Friday, 18 March 2016

Concussion: A close shave!

One of the first things I was told when I met the Occupational Therapist who was to be the linchpin of my care was, 'A second concussion on top of ongoing concussion symptoms can be very serious and sometimes fatal!' I considered myself warned.

Gone are the dreams of sailing (the boom can pack a seeing-stars-punch when you're not looking!), riding horses, mountain biking, changing my own lightbulbs standing on a stool........ I had to avoid anything that could result in an accidental blow to the head.

So, I have been very careful. However, this week I came very close to being wiped out by an enormous articulated flatbed truck! Sometimes these things just happen to us and there is nothing you can do about it.....

I was driving to work, listening to Neil Diamond on the radio, when I became aware that the cab of the truck in the lane beside me was getting closer. I just pulled over a bit closer to the curb but the white and green door kept getting closer to my face. I tried to pull away out of danger but everything then went crazy! I gripped the steering wheel and just hung on for grim death.

The front bumper of the truck had clipped my rear wheel arch and I had been twirled into a pirouette so that my car was across the front of the lorry, sideways on! When my car stopped juddering and came to a halt I had the front of the truck cab within inches of my face pressed up against the side of my car. I had been spun round when he made contact with my car and then shunted more than 20ft up the road! I turned the radio off (!) and climbed over the passenger seat to get out as if I had deliberately parked in the middle of the road!

When I stood up though, my legs buckled underneath me. Then this amazing knight in shining armour (actually it was one of the construction workers from the Waterview construction site) called Gene, came over and assisted me to walk to the first aid room. I was shocked but completely uninjured - amazing!
Glen and Gene with the Waterview motorway construction site 
behind them. These guys and their teams are doing an amazing job
 building a very complex series of roads, slip roads, 
motorway tunnels, and everything joins up how it should
 with only millimetres difference. I am in awe.

Another guy, Glen, from the construction team made me strong sweet Yorkshire tea - the English answer to whatever ails you! I started to revive although the shock took 2 days to go completely. The truck driver was apologetic and visibly shaken. He hadn't seen my car  as he moved over into my lane - although I was right alongside his cab I couldn't be seen in the mirrors and the roof of my car was a foot below the level of his window - yes, it was a very big truck!

Wonderful Gene!
Details were exchanged. I had 2 more cups of tea then Gene drove me all the way home! A 1hr 10 min round trip!

There was CCTV footage of the incident and when I look at the still I was given, I have a fresh awareness of how close I came to being mangled inside my car. A very close shave!

I want to thank all the men from the Waterview construction site who were kind, attentive, and so generous with their time and Yorkshire tea (it's very expensive here!). Glen, Callum - thank you so much. But particularly, thank you to Gene who never left me from the moment I got out of my car to the moment he dropped me off at my door. My hero!

A link if you're interested -  Waterview construction site


  1. Kind people in a crisis are absolutely essential. Very glad you got through this. An understandable situation for exclamation marks :)

  2. I'm so glad you're okay! That would have been really scary. I don't know if your concussion was categorized as severe or not, but I've had four mild concussions and I'm doing relatively ok. I don't work full time yet but I feel 85-90% normal. I've come a long way. So that is just something to keep in mind in case you do have another one. I never expected to have the last one let alone four total. Plus the first two were both within two months of each other. I do realize that if I have another one it would probably mean more damage, or more recovery time. And I'm not going to do anything reckless but at the same time I don't want to live my life afraid. I figure that since I'm still alive there must be a purpose and I haven't fulfilled that purpose yet. :)

    1. Thank you for your comment, Nicole. Lovely to hear from you! The trouble with bumps on the head is we never plan for them to happen! I agree with you, we still have to live our lives without fear. I, too, am determined to grab life by the horns! I'm glad for you that your recovery has been going well. It is so wonderful to have a brain that works again. Like you I wonder what I have been kept alive for. If we have a purpose we want to get out there and live! You feel like a kindred spirit.

  3. Hello Julia, I am that quintessential English guy that drinks the Yorkshire tea you enjoyed that day. As the Safety Manager for the Northern section of the project (where you were unceremonially struck) I am pleased to hear that you have recovered and even remembered our project with kindness. We do try and help, we understand the upheaval our project is causing and strive to minimise the inconvenience to others but when someone is in need even out on the public highways we will help....every single guy here would. And you really needed a good cup of tea that day ! Puts the world to rights as we would say. Stay safe Julia, it was a pleasure to meet you even if under duress and I hope back in fine fettle. All the best....Glenn

  4. Lovely to hear from you Glenn. It certainly was a day I will never forget and if it was going to happen at all, I'm glad it happened on your doorstep! Thank you again.


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