Saturday, October 4, 2014

We're OK

It’s funny the things that get on my nerves. A patient doesn’t like the fit of her denture, a crown doesn’t fit for the second time,  the sink is clogged and I don’t have time to fix it. Like everyone else, I get caught up in the little day to day paper cuts of life. I lose sight of things that are truly important because it’s all really important in the moment. What made me think of this? Well, we’re all okay. I was scared to death; Avi was uninjured. But, the two of us were in a car accident yesterday and we’re both okay.

My little purple toenailed toadstool was happily riding in her car seat in the back. I wasn’t even texting, talking on the phone or facebooking. (3 things I’ve now sworn off for life while driving) We were just going along on the highway and the car in front of us slammed on it’s brakes. I don’t know why they did it. They disappeared after the accident and I don’t even know if they were aware of what happened. The gap between us closed faster than I could really react and I slammed on my brakes too late. I pulled the car hard to the right and managed to miss the front car’s bumper. Instead I plowed into the car in the right lane. We both ended up against the guardrail and a third car hit the two of us. By some miracle, or the cause and effect of Newtonian physics depending on your beliefs, when all was quiet again, there were no injuries.  

I checked on Avi first and she was more scared than anything else. The noise and the big bump we’re pretty jarring. Thankfully there had been no hard impact. No airbag deployment, no seatbelts locking. Had I hit that car dead on, had I hit the guardrail different, had the third car hit us differently,  I don’t think I’d be writing this now. I was more scared by what could have happened than by what actually did.

We all got out and were okay. The police came and made an accident report. My car was drivable once I put the spare on (though I think the frame is bent). The car I hit needed a tow. By the time we were on our way, Avi was pretty upset. Not over having been in the accident anymore. She was just tired of being in the car and had to use the restroom.  One of the officers cheered her up by talking with her and giving her a police sticker. That was a wonderful gesture and Avi focused on that thing until we got home.

When I called Ann later in the day, initially she was concerned with the things I would have been yesterday. The insurance rates going up, the payments for a new car, or the hassle of getting ours repaired. Then, I think it hit her in the way it hit me. Our daughter was not on life support in the ICU. Her husband was not dead. And a new car or increased payments is a minor inconvenience in comparison. In fact, I’m thrilled to have those problems in exchange for the alternative.

If you got to throw your problems on the table with everyone else you know. Chances are, after seeing all the problems on the table, you’d want your own back. I got the chance to have my own back. I will be fine with my difficult patients. I’ll make the time to fix that sink. I may not always love where I am or what’s happening. But today I love the opportunity to have those problems.

Perhaps your day’s been rough today. Perhaps it hasn’t. Like me, you’re going to have days in the future that are rough.  But if you’re going home and your healthy and have access to people who love you, you’re doing great.

Regardless of that _______ (fill in the blank)