If you've read my blog, you no doubt have seen me talking about learning from mistakes. Some people understand quickly when life is trying to tell them something. Others need a little extra nudging. Some, however, are seemingly deaf when the universe is talking to them and need to be metaphorically slapped across the face with a chainsaw.
What's your favourite evening activity? Stay with me here, I'm going somewhere with this. Going out to a bar? Board game night with the family? Perhaps a movie and hot buttered popcorn? How about getting together with several friends to steal a car?
What, that's not your idea of a fun night? Well it was for two patients of mine this week. They (and a few other buddies) stole a car and took it for a joyride. Unfortunately the owner reported it stolen, and the police caught up to them. I guess these guys hadn't seen enough police chases on TV to know that running from the cops is stupid and almost always ends up with the car wrapped around a tree and/or them in handcuffs. It doesn't help that they're all teenagers. Brash, indestructible, and stupid.
The car ended up wrapped around a tree. Two of the victims came to my trauma bay. All the others died in the crash.
One of these young men (who was not wearing his seatbelt) is now in critical condition in my Intensive Care Unit with a large portion of his skull removed due to massive bleeding in his brain. There's a good chance he won't survive. The other young man (I should call him a kid since he's still a minor) WAS wearing his seatbelt and had not a single scratch on him. I kept him overnight for observation for his mild concussion, and when I went to see him the following morning, the police had already informed him of the death of his friends. I told him this is his big chance. This is your chance to make a change and turn your life around, I said. I almost begged him not to end up back in my trauma bay, because the next time he may not be so lucky. I told him this was his wakeup call.
I just hope he hears it and doesn't hit the snooze button. The universe can only talk to you but so loudly.