Friday, October 7, 2011

"Not Dead" Day

Yesterday was October 6th.  Every year this day is special to me.  Thirty years ago on October 6th two things happened:  Anwar Sadat was shot and I cheated death.  I have vivid memories of that day.  I had just left a patient's house where we watched the news about Sadat's shooting.  I attempted to turn left out of their driveway onto a twisty two lane road and was hit broadside in the driver's door by a large truck.  It's amazing that I'm still here and even more amazing that my oldest son is alive.  I was pregnant with him at the time.  My injuries were extensive and I was told to expect to miscarry.  The "compassionate" doctor told me not to worry- that 33% of all first trimester pregnancies miscarry.  What he failed to understand was that this pregnancy represented 100% of MINE.  The discipline of trauma medicine was in it's infancy, MRIs were not yet invented and uterine ultrasounds were so new that they were performed by doctors as a procedure.  But, despite all that, seven months later I gave birth to a healthy baby boy who is the only other person who truly owns this "not dead" holiday.

So much could have changed that day.  I was fortunate to have survived the initial impact, to apparently have been small enough not to crush my unborn, to get good emergency care at the scene and then later at the hospital, to recover without consequence.  I have a few scars to remind me and sometimes I think my word finding difficulties might be related to the injuries, but none of this has prevented a full and productive life.

I'll go on celebrating "not dead" day on October 6th with a thankfullness for life and resolve to make each day count.

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