Boston Recovery: Surviving Sudden Trauma

April 23, 2013
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sudden trauma

Photo Credit: John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe/AP

sudden trauma

Photo Credit: John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe/AP

The horror at the Boston Marathon finish line was felt around the world. I was shaken by the explosions in my home in Barcelona, where I now live, as I was a long-time marathoner. My son, Ari, is an elite marathon runner but opted not to run in Boston this year. Had Ari been there he would have been with his 78-year-old Seattle running club team member, Bill Iffrig, of Lake Stevens, Wash. He’s the elderly gentlemen wearing the orange singlet in a photo that went viral showing him as he was blown down by the blast. Fortunately, he was not seriously hurt. But the incidents in Boston brought death to some families and serious, long-term injuries to others, and now the healing and recovery process is underway.

In this blog I have written many times about people with chronic illness. We’ve given advice about getting second opinions and taking control of your “journey” right from the start. But when there’s an explosion, or a shooting, or a terrible accident, like the Texas one at the fertilizer plant, there’s no planning. In an instant your or a loved one’s health status may be changed forever. Surgeries, medications, medical devices and equipment, doctor visits, and rehabilitation may be part of your life for many years if not for the rest of your life. Like those with cancer, you become part of the world of “survivors.”

Boston bombing recovery

Photo Credit: www.baa.org

We question a lot about our healthcare system: how much things cost, is there too much marketing, can we really trust what we are being told. But when there’s a sudden event as we’ve just seen, it brings out the best in healthcare professionals and we owe them a debt of thanks.

Those of us living with chronic illnesses or cancer are reminded of our bond with trauma victims who are plunged into a changed life in the medical system just like we were with our diagnosis. And like Bill Iffring, the 78-year-old runner, when knocked down most of us will do all we can to get back up and get back in the race.

I welcome your comments and pray for a strong recovery for those who were injured.

Wishing you and your family the best of health!

Andrew

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