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Having been slowed down, somewhat, this week after a painful cycling accident, I have found myself thinking about what learning opportunities and experiences this delivered. Here’s my summation:
- That great equipment does not, by itself, make one great. MTB’ers refer to this often and have an appropriate saying: “All the gear and no idea”.
- Even a small (18″) step, on a relatively gentle step, allows man and bike to build up considerable potential energy which, when converted to kinetic energy by virtue of man hitting floor, is plain for all to see.
- That when one has an appetite to try something new – to see what can be achieved one must balance the charging call of the heart with the analytical assessment of the mind.
- That positive statements and humor can combat panic and fear.
- That several years of top notch medical school training, intelligence, a genuinely friendly persona and a bunch of X-rays may still not ne enough to enable a new doctor to effectively communicate the nature of an injury or the way it will be treated to a patient and his family. Experience is often the most valuable asset of all.
- That a normal, healthy and mobile adult male can be reduced to a useless organic mass through only a partial incapacitation.
- That one’s circle of family and friends is wider and more concerned than one would normally imagine.
- That it is possible to learn more about one’s injury, the parts of the body affected, the degree of damage, the possible courses of treatment and even the extent of the debate amongst medical professionals as to how aggressive such treatment should be ….in less than 1 minute thanks to the Internet and the choice selection of a few key words.
- That a motivated (and experienced) friend can assess your injury via a scanned X-ray that you placed on Facebook and proffer a clear and easy to understand explanation in 3 sentences….unlike the well-meaning professionals in the A&E ward.
- That NHS hospitals are run on a constant state of emergency, where the staff are focused on ‘fire fighting’ coping strategies just to stay still.
- That it can be incredibly frustrating not to be able to type at >10% of one’s normal speed, with one hand…the wrong one and that it is surprisingly difficult to perform normal everyday tasks with your “wrong hand”….like brushing your own teeth.
- That it is almost impossible to escape from a bath when you have one damaged shoulder….and that it is still embarrassing for a 39 year old man when his mum sees him undressed as a result.
- That there is no telling one’s pet cats that you cannot be as attentive as usual when you are somewhat battered & bruised.
- That a 5ml shot of morphine can induce a significantly improved disposition very quickly and that the natural rush of adrenaline post-accident runs out after about 10 minutes.
- That the TV remote control is your best friend when you are incapacitated…and that misplacing it can be the most annoying thing on the earth.
- That it is literally possible to not be able to get out of bed in the morning…when your skeletal system fails to operate properly.
- That you are not as an essential part of the company team as you imagined and that your colleagues are more than able to carry on if you let them and if they believe in themselves.
- That all the stresses and ‘disasters’ of working hours pale into insignificance when your health, well-being and family fortunes come under threat.
Not sure what qualification/curricula these ‘learnings’ slot into but I’d wager it is delivered in the University Of Life.