Not to be crude, but we had some clogged plumbing over the weekend.
We tried everything to get it working again--plunger, snake, and even some septic tank treatment.
Nothing seemed to work, so at one point, my wife looked up on the Internet what to do, and it said to unwind a hanger and try that.
Well this turned out to be a huge mistake and I must've gotten too close to the chemical fumes--my eyes were burning.
I ended up in the ER with my eyes being flushed for close to 2 hours.
Afterwards, being very supportive and sitting with me in the hospital with my eyeballs hooked to suction cups and saline solution, my wife says to me, "This is a case when the solution (i.e. the results of our trying to fix the plumbing ourselves) is worse then the problem (the clog)."
I thought to myself boy was she right, and while it is good to be self-sufficient and try to fix and improve things ourselves, it is also good to know when to leave it to the experts.
How many times do we foolishly try to do something where "we are out of our league," and actually can end up doing more harm then good.
In this case, I could have seriously damaged my eyes--permanently--and am so grateful to G-d that everything turned out okay.
Knowing our limits and accurately assessing risks can help us to know when to proceed ourselves and when to ask for some expert assistance.
It's good do things for yourself and to try your best, but also value and know when to leverage other people's strengths.
With my eyes irritated and burning and being flushed out for what seemed like an eternity, I had some serious time to ponder what can happen when things go wrong.
Years ago, I learned to "Hope (and pray) for the best, but prepare for the worst," and I want to continue to work and improve on both these. ;-)
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)