Dickerson Oxton - February 2020

816-268-1960 | 913-428-8220 www.dickersonoxton.com

FEB. 2020




Learning to Recover



Last summer, I got into a car accident. Honestly, the situation could have been a lot worse, but it still left me with a prolonged injury. For a long time, I was hesitant to even bring it up, especially considering the serious health challenges many of our clients face. But with some time to reflect on the recovery process, I can at least say I’ve learned a lot from the experience. Most importantly, I learned how to say “no.” I’m one of those people who’s used to keeping a dozen plates spinning at once, especially as a mother. Our kids are at that age where they get invited to plenty of activities, and Tom and I strive to get them involved as much as possible. But chronic pain isn’t exactly something you can schedule around, so I had to accept that sometimes, I really couldn’t do it all.

not being able to keep up with my kids — these things weighed on me day in and day out. At times the sheer frustration with my situation would eat away at me. That’s why I’m glad I’ve had so much support through this process. whole process. He was fantastic: working late nights and watching the kids as I went through physical therapy. Even my eldest daughter pitched in to lend a hand where she could. I couldn’t have gotten through this as well as I have without their support, even if it meant swallowing my pride and allowing myself to be cared for. This is something I’ve seen many clients struggle with and I completely empathize. No matter how much an As much as it pains me to say it, I relied on Tom so much through this


realizing that sometimes you need to care for yourself so you can then do the same for others. “Self-care” has become a bit of a buzzword, but in regards to rehabilitation, it’s a valuable concept to hold onto. Making those physical therapy appointments, getting rest, setting aside time for yourself — these sorts of acts are important to your recovery. Two things that helped me were keeping a journal and finding a neurologist I trusted. Journaling made it possible to slow down and parse out my day, helping me notice the progress I was making in the healing process. Having a care professional I had faith in made my appointments that much less stressful. So, while I won’t go as far as saying I’m grateful for being rear-ended, I’m glad I was at least able to gain some perspective on this experience. If you’re facing a similar struggle, be kind to yourself. You don’t have to grit your teeth and try to go on as if nothing ever happened. Perfection





"This is what so many people who've neverexperienced a chronic injury can fail to understand: The pain seepsinto every aspect of your life."


This is what so many people who’ve never experienced a chronic injury fail to understand: The pain seeps into every aspect of your life. It’s one thing to know this philosophically, as most personal injury lawyers do, but another thing entirely to experience it yourself. Wincing my way through meetings, struggling to sleep at night,

injury might be holding you back, you still want to be a superhero for your family. As strange as it may sound, just learning to take a step back and focus on your own well-being can be a monumental task. No one wants to feel like a burden or they can’t help the people they care about. But the key to actually getting better is

isn’t everything. Give yourself time to heal, and please reach out if you need support. –Chelsea Dickerson




'Just a Fende CAN STILL BE A PAI As Chelsea mentions on this month’s cover, she was rear-ended last year and faced a long recovery process. We thought this would be a good time to remind readers that even “fender benders” like Chelsea’s can leave you with chronic pain and other injuries. ALL IT TAKES IS A JOLT Soft tissue injuries like muscle sprains are very common, even from minor car collisions. In particular, being rear-ended can easily cause neck sprain, as the sudden movement caused by the collision stretches the muscles and ligaments in your neck and upper back to a painful degree. The resulting injury can manifest as pain and stiffness, or could even include blurred vision, headaches, or cognitive difficulties. NOT ALL AT ONCE What can make these sorts of sprains particularly difficult from a personal injury claim perspective is they don’t always manifest right away. Often the adrenaline from a crash, coupled with

Leap Into 2020 FACTS ABOUT THE LEAP YEAR Like the Olympics and presidential elections, leap years only occur once every four years, which is why many people look forward to Feb. 29. But there’s a lot that you might not know about this quirk on the calendar. WHY To keep the calendar in sync with Earth’s orbit around the sun, an extra day is added to it every four years. Earth takes exactly 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds to orbit the sun. Those extra hours add up over time, so another calendar day becomes necessary. But a leap year doesn’t occur every four years. Adding that extra day still doesn’t quite keep Earth on track, so the calendar skips leap years that occur during century years not divisible by 400. For example, 2000 was a leap year, but 2100 won’t be. WHO The odds of being born on Feb. 29 are 1 in 1,461. That means that of the roughly seven billion people in the world, only about five million of them are “leaplings.” The number of leaplings currently living in the U.S. is roughly 187,000. Some famous leaplings include motivational speaker Tony Robbins, rapper Ja Rule, and singer Mark Foster of Foster the People. However, the most famous leapling is probably Superman. When you invent a super-being, you might as well give him a super-birthday. WHERE Anthony, Texas/New Mexico (a single town that straddles the two states’ borders), claims the title “Leap Year Capital of the World.” The city throws one massive birthday party for all leaplings but invites everyone to join the celebration. Two leapling neighbors from Anthony began the tradition in 1988, and it’s blossomed into a festival with thousands of participants every four years. It includes banquets, hot air balloons, a carnival, concerts, parades, and more. When you have four years to plan in between each shindig, there’s time to go big. Celebrate this leap year by doing something unusual or new. It’s a special day that doesn’t occur often, so make the most of it by doing something you’ll talk about for another four years.

Understanding Physical Therapy THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS VITAL CARE


Bender' IN THE NECK the deluge of activity and concerns that usually follow them, can mask symptoms. In some cases, it can take several days for the full symptoms of these sorts of injuries to manifest. So, keep an eye out for any discomfort, confusion, or impairments that follow a collision even if you felt unharmed at the time. BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY Unless it was a very minor collision, seeking medical attention after a crash is usually for the best. A doctor can identify injuries that may not have been obvious to you in the moment. For instance, they may check to ensure you aren’t concussed. They can also refer you to more specialized treatments as needed. If you’ve never had to undergo physical therapy (PT), you might be questioning its role in the recovery process. After all, when you’re injured, moving around and doing exercises can seem like a bad idea. But the truth is, PT is an invaluable part of rehabilitation, and has helped countless accident victims back on their feet. exercises can be a remedy for aching joints and muscles. Being sedentary can prolong the body’s healing process, where physical activity can actually stimulate it — bringing more oxygenated blood to damaged parts of the body. Furthermore, strengthening other ligaments can help you compensate for the area where you’re injured as you go about your day. EXERCISE CAN RELIEVE PAIN. As surprising as it may sound, the right


So remember, just because your car doesn’t look that damaged after a crash doesn’t mean the same for your body. Like Chelsea, you may wind up facing a long period of rehabilitation that can take you away from the people and activities you care about most. If you’re faced with such a situation after being hit by a negligent driver, a skilled personal injury lawyer can help you recover damages. Tom, Chelsea, and our whole team know that even minor collisions can seriously affect a family. We’ll treat your case with the respect it deserves. Therapists can spot misalignments and other debilitating conditions early and get you the help you need whether through PT itself or through other forms of medical care, such as visiting an orthopedic doctor. PT HAS PRE AND POST-SURGERY BENEFITS. Many people think of PT as something that people go through after undergoing surgery — and this is often the case. But doctors increasingly recognize the value of having patients undergo therapy exercises before an operation. This is done to ensure the patient is healthy enough for the procedure and to hasten their recovery during the outpatient process. AT-HOME EXERCISES ALLOW RECOVERY FROM HOME. Most PT regimens include at-home exercises, which are extremely important to keep up with. It’s these routines that will help you make some of the most important strides in your recovery — and can be quite empowering, too. This is a chance for you to directly play a role in healing yourself and moving forward from your accident.

Valentine'sDayDogTreats: CranberryHearts Inspired by Pretty Fluffy


• 2 large eggs • 1 1/2 cups almond flour • 1 tbsp coconut oil • 1/2 cup dried cranberries • 3–4 tbsp coconut flour


1. Heat oven to 325 F. 2. In a small bowl, beat eggs and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine almond flour, coconut oil, and cranberries. Pour in eggs and mix together with your hands until wet dough forms. 3. Mix in 1 tbsp of coconut flour at a time until dough easily forms into a ball. 4. Roll out dough on floured surface and cut with bite-size, heart-shaped cookie cutters. Transfer to cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. 5. Bake for 15–18 minutes or until treats are crisp. 6. Remove from oven and let treats cool completely before serving.

THERAPY CAN MINIMIZE INJURY. As we mention on Page 2, some car

accident injuries can take time to develop. Left untreated, these conditions can get worse, sometimes even becoming chronic conditions. Seeking PT early can help you minimize or even prevent these occurrences.


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Reflections on Rehabilitation Learn All About Leap Year Fender Bender Injuries Do You Need PT After an Accident? Take a Break Valentine’s Day Dog Treats: Cranberry Hearts A Cheesy Myth About the Moon



The Moon Isn't Made of Cheese? THE STORY BEHIND THE MYTH

We’ve all heard the silly statement before: “The moon is made of cheese!” Although we may not fall

The simplest version of the phrase’s origin tells of a cunning fox that advised a starving wolf to search for food among humans. The wolf listened, and he was attacked by the humans. The wolf escaped, and in his fury, he attempted to kill the fox. To save himself, the fox promised the wolf that he’d show him the location of an abundant food supply. That night, under the light of a full moon, the fox led the wolf to a well and pointed to the reflection of the full moon on the water’s surface deep in the well, claiming it was cheese. The hungry wolf jumped into the well to eat the cheese, forever trapping himself. Thus, the fox successfully escaped the wolf’s wrath. As with any ancient proverb, variations of the story have developed over time, but its message has remained the same: Don’t believe everything you’re told. In today’s world of oversaturated information and advice, this is a valuable tip to follow, no matter what age you are.

for it as adults, when we were children, our eyes twinkled with possibility as we gazed up at the full moon and wondered if it really could be made of cheese. While science says no, it’s still an entertaining phrase that holds a valuable lesson for adults and children alike.

The motif first appeared in folklore during the High Middle Ages as a proverb invented by a French rabbi. The full phrase is actually “The moon is made of green cheese,” and serves to warn against the dangers of credulity, or the willingness to believe in things that aren’t based on reasonable proof or knowledge.

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