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Winning Life's Lottery...
Old 02-15-2007, 09:50 AM   #1
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Winning Life's Lottery...

Back when the Lottery was introduced into our state, I and a bunch of buddies would laugh about winning the lottery and the unlikelyhood of the odds. Then one friend had a heart operation that saved his life and he began talking about "Winning Life's Lottery". Recently, it was my turn to experience this phenomenon, up close and personal.

Six weeks ago, I went to the ER of the best hospital in town with a very bad cough; the conclusion was that I had pneumonia and a heart murmer, and I was turned over to the lung crew for treatment. In two days I was unconsious and at 6 days my blood pressure was 80/80 (little or no flow!), 40% blood oxygen, and was several hours into organ shutdown; a medical review panel transferred me to a heart surgeon who estimated less than 50% odds to survive an operation. Immediatley he did a mitral valve replacement and two days later I was up and functioning. Ive been released from the hosp for a month now and am gaining functionality every day - still a little weak but now do everything in the house that I ever did before the operation.

I think I now have won the equivalent of another one of "Life's Lotteries" to be added to those for having good genes, LBYM, saving for retirement, and all the other benefits that flow from the FIRE lifestyle.

Is there anybody else with similar thoughts and feelings relative to winning a lottery or a similar windfall?

JohnP

PS - The hosp sent a preliminary bill of $150k not including drs charges. I'm very thankful for having the retired-fed BCBS health Ins, also... Another one of Life's Lotteries!
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Re: Winning Life's Lottery...
Old 02-15-2007, 10:22 AM   #2
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Re: Winning Life's Lottery...

JohnP,

Sorry to hear about your problems... and glad that you are still here.. but well said on the 'lottery of life'... we forget how we 'win' a lot of times


I have a BIL who is over 70... he just had a pacemaker put in... and now it is dawning on him that he won't live to 100 plus.. we have many conversations on investing and some of his hair brained was of 'making it rich'... One time I said "You already have won"... he looked at me strange... I said it again... you have won... you are retired with enough coming in to live the rest of your life (mostly from my sisters teachers pension... great if you work 41 years!!!)... He still didn't get it then....
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Re: Winning Life's Lottery...
Old 02-15-2007, 10:40 AM   #3
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Re: Winning Life's Lottery...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnP
I think I now have won the equivalent of another one of "Life's Lotteries"
Wow, John. Scarey stuff, nicely weathered.

There must be no substitute for experiencing it personally, but I deal with young people dying and tragedy all the time professionally. Welled-up a bit yesterday with a 54 y.o. guy dying of colon cancer who had just adopted an 8 year old little girl 8 months before due to his brother's untimely death, etc. etc. etc.

You are lucky to have the insights you do. I know you'll make the most of whatever's ahead.
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As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
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Re: Winning Life's Lottery...
Old 02-15-2007, 02:12 PM   #4
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Re: Winning Life's Lottery...

I read the other day that genetics loads the gun and our environment pulls the trigger...
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Re: Winning Life's Lottery...
Old 02-15-2007, 03:37 PM   #5
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Re: Winning Life's Lottery...

Rich,

I am grateful for what you do.

I volunteer in an area where everyone is either angry, homeless or drug addicted. Been doing this for 6 years now. I only work a few hours a week, so it isn't too difficult on me. Most times, I keep on truckin'. But there are times when certain situations bare down on me and are hard to let go.

I guess my experiences and reading JohnP's post are just another reminder of knowing how fortunate I am.
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Re: Winning Life's Lottery...
Old 02-15-2007, 06:22 PM   #6
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Re: Winning Life's Lottery...

Welcome back, JohnP!

I vaguely recall that you were a relatively young and healthy guy. Was this viral? Scary how those little buggers can mess you up.
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Re: Winning Life's Lottery...
Old 02-15-2007, 06:36 PM   #7
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Re: Winning Life's Lottery...

Glad to hear that you came out OK.

It's a great thing that happened, but in a sense, to say that it's "Winning Life's Lottery" is like the gambler who says "I hope I break even -- I could sure use the money!"

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Re: Winning Life's Lottery...
Old 02-16-2007, 10:32 AM   #8
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Re: Winning Life's Lottery...

Thanks guys for the kind posts here!!!

bbbamI
Quote:
I guess my experiences and reading JohnP's post are just another reminder of knowing how fortunate I am.
I feel that just getting to FIRE is the result of being fortunate in a lot of things! Keep on trucking bbbamI!

wab
Quote:
...I vaguely recall that you were a relatively young and healthy guy. Was this viral?
I'm 63 and in general good health - had strong cough symptoms for at least the last 6 months and DW had finally had it with me coughing through the night. There was no viral involvement, though. As an interested layman, I think that pneumonia can be related to either (or both) viral causes or heart problems; I am disappointed that the 'lung crew' stood by for 6 days and redoubled their viral efforts while my personal life indicators went completely into organ shutdown - without considering the heart problem possibility. I understand that I didn't fit the heart problem protocol because I had no valve blockage or heart attack indicators... The heart surgeon did indicate (after the operation) that my heart was that of an 18 year old with no buildup of cholesterol or other common defects of a typical 63 yo. I do understand that the hospital's protocols are being re-examined to consider healthier heart patients so that others may not share my experiences.

T-Al
Quote:
... to say that it's "Winning Life's Lottery" is like the gambler who says "I hope I break even -- I could sure use the money!"
Never having been a lottery player, I never considered a lottery player as a gambler, I guess; I look at a lottery player as someone who is looking for an extremely unlikely windfall, although that could be also considered as gambling also. To me, "Winning Life's Lottery" is a series of windfalls, deserved or otherwise, that enhance your life.

Very best regards and appreciate those occurrences of "Winning Life's Lottery"

JohnP
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