Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Cautionary Tale

In 2001, I went to Seattle for the Ring, and I got to see somewhat more than 3/4 of it: I missed the first two acts of Goetterdaemmerung while I kept my mother company in the emergency room. She'd take a spill and broken her wrist.

She's not the only person I know to have fallen and gotten hurt; I number among my friends several who've broken their wrists and two who've broken three elbows between them.

Falls are a major cause of serious injury and death. Dame Eva Turner died three months after breaking her hip in a fall. This pattern is not uncommon among older people, where a broken hip often results in a very long recovery during which pneumonia develops and death follows.

After my mother's accident, I started teaching a class in safe rolling and falling for people who don't want to spend an extended period of time taking a martial arts class to learn how to roll and fall. I encourage anyone who's able to try to learn this skill, which could save you a lot of pain and suffering, at the earliest possible age.

This could also keep you from winding up in the position violinist David Garrett now finds himself in. A couple of days ago In December, 2007, he slipped and fell following a concert. He's fine, but he landed on his violin case, destroying damaging his 1718 (or maybe it's 1710) Strad.

Update, Feb. 14: BBC News has a more accurate account of what happened to David Garrett and the San Lorenzo Strad. The accompanying article on repairing violins discusses the damage to the instrument. It is cracked, and clearly the damage is serious, but the Independent report I linked to above makes it sound as though the instrument was crushed flat.


The Opera Tattler said...

I almost missed Das Rheingold in 2005 because my flight from Portland to Seattle was canceled, but this wasn't announced. I had to rent a car at pretty much the very last moment and only made it to the performance by the skin of my teeth. Still, this sounds more fun than your mother's emergency room visit. One of my grandfather's just had a bad fall too, and broke his shoulder.

David Garrett spoke on the BBC a couple days ago, he sounded quite sheepish!

Lisa Hirsch said...

Oh, man, crazy about the canceled flight!

I'd sound sheepish if I were David Garrett.