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Don’t Forget Your Teeth

     One business traveler forgot more than $20,000 worth of jewelry, when she left her Italy Hotel. USA Today reports that over 30,000 items are left behind at the McCarran airport in Las Vegas, when they shed them for security screening. That’s 82 items a day of forgetfulness.

     The USA Today article says that people have left possessions that have included diamond engagement rings, an NFL Super Bowl ring and even some professional video equipment.  One Hyatt hotel reported that a bride left behind her wedding ring.  One hotel manager described their lost property department as “a treasure trove”.

     Many hotels say that they respect the guests’ privacy and will not return an item unless the owner asks for it.  Of course, the article says that some of the forgotten items that have been been requested to be returned included hearing aids and false teeth.

      I wonder how you forget the teeth.  Do you remember when you decide to order lunch corn on the cob? Calling the hotel front desk and asking if housekeeping found a set of teeth in room 1224, has to be an embarrassing mouthful. (Promise… no more on this)  

     Robert Bjork, a UCLA psychologist professor, says that habits protect us from forgetting things. Those habits “are disrupted by travel”. Most people develop strategies to lessen the forgotten items. I’m probably like most. I try to do a “one more time”,  just before leaving the hotel room. At the airport, I look closely at the bins and pat the pockets to make sure I’m feeling the wallet, keys and cell phone. Thankfully, the teeth aren’t a worry.

     In everyday life, it is understood that we forget. That even extends to the important stuff. For injury claims, defense attorneys and insurance companies don’t seem to understand such forgetfulness.

     Sometimes, a client will be taken to a hospital after the crash and report leg, back and neck pain. Such reported injuries may even include broken bones. Then, when they claim a  head injury a few days later, the defense attorney attacks them for not “reporting all their injuries at the hospital”.

     I’m guessing that you might think, “yea, why wouldn’t they say that they had a headache?” Well, I’ve asked ER doctors about that. Their training is to treat life threatening injuries; stop the bleeding and fix the breaks. For a headache or someone even hitting their head, there may be no significant discussion unless the person is unconscious at the hospital.

     Many people will hit their head against the seat or even the side window or door. Sometimes, they even notice tenderness when they get home. Being knocked dazed may not even register as a head injury. Then, they later start to notice symptoms of a head injury that may include such things as a headache, nausea, difficulty sleeping, forgetfulness and anxiety. Symptoms that they did not have before the crash.

     Some injuries and symptoms may not be readily known; Or, a person gets distracted at the hospital or could even be a bit shook up when talking to emergency medical people. If it’s believable that a person would leave their ring or teeth behind because of distraction or forgetfulness; then it sure seems to me that someone might not always know or report every injury immediately. It’s just not a defense that concerns me because it deals with true humanity.

     And now…. pic 0′ day. Everyone should dress casual for Friday and Saturday.

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