Last week my family and I were on vacation in Key Largo and it was the first time we spent any real amount of time fishing. Now, I am not talking all day, but in the evenings we would go out to the pier the condo had, bait up some hooks with shrimp, and then drop a line in. We would typically sit out there 2-3 hours just visiting with each other and the other owners in the complex.
After the first night and several suggestions from the other people watching our less-than-stellar success at fishing (our lines kept breaking), we were told we needed to buy nylon coated metal lead wires. My son, Braeden, was so excited the next night because we were catching tons of fish (caught and released). He did not care if he caught a 1 lb grunt fish, snapper, baby barracudas, or 2 foot black tip sharks – all were fun and exciting.
Each night this was our routine and each night a few of the same owners came down to watch the sunset (which was amazing!). As we all visited, there was one gentleman that I talked to more than the rest. He shared an interesting story.
Roughly 13 years ago when his son was 12, they were both fishing on that very pier when his son caught about a 3 lb salt water catfish. The gentleman went to help get it off the line, but as he reached out the fish jumped, and his son jerked the pole quickly to help prevent the fish from ‘throwing’ the hook. The fish got off the hook, but as the pole went back, the 1 inch hook went back – right through the gentleman’s hand. As a non-physician myself, I understand the injury to be the muscle below his thumb and above his wrist, but he mentioned the Pollicis Brevis muscle, literally slicing it all the way through.
As we sat watching my son, daughter and wife fish, he asked me what I did for a living. I told him, “I specialize in disability and life insurance for physicians.” He then proceeded to tell me he was a retired physician, but the retirement was due to this hand injury since he never got back the tactile function he needed as a surgeon.
He did add that he was fortunate and very thankful to have a very good set of disability contracts that together paid him about $18,000 tax-free per month. He also chuckled saying he was not all that happy paying those premiums for the 13-14 years prior to his disability, but because the coverage was in place his family did not have to move, he still sent his kids to college, and they were going to be set for a comfortable retirement when the disability benefits end in a few years when he hits age 65. He mentioned this was not the way he had envisioned his life turning out, but after a couple of years post-injury, it dawned on him that the patients he was performing surgery on felt the same way – they did not think they would ever be on his table. He was thankful his other colleagues had strongly recommended that he do what was needed early on to protect his earning capacity with a disability policy.
I must admit it was a dang good vacation. My son is certainly “hooked” on fishing. Over 7 nights he caught around 50 fish, several I am sure were caught more than once. However, after the life story I heard, I was only willing to net the fish, and once they were laying on the pier would I attempt to remove the hook. I too did not want to be ‘Hooked’!