A demolished Chevy Vega in New York

Close Call

Where does pain originate?  Well, this automobile accident is one place. The hospital experience was described as a masterpiece of medical teamwork.  Three surgeons worked on different parts of my body simultaneously.

My mangled leg were the least of the doctors concerns.  This is a telling statement because how severely the leg was broken. There was a shattered knee cap (which had to be removed), a femur that looked like confetti and a split hip.

The hip was thought to be irreparable so amputation was the likely route. But there were bigger issues.

Hanging onto Life

Life was more pressing at this point.  There was a lacerated liver, lacerated spleen and broken ribs required an internist to work on my abdomen area. Simultaneously there was a plastic surgeon putting a hundred stitches throughout my face!

The next ten days were blank, unconscious, comatose. That night, among the other surgeons, the first orthopedic doctor had begun the plans for amputation of the leg.  But, the second orthopedic, who was awoken from sleep on the Thanksgiving Eve had a different idea.  Dr. Laurence Cohen had operated on my ankle the summer prior.  He knew of my athletic background and didn’t want to seem me hopping around on one leg.

So, he began operating and putting pieces back together.  There were a total of about twelve operations including the mid-section, head and face.  But, each doctor handled their job with excellence – truly nothing short of excellence.

Six weeks in the hospital seems like a long time, but it was miraculous healing considering the first estimates.  Youth and healing power were also on my side.  I am thankful for everything because the original prognosis was not good.

Life Trauma

Onward, the trauma from that crash is still with me. I feel the pain. I feel it when I walk. Running is not necessarily a joy. But, you gotta get over it. For me this is the distinction that I like to make is in this short excerpt from my book.

“The funny part about this accident is that it was like stumbling. You brush yourself off and get up.  An incident happens; you deal with it and move on.  The accident was little more than that. There was nothing heroic about it. I had the benefit of youth, healing and attitude. Within about six months I was walking. Six months later, I ran a 10k road race with the doctor who repaired my leg.”

I never had a moment where I say, “that was the day that I changed,”  because there was no such moment. I was who I was before the accident. I was who I was after.

There was just a stumbling block in between.  I got up, brushed myself off and went on living.  It didn’t become a flagship moment because that was not what defined me.  Caring for others is what, I felt, defined me.  This would be my drive as opposed to overcoming some pain from a car accident, alcoholism or a bad relationship.

Have you seen people experience pain in their lives?  Sometimes the pain becomes a catalyst for change in their lives.  Right? Their great tragedy becomes marketable. But, in life, most other people never actually hit rock bottom.  And, why should we have something bad happen in our lives to create something good? Again, a short excerpt from the book.

“…On one hand the thrill, happiness and appreciation I had when I saw someone smile and enjoy their life was my inspiration and drive.  But as good as I wanted to be, I knew that there was a force holding me back deep inside that I could barely see.  That force was dictating the amount of success that I would have, ultimately directing traffic.”

The force that is directing the traffic in your life is the subject of Goodology.