. As such, weight bearing pressure (like walking) did not cause any more harm.
This wasn’t the first time I acted stupid while walking. Forty five years ago – I remember the occurrence as if it were yesterday – I was hit by VW beetle while (jay) walking between two parked cars near Inman Square. The VW ran through a yellow light and I practically walked right into it. This time it was my head that I damaged: and it landed me in the Cambridge City Hospital which was conveniently situated directly across the street. I didn’t have to call ”911” this time either, and couldn’t anyways because I had a concussion. But luckily, no broken bones, just black and blue marks in every joint in my body.
I was released and two days later we buried my grandfather.
But this time I will learn. No more phone time multitasking while walking. No more multitasking at all. Time to slow down and enjoy the roses.
In my October 29 blog post ”Reading Your Mind” there was commentary about driving. A couple days later in the November 10 edition of The New York Times, an article by Neil Vigdor reported that a drunken driver warning system will be installed in all new cars as part of the new $1 trillion infrastructure bill.
This innovative deterrent system will go along with intelligent braking systems and “blind spot sensors” that warn drivers not to change lanes. I found it ironic that there are new technologies being developed to augment driving performance and to cut down on drunk driving when humans refuse to make the right choices themselves.