Whiplash – don’t mock ’til you’ve had it….

Up until about 3 1/2 years ago, the name whiplash would bring a wry smile to my face. We’ve all know people who’ve been in a car accident and received their almost compulsary £1500 – get rear ended and get a holiday, you know the type of comment.

And then I had a crash, some fool with a kebab pulled off the pavement at right angles to me on a quiet Sunday evening and life pretty much completely changed. It took two and a half years of various treatments (osteopathy  – for me, a waste of time), endless GP vists, MRI scans and specialist opinion, ending with the marvellous Dr Scott Middleton, Chiropractor who finally alleviated the worst of the pain and set me on the road to what is now about 80% recovery. I still can’t drive  without discomfort and endlessly shifting positions, can’t sit at the computer for long periods working like I used to etc etc, but life is certainly easier.

I was asked to settle the claim on a number of occasions, but was adamant I would not do this until I felt I was as recovered as I was going to get, so it has dragged on and on. My advice – don’t ever feel pressured to settle just cause some doctor tells you that you should be better in 3 months, as that his experience of other patients, everyone is unique and different and you may be one of those exceptions to the rule. Finally almost 3 years after the initial date, I felt I wasn’t going to get any better, or any worse, I was ready to settle. Wasn’t blooming ready for what came next though!

More medical reports, forensic accountants, hours of paperwork, immediate deadlines…..arghhhhhh!

A few months after the initial accident I’d been sent along by my solicitors to be assessed by a GP, who gave me a cursory once over, asked me to touch my toes, posed a couple of questions, and said I’d be better in 3 months. Hmmmmm.

By Sept 07, I was no better and was sent to another expert. I though this was someone who would recommend treatment and help me, and didn’t really understand the fact that he was simply a court witness and was giving a report for the court. He didn’t listen to me, didn’t seem to understand the word ‘lock’, reduced me to tears, and his report said get some physio and you’ll be better in three months. At the time the pain was so bad that I was in line to see a Consultant Neurosurgeon at Hope. So that prognosis fitted then?!

Finally by Dec 07 I was desperate, went on line over the Christmas period and found a local treating physician who it appeared was a specialist in whiplash type injuries, a Dr Scott Middleton. Henceforth known as The Life Saver. The guy after me in the waiting room had flown half way around the world to be treated by him, which was kind of heartening. I couldn’t stand properly at that stage, was bent over, couldn’t work, sit, lift, do much of anything really. Until he got his hands on me on the afternoon of New Years Eve. God it hurt, I cried. He pressed pressure points I didn’t know I had, for what felt like minutes. But there was a huge tension relief which was almost immediate. And left with the bizarre instructions to keep my ankles together for 48 hours (!) and not do any lifting or physical activity (therefore rendering that particular New Year’s eve not particularly exciting to say the least). I saw him at first regularly then on and off for the next 8 months, and the back pain got easier and easier until its about 80% there now. The neck took longer, headaches and migraines like I’ve never had, the last remnants of which were gone by about Xmas 08; it still locks and clicks and is uncomfortable, but hey, at least I can function! Can’t do what I did before, but you can’t have everything.

And so the case now commences, listed for September and I ask you, why is it that everything so complicated and time consuming? I must have spent about 25 hours so far on getting all the information they have asked for together, sorting through what the solicitor needs for the forensic accountants to assess the loss of earning side of things, ironically all sitting at my computer so now I have a bad back and cracking headaches…..

The solicitor has had to ask for an extension as there is so much to get sorted, and the expert’s report is still being finalised.

Plus somebody’s mentioned a judge who is a law unto themselves. I give up!

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