Weak Long, Head Strong.

It’s clichéd, that you feel like you’re dreaming, but that’s exactly how it felt. I woke up, looked around the ward, thought it was part of a dream, fell asleep. Woke up, a bit later, to the same surroundings, with no recollection, to why I was there. Nothing felt broken, inside or out, until I felt my face, noted the dried blood on my left temple, and swelling to my left eye and left cheek. I wasn’t in pain, thanks to tranquilizers. I was more confused than usual though. I was in a hospital gown, and attached to an intravenous drip. I looked around for my stuff, my clothes had been cut off me, stuck in a bag and I found my phone. Least I was in touch with the outside world, even if I hadn’t got a clue, where I was. I had my first visit from the specialist staff, who were kind of apologetic, when they gave me a prognosis. I had a bleed on the brain. I’d heard of it, but didn’t really understand what it meant. As I learnt more about my new condition, I realised I had mistaken the apologetic attitude, for present and future concern, like I’d lost a limb, or something similar, and my life was going to be forever altered. For me, at the moment they told me, all I could think, was “That’s it? So what?” To me, it was the equivalent to having a grazed knee. I lay there, trying to make sense of things, but mainly slept. Getting up to go to the toilet was interesting, I wasn’t expecting to feel as dizzy, as I was. It was such a wonderful relief to see my Youngest Sister Val and hubby John, the first familiar faces. Unbeknownst to me, as soon as I had gone sprawling on the escalator at Vauxhall station, and the paramedics had been called to me, my mates had been in touch with each other, managing to get in touch with my folks. I had, and have, no memory whatsoever, with what happened after getting the train from Brentford, and ending up in the Kings College hospital. I just know that changing at Vauxhall, and then the train home from Euston, was the plan. With my cognitive response, not being exactly great, communication wasn’t brilliant. In other words, I was dosier than usual. The specialist staff, got me to do something simple, that would gauge how bad I was. A cup of tea, a cup of coffee, and make some toast, using a toaster. Not easy, when I hadn’t got a toaster at home, and don’t drink coffee. They didn’t get me to do it again though, so I can’t have been totally hopeless. I spent a week in hospital, listening to the rest of the patients on the ward, the young lad in the next bed, desperate to leave, the visits from his family were interesting. Visits from my Sis and hubby sedate compared, and I was extremely grateful to them for replacing my destroyed clothes. My disoriented state of mind, had me thinking, I was getting discharged along with the volatile young lad, and another patient, I wasn’t, but I felt that I was taking a bed up, and somehow, ended up discharging myself. Even if I had wanted to go home to my flat, Val and John were never going to allow that, and I spent another week at theirs. I’m glad I did, because I wasn’t in a fit state to look after myself completely. I am extremely independent though, and a survivor, after a nuclear bomb has wiped all but cockroaches out, turning them into mutants with a useful command of English, the conversation would go something like this, when they spotted me. “I thought you said, they’d been annihilated?”, “I did, but that’s Sid, it would take more than a little firework to kill him off.” I won’t lie down. If my Dad could cope with dying of cancer, and not whinge about it, I could cope with what had happened to me. I was determined to fight back to normal. (Normal for me anyway) Val and John were brilliant, my Sis, treating me with kid gloves. Although I was oblivious to it, those first couple of weeks were vital to my recovery. Although I didn’t let on, although probably obvious, I noticed that as I grew tired during the day, I got double vision. The choice was either, try closing one eye, or work out which one of the T.V. screens to watch, I would manage it for so long, before what was left of my functioning brain, (Wasn’t much before the accident) gave in to sleep. The more tired I got, the dizzier I became too. I’m blessed with good peripheral vision and awareness, this was drastically cut, it was similar to being in fog. I was in all intense and purpose, and invalid. Those early days, I felt what it must feel like, to be an O.A.P. I had continual white noise in my right ear, (No, not the ‘Rivers of Blood’ Enoch Powell speech) I still do, just not as bad. I was determined to, not just languish in self pity, but to push myself. Val and John were more than happy with coping with me for longer, but I knew I needed, what solitary living, makes you do, basically, everything. Val was worried, but I needed to get back on my feet. I went and saw the powers that be, where I was working, to tell them as much as I could, and pencil in, when I was going to go back to work. I knew, I had to stretch myself, coax the brain cells into working again. (OK, OK, working for the first time) Work was a major contribution to my accident. I had become extremely depressed, due to a combination of modern life and its over reliance on the computer, continued turmoil down the Blues, the trudge of day shift hours in a place, I didn’t really fit in, and awful monthly pay. (I couldn’t make the equivalent of 3 weeks pay, stretch 4 and a half weeks.) Eating had taken a back seat, within my budget, I was already on bare bones in terms of how much I was spending on my social life, (Which had dwindled to just football, which I desperately needed, to keep some semblance of sanity) and I had disciplined myself to just one meal a day. (After all, I’d never had a big appetite, genetically speaking, I was slight, I would cope) Cope, my body didn’t though, it had been running on empty, since long before Christmas, and that fateful night in London, it threw its hands up in protest, and went on strike, just as I was walking down the escalator. (Quicker than just standing, usually) A by product of shockingly bad wages, and stealth increases in outgoings to just exist, is that ingenuity finds the cheapest way to be able to just exist. Advance train tickets and booked hotel rooms, way before you book a holiday from work, and release of match tickets. Although I was eating properly again, I hadn’t recovered enough to do Cardiff away, but I’d got my tickets, train and match, (Even if I couldn’t read the print on the tickets properly) I was going. A survivor, I may be, but I’m stubborn too, I was determined to get back to it. I met up with my Niece Sarah and boyfriend Dave, (Now fiancee) who informed me, she’s susceptible to doing the same sort of thing, I’d done. (I’d got a recollection of my Mom doing similar, when I was a kid, so it was a ‘hand me down’ fault) I thought I’d been a perfect conversationist, but apparently, I’d been incoherent. I made it through the day though, and I was proud of myself. Whilst I was off, I stopped at my Nephew Dave’s in Chorley, who even without the strict instructions off Val, looked after me. If I could manage a weekend away, taking in back to back games, I was ready to go back to work. Well no, I wasn’t really, but I didn’t get company sick pay. Each day was different with my recovery,I’d get dizzy spells and spells of double vision, I never let on, just stopped a moment, took a deep breath, and got on with it, having some kind of timetable for when they were going to happen, would have made work, and life, easier though. I had sprained my wrist when I had gone sprawling on the escalator, which took a lot longer to heal, as I just kept using it, impossible to pick up a 25kg box by using just one hand otherwise. For whatever reason, while I was healing as best I could, the depression left me alone, so life was brighter, it was brighter still, when the fog lifted, it was as if I was seeing things for the first time again. The one thing that did really surprise me though, was hitting a patch of flashbacks, not flashbacks to the accident, (Even now, I’ve no memories) these were things that had happened to me in life. There were no triggers for these memories, it was like someone else had got the remote. The ‘keeper of the remote’ would, on a whim, flit back and forth through my back catalogue, and these vivid memories would flood into my head, like I had been transported back to that precise moment, nothing left out, no haziness. Good and bad memories, they were completely random. I’m not narcissistic in the slightest, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, my recorded life. I can only liken it to a trodden on table tennis ball, being heated up, till the expanding air popping it back in to shape. My hearing’s recovery, finally made an appearance, and I got volume spurts, coupled with horrible dizzy spells. I’d now got an audio system I could work with. I knew I was pretty much, as good as new, as my depression moved back in, and made itself at home, once again. So that’s it really, I survived, and I’m boring you with the trip from the trip.

 

2 thoughts on “Weak Long, Head Strong.

  1. Whilst this may not have been the most positive of subjects to write about, it is good to see you expressing how you feel. Just remember that it is okay not to be okay, and that you do have family around you that will listen to you. I don’t want to get sentimental and mushy but I do love you Uncle Ed, so please take care of yourself.

    Like

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