Earlier this week I had to have a minor surgery – it wasn’t a big deal but it did require a general anaesthetic (my first time) and it was pretty nerve wracking. It was all over and done in half an hour but I have never felt so out of it in the after math, not since Reuben’s labour which was equally disastrous and dangerous. I knew that I wasn’t supposed to drive for 48 hours but I will be honest and say I thought I’d be ok the next day, and I seriously didn’t think that I would want to call in re-enforcements to get the kids off to bed and fed etc. The kids were in the capable hand of my mum whilst I dozed on the sofa (complete with attract drool line coming out of my mouth), and the day after I didn’t really feel much better either.
So all this disruption for minor surgery, what the hell would happen if I had something more serious, or one of us had an accident where we couldn’t work anymore, drive anymore or maybe function without 24/7 care. Am I the only parent who find that prospect slightly terrifying? I mean, we both drive, Adam works in a warehouse and there are every day hazards that you really just don’t think of, but maybe we should?
Ok, I realise I’ve gone from ‘I had a small surgery’ to life threatening or altering accidents in one fell swoop but the truth is the minor surgery I had caused disruption to our family, so I find the thought of a major incident suddenly overwhelming and something that I should plan for, just to be sure. Both myself and Adam are insured up to the hilt – with three small kids and a huge mortgage, we don’t really have much of an option but one thing that I know nothing about it what potential support groups or options there are out there if you are injured and suddenly find yourself in a traumatic, life altering situation.
Have you heard of the movie Me Before You that is out soon? It’s a typical boy meets girl love story, but in this boy is paralysed by a motorcycle accident (not a spoiler, it’s in the bio). Like all good movies I’m sure their love wins out, but in reality serious accidents have a huge impact on a relationship, not only with your spouse, but with your children. So what would the first steps be?
- Find a support group
It’s not admitting failure, it’s a tool to help you adapt to the new circumstances around you and it can be helpful for your family as well as yourself. Apparently this is one of the most commonly missed things for victims of serious injury or illness, despite being offered various support groups to join during medical treatment. It’s so important to do it. There are a variety of different levels of support groups, some of which you physically go to and some of which are just online. Personally, I feel like I would cope better online and would be able to feel less exposed.
2. Check insurance policies and find out if you are entitled to compensation
Compensation has become a bit of a dirty word of late – images of the ambulance chasers in the US spring to mind and people assume it is someone out for something that they haven’t earned, but the truth is, if you are suddenly unable to work because of an accident that wasn’t your fault then you need to think about the impact that will have on your family. If what happened wasn’t your fault then you may be entitled to compensation and shouldn’t be afraid to go down this route, companies like First4SeriousInjury specialize in these types of cases and can help you find the way through the process. Many insurance policies don’t cover all accidents or critical illnesses (In fact we were offered CIC (critical illness cover) but couldn’t afford it when we were younger, so it’s not something we were covered for until recently) so you may need to think about how you are going to support a family if you can’t work.
3. Ask about help
What are you entitled to? Benefits, carers, support workers… what? It’s a midfield but there are organisations that can help you and you will often find that the hospital will put you in touch with them, but if not you can find tonnes of advice online. Again it is another thing we often forget, but you have paid your rather over priced taxes as an insurance policy for this kind of thing, and you need help now. So ask.
What else would you add to this? Do you or someone close to you have experience with serious accident or injury? It’s something that I really feel we don’t discuss enough with our families or next of kin and we need to!