Saturday, November 16, 2019

The Fall

This may be the hardest piece I have ever typed.

It started out like any other day, in fact better than most. The sky was an untarnished slate of blue, the wind was in momentary hibernation and the air was as clean and pure as Marie Yovanovitch.

As my son and I began our hike, we contemplated several miles of mostly gentle, wholly uncomplicated terrain. The last of the leaves had left their former residence and now formed a blanket of protection for Mother Earth. But winter had sent notice that it was anxious to flex its muscles and thus a small, almost imperceptible coat of white acted as overcoat for the ground. Beneath our feet on each step was a double layer of potential trouble. And underneath, not visible to the eye, were those intermittent rocks announcing their presence.

But really I protest too much for these combined forces were of little note as we began our trek, reaching our ultimate goal and gazing out on a landscape that stretched out for miles below us. We had been here before, but each time was as the first. It was the image of New England on a mid-November day, with the snow revealing itself on the distant trails of a mountain as if it were ready to accept its first paying customers, and the town below seemingly frozen as if it were merely a picture of itself.

Then we commenced the trek back from where we began (this being an "in and out" hike). Soon into our descent my son noticed that the leaves were now sticking to the sole of his shoes, forming a shield against traction. And so I saw a similar issue emanating from the bottom of my feet. But, we would shortly be back to the car and thus I paid scant notice.

And then I fell, for the first time.

I had clearly seen this rock, flat and unencumbered. But as my feet slipped out from under me and I went airborne, I heard myself let out a small shriek, for I am nothing if not a wimp. While pride did not go before this fall, my son's camera, in its case on my back, did. And so, it acted as bumper and I landed with but the gentlest of thuds. Luckily, it appeared the camera had also survived.

We have been hiking for many years as a family, hundreds, maybe thousands of miles between today and that first step into the wilderness. And I could recall not once when I had ended up in an unintended position. So, as my son's concern turned into laughter as he saw that only my ego was bruised, we continued our march, clear in the mutual understanding that this had been but a fluke, the equivalent of someone like Donald Trump being semi-elected President of the United States.

And then I fell for the second time. (God, I hope this not an omen for his re-election)

This rock I did not see as it lay camouflaged beneath the leaves and snow. And I stepped on it at such an angle that my right ankle twisted and I was once more performing a gravity defying act in the air. I must have landed on my left arm and shoulder though my airborne cry related to the momentary discomfort I was experiencing in my foot.

My son stared at me, once more with concern in his eyes, coupled with more than a hint of bewilderment. I took a few short hops on my ankle, limped for several steps and then pronounced myself embarrassed but otherwise fit.

And that was the end of the story. Almost.

We finished our journey, got in the car and returned home. I counted myself fortunate to have escaped harm and looked forward to the balance of the day, unencumbered by any physical reminders of my mishaps.

Until about an hour later. We were sitting in the kitchen and I happened to press my right hand on my left forearm. It was tender, and more than that, it appeared to be slightly misshapen. I took off the top layer of clothing and indeed the angle from shoulder to fingers seemed not quite right.

After short consultation with those gathered around, I put a winter coat on, walked out the door and headed to the hospital emergency room, but a few blocks away. My family gathered there with me in short order.

It is actually a great experience going to your local, small hospital in the middle of a work day. My information was taken within seconds and within minutes I was being attended to by several people. X- rays followed and the attending announced that, yes, I had a small non-displaced fracture in my forearm. One of those soft casts was soon encasing my arm and I was advised to see my local orthopedist in the days to follow.

One more wrinkle.

As I was about to leave the hospital, the attending said the radiology department had looked at the pictures and did not believe that dark line was a fracture. So, at the moment there is a split decision, the report I received noting the two disparate determinations.

I now await the deciding vote early next week. In the meantime, I am weighed down by this cast, making life a little more complicated.

And making this possibly the hardest piece I have ever typed.


Harvey F Leeds said...

I hope you are alright-you are not superman-admit it you can't fly! Guess you'll have to start dictating into your phone or computer or have your assistant take dictation! Feel better! I hope its not the hand you use to wipe!

ASK said...

Harvey, you took the words right out of my mouth. Rob, let me know when you are going to be driving so I can go the other way. Feel better Rober.

Anonymous said...

Hiking as it wasn't meant to be

Glad that although you lost the use of one arm ( for the present), you haven’t lost your sense of humor! By the way, was “split decision” meant as a pun??

Hope that you’re not too uncomfortable and although you have single-handedly written columns that we always look forward to reading, we hope that you will get back to being two-handed again very soon..

🌈. Joan and David

Anonymous said...

One word: inept.

Guess who

Anonymous said...

Lucky boy. And if the doctors can't agree...that is why they call it medical practice. PB