Luck and Experiments
"Urgent, Urgent - Emergency!"
- Foreigner, "Urgent"
"If it weren't for bad luck
I wouldn't have no luck at all"
- Cream, "Born Under A Bad Sign"
"I know, I know. We are Your chosen people. But, once in a while, can't You choose someone else?"
-Tevye, "Fiddler on the Roof"
Over the past couple of weeks we've visited the good old Emergency Room three times. Once for suspected fractured ribs (me), and twice for suspected broken fingers (others). Thank God, all three times there were no actual breaks, just bad "contusions" - the fancy label they like to use when you hurt like hell but have no cast for people to sign. In all three instances, we felt we had good reason to believe the injury was worse than its eventual diagnosis. But as on other such occasions since losing Aaron, I came out each time doubting my judgment, wondering if I've become incapable of responding to any medical situation as less than a crisis. And rather than each repetition helping me re-adjust to my former "normal" approach to illness, it further wears down my ability to cope with it at all.
To add to this, this week our dog Sandy had her turn. We came home Sunday from a rare family social outing, only to find the floor in the family room covered with dog-vomit. This was repeated ad nauseam (pun intended) - the poor mutt was unable to keep down any water or food. We called the vet's answering service and brought her in as soon as the office opened the next morning, expecting the worst. Luckily, she just had a bad case of gastritis, and after some treatment, was well enough to come home Tuesday am. She's been her usual sometimes frisky, mostly lazy self since then.
I know I should feel that all this bad luck is relative, the old "it could be worse" song. After all, all four medical crises ended up favorably. Were we "lucky" to have avoided disaster every time, or were we "unlucky" to be hammered with these multiple trials in the first place?
Sometimes I feel like we're part of some kind of experiment where every time we try to have fun, we get punished for it, like a rat that chooses the wrong path in a maze. I often remind myself that God has a plan that we're just not equipped to comprehend, anymore than that rat can understand why he has to run those mazes. But I do wish we could move to a new phase in the experiment, one with a bit more cheese and fewer electric shocks.