My Misfortune – A Blessing In Disguise

On the 2nd of November last year I had a fairly major mountain bike accident. The resultant complications and additional surgery changed my life for 3 months. I spent the summer not being able to swim, surf or ride. My freedom was curtailed in the fact that I could not drive anywhere.

For those of you who know me, my life revolves around being able to do these activities. So much so that my family knows that I get cranky if I don’t get out and exercise. So for me this was one of the worst periods I have been through for a long time. In fact the only time that was worse for me was the 2 months I spent in bed with Hepatitis in the late 80’s. It has certainly been an extreme test of my patience, and yes, I do need to apologise to my family.

The irony is that this terrible accident saved my life!

The other day I was thinking about what prompted me to see a dermatologist to have my skin checked. About 2 months before my accident I had seen a mole on my neck change shape. It had changed but I didn’t think about having it checked out. My thought process was that if I go to the doctor and, on the off chance, he has to remove it, I will not be allowed to bike or surf for a week or two. So I left it.

After the accident and the surgery I made an appointment to go and see the dermatologist. The logic was simple. My active life is in complete disarray and I can’t do the activities I enjoy. If they did have to make an incision and it required stitches then this was a good time to do it.

The dermatologist took a look at the skin on my neck and said that he was not concerned with it but that there was a mole on my back that needed priority removal. This mole was a malignant melanoma that had already started to spread. If I had left it, it would have spread more and they are aggressive in nature.

The reality is, if I had not had the accident, I wouldn’t have gone to the dermatologist! In a funny twist of fate, the accident saved me!

This makes me think about a number of “bad” incidences that happen in our lives. At the time we think the sky has fallen on our heads. Often, somewhere in there is a blessing in disguise. I have a number of stories that I have heard from people where this has been the case. A similar case is a TED Talk video my Stacey Kamer – check it out, it is only 3 minutes and pretty powerful.

When has a bad experience turned out to be a blessing in disguise for you?