Wonderfully Intact

There’s nothing like a full-day first aid course to make one feel both terribly fragile and wonderfully intact.

An unexpected benefit of taking a first aid course yesterday was the tide of gratitude I felt wash over me each time the class explored yet another horrific way to be injured or to become ill. When we explored heart attacks in all their forms, I thought about my heart. Sometimes it palpitates and falls out of rhythm, and occasionally it beats faster than it should for longer than it should. Mostly, though, my heart has served me very well for nearly half a century now. I found myself thinking, “Thanks, heart. I vow to treat you with more consideration from now on.”

Bone and joint injuries got me thinking about the time in Grade 7 when I’d tripped during a soccer game and suffered a hairline fracture on my ankle. It healed within a couple of weeks. I thanked my skeleton for all the ways it moves me and for the strength of its bones and the flexibility of its joints, the reasons for the mobility I take for granted.

Strokes caused me to consider my circulatory system and how it keeps me going without my thought or interference. I remembered my Grandpa Knutson who suffered a series of debilitating strokes that finally attacked the speech centre in his brain, leaving him frustrated and unable to verbally communicate. I remembered him struggling to express ideas and speaking gibberish instead. I remembered his tears and felt profoundly grateful for the years I’ve lived without experiencing a stroke, and felt thankful for the advances made in the treatment of strokes.

Of course, anything can happen to any one of us at any time, but that’s not usually something I think about. Because I don’t think a lot about the suddenness or randomness of illness and accidents, I’m not afraid to leave my house or to drive or to travel. I’m not afraid to try new foods or new activities. Most of the time, I’m simply not that afraid of being injured or getting sick.

While the first aid course did make me feel a little more skittish about the dangers all around me, at the same time, I felt lucky to have dodged as many bullets as I have this far along the road of life. I have lived a really fit and healthy, safe and fortunate life. By the close of the course, I felt better-equipped to face emergency situations and more aware of my own good health and especially of my own good luck.

To feel wonderfully intact, please move in a safe manner over to www.loriknutson.com.

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