One of my friends was recently witness to a very bad accident, in which one of our other friends was severely hurt. He has had a leg amputated and is almost certainly going to be paralysed from the waist down, though is still in an induced coma. The friend who witnessed this is obviously still traumatised as this happened less than a week ago. I have tried to suggest that he talk to someone before our friend comes out of his coma so that he has an idea of the right kind of things to say and and is prepared with the different emotional reactions that he or our friend will experience. Understandably, he is reluctant to speak to anybody outside of his inner circle as the event is still very fresh.
Apologies if this isn't really the place for this kind request, but if anybody has any suggestions for online reading material or websites that could be of use to my friend before our mutual mate wakes up, it would be greatly appreciated.
Hi, sam87. I was hit by a car four years ago. The accident took off my left leg and broke my back at T9, above my waist. When I was waking up in ICU, a lady doctor told me I was in the hospital, that I had been in a car accident, that I couldn’t talk because I had a tube down my throat, but that they would be taking that tube out in just a minute,...also, that I’d lost my left leg, that they’d tried to save it but couldn’t, that they were taking care of me, that my back was broken,... but that we would have to see about that later. I gave small nods while she was telling me all this. I think that she did pretty good. The only thing that has always annoyed me a little was, “Why didn’t she wait until they had taken the tube out of my throat to tell me all this?” I suspect the reason was to be sure she didn’t have to hang around answering my questions or giving any sympathy. Actually, I barely remember them taking the tube out a minute later. I was so heavily sedated that I went right back to sleep. What that doctor told me was the most information I got in my 2 1/2 months in the hospital. After that “conversation” with her, I only got bits and pieces of information as I asked them for it. I hope this helps.
hi sam87, sorry to hear of horrible accident, I was involved on one 3.5 yrs ago. I think what most people try to do when uncomfortable is talk, and that's when people "say things" that hurt the injured, not intentionally, but it happens. I think this forum is a good place to start reading about these types of injuries. and welcome.
Any information is good information, so thank you so much for opening up and telling me your story. I will certainly take on board what you said about receiving information in a way in which you are able to properly process it with the ability to ask questions if needed.
Best wishes to you for now and the future and thanks again for sharing with me.
I appreciate your feedback immensely and will certainly be bearing it in mind when talking to the relevant people. You're right, this seems like a good place to start in trying to understand these types of injuries, but also how to approach difficult situations with sensitivity.
sam87, we aren’t used to having such a cultured, appreciative guest as yourself here. Lol. Usually, people dive bomb in and drop off a desperate plea for help,...then never come back to acknowledge our efforts. Not all, of course, but many.
Post by lostinspace on Nov 30, 2018 14:35:56 GMT -8
Read and understand about your friends injuries, stay positive and upbeat no matter the prognoses. There is good quality of life remaining after a serious injury but the newly injured sometimes have a very hard time understanding this. The more positive attitudes your friend has around the better to help pull through the tough times.
Ever feel like dying, ever feel alone, Ever feel like cryin', lost child in a store, Ever feel life pushing, shoving you away, Ever feel like breaking down, funeral in the rain Feel like slipping away
That's certainly the kind of attitude that we will all try to convey once he wakes up. I guess time and patience will be key, but knowing about the injury ourselves will undoubtedly help him, so thank you for your reply and your advice.
My brother had a motorcycle accident 8 years ago. I am his little sister. He is paralysed from the upper chest down. His best friend actually also witnessed the accident and she was in shock. It was hard for her but she did tend to her family for support. Everyone has a different way of dealing with these awful situations. You also have to give them space to process. You can`t force someone to go to therapy, but him just going to see him might be the start of working through these emotions he is going through. Sometimes you don`t need to say much at all except "I am here for you buddy".
The biggest advice I can give is to stick by your friends side who had this terrible accident and show support as much as you can. Visit him when you can, hang photos around his hospital bed of his friends and family. Be there for him now and especially be there for him as time goes on. The one thing that threw my brother into a depression was when all the people he thought would be there for him in the long run, werent. So no matter if he changes as a person (and he will because his whole life will be different), be there for him.
Happy to share any other advice. Just reach out anytime.
That was great advice, littlesis. Yes, friends dwindle for us. Everyone puts in a perfunctory appearance at first. But later, when the injured person starts to want to socialize, he may be limited to whoever will answer the phone. And when he wants to venture out into the sunshine of the hospital grounds, he can find himself at the mercy of whether or not an aide has fifteen minutes to take him outside.
That was a very insightful response, I appreciate that very much. As strange as it sounds, I'm more worried for my friend who witnessed it at the moment, as our friend who got injured is being looked after by medical professionals, while he has to try and get on with 'normal' life, no doubt replaying the incident over and over again in his head.
The guy who got injured is more of a 'secondary' friend to me (for want of a better word), though we were both best men at the wedding of our mutual friend who witnessed it. I haven't been to the hospital myself, as he has lots of closer friends and family visiting every day. I'm just trying to support my mate who was there with him. As time goes on I will certainly reach out and be there for our friend and try to become more than a 'secondary friend', as he will no doubt need all the support he can get.
As vintage and dewy have hinted, I understand how some people may, over time, drift away from people who have suffered life changing injuries. My hope is that I can do the opposite and get closer to him as time goes by and forge a stronger relationship.