The odds were in my favor, but I hadn’t placed a bet with the local bookie – I don’t even know who he is. The odds were better, way better, than the drunkard and his girlfriend Bessie in “The Band’s” song, “Up On Cripple Creek”. The odds were in their favor too, “they had ’em five to one”.

It wasn’t until after the fact that I found out what my odds were. They were 10,000 to 1… I shoulda’ bet.

It wasn’t a sporting event – although it was caused, in part, by sporting events. It was the past catching up with me. Seems the faster we go, the bigger the price we have to pay… eventually. We all remember what happened to the cocky Gingerbread Man…

It’s hard to imagine how many times we’ve ignored sound advice. I even mocked wise people trying to warn me of the dangers associated with pushing the envelope… not so different than the Gingerbread Man in his younger, uneaten, days.

the odds were in my favor

image courtesy of photo

It was a routine procedure; cut one of the five herniated discs off along with the bone spur that was making my left leg go jingle jangle jingle, and back to reality. That was the plan…

That was on a Wednesday. On Thursday I was happily disobeying doctor’s orders. I was out and about driving like the Gingerbread Man once ran. I wasn’t taking any pain meds, so I wasn’t breaking the law… well, except for the speed limit.

By Friday I wasn’t feeling quite as cocky. Come Saturday and a 102-degree fever, along with a lightening rod in my back, and it was back to the hospital.

There’s not many places in life I dread more than a hospital. The weight of dread on my shoulders felt like 500 pounds used to when I’d tease gravity with the weight on my back, like teasing a hungry dog with a snack.

After massive needles were threaded into veins for blood tests and I.V. fluids and what seemed like an eternal wait, it got worse. When the ER doc said the words they echoed in slow motion as the rest of the noises and world fell silent, “Admission – mission – ission – ssion – sion – ion – on – n”. I couldn’t even hear the guy in the bed next door choking. He’d shown up with a piece of steak lodged in his throat…

They hauled me off to the medical torture chamber they call “The MRI tube”. This, after midnight, after I’d driven to great lengths to avoid the tube before the surgery, refusing to get jammed back into the air-conditioned tomb.

After the tortuous hour, they pulled me from the tube with sweat literally pouring off the plastic shoe-horn-type-gaskets they used to squeeze me into it.

The test confirmed an epidural abscess, staph infection, inside my spinal column.

It’s truly miraculous how the body is designed by God to mend. In hindsight, it seems pretty astounding that the times tempting fate and blatantly abusing these soul cages that our spirits haven’t been yanked or abandoned ship.

If grace is that abundant for our passing bodies, how much more valuable is it for our souls? The odds were in my favor…