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Lessons I Learned From My Cell Phone

by Dr. Denise Chranowski

Well, I watched the Oprah Show on the dangers of cell phone use while driving. I ripped out the page from the Oprah Magazine that showed a "No Cell Phone While Driving" graphic that I put in my car. And I did stop….. for a while. But of course it starts to creep back in. First it’s looking at a text that you got while driving. Then it’s a quick response to a text while driving. Then it’s checking email at a stop light. All the things you know you shouldn’t be doing.

But as my mom likes to say… "God sends you messages." And God certainly was sending me messages. I send over a thousand texts per month. I have two email accounts that I access thru my phone. And I uploaded Facebook™ to my phone. And all were in full swing when I started getting the ‘messages.’ The first message was three deer that ran out in front of my car at 6am on a foggy morning while driving 75 mph on route 95. Had I been texting or one-handing the steering wheel, I surely wouldn’t have avoided the deer (but I did). The second message was a new patient describing her brain injury she sustained when someone on a cell phone slammed into her car. The third message came when I put my phone in a bag with a bit of water in it and my phone died. The fourth message came when my replacement phone came and as soon as I reconfigured my two emails services to the phone… it died again leading to a second replacement phone. So four messages are plenty and I’m listening.

What does this have to do with being healthy? Plenty. The first is obvious; many lives have been lost or destroyed due to cell phone accidents. The second is less obvious. It is what my Grandfather, the patriarch of our Chiropractic family called PTC a.k.a. Present Time Consciousness. When you are texting, checking email and Facebooking from your cell phone (or anywhere for that matter), you aren’t present. How many conversations with my sons have I missed because I was checking email from my phone? How many near misses have I had in my car because I was dialing a phone number? How many friends have I not been present with while playing with my imaginary friends through Facebook? Of course I could go on and on.

So here are some steps I’m taking to be more present in my everyday life:

1. Absolutely no cell phone use while driving. My sons are holding me accountable to this. This also sets the example for them to follow.

2. I’m batching my emails and checking/sending them twice per day from an actual computer.

3. Texting will no longer be my primary form of communication. Good old-fashioned talking will be. I promise never to go over my text limit again (OMG 1500 texts per month, did I really go over that!).

4. While I think Facebook is fun, checking it will certainly not be a top priority for me.

5. I will actually watch my sons’ baseball games rather than pretend to watch while I’m checking emails from my phone.

6. And lastly I will remember that the earth will absolutely continue to spin on its axis if I my cell phone isn’t working. Texting, facebooking and emailing, while important, shouldn’t have been, aren’t, and won’t be in my top five priorities which are in this order: God, my husband and sons, my family, my patients and my friends.

I encourage you to make your own list. Make it a great summer!



Dr. Denise Chranowski, along with her twin brother, Dr. Dane Donohue, and Dr. Jerry Agasar, are the owners of Wellness Solution Centers. Located in Newtown, this Wellness Center has all the tools and resources to dramatically improve your health, including chiropractic, massage therapy, acupuncture, personal training, and nutritional counseling. www. wscenters. com

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