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The “Killer” amongst us.

A article by Dave Hood

           The “Killer” amongst us.


There are many ways to approach the demise of the catastrophe adjuster.

   1) The fatal auto accident.

   2) The falling off the roof.

  3) The stroke

  4) The heart attack

Many of the above are related to the difficult and lengthily work hours we endure to provide our services to those that require them, as well as to provide for our families.

Many auto accidents occur because we are tired, not paying attention, involved in a cell phone call, or some other distraction which may or may not be the proximate cause of the accident, but could be contributory thereto.

Falling off a roof is usually caused by being distracted and not paying attention to the situation at hand. Many have fallen, a few have survived, and more than a few have not, or have incurred injuries which limit their future. (Several close friends are among the missing).

The stroke’s and heart attack’s may be a predisposed condition which exists in some, and then they may be brought on by the lack of having a healthy diet and or proper exercise, or whatever other cause a physician or physiologist may proffer.

Most of us have been associated with the term “Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome”, which for the most part has been loosely associated with our undaunted military personnel, who return to the States after enduring some form of extremely difficult conditions. (In this instance you would have had to “been there”)

Many of these returning “hero’s, and I use the term as all inclusive, (because in my humble opinion they all are) have ventured into the various wildernesses of our society, never to return. Some have strayed off into the pinelands of New Jersey, or the Rocky Mountains of Colorado or Montana, or the barrens of Wyoming, or the streets of New York, Chicago, Los Angles, Philadelphia or any other place where they can blend into the background of this erstwhile accusatory society. (Especially those from <st1:country-region>Nam</st1:country-region>).

We now are facing yet another round of returning hero’s from a land of sand and blood and many things which are completely foreign to out perception of good and evil, or society as we understand and accept. It gives pause to each of us, to reflect on the condition and potential reactions of these people.

If, in fact, the trauma room Doctor or Nurse, or the Paramedic, or Police Officer or EMT or Fireman can deal with the daily tasks which they face, should we not be able to do the same?

Understand this, my friends; we deal with the same identical issues that the above referenced trades deal with. Sometimes it is only one a day, and other times it is 10 per day.

Perhaps we do not risk our lives in fighting a fire, using the “jaws of life” to extricate someone from a vehicle, face an individual with a firearm pointed at us, or use all of the medical training we have to save a life, but we do sometimes deal with the stress that is associated with the claimant that has lost everything they ever had. We deal with the stress of having to assure the claimant that we will do all in our power to lessen their personal losses.

We can NEVER know how they feel, nor can we even assume that we can know this. We are not the ones that have lost everything, their home, possessions, photographs, mementos, souvenirs, childhood toys and memories.

Yet, we do deal with each of these things, in our minds. We do feel their pain, we do think about what has happened to them. We do imagine what we MAY feel like if the same thing occurred in our lives. This is what is called STRESS.

The simple word stress is not unkindly, nor is it meant to be, in this proffered venue, a direct cause of the potential killer. The root of this article is for each and every one to become aware of the underlying, untold, and insufferable causes of the duties and actions of this profession.

Have you ever come home from a gig and found yourself sleeping 10-12-14 hours a day? Have you ever found yourselves becoming short, argumentative or resentful of your significant other, wife, children, parents or friends? This translates to STRESS.

No matter the cause, how long the gig, how difficult the work, we do it because we enjoy it, like to assist where we can, like to return the claimant to their just conditions and simply “do the right thing”.

There is a price for what we do, those that hire us, pay for our services, and we do enjoy these benefits. But there is a much higher price we and our families and friends pay. That price is watching us deteriorate before their eyes. Seeing us as we now are, instead of what we were before we were “deployed”. To my old mind there is little difference between WWII, <st1:country-region>Korea</st1:country-region>, and <st1:country-region>Nam</st1:country-region>, <st1:country-region>Iraq</st1:country-region> or any other warfront to which we could have been, or were, deployed to, and what we now do.

The object matter is to realize and fully comprehend what we do, why we do it and what the ensuing results may be. We are here to assist people in their time of need, we are here to lessen the trials and tribulations they are facing, and we are here to do all we can to make life more endurable for them.

Please remember the objective of this difficult adjusting life. Do all you can to help, be all you can be, and take off the adjuster hat when you get back? It is not easy, by any stretch of the imagination, but it may save you from some very serious personal difficulties with your family, children, friends and acquaintances.

In all the years that have been devoted to this profession there has only been one (1) person that I am aware of that had ever addressed this issue, and it was totally ignored.

Now having become an erstwhile victim of PTSS, after “Katrina” it is time I “fessed up”

Please do not let STRESS become your personal “KILLER”

Please note Dave passed away on July 30th, 2009.  RIP

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