Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Emergency Room Shock

It comes to us all, eventually.  You find yourself, with no warning, in the Emergency Room- dealing with a real, life-threatening, emergency.  Yours, or someone you love- the impact is much the same.

If you're not brain dead, you're experiencing it now.  The world financial system is steadily imploding, there's not one competent government left anywhere apparently (I used to think Canada- but...) and we seem to be staring into the Grand Canyon of life.

Looks like a long way down.

If there is any comfort to be had, it's this: people have survived this sort of thing before- and worse.  You can, too.

In the actual medical emergency room, that slowly dawns.  Now that the unthinkable has happened- what?  

Life goes on.

If you've already had your emergency room experience, you know- it's absolutely astonishing what people can survive.  And how strong some folks become, when it's required.

Hang in there.  


Lee said...

Not the whole world. Not yet. The US and its citizens do have a rather annoying habit of assuming that whatever is happening to them is basically the only stuff of importance, and that the US financial system is the whole world.

I think the next few decades are going to help the US *finally* realise that you're only 300 million people in a world of 6+ billion. You're simply a blip, that was once wealthy.

The rest of us (the majority) have our own issues and concerns, but the fall of Wall Street is your problem, not the whole worlds, although it will have repercussions. You have to deal with it now, not us.

The US is definitely experiencing some of the biggest changes, and I think you have the furthest road to travel, due to various policy decisions made a long time ago (no social security to speak of, hugely underfunded retirements, no savings, social capital in complete state of disrepair etc.) Right now I'm really, really glad I'm not American.

It is interesting to note that when the Soviet Union collapsed, things kept running and people generally weren't kicked out of their homes. I don't think it will be the same for the US, as everything is privatised.

I wonder at what point the rebellion will come, and what percentage of the population will be living on the streets? 30%? 50%? And what then?

I guess we'll find out soon enough. And then I guess all those tens of millions of guns in private and public hands could get real interesting.

I can't say the rest of the world didn't see this coming a long time ago. But I will say that our prayers are with those who prepared and planned, and who have not lived beyond their means these last few years. I hope there is enough social cohesion to keep things reasonably sane.

Blessings and good luck.

Beelar said...

For quite a few years I have remained calm before, during, and after such events. Partly it's probably due to having faced mortality before, and having it always within view. Maybe it's because I'm not paying close enough attention, but I like to think that's not the case.

A lot of it is probably because of very specific training you have given me, dad (Greenpa), regarding such things. "The world WILL bite you eventually," and paraphrased: really, seriously, and badly. You. A lot of this was driving home the point that "everyone" really does include ME. Which is often an unsettling thought, but being prepared, or just not panicking and continuing to function, is so extremely valuable in such situations. It's worth it, and thanks.

Everybody else who is reading this- it's true. The sooner, and more completely, and more constantly you get used to the thought that astounding disasters will happen to you, the better off you are. And "get used to" means really truly and emotionally accepting it. If you've never done so before, spend some real time thinking about it today, and this week (whenever you read this). It will do you good, and likely will eventually do everybody you know some good. Really.

Theresa said...

I had thought maybe Canada too, but nope, not with Harper at the helm.

At least now we're on the edge and can finally see the bottom, take a deep breath and do what needs doing.

WILDBLUESbysus said...

True. With the situation comes the strength to handle it. With the problem comes the answer.

Greenpa said...

Daharja- while there are plenty of people out there who are very US-centric, I'm really not one. Quite possible that I might sound that way from time to time, though, if I'm writing briefly and kind of skimming.

The Wall Street crash going on is a symptom of a global problem- which is why several international central banks are coughing up billions today, to try to slap a band-aid, quick, on that severed carotid artery.

Here's what's going on it the world- world poverty
"The number of people living "on the edge of emergency" has nearly doubled to 220 million in two years, Care says."

And, simultaneously; arms sales.

220 MILLION people with nothing to lose- more all the time- more than half of them new to that state. And lots of weapons being pushed all over.

It's global.

Squrrl said...

Having been in the actual emergency room twice in recent months (with the difference that neither problem was immediately life-threatening and both were resolved happily), this actually strikes me as a pretty good analogy. You hardly grasp that there's an actual emergency until you're already moving on to the next stage of the project.

On the whole, though, I'm finding I've dealt better with the small, immediate emergencies than the larger one...maybe it's just the time scale, though. For the larger emergency, I think I'm still in the "Oh sh!t this is an emergency, isn't it? Okay, what the heck do we do first?" stage. Still trying to convince myself that it really is necessary to cancel all appointments, so to speak, and pack it up for the trip to emergency-land.

Anonymous said...

dahara -- where are you living?


knutty knitter said...

we got so annoyed at the banks for on selling our smallish mortgage all over the world that we brought it home to a local only bank with its own assets.

The bank system is a mess if you ask me, all over the world and we just hope for the best. I'm afraid my business will go under as it is tourist based but I still hope my husband will be able to get work. We do have good family backup and doing without isn't anything new.

What I'd really like is for it to be over but I can't see that happening anytime soon. So we'll continue to muddle on as usual. Story of the whole world really.

viv in nz

Leila Abu-Saba said...

I've been to the emergency room a couple of times this year, too, but only because of minor crap that makes my cancer doctors worried... the real scary place is the quiet precincts of the cancer ward, the exam room where they tell you what you've got, and the chemo lounge where they poison you to help you live longer than they think you would have otherwise.

33 infusions, one a week 3x, a week off, 11 4 week cycles, ten months, since Nov. 15 2007. I just finished the last one. Doing well enough and need some dental work so they're taking me off chemo and putting me on hormone therapy.

Had they told me at the beginning that it would be 33 infusions I would have probably refused treatment.

Now I'm withdrawing my retirement funds (some, not all, about a tenth actually) and going half way around the world to see my ancestral village again, some relatives, and also visit Damascus. Yeah, I know, global warming and the end of the world, but they're still selling plane tickets and the hotels are turning away business (YOU try getting a room in Damascus in October, it's wedding season, they don't care about your money). Why shouldn't I go?

Therefore the events of this week, long-expected, just don't make me scared. I have had a year's practice fending off terror of what might happen in a month or a year, and enjoying what's going on right this minute. In fact, maybe I'll get a little more of that retirement money and spend it on Damask linen, gold-threaded brocade, and inlaid wood tea tables.

Stage 4 cancer - it's better than Prozac during a Crash.

PS I feel pretty damn good and am happy my hair is growing back. I just finished a 260 page draft of my novel, am planning to write the next draft after I return, and have sketched out plans for my next THREE books. My writing group is busy with an anthology that was my idea so I've outsourced work on that one.

Life is grand. I feel I have another thirty years to hammer together the writing career I was too screwed up to make for myself during the first 45. I don't plan to die soon, there's too much to do.