Saturday, September 24, 2011

Things Happen for a Reason

I was raised Catholic, but I have been nonreligious since college and consider myself agnostic today. That said, however, I've long believed that things happen for a reason. Even though we may not always understand those reasons (and the phrase itself may sound trite and cliched), I still think that it's true. I've had a few key examples from my own life (some in very recent history) that have supported this belief:
  • I quit my first "real" job after college because of incompetent and disrespectful management at the agency. I then took a long-term temp assignment that turned into a rewarding full-time job four months later with a salary significantly higher than I was making before.
  • I got laid off from my last job—in what was another less-than-ideal work environment—in May 2010 on the heels of completing my master's degree. I then had the most incredible summer that included a seven-day bike ride in California with my sister and that allowed time for me to relax and "detox" from the stress of grad school and an unhealthy job situation. Three and a half months later, I was hired by a world class organization. I now have a great boss and support system there.
  • I went for a bike ride one day after work in early August, which ended in an accident, concussion, a visit to the ER, and a two-night stay at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Through the tests conducted while I was in the hospital and the follow up MRI, it was discovered that I will probably need another heart surgery in the coming months.
I considered naming this blog How Bicycling Saved My Life, but it sounded a bit too over the top and dramatic. However, it may not be that far from the truth. One of the main reasons for all of the extra testing that I had during and after my stay in the hospital was because of my tetralogy of Fallot. When the attending physician discovered the sudden arrhythmia while I was still in the hospital, it sparked the question of whether or not an arrhythmia was the cause of my bicycling accident. After reviewing all of the test results, both the cardiologist and the electrophysiologist were in agreement that the arrhythmia very likely did NOT cause the accident. Thus, it really seems that it was only a coincidence that my enlarged pulmonary artery (discovered during the cardiac MRI) was detected because my bicycling accent landed me in the hospital.

Like I said, I believe things happen for a reason! I don't pretend to know how or why they happen. But I believe that my bike accident happened so that this issue could be detected and addressed before it became an emergency situation. While I would have preferred a less dramatic way of getting the news, I am grateful nonetheless!

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