Trauma

It is the title of this month’s rotation. In practice, it is more than that. It is lives changing in an instant. It is the careless slip of the wheel beneath a distracted driver’s hands, the slightest swerve of a motorcycle to avoid a bump in the road. It is lives that will never be the same again. In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it is easy to forget how quickly the world spins into catastrophe.

A young girl, without a seatbelt, drives into a tree and is now unable to move her legs. An older gentleman, riding a motorcycle without a helmet, no longer remembers what year it is. A high school athlete, driving drunk in the middle of the night, now lies in the hospital incapacitated – three of his limbs splinted, immobile. A pedestrian, in a moment of impulse, runs across the street and is hit head-on by an oncoming car. He does not survive.

Trauma. It strikes at all hours of the day and night. It happens in the blink of an eye, and the world shifts permanently.

Do not drive drunk. Wear your helmet. Do not get distracted by the moth in your car. Do not text while driving. Do not eat while driving. Do not let your anger get the best of you – pull over, cool off, then continue on. Do not let anyone interfere with your concentration. Do not get in the car with an unsafe driver. Do not take your seatbelt off 30 seconds before the car is parked.

Always, always wear your seatbelt. Never, never let your eyes leave the road. Do not take this 5 minute trip home for granted. Do not assume that you will be saved. Be safe. Take care of this fragile, precious vessel – the human body. It is not as durable as you might imagine, or wish.

Perhaps we do not educate children enough about the importance of these messages. Perhaps it would not make a difference.

We will never have the chance to exchange our bodies for another one . The spinal cord does not fix itself. The brain does not heal so easily. Our eyes – they are our once chance at vision on this earth. Do not forget these things. Remember them, act on them, before it is too late. There is no second chance.

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