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When my son was 24 years old, he was in a car accident. A tractor-trailer pulled out in front of him on a major highway. Needless to say, his injuries were serious. He spent 10 days in intensive care with internal injuries and traumatic brain injury. It was a few more months of brain and physical therapy to get him back to his old self.
Overall, his care was excellent. The emergency trauma staff and intensive care doctors were amazing. Not only did they keep him alive and take care of his injuries, but they kept us posted on his progress and explained everything he was going through. The medical staff at the rehab hospital told us what to expect and eased our minds when his progress concerned us.
I learned a lot through my son’s accident and recovery. Here are some tips from my first-hand experience:
Taking care of you and your family is a team effort. Your doctor may ask you to make some tough decisions. Make sure you understand your options and make your wishes known. A good relationship with all the medical team doesn't just make it easier to deal with a serious injury or illness – it could be key to getting back to good health.
Originally published September 16, 2014; Revised 2019, 2022
We don't get training or practice for dealing with a health care emergency, and yet it's so important that we manage those situations well. Great article. Thank you.
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