Personal Blog Posts

Things that haunt me

The black hole in my mind from leaving my friend’s house to waking up after my surgery

My sister telling me that I called her twice while in A&E, I have no memory of that at all. It’s part of the black hole. The conversation we had is even more haunting: “I’m in A&E I’ve fallen down the stairs” a minute later “I’m in A&E and I don’t know why” she said she hung up to call mum and when she called back I was talking complete nonsense then I stopped talking, she heard the phone drop and heard what she assumed were nurses rushing over to help me

Six weeks of my life with only a few seconds of memory

The memories that I was a part of but have no memory of

That my family had no idea where I was for a while

The fact they had to stitch a cannula into my wrist because it was faster than inserting it the proper way and that whenever I looked at my bruise for months after I was reminded of this

I was only a few hours away from death

Organ donation was discussed

That my family and friends had to see me like that

When my brother and his wife told my three year old nephew “She’s a pirate” and he replied with “No she’s not. She’s poorly”

The staples. Actually, the photograph of the staples as I have no memory of looking like that. I do however remember getting them pulled out without any pain killers

The fact that I look at photographs of me at that time but it’s not me. The person inside the photographs isn’t me

​All those texts I sent

Squeezing my sister’s hand when they laid me flat on the hospital bed and pulled tubes out of my head

Being discharged from the first hospital but waiting in the canteen rather than my room and questioning my mum only a few months ago. “Why did they tell me to wait in the canteen? You’re supposed to wait in your room to be discharged”, she replied with “You said you wanted to wait in the canteen”

People staring at me when I went into A&E after throwing up a lot at home. I remember the feeling of wanting to hide in the toilet until I was called. I understand why though because I looked like this

Being re-admitted to that hospital and only being able to walk two steps with the help of a doctor and my mum

The biggest period I’ve ever had

The lost trainers after moving wards, walking to find them and the blurs of people amazed that I was walking

If mum hadn’t have made me go to the dentist we wouldn’t have known that I fractured my jaw

When my dad left me alone with no money or food

When my dad made everyone a cup of tea but me

Family visiting at home, me taking my headband off to show them my scar and mum’s (now) ex husband asking to see it again

My first big walk. Walking to the Job Centre so I could apply for ESA and being told I had to do it online

People staring when I decided to brave it without headband

Seeing my brain scan for the first time without warning a few months after I left hospital

That frying pan

Being told about all the blood

How traumatised my best friend Jon was

A grown man with a brain injury crying and no one comforting him

How the man I met with brain cancer at the Lake District in 2014 will be dead now

My burr hole, even though I’m probably the only person who sees it

My scar
This photograph

5 thoughts on “Things that haunt me

    1. Thank you Ian. I felt nervous to share this when I wrote it but now I feel relieved and glad that I showed brain injury for what it really is… A traumatic experience.

  1. These injuries are making us stronger. The scars are just our battle wounds but we survived. I have a tee shirt that says “I survived a traumatic brain injury, what is your superpower?”. Stay strong.

    Renita Poor

  2. A million thoughts constantly running through your head, this is me too. I have similar photos and scars and even the dint in my head from brain tumour surgery. I look at my frightened face and wonder is that really me? Gosh it looks like someone else. But then I don’t recognise the person I see in the mirror today, 17 months later, my face looks vulnerable, fearful and apprehensive.
    Yet my brain has a million thoughts and has a determination to see this recovery through.
    We are definitely warriors, it’s extraordinary what we are dealing with and adapting too every day, mentally, emotionally and physically. Those who don’t understand walk away, they can’t contribute anything of worth to us, but it still leaves you feeling abandoned.
    The best thing we can do us share our story, as you do. Get it out, the reality and honesty of your experience, makes this brain injury not as lonely. Thanks for sharing.

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