Sunday we had guests for dinner and an elderly woman walked home after the barbque with my son D, and my daughter-in-law. The young couple has moved back to Chicago and they live a brisk walk away from us, not far from our guest.

The three of them strolled south, not at all briskly, and suddenly our guest took a spill on a crack in the sidewalk. She hurt her arm. D called FD for advice.

That's what they do in our family. They call FD whenever there's a medical crisis or even just a fever, they call him because no one else has gone into medicine, and he really doesn't mind.

(No one ever has anything emotional they want to share with their mother, so I'm off the hook.)

Actually, they do share things, sometimes.

Anyway, the very next day I saw a patient who had been in a car accident. Emotionally upset, scared, she'd been pretty traumatized. But basically, she's okay. She said to me:

"You shouldn't ride your bicycle to work."

"It's okay," I said, "the trip home is 3/4 bike path along the river." (It's less, really)

"No, it's too dangerous on city streets. It only takes one idiot."

I know, I know, don't remind me.

"You really shouldn't ride."

At home that night FD and I glossed over the details of life, shared a salad and some guac. I asked him about our guest.

"She's okay, she's fine. But you know. . . " He paused that pregnant pause.


"You know, when people get a little older they lose their balance easily, they have to hold on to something. And you know. . ."


Well, you won't be able to ride your bike forever.

"Oh, right. I know. I'm sick of this. Like walking is safer!" I scream (for me).

"I know, it's not so safe. But you'll try to hold on to someone."

Copyright 2007, therapydoc


Anonymous said…
Your post is really timely for me. I ride a bike and do OK. I'm 49. But yesterday on the way home from work I stepped off a curb and twisted my foot and sprained it. I am now in bed with it. Damn! Don't know if this is aging or just bad luck.
therapydoc said…
Oh, Rhea, any kid can sprain an ankle. Chalk it up to youth.
Anonymous said…
For me it's not the balance issue (yet! give a "week" or so) but the lack of dedicated bike paths and so many people behind the wheels of cars that just don't provide a comfortable cushion. Plus, I have friends who have met that "one idiot" but I won't tell you those stories.

Still, it doesn't sound like a fun conversation with FD ;-)
Rafi G. said…
another problem - riding a bike is too much exercise. not healthy. :-). take the car.
therapydoc said…
they're so safe, after all, cars
Anonymous said…
Please, please tell us you wear a helmet. The rest hardly matters. (Sorry, you touched a nerve. I've done too much neuropsych testing on bike accident victims. Horrible, for both the patient and the family.)

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