25th July 2016
As I stood clutching my hand luggage waiting to board the 747 aircraft, I knew what I was just about to try was risky. There were people around me everywhere who had small children that were excitedly shouting and squealing which did wonders for my ear drums, because my ear drums were relaying the noise back to my broken noggin 10 times stronger than what it actually was.
I was travelling to Mallorca on my own. What would I do when I got to the other end? What if I became confused, disorientated or dizzy? What if I had a flashback on the plane?
If my mind and my flashbacks had a dialogue during this journey it went something like this:
Flashback: ‘Remember when you were on that Fox Flight air ambulance jet tied to the bed? Well now you have a window seat, there’s nowhere for you to go if you needed to get up. You’re enclosed in. Just like on that leer jet.
Me: ‘Yeah, I remember. Wasn’t the best day out I’ve had’
Flashback: ‘Oh thats not scaring you? Try this – remember what the pain felt like in your head from all the haemorrhages? Remember the tubes sticking out your veins? Remember the sepsis running through your veins? You nearly died a few times on that journey’.
Me: ‘Absolutely mate, but I didn’t. And for my troubles now I’ve even got a Fox Flight t shirt that I occasionally wipe my arse with when I’m out of loo roll’.
Flashback: ‘Funny guy aren’t you? Well, remember the conversations around you on the flight? Your dad asking the doctor if you were going to survive? And what did the doctor say? He said he didn’t know. You couldn’t move’.
Me: ‘That doctor sounds like a nob head if I’m honest. You two would get on well’
Flashback: ‘Your tattoos might be a hoax to cover up the pain that your scars hold, but they can’t hide the ones in your head. You know that I follow you around when you’re at work in that hospital. You know I’ve come back many, many times before and I will continue to follow you. You will never be rid of me’.
Me: ‘I’m glad for your sake. You don’t strike me as somebody with lots of friends. I’ll see you in a few weeks when I start work on the neurosurgery ward, you’ll have plenty of opportunities there. Sorry to cut this short but I need to order a burger from that pretty stewardess I’m Hank Marvin mate’.
Flashback: ‘Ok mate have a good holiday, no hard feelings. It’s just a job I have to do’.
Ok so the last sentence was a joke.
This summer has been the best of my life. I’ve met some wonderful people who have taught me that I am a likeable person, that I’m not as awful as I was erroneously made to believe for so many years from someone I thought loved me.
I’m living again.
I’m a new person. For the first time in four and a half years I like who I am. Thank you so much to all the amazing people I’ve met who I am happy to have known and now call my friends. I now feel more confident in myself and this is allowing me for the first time in 4 years to make more friends at home now.
Recovering from a severe head injury has taught me lots of things. It’s taught me that there will come a time where I’ll become scared at the thought of trying new and outrageous things. But when the time comes I need to gain a huge amount of courage and be able to just say ‘fuck it, I’m doing it’. This is the only way my brain will ever learn how to live again. Thats the only way I’ve learned how to live a bit more ‘normally’ or to feel ‘happier’ again.
It’s taught me that if you’re willing to put in the work and be brave enough change, like miracles, is possible.