Health: One of our greatest and most overlooked blessings (Blog post)
To set the scene and cut a long story short, I did something stupid and had to go for an X-ray thinking something was broken. The purpose of writing this isn’t to highlight the stupidity of my actions or to reflect on how ridiculous it sounds trying to explain them to healthcare staff (though such messages do make a good side moral to the story).
The point was that sitting in that waiting room, I am sure I am not alone in saying that waiting in the hospital environment is often intimidating and uneasy, not uncommonly because of what is associated with being in hospital. Accidents. Illnesses. Emergencies. Deaths.
Sitting there always brings things back into perspective, looking around and in my case always feeling that whatever I went in for always seemed trivial compared to the tribulations of many others in that room with me. It’s better to be safe than sorry, but more often than not there is a feeling of sorriness for being there. The same thoughts seem apparent whenever I’d been before, and seeing the range of conditions and accidents. Work experience in a hospital for a week also emphasised these images; how large the hospitals are, how many people are admitted and how there’s the constant demand and need for the betterment of health.
What strikes me as well is when you watch many such documentaries on bereaving families, or individuals coping with a specific condition, how in some cases it just… happens. No warning signs. The day that someone suffered a condition that changed his or her lives, or, a diagnosis from which it dawns on an individual that they have suddenly become limited or restricted, the previously most trivial of tasks that weren’t given a second thought in our existence suddenly become something that is beyond their capabilities, distressing for the individual and the people around them that have to adapt. It goes without saying these can be immensely trying ordeals where the patience and courage of the individuals, families and carers are tested to the core. And ultimately, we all have to deal with it in some way at some point in our lives.
Many of the people that have seemed in control in life, who were often described by others in positive light can become depressed, or become drug users, or suicidal and so forth as the result of their inability to cope with such traumas. We don’t know or often care to know why a drug user became a drug user, or an alcoholic became such but it’s common that emotional stress and life-changing events was just a coping mechanism that went wrong. Not justifying the coping strategies, but we don’t know the stories of the individuals and their lives that lead to this spiral.
Yet no matter how often it is said, or you think about these abstract concepts in theory, you can’t run from them, nor prepare for the situations, until it becomes a reality that has to be dealt with. The prospect that you never know how you would change as a result of a particular tragedy or event. Perhaps the most intriguing thing is that the greatest gift we have is almost always overlooked. They say that you don’t realise a thing until it is gone and that really seems to be the case with our health. When we’re ill or suffering, we appreciate it’s importance and how we would give anything and everything to get it back. Yet when we do get it back, it isn’t long before we grow complacent and take it for granted again.