I've often heard bad things happen in threes. Sometimes I see a connection there. Like, maybe I stub my toe (bad!), get overheard cursing about stubbing my toe (bad x2!) and then subsequently trip as I try to hurry away from such an embarrassing series of events (bad x3!). But most of the time, I have to try pretty hard to really draw parallels to the bad events in my life.
Not this weekend.
The events of this weekend ganged up on me, slapped me in the face, and screamed, "We DO happen in threes! Sometimes MORE than threes! Just watch!"
I drove home this weekend. I left College Station on Thursday so I could meet up with my friend Heather, who's about to move out of the state. In all likelihood, this was my last shot at seeing her any time in the near future, and I wasn't going to miss it!
Earlier in the week, I'd noticed some sort of rash taking up residence on my stomach. This was, as you can imagine, an unacceptable development. Since I was planning to be in town anyway, I had my Mom set up a doctor's appointment for me.
When I left on Thursday, I was battling a serious sinus headache. By the time I woke up the next morning, it was a full on sinus assault. Every step was painful. Moving my eyes, focusing, blinking... All those things hurt. A sneeze or a cough, even clearing my throat, made me feel like my head was going to explode.
I was miserable.
I moved up my doctor's appointment, as no self-treatment was working. I was hoping I could reschedule my day of fun with Heather for some other time that weekend.
When I went to the doctor, two different people had to look at my rash to confirm their diagnosis. Shingles. Often brought on by stress. (Oh, I've got plenty of that, let me tell ya.)
So there's the first bad thing. Bad Thing #1. Shingles. OUCH. It's kind of weird, the way they hurt. Because they also itch. So sometimes you forget about the hurt, focus on the itch, and when you so much as think about giving them a good scratch, the pain swoops back in like an evil surprise. Also, I tend to sleep on my stomach, so the fact that they chose this particular location to set up shop was really frustrating to me.
Then we moved on and discussed my headache and all the symptoms it entailed. I got diagnosed with Bad Thing #2. A sinus infection.
I was prescribed antibiotics, some sort of antiviral medication, Zyrtec-D, Mucinex, and a pain reliever of my choice. Yikes.
I'm not sure if you could call this Bad Thing #3 or not, since it was a result of #1 and #2, but it still sucked big time so I'm calling it #3. I did not get to reschedule hanging out with Heather. By the time I was feeling remotely human again (Sunday), I had to drive back to College Station. I have classes on Monday—that Monday I was worried about a group presentation I had to give later that afternoon. She'll be gone before I could drive back home again, so...Bad Thing #3 indeed.
But Sunday was looking up.
I took a different route back to College Station. I'm not sure which road I was on—what would I do without GPS?—but it was scenic. Beautiful. The day was wonderful; just the right temperature, sunny, lovely. I made good time getting back. I dropped my dog and my bags off at my apartment and got out again to run a few errands. I was finished with almost everything. I had one more stop to make before going back to my apartment. Food.
And I was thinking, what could happen? I've already had my three bad things.
Then Bad Thing #4 came rushing at me in the form of a black Mercedes. Yep, that's right. I got into a car accident.
I'd already been planning a blog post about my horrible weekend, and how I had managed to walk away with a positive feeling about it—about how sometimes you just need to slow down anyway, and if you won't do it yourself, God and your body will set you down and put you in time-out whether you like it or not—in fact, I'd been planning to write it up after dinner that Sunday night.
Obviously that didn't happen. The accident put me in a heck of a mood. The screaming, belligerent passenger in the Mercedes didn't help that. And the seemingly endless minutes...hours...spent on the phone with insurance companies and independent adjusters have been absolutely exhausting. I am not even going to go into all the drama going on with this whole affair right now.
But you know what?
I am STILL determined to walk away from this with a positive attitude.
Sunday night when I was crying to my Mom on the phone about woe is me and why is this happening and I can't take this, she told me to make a list. Of all of the things I can be thankful for in these awful situations. I admit, I never literally wrote a list, but it did get me thinking. It really could have been so much worse.
After all, my car is drive-able. I'm alive. Uninjured. My dog was NOT in the car with me. At least only the passenger was an absolute demon. At least I have insurance, and a great support system of family and friends (one of whom drove down to see me—and back again all in one day!—because she knew I needed cheering up) who I know I can rely on and talk to. At least no one was hurt.
If nothing else, it's one more thing I can add to my list of Life Experiences. (Filed under "But I hope this never happens again!").
It's also another opportunity to sit down and re-evaluate the things that are really important in life, and how I have countless things to be thankful for.
One of them being, "I'm thankful most of those bad things are OVER."