This is why you should never go into work after an accident.
I was involved in what I thought was a minor car accident on my way to work on 19th April 2006.
It was a rear end shunt, involving 3 cars, and I was the last car doing the shunting.
My car got towed away and a colleague picked me up and took me to the office.
On arrival my line manager said ‘I’m really sorry you’ve been in an accident. Please can you make sure your reports are done before you go on holiday’.
I stayed in the office all day, regardless of how lousy I was feeling and worked my way through my ‘things to do list’, most of which was urgent. My line manager had made it clear where my priorities lay.
Two weeks later, when I couldn’t stand up or sit still without dizziness, I was told by my GP that I’d had concussion. He sent me to casualty, a place I should have gone to immediately on the day of the accident. They confirmed I had ‘post concussion trauma’. I was initially off sick from work for 8 months.
Now five years on, here I am still living with the damage done as a direct result of not going to casualty immediately. The diagnosis has changed as time has passed: I have bruised an artery in my brain, giving me a permanent migraine, basilar migraines on top and fibromyalgia. I am in pain 24/7 and even the regular injections I get for pain do not eradicate it completely. I have been told that these injuries are permanent.
I had to give up my job and change my whole lifestyle, all because I went into the office and did a whole day’s work. And when it came down to it, how did my employers of the time repay my devotion to duty? They stopped my salary 9 days after I signed off sick, with a head injury from a car crash.
So, if you are ever involved in what you think is a minor accident:-
1. Do not go into work. Once you arrive at the office people ask you to work.
2. Do go to casualty immediately to get checked out, even if you don’t think you hit your head. The force of whiplash can cause concussion.
3. No one can diagnose concussion like a casualty doctor, they see it all day every day. And concussion needs to be treated immediately. Any damage I did to my head was caused on the day of the accident.
4. Never put the business first. The business will survive without you. You however need your health to survive.
I may be embracing my new life, which in its own way has given me some great opportunities, but if I was ever given the choice to live the day again, I would go straight to casualty and never go into the office.