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Lessons from a chainsaw

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It’s not everyday you almost cut your leg off with a chainsaw, is it?

Since my close encounter with the blade of that awesome beast I’ve rediscovered there are two types of people in the world. Not quite the glass half empty, glass half full, but a take on that. Those that believe I’m lucky and those that respond with ‘How awful’. Roughly 40/60.

And it’s been an interesting thing to watch. Because what I’ve noticed is that those people with predisposition toward seeing the good in life apply the same to me. They see me as lucky. A massively deep wound across the knee but miraculously I didn’t hit either bone or any major blood vessels. But then there are those people who have a predisposition toward the negative. And their response is always about how terrible this injury is.

The triage nurse probably put it best. Waiting for 5 hours in a fair bit of pain is not the way I normally like to spend a Saturday evening. And I don’t think the hospital staff would have taken too kindly to the bottle of red (I would have preferred to be enjoying at home with friends) as medicinal. But as she said when we enquired about the wait, you don’t want to be in there behind the closed doors. Why? Because the people in there are much worse than you. Take the guy who busted his leg with the bone sticking out. Puts it all in perspective, doesn’t it. They want to put a sign up in emergency only the hospital won’t let them. Something to the effect of ‘If you’re still waiting, be grateful, because it means you’re not dying’.

In the days following, I have learned even more. I could have cancelled the gig in Adelaide and stayed at home for instance. But with nothing to distract me I’d only have felt every throb for four days straight. Much better to be out doing the things I love to do. Of course I had to explain my leg elevated on a bar stool. Bit hard to ignore. But as it happens there at the gig we had a woman trained as a nurse offering to help me dress the wound each day. Armed with compression bandages and sterile dressings she dressed my leg each day as only an expert can. What an incredible gift. But the thing I am most in awe of, is that she spoke of how much she valued the opportunity to give back to Mary and me for the things that she had learned over the last five years and how it had changed her life. I am truly humbled. If I’d stayed at home and moped I wouldn’t have received this gift… and nor would she.

How lucky are you?