Happy New Year. (Period. Not an exclamation point). It’s a sober reminder of time passing and a sense of urgency to focus on getting better. Your symbolic opportunity to start over, to make – and, this time, keep – a promise to conquer a challenge that overstayed its welcome. This year you will begin to follow your better judgment without hesitation.
Explore This IssueACEP News: Vol 32 – No 01 – January 2013
Let’s review the instant replay of your last episode of paralysis by analysis.
A thought hits you. “It’s a bit of a chore, but now is the optimal time to___”
You know you should do whatever it is. Why haven’t you yet? What’s keeping you grounded? Time ticks away. What are you waiting for? Last chance…
Too late; you should have done it. It was a good idea. You saw the opportunity. You’d have to stop what you were doing, put in a mental bookmark, pause the DVR, look away from the tablet, interrupt the inertia. That would hurt a little, but you’d be gaining so much more. You missed it. Blew it. Too slow. Too lazy. This always happens to you … until now.
As parents, teachers, spouses, physicians, whoever we play in our daily lives, we constantly face this problem of hesitating to do what we know is the right thing to do right now – to thank someone, to apologize, to focus, to intervene gently before the problem grows out of control. Our life experience, training and aptitude take us to the edge of action, but taking the last crucial step is often just so hard. There may be good reasons to hesitate, so hesitating has become a habit married to the timid hope that the issue will resolve itself.
Consider today the last day you will miss an opportunity to do the right thing. You’ll be surprised to know it is as easy as a breath of fresh air (or the ungodly awful air emanating from urgent care room 4).
Do you recognize the moment of truth when in your heart and in your mind it is clear you should act, speak up, or offer assistance? Take a breath. Hold it. Go ahead and contemplate your action of choice. Take your time. Think it over. As your PaO2 falls, and PaCO2 rises, your pulse first slows, then quickens. You will experience clarity and urgency like never before. You will begin to do the right thing before the breath is over.