Courage to Make Lemonade

In Commentary, Opinion by Nadim Lalani3 Comments

I just found out that a colleague and mentor [to whom I owe much] had a skiing accident in which he broke his neck. It’s early days, but the outcome may not be so good. From what I hear he was joking around before going in for an 11-hour spine operation. He was joking about trying to take down a tree with his head [and was haggling a  price for the skis he now doesn’t need]! – I think that counts as an example of extraordinary courage.

I am sure he’s got a lot of dark days to come. He’ll need that courage. I have seen the despair that comes when the realization sets in. I wish there was a way that one could bottle moral support and pour a cup for a friend when they really need it. I am praying that he can have some sort of quality of life when he gets done with ICU and rehab.

It seems like the universe just picked on a beautiful  human being. Yes he was CAT skiing, but what about all the people that we see in the ER that get away with really stupid things like drink-driving then totaling their cars whilst wearing no seat-belts? [Not that one wishes harm to others], but it just seems like a raw deal.

It has, however, forced me to reflect on my own situation. I feel ashamed for all the times I have been frustrated when things weren’t going my way. My problems don’t even come close to this! I have always tried and ‘live in the now’ [by-product of having my father die when he was just 35], but tragedies like this affirm just how precious life [and good health] is. It needs to be cherished. We need to shake those who don’t value it.

Yesterday, I came across a news piece on Stephen Hawking and clicked on his website. Here’s Stephen’s take on Living with ALS. He has shown tremendous courage and the ability to roll with life’s trials and tribulations – and still have a seemingly full and meaningful life [albeit with a lot of help]. I so badly wish the same for my friend.

Lessons worth repeating:

  • You never really know what’s around the corner – so live in the now.
  • Your health is the most important gift you own – cherish it.
  • Most stuff we stress about is really NOT worth it.
Nadim is an emergency physician at the South Health Campus in Calgary, Alberta. He is passionate about online learning and recently made a transition into human performance coaching. He is currently working on introducing the coaching model into medical education.