A Christmas like no other

Issue: BCMJ, No. 10, December 2008, Page 551 President's Comment

Portrait of BCMA President Bill Mackie

This is a wonderful time of year when we can warmly remember back to Thanksgiving, surrounded by family, good food, all interspersed with hues of orange and brown, and where we can look forward to Christmas filled with tradition, more good food, family, and cheer (not to mention the howling pagan celebration and the day of remembrance sandwiched in between). It’s also a time of year when we are consciously thankful for all the good things in our lives and we can reflect upon our accomplishments, and maybe even our foibles.

I have many things to be thankful for—among them the knowledge that my family is healthy and safe. This reality hit home a couple of months ago. Although my family is fine, I had a mishap that put me in a rigid neck brace 24/7 for 12 weeks. I was on Hornby Island helping prepare my in-laws’ yard for their golden wedding anniversary celebrations. A wasp’s nest had made its home in the eaves of the front entrance to their house. The hum and the splattering of flying wasps is not something you want greeting your guests as they arrive, so I bravely offered to take it down. Upon detaching it with a large stick, I attempted a quick getaway, but my feet slipped on the gravel walkway and I toppled over a large flower pot onto my head, fracturing the left superior facet of C7 with C7 nerve root neuropathy. Emergency rescue arrived promptly, stabilized me, and sent me on my way via helicopter to Vancouver General Hospital. Although funny to reflect on now, it was not a pleasant experience at the time and these last 12 weeks, at best, have been a discomfort. But I am extremely thankful for the efforts of all those who contributed to my medical emergency care, including the emergency res­ponse team, paramedics, and ERD staff. And after spending months in a hard neck brace, I fully comprehend the expression, “if you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything.”

I am excitedly anticipating Christmas, free of the neck brace, with my wife, six kids, and extended family. Everyone should be home for the holidays, including my daughter who is currently attending the University of Utah, hopefully with lots of tales to tell. My eldest son and daughter-in-law are expecting their first baby in early December—this first Christmas as a grandparent is a long-awaited milestone. So I am both thankful and grateful for all that I have. And I hope all of you find the opportunity to reflect and realize all that you have to be thankful for. From my family to yours, I wish you all a happy and safe holiday season.

—Bill Mackie, MD
BCMA President

Bill Mackie, MD. A Christmas like no other. BCMJ, Vol. , No. 10, December, 2008, Page(s) 551 - President's Comment.

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