22 Jan 2015 | News

Please don’t let me die on Friday!

So here is the deal, early November I broke my collar bone and 6 ribs in an accident. Rushed to hospital and the surgeon says that they won’t operate on my collar bone as it is a really risky operation due to a major artery running just under the bone. No problem, except that after 4 weeks the collarbone is still miles apart and there is going to be no union.

I go to a private specialist (basically the only one who could fit me in before Christmas holidays – alarm bells start ringing) on Tuesday 2nd of December. He takes one look at my x-ray and says that the bones will not get back together on their own and I need to have an operation.

He goes on to look in his diary and says that he operates on Fridays and there is a slot available for me, just sign the indemnity waiver form, pay a few thousand dollars and all is good. Alarm bells start going off – big time now. I say that I have read and heard that it is a risky operation. To this he replies it is as there is a high chance of cutting the artery and if this happens then it will more than likely result in death! No problem!

As I am fascinated with statistics I ask him what would be the odds of that happening? His reply was 1 in 1000! Basically I am told on Tuesday that I have a high chance that I will not be alive on Saturday morning. Consider this, if you only counted people who go to beaches, a person’s chance of getting killed by a shark in the USA (which has the highest incident of shark attack in the world) is less than 1 in 264.1 million.

This was not looking good for me as I really like my weekends – especially Saturday morning. Surely it would be better to die on a Monday than a Friday? Why not operate on Monday?

But seriously, what goes through your brain when you have a significantly high chance of not waking up from an operation?

The first thing I thought of was that there are still things that I want to do in my life. I was actually cross with myself. Why had I not done more of the things that mean a lot to me?

Part of the answer, I believe, is complacency. We take certain rights, privileges and opportunities for granted. We become complacent into thinking that they will still be there tomorrow when we history shows us that they may not. Often the disappearance of them is due to some external factor that is out of our personal control.

So what can we do about it? I guess it comes down to the individual. My question to you would be, what would you do differently today if you knew that tomorrow you would not be here?

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