Friday, October 12, 2007

No, Accidents Really Do Happen!

If you were to Google the title of this blog, the site that appears right above mine* is a quasi New Thought tract that suggests there are no such things as accidents, and that I caused my own fall due to some lapse of attention, lack of sleep or emotional disturbance. Sorry, guys, "The Secret" or not, I just don't believe in the "Laws of Attraction". If I had such powers I would have saved the planet by now.

I guess I'm one of those touchy sorts who takes offence at the suggestion that it was the powers of my mind that caused a cloth bag to suddenly thrust itself between the spokes of my front tire. But since I have the time to obsess over the details of the accident, I have considered why it happened when and where it did.

I didn't mention it before, but I have had one previous bike accident, a couple of years ago. I ended up with a Grade III separation of my right shoulder that has left me with some weakness, often resulting in fatigue and pain when I overwork the muscles. Now consider this - In this most recent accident, I was two blocks short of completing a ride that had taken me over the Second Narrows bridge and back again. I hate crossing that bridge - the path is narrow and traffic is disconcertingly close - so I focused and rode very carefully, gripping my handlebars tight. By the time I reached the intersection where I fell, my shoulder and back were aching. Perhaps it is possible that to relax the muscles I changed the position of my grip (the witness does say I seemed to swerve) causing the bag to tip into the wheel. Could the previous accident have been a factor in this much more serious one that just happened?

I have wondered why if people have been injured, they often have subsequent injuries in the same area of the body. If you were to subscribe to the wobbly thinking that suggests the powers of the mind attract what happens to us it might seem like we want to get hurt over and over again, but in this kind of case it is more likely that where there's a weakness, there's a greater chance of being re-injured in that same place.

*I won't link this, but the heading is Question of the Month.


Nannie Leick said...

I, too, find it rather difficult to subscribe to the belief that two cars colliding on a wet road and people becoming injured as a result, or someone busy looking for something in their bag walking into a wall, was brought on by the power of negative thought. If accidents don’t happen, there probably wouldn’t be a word for it in any vocabulary or language. True, there are ways to prevent accidents and to protect ourselves once they have happened to us, but there can be no denying that accidents and injuries resulting from them can and do happen every day, and it’s not through mind power, just an unfortunate series of events.

Nannie Leick

floozina said...

I agree. Accidents can and do just happen. Mine happened when my husband and I were leaving a Chinese restaurant after lunch, walking down the stairs to the street. My heel caught on some loose carpet and down I went, some 6 or so stairs on my bum, finishing up on my bottom and right elbow. The heel from my shoe had come off and was lying forlornly on the carpet at the bottom of the stairs. At the time, I actually experienced very little reaction: some stiffness for a day or two and that was it. My pride was more severely damaged, especially as people asked with a leer, what I had been drinking with lunch. That thought hadn't occurred to me as I always had jasmine tea with Chinese food and I found this reaction offensive. Sensitive little soul? You bet. OK. Long story short: a year later all hell broke out in my arm, shoulder and neck. Diagnosis: trauma from the fall caused scarring on the artery and nerves. Surgery to correct, but pain continued. Final diagnosis (many years and much suffering later) is reflex sympathetic dystrophy, a condition where the nerves forget that the original injury has healed and continue with the pain messages. No cure, just pain meds, ultimately a pump in my abdomen that sends morphine into my spine constantly.
Sorry for the ramble, I sympathise with your plight and can empathise greatly. Australia and Canada apparently share such things as insufficiently funded health care (I was told a new pump would cost me upwards of $50 000 in a private clinic). And philosophically, it is impossible for people who have not experienced such a trauma to understand exactly what it is like for you. That, I am sorry to say, is a fact of life that we need to get used to. I am pleased you feel that there is much you can do for yourself: ultimately your fate is almost entirely in your hands. Medical science can only do so much and your mind is more powerful medicine than anything they can dish out.
I shall get off the soapbox now and let you have some rest.

BTW I found my way here via Arlee Barr's blog, a happy accident for me.