When stuck in busy rush hour traffic on the daily commute to work, I think it’s pretty fair to say most people are feeling pretty miffed and wound up about it. Angry honks and evil glares eminate from behind pigeon excrement-covered windscreens, with the furious shaking of fists of those who are flapping that they might be late for work. I, on the other hand, love it.
This might seem quite a weird comment to make, but I can justify it for two reasons;
1) I say weird stuff like that all the time
2) When you spend three years being a useless nobody who has no consequence to society, it feels great to be part of something again. Even if it’s just stuck in traffic!
While everyone around me is getting miffed and angry in their cars, I’m savouring every moment of it. I am alive. I am meant to be somewhere this morning, I have somewhere to go. I have important things to do, just like all the motorists stuck in this traffic with me. I have a purpose to get out of bed early this morning, I feel truly blessed to be sharing this problem with other people. Besides; I have a life, being stuck in traffic on the way to work is a problem I want to have. It’s like being a millionaire who wins the lottery and now has to decide which car to buy; the Rolls Royce or the Bentley. This is a problem that person doesn’t mind having.
These past two weeks has felt like two months!
So I have just finished struggling my way through my first two weeks of full time work. I am working on placement as a student nurse health visitor and it’s great, I love it. I’m doing what I enjoy and loving being with kids again. However, I have had to go home early on one occasion due to my fatigue. Once isn’t bad in my opinion, and it was down to having a busy morning with no break. It’s simple enough to remedy and avoid for the future, I just gripped myself and berated my rookie mistake of not taking a break and I have hopefully learned from it.
Every day is like a well planned SAS military operation. I am spending copious amounts of money on food to keep me energised and every second of the day I am focusing on not becoming too fatigued. This is always at the forefront of my mind, before anything else, it has to be.
Of course there will be some difficulties that may crop up despite my meticulous planning. The other day a nurse and patient needed a leaflet, so they had asked me to go upstairs to the office and get one for them. I thought, hey up, I need the loo. I can kill two birds with one stone here
But unfortunately only one of the birds was killed. I made the mistake of using the toilet beforehand, and I had completely forgotten what she had asked me for. I had to go in and explain, it was quite embarrassing! (Before any of you message me saying that this happens to you all the time, don’t worry. I would kindly ask you refrain from doing so, as IDGAF what the similarities are between us).
I meditate each day at lunchtime, and if I am in a situation where I can feel the fatigue starting to creep up on me I meditate secretly. For example, If I am in clinic or am on a home visit I start to focus on what’s in front of me, keeping out any other thoughts of plans or feelings that cause traffic in my brain which inevitably results in me feeling like I’ve gone ten rounds with Mike Tyson.
I focus on the baby’s head, speech, kicking legs..whatever. Anything to keep my mind in the present and away from fatigue. Fatigue is not like tiredness, tiredness is pleasant in comparison. Tiredness is easy to cure, but fatigue from a brain injury is not.
Fatigue is like “dirty” tiredness. It feels like your head has been chopped open and your brain has been dipped in oil and superglue. Headaches, blurred vision, dizziness, sickness and extreme levels of tiredness are some of the wonderful feelings that are derived from fatigue. It gets a bit tricky when you’re in the middle of a baby clinic and these symptoms start to appear!
I spend so much time trying to keep the fatigue from getting me and it takes so much energy and focus that I sometimes lose focus on other things that are just as important.
Last week I upset Dani by not paying her enough attention and being sensitive enough towards her. She obviously needs lots of TLC at the moment, given the fact she lost her mum not even a month ago. It’s for reasons like these that people with brain injuries are not normally family people. They are usually socially isolated individuals and 90% of them never return to employment again.
It’s almost as though we’ve gone back in time, with me becoming selfish and insensitive again. Of course, to the outside it might seem that way, but the reality is somewhat different if you look closer. even I need to grip myself and say “It’s not you, it’s the situation and your injuries”
And I think that sums up brain injuries: Look closer, things are never what they appear to be just by looking from afar. I didn’t need to mention this in the blog but felt I owe it to others in a similar position to me to raise some awareness and not tell porkies by pretending people with brain injury are all such wonderfully loving and sensitive individuals. We’re not, we’re sods. But we don’t mean to be.
And the pain we suffer because of this cannot be understood by the outside world. They just see an insensitive and selfish person who thinks only of themselves.
Even if it’s painful never let it break you,
If it don’t kill you it makes you stronger and stronger,
Mind of a soldier, spirit of a champion: militant and bolder,
King of my dreams I’m the master of my destiny,
Never back down never let it get the best of me,
And even when you feel like you haven’t got enough to win,
And you’re down, you’ve got to stand up again.
I believe I can become a nurse. From the start I have never lost that belief. Dani asked me recently, “Will I see my mum again?” I answered with this:
You don’t need to know what people think about the afterlife. You don’t need to find out about people’s experience with “spirits” are or whatever; it doesn’t matter. All you have to do is believe you will see her again. Don’t think about how, when or why – just believe you will.
I believed I would survive my crash. Even when I was strapped down to a bed in a leerjet and I knew I was on the way out, I just thought “I may as well just keep the belief that I’ll fight this and win. Fuck it, not much else to do.”
And there it is. There’s not much else to do. Why question what you want in life? Just believe you will get it or have it, thats all you need to do. I believe I will be a nurse one day, the stats say that I won’t and if I listen to other survivors I probably won’t – but I just believe. Easy.
It’s the same with death, don’t worry about the evidence or what the experts think, all you need to do to see your loved ones again is believe.
Who cares what other people think? I am in a world where I don’t understand how much of a problem this is for some people. We all need evidence or proof to believe in something. We all need to conform and be the same…
Maybe it’s because I’m just a controversial sod who likes to be different, but I always think –
I don’t care what the past evidence says. I’m going to do it different. and I’ll succeed. Because I completely believe I will. Just because I believe. No other reason.
Maybe have a go yourself. Just try a week of believing in everything you want, just pretend you know it’s going to happen. Act like you have it now, because the belief is 100%……..