Parenting can be scary, and health can be fragile

Even in the best of times, raising two young children is stressful, hard work. With high hopes for our kids' future happiness, we strive to make smart parental decisions, always wondering whether we could be doing better.

But, even when you make all the right decisions, bad things sometimes happen.

This weekend, we made one trip to a doctor’s office and two trips to the emergency room, once via ambulance — my first call to 911 and my first ambulance ride — after our 1-year-old apparently had a severe allergic reaction to a virus. It was exhausting and stressful for us all. And it’s incredibly scary for a parent (or older brother) to watch their little sweetheart’s body turn red, blue and purple all over.

Lia appears to (finally) be slowly improving. And we all caught up a bit on our sleep deficits last night.

I had been planning to spend Friday doing our taxes but still haven’t gotten started. For the first time ever, I’m actually looking forward to this chore because my ability to do it will mean a return to normalcy.

And this incident reinforces how lucky every healthy person is to be healthy. We take our health for granted. But there are no guarantees in life. I was reminded of that watching Phil Mickelson strike a putt just as something blew down right in front of his ball, knocking it away from the cup. It’s a trivial occurrence, but a powerful metaphor for our lives. If you strike that putt 1,000 times, 999 times, nothing will fall right in the path of your ball. But you never know for certain.

We couldn’t function without automatically assuming the world is stable. We assume our house won’t get hit by a tornado while we’re sleeping. We assume we won’t suffer a heart attack tomorrow. We assume cars won’t veer off the road on onto the sidewalk, maiming or killing us. We assume our child won’t fall off the swing and land on their head. But, inevitably, bad things sometimes happen.

Isn’t that reason enough to embrace “socialized medicine”?

Posted by James on Monday, April 12, 2010