At age 25, my husband and I were rear-ended by a young man while we were waiting in a traffic light. The back of the car was demolished, and the rear window was blown out. We were wearing seat belts, and, fortunately, there weren’t any back seat passengers. The crash caused us to lunge forward, but I didn’t feel any pain afterwards. The police came, and we exchanged insurance information and waited for the car to be towed. My neck was somewhat “stiff,” but I didn’t think I needed to see a doctor.
The following morning, I experienced pain and stiffness in my neck, but had to go to work. Headaches began as the days progressed, and over-the-counter medications were not effective. Ten days after the accident, I couldn’t stand the pain any longer. I still wasn’t ready to blame my pain on the accident. If the cause of my pain wasn’t accident-related, I felt I could control it and make it disappear.
Two weeks after the accident, I couldn’t tolerate the pain any longer and went to the doctor. I discovered the pain and discomfort indeed were related to the accident. After tests, I discovered I had a cervical injury.
Therapy forced me to work part-time. After a long period of therapy, I felt much better, and I was functioning close to my pre-accident lifestyle. Being young helped, but I needed all of the therapy I received. Without therapy, I could have exasperated my injury and potentially not recovered.
I am sharing my story because my resistance to blame the accident for my pain and injuries is common. We don’t want to hurt, and, sometimes, we don’t even know we are hurt. Without the necessary medical diagnosis and treatment, we may cause ourselves greater pain and make our injuries worse. Don’t fool yourself—-the longer you wait, the more likely an insurance company will say the accident didn’t cause your injuries; something else did.
Please, if you have been in a motor vehicle accident, large or small, go and be examined by a doctor. Hopefully, you will be fine, but if you are injured, you can begin the path to recovery.