Thursday, April 8, 2010

Lessons from the emergency room.

I have so much on my mind tonight - after sleeping for most of the day, I'm having a hard time connecting the dots in my mind.  Last night's shift in the ER was slow, steady, smooth, except for a couple of blips on the radar.  I'm recalling a lot of blips from my time there so far - and I have a few things to share.  When you see the sorts of things I and my coworkers see on a daily basis, you either get a real sick sense of humor, or you learn things about people and life that you never thought you would - you gain insights that you never knew you could see.  Many of us do both.  This is a short list of some of the things I've learned or as Oprah would say, things I know for sure.
  • Whatever divide there is in your family, close it up.  There's nothing quite so final as death, and death can come at any given moment for any one of us - seriously - so if you've done or said something along the way or even if someone you love did or said something horrible to you, now's the time to forgive and try to move forward.  You cannot do that indefinitely.  Do it while you can.  I've seen several people cry and wail and scream because things didn't end right with them and the person lying on the gurney.  That's a horrible scenario that can be avoided if you can get past the small stuff.  Decide what's more important -  your love for that person and what they once meant to you, or the thing that's wedged between you. 
  • Drugs are bad.  Very, very bad.  Drugs destroy individuals, families, societies.  They cost a lot of money and you'll wind up losing everything that's important to you, if anything is.  There are folks out there that literally have nothing left in their life - no one who will have anything to do with them anymore - no house, no money, no car, no job, no nothing - not even their own teeth, and their free fall started with drugs.  I realize this is simplistic, but seriously - stay away from drugs of any kind.  
  • Suicide is never an answer.  Even if your life sucks, having your body autopsied and shoved in a casket will suck worse.  Most importantly please realize that life can usually get a lot better for you if you only realize that you're in control.  If you can control things enough to pull the trigger or to take a handful of pills, then you can control it enough to dial the U.S. National Suicide prevention help line, 1-800-273-8255.  But should you decide to take your own life anyway, please do not call your family first to tell them what you are about to do.  That is THE most selfish thing you could ever do, even more so than killing yourself.  Think about the people you will leave behind and what they have to live with. 
  • If you feel funny, off, sick, or just not "yourself" lately, please make an appointment with your doctor and get yourself checked out.  Do not ignore the warning signs of an impending heart attack or stroke, like left sided chest pain that radiates down the arm or into your jaw or super high blood pressure.  If you have a lump in your breast or a funny looking mole, please call your doctor.  So many people wait until the last minute, until it's way too late to do anything other than give you a couple of radiation treatments and some morphine - or until you've had a heart attack and die or you've had a stroke and your quality of life is now forever changed.  Don't wait.  That feeling in your gut that's telling you that something isn't quite right - listen to it, that's your survival instinct talking to you.  Don't put that burden of "making" you go to the doctor on your family.  Be a grown up and do it yourself.  
  • Stop smoking now.  I don't care if you've smoked for 20 years, stop now.  Have you ever seen the fear in a person's eyes when they can't breathe?  Can you imagine having a pillow over your face and smothering to death?  Seriously, there are lots of ways out there to quit.  And, think of all the money you'll save.  Smoking causes cancer and people DIE from smoking every single day - close to 1,200 every day in the U.S.  
  • Get an education.  The more you know, the better your life has the chance to be.  You're much less likely to die in a knife-fight, or go to prison, and you'll be able to depend on yourself for facts and information that can make or break you.  Stupidity does not pay.  Find a meaningful way to spend your time on the planet.  Finish high school and go to college if you can.  
My rant for the night.  Leave comments if you agree, disagree, or have sumthin' to say!

1 comment:

(¯`•._.•[Raajii]•._.•´¯) said...

aww.. yes I hope people listen. I know I do :-).
Thank you :-)