by Robert Wilkinson
A week ago I almost died in a devastating accident caused by a reckless person in too much of a hurry. (No, I wasn't the one who created this mess!) After a week of reflection, it seems to be another Twilight Zone experience for yours truly.
A bit of personal history. I've had more than my share of completely bizarre beyond explanation experiences this life. These are not garden variety weird events - these are events that cannot be explained by any normal means, most of which are way outside of any statistical norm. With some of these experiences, truly an invisible hand seemed to be calling the shots.
I learned a long time ago that for better or worse, if there's a 1 in 10,000 chance of something happening and I'm involved, it happens to me with amazing regularity. That has made for some exquisitely painful experiences, as well as some awe inspiring spiritual ones. These have taught me the wisdom of John Lennon's immortal line, "Life is just what happens to you, While you're busy making other plans."
This accident was a bolt out of the blue. Though there were astrological indicators - aren't there always? - they were not something that one would infer would lead to almost getting killed. Obviously had I thought this would be a day when something this extreme would happen, I would have kept that in the forefront of my mind.
He made a bonehead illegal left turn across 4 lanes. I was in the right most lane coming up to make a right turn. I was hit square between the left front wheel well and my door panel, with the primary impact being the axle to the driver window area. He was going so fast it totaled my 2 ton truck, bent the frame 45 degrees, and pushed the truck into a small car and driver that had the misfortune of being at a side road waiting to make a right turn, taking out his whole front end. Neither he nor I ever saw each other coming, due to other large vehicles waiting for a light to change, blocking our view.
He came out of nowhere. It is unnerving to find someone else's windshield literally 4 inches from your face. I forced the passenger side door open (it was dented from the impact of being pushed into the small car) and staggered over to the other driver, who obviously wasn't happy that he had created such massive wreckage. He could not or would not give me his license, insurance, registration, or what company the vehicle supposedly belonged to.
So I wobbled to the back to get his license plate (always do that!) and was immediately approached by the paramedics. They checked me out, and figured I needed to go to a medical center for x-rays, so I was quickly put into the ambulance on a board and strapped down. They discharged me about 3 hours later. As an aside, while in the ambulance waiting to go to the medical center the paramedic told me that had the impact been even 12 inches further back, I'd be a long term resident of the hospital, if not the morgue. I have no doubt that had I been in a smaller car, I could very well be dead or crippled.
What's so bizarre about this incident is that it exactly parallels another incident I experienced in late 2007, but then it was my wife who got hit rather than me. Without going too much into those details, here are the parallels:
Both incidents happened during a Mars retrograde. Both times we were out of town. She was driving a two year old silver car, I was driving a two year old silver truck. We both got hit EXACTLY the same place on our vehicles, with the exact same area taking the full brunt of the collision. Both times we were told that had we been hit even 12 inches farther back, we'd be crippled or dead. Both frames were bent at a 45 degree angle. She got hit by a car about the size of hers, I got hit by an oversized vehicle about the size of mine.
Both times the persons who hit us were going way too fast, not paying attention, and totaled both their own and our vehicles. Both times everyone got out of their vehicle relatively unhurt but obviously shaken up. (Yes, I know I went to the hospital, but ultimately was discharged with nothing permanently damaged.) Both times police were called, both accidents generated identical tickets, ambulances came, and both times I was on the road within a short time after the accident on the way home driving an oversized rental vehicle.
So I figure one more time my angels were on duty, and one more time I've used up one of my 9 lives (I am a Leo rising, after all!) So if you've wondered why I've been a bit gone the past week, well, there's been a ton of paperwork and reflection to do. Meditations too.
Which brings me to another thing I've been dealing with. I found out that likely my car insurance will not cover the entire cost of the ambulance and emergency room x-rays, even though the accident was not my fault. It seems they'll cover up to a certain amount, but then it's my health insurance that will have to cover the rest.
That means if the other guy doesn't have insurance (I have no idea whether he does or doesn't, since I was in the ambulance when the police were taking the personal information) then I have to deal with my health insurance with its copays, deductable, and other nonsense of the modern medical mess we call "health care insurance" in the US. It's very discouraging trying to figure out who will pay what, if something is covered or not, and being told that if I want any follow up diagnosis of things that could be related to the accident, I get to pay out of my own pocket. That got me to wondering just how much this accident would ultimately cost me, despite having both car and health insurance.
Anyway, today I was reading a political column, and a comment stuck out as hitting the nail on the head regarding what we call "health care" in our country. It expresses where my head and heart are at. While I'm not into any strident debates about what our government is or is not, should or should not be doing, I felt that everyone could reflect on what this commenter said and come to a more compassionate view of our human dilemma. And for the record, I believe we should get ALL for-profit insurance companies out of health care. We ALL deserve the best health care (not "health insurance") our society can provide.
Here's an amazing comment on health care by a person calling themselves "noacoler." He raises some interesting philosophical questions about why this debate on this important issue is happening.
As long as the topic is healthcare .. my position is that medical care is too important to leave to the caprice and the vicissitudes of the marketplace. We will all need it, many of us will need it more desperately than we have ever needed anything, and all of us will know people who do. Some of us will lose those we love to medical problems that could have been solved with enough money. Medical care has been and is at will be at the center of the most emotionally wrenching times of our lives.
So to those who say, "tough" and "deal with it" and all that, please, just go away. Such heartlessness is horrible and loathsome. Go find some other way to be shocking.
I wonder .. if liberals weren't so increasingly contemptuous of the failures and excesses of capitalism, would conservatives still revere it? Is defending insurance companies anything more than defiance? Are the stark failures of capitalism truly invisible to you, or is it just more hatred of liberals?
Because in the case of health care, capitalism has failed. Failed utterly, failed completely. That free markets have produced the best healthcare in the world for the very rich cannot in any measure compensate for its failure to reach everyone, as it certainly could, and as it does where markets are not allowed to tread.
Many of you will lose those you love to cancer. All of you will see your parents lose their vigor and descend into infirmity. Some of you will bury your own children. All of you will see people declining into death from ailments that could be relieved. Or cured. Most of you will care. The others are sick.
It's a pity healthcare has fallen right across the chasm of our end times struggle with ideology, it's a pity that it has to be "Obamacare" instead of what it should be: our very lives.
Posted by: Noacoler | March 2, 2010 2:09 AM (Comment courtesy of the WaPo)
Anyway, I'm glad to be here. Glad we're all here. And from here we go forward. I guess Spirit has more work for me to do while I'm alive...
© Copyright 2010 Robert Wilkinson