Aftermath: Physical/Medical

photo credit: Jeff Bauman Boston Marathon Bombing Survivor (http://www.irishmirror.ie/news/boston-marathon-bomb-victim-jeff-3417146)

 

*The following is an excerpt from the book How to Survive an Active Killer

Unfortunately, the situation doesn’t end simply when the bad guy is taken down and the good guys show up. The following days, weeks, months, and years may be riddled with physical recovery from injury, psychological trauma, financial burden, and possibly even legal issues. The more violent the crime, the closer your proximity, and the longer you had to stay on scene, the higher the likelihood and heavier the impact of these issues. If you weren’t there but you lost a loved one, you will still be impacted. Support from friends, family, and professionals will be crucial. You are not meant to deal with these situations alone. Knowing how to ask for help and how to better find that help will be crucial. Just as well, knowing how best to give support to your loved ones can help both you and them begin to return to a more stable place…

…The obvious piece for most is the potential for physical harm. A serious injury, however, can have long-term effects that many don’t really consider. You may be laid up in the hospital for days, weeks, or months pending the severity of the injury. You may be required to have multiple surgeries. This means you will be away from work, racking up medical bills, unable to care for you family or your home. Having a support system in place to care for important things in your life is imperative. For instance, if you are a single parent, who would care for your child(ren) if you were seriously injured? Even if you’re happily married, have you considered who would care for your children if you were both injured? Or one or both of you were killed? Again, I’m not trying to make you freak out or create a sense of paranoia. The goal is always just to be prepared. The potential for serious and long-term injury can come from something as simple as a car accident. Having a plan for if you have to miss work or need a person to care for a loved one is very important.

 

Another thing to consider is that the effects may follow you throughout the rest of your life. In the Boston Marathon bombing, several of the injured lost limbs. This change becomes a lifelong journey of adaptation. Even if you don’t completely lose a limb, you may lose partial or full function of a limb. Injuries to the head could leave you paralyzed or with loss of motor control to parts of the body.

All too often, our understanding of gunshots, knife wounds, etc, comes from movies and television. The person either dies or eventually fully recovers. They rarely show you the victim that has to live life with a colostomy bag because of the injuries suffered. I personally know people that have been shot multiple times and live almost completely normal lives. I also can show you multiple stories of people that have suffered long-term issues from one single wound. You don’t get to choose which one you get, but you must understand the realities of what can happen.

 

Be good, train hard, stay safe

-aaron