After a catastrophic motorcycle or truck accident in North Carolina leaves you with a limb amputation, you face a difficult period of adjustment. You will need to reacquire or relearn skills for many of the activities of daily living. In fact, you may need to go through the learning practice twice—once in the immediate aftermath of the injury, and a second time if you choose to have a functional prosthesis.
A similar adjustment is required for your job skills. Depending on your field of employment, you may need a period of retraining before resuming your work, or you may find yourself completely unable to work in the same job you held before your Wilmington auto accident. Occupational therapy as well as job placement counseling will help you prepare for a new line of work.
The Injuries nobody wants to talk about
The psychological impact of this life-changing event is something your doctors won’t often discuss with you.
The pain and trauma of the original accident—and the loss of a limb—can deal a severe blow to your self-image. When that is followed in close order with the need to begin physical therapy, the potential for continuing surgeries, your limited stamina and physical incapacity, it’s not surprising that many amputees have a serious psychological response. Britain’s National Health Service, which has studied the aftermath of amputation surgery, reports, “Many people who have had an amputation report feeling emotions such as grief and bereavement, similar to experiencing the death of a loved one.”
The common emotional responses to the loss of a limb in a vehicle accident include:
- Anger or resentment
- Suicidal thoughts
Don’t let the emotional shock take over your life
The psychological shock of an amputation injury can be profound. Nobody denies you the right to grieve for your loss. People who work with amputees recognize that there is no fixed timeline for adjusting to the new circumstances, and each person must create a new balance in life on his or her own terms. Nevertheless, it is important that you do not permanently get mired in your grief.
Psychologists recommend the following steps as potentially useful during this adjustment period.
- Talk about your feelings and how you are dealing with this adjustment period with family members and friends.
- Consult with a professional therapist to help you recover.
- Join a support group with other amputees.
Remember that your psychological adjustment is an important part of your overall recovery. If you pursue a traffic injury lawsuit in North Carolina, you should seek a settlement or jury award that will pay for the counseling you require.
At Speaks Law Firm, our personal injury attorneys always look for the best available compensation for all your injuries—psychological and emotional as well as physical. Give us a call today at 910-341-7570 or toll-free at 877-593-4233 to set up a free conference about your case. As a way to introduce our law firm, when you call us we can arrange to send you a FREE copy of The North Carolina Auto Injury Book by our founder, R. Clarke Speaks.