Where Lies The True Injury?

It crossed our plate recently that someone in our circle of acquaintances was in an accident. It was an accident while falling out of a moving vehicle they braced themselves for the impact by holding out their hands to stop themselves. Hands, wrists, and head collided first with the opposing windshield as everything came to a stop. Now granted, I wasn’t there but I am describing this as I best heard it described to someone else.

The main point is this. The outcome of this injury was fractured wrists that required surgery. That is a painful outcome. But as I watched and listened to people talk about the accident and the injury to the the wrists, I started to hear something even more dangerous that the injury to the wrists and the ensuing surgery. I heard this…

“At least that’s all that was hurt in the accident.”

Many Hands, Light Work

A patient just this afternoon shared what happened at her house over the weekend. She had twenty people from her church come over to their house and they all worked together to do yard work, including tearing out years of overgrown raspberry bushes and tearing out a old deck and building a new one.

And when they all worked together it happened very fast. in fact they were done in one day. Wow. That’s the power of many units working together for the mutual benefit of the whole.

Your spine is composed of twenty-four vertebrae. Together they are not only responsible for your height and posture, but they work best when they are working together. That is a very important concept to remember, because if even one of them decides to not pull it’s own weight in it’s motion or alignment, then the rest of them have to work harder. And what happens to anything that has to work harder that it was intended for? It breaks down faster.

Many Moving Parts

For those of you that don’t know yet, one of my many extra curricular activities is participating in local community theater. Whenever a show is being put together there is a director, stage manager, costume designer, actors, musicians, music director, and many, many more. There are hundreds of hours of rehearsals and projects that transpire for months before a show eventually hits the stage.

Then you arrive. Hopefully what you see is a polished and entertaining end result of all those moving parts working seamlessly together. You laugh. You cry. You are filled with emotions, walking a little taller because of the experience. That, of course, would be a healthy outcome.

You see the healthy end product. What you don’t see is all the hours leading up to it. What you don’t see are the most important parts of the production.

Manufacturing 101

Recently I had the distinct privilege of participating in one of our local “Principal For A Day” programs. Which essentially meant that I spent an entire day at one of our local high schools meeting the administration and walking through different classrooms meeting teachers and students alike. Getting an inside look at what’s going on in our school systems.

One of the classrooms was as class on manufacturing. The classroom was decked out in 3D printers, computers, rulers, posters of bridges, geodesic domes, and skyscrapers. And on a white board near one corner of the room was written what appeared to be the basics of manufacturing anything. Frame. Function. Then Aesthetics. And in that specific order.

Let’s discuss this in regards to your health.

Most Importantly Frame

A 55’ Chevy truck is the dream that the wife has had for years. The husband was taught about fabrication as a child from his father and has grown up understanding the intricacies of custom car design. They have had the body of this rig in one of their garages for years and it is the time to get started on the “project.” The plan is to lower the body to the ground and put a 80’s corvette engine under the hood. Then give it a beautiful blue paint job.

Where he’s at in the project now is tending to what he calls the most important part. The frame. The conversation was intriguing. He shared that the engine, tires, suspension…pretty much everything else putting the car together is the easy part compared to the frame. He showed me a whiteboard that had what looked to be math equations and measurements. I asked him to explain further.

Averting Disaster

It was shared with me recently that a friend was coming back from a vacation. It was a long plane flight. He shared that before the plane even took off the runway that the pilot came over the intercom and shared that the first two hours of the flight should be smooth sailing, but then there is likely to be some mild…no moderate turbulence.

Thanks for the heads up was the thoughts that crossed his mind. However two hours into the flight, the first few hints of rocky air hit them. It didn’t stop. The plane bounced very steady for the next twenty minutes that seemed an eternity before what came next. Three severe shifts of the plane. A tragic jolt to the left followed by an immediate sharp shift to the left. Then the drop. The plane went down quickly causing everyone on the plane to gasp out loud sharply. It was likely that even the most seasoned air traveller was deeply concerned what was going to happen next.

Ahead Of The Wave

On a trip to a beach in Hawaii that was known for it’s outstanding waves that are ideal for bodysurfing it was seen two different types of bodysurfers. 

There was one who kept constant watch for the approach of the waves and knew from observation and experience when to jump, which was seconds ahead of the wave. He could almost do this flawlessly. When he jumped ahead of the wave, he rode it like a superhero all the way into the beach with a huge smile on his face. Energized and with joy he ran/swam back into the depths to get ready to do it again.

Not Frozen

On a drive back home from Leavenworth, Washington in the middle of January, I couldn’t help but notice an interesting detail about nature. Where the ponds and the lakes were frozen over, the Wenatchee River was still fluid and still moving.

Now most people know the reason why. Because there is motion in the running river, it makes the water in the river much more difficult to freeze over. The sedentary waters of the nearby ponds and lakes however don’t have the benefit of constant motion. When the temperature drops, they always will freeze over before the the water flowing do. Usually way before the flowing waters do.

There is something powerful and alive about motion. It’s the first indicator of life over death. The chest rising up and down. The heart beating. Lungs breathing. It’s the living that walk up to the stationary open casket to view a loved one that has moved on. It’s not the other way around.