Today I saw a very interesting question on Quora, the online forum for knowledge and information exchange. It went something like this (approximately), “Have you experienced any hardship in life?”
This is a question that is extremely pertinent to the harrowing time that I am going through at present. On the 7th of June, 2017, courtesy a fanatical, irresponsible and uncaring taxi driver, I was involved in a horrific car accident. This mishap shattered my pelvic bone and socket and I had to undergo an emergency surgery having the exotic nomenclature “Open Reduction Internal Fixation of the Right Acetabelum”. In layman terms I had both dislocated and fractured my hip. Before being transported to the hospital I was lying on the pavement of a bustling intersection in Kuala Lumpur for more than an hour pondering both my pain and future. Paradoxically I was a mere 5 minutes away from my destination, a boisterous place for dining and drinking. A surgery that lasted almost 6 hours, 4 months of painful rehabilitation, 39 books, days and days of mental trauma later, I went for an evaluation with my surgeon. All he had to tell me was that it was only a matter of time before a condition called avascular necrosis would set in that would lead to me having to undergo a total hip replacement surgery! Yes yet another bloody torturous operation!
But the catch here is one that resembles a Greek tragedy or Hobson’s choice. To prolong the possibility of a second surgery I am advised not to engage in any impact inducing activity (with the exception of swimming which alas i am completely inept at), and to perpetually use a cane as a companion. Stairs are to be avoided like the plague and using public transport becomes an exercise in absolute discomfiture. However a total hip replacement surgery would mean that I can rehabilitate quickly and resume my normal activities, but the ceramic ball and the titanium rod that would take the place of my current implant would last all of 10–15 years. So the choice for me is to keep limping with a sole objective of avoiding a scenario that would enable me walk straight and comfortably like a normal homo sapien.
Thus I would need to stoically bide my time taking care that I do not disturb the implant currently holding my battered femoral head in place, at the same time wishing to hell that the bloody thing falls off sooner rather than later so that I can go under the dreaded scalpel yet again but emerge a ‘walking man”! Now how does this change my perception about life? Do I spend my time in a spell of uncontrolled anger ranting and raving at all the Gods that might be in general but reserving my unreserved fury for the maniacal taxi driver? Or do i resign myself to my fate but in a despondent and dejected manner eliciting loads of sympathy from kith, kin and kindred souls and perpetually bemoaning my predicament? Alternatively do I take this opportunity to avail myself of all preferences and advantages that a society bestows upon a less able citizen, such as sailing through to the front of every ticketing counter and procuring privileged appointments in various public offices?
The most rational, albeit difficult thing for me to do would be accept the events that have occurred as an unfortunate although not unavoidable (as I could have demanded the driver to drive with more caution and care) contrivance of circumstance and deliberate action and live with the consequences without brooding over the cause. Live with an enhanced degree of inspired happiness and cheer. Continue meeting friends and spend quality time with family. Live each day as it is supposed to be lived and cross every bridge only when I get to it! In every circumstance of adversity shines a ray of iridescence, whose brightness puts paid to the devious intentions of darkness and gloom. When compared to a million other unfortunate fellow human beings, I am still in a position that can be considered enviable even. I still possess the use of all my limbs and a faculty that enables me to make sense and sentience. With this realisation, its time to make a resolution to remain optimistic and positive.
Right now it’s time to down a beer to welcome yet another beautiful day!