Keep on keeping on

I don’t have a problem being honest about how I feel and I’ll be the first to admit to you that since I’ve qualified as a nurse I feel like I’ve bitten off more than I can chew.

If a person has had a serious head injury, their GCS will be less than 8

Mine was 5. Joy.

A severe head injury is when someone remains in Post-traumatic amnesia (PTA) for 6 hours or more

PTA is like having dementia. It’s horrifying and gives me nightmares to this day. I was in PTA for over a month.

Speech difficulties. Finding words. Fatigue. Headaches. Memory. Emotional impairment. Constant anxiety.

In the past when people have got wind of my symptoms, they’ve judged me and labelled me instantly. They put me in a box and swallowed the key.

I really can’t blame people for judging me either. Sometimes I really do sound like an idiot. An idiot on drugs.

Mum, dad and my sister took Reese to see the Christmas lights in Bournemouth last night. I really wanted to go but I was too tired.

I’ve seen Reese for 4 hours today. She’s just been taken back to her mum because my fatigue is playing up.

I won’t see her until next Sunday now, And I don’t mean to harp on about anything but I’m sad and a bit angry about that.

I always miss her

I’ve never even had her overnight on my own because of my night terrors. She’s nearly 6!

I’m constantly watching her face drop into disappointment when I tell her that I have to go now because ‘daddy needs to rest’.

After all these years that still remains a tricky one

On the rare occasion I do get invited out to social events, I usually have to say no. I’m not being negative it’s just frustrating sometimes when I really do WANT to socialise!

People often judge me as being boring or unsociable which is (albeit understandably) just not true

At work I literally feel like a bumbling clown hiding this secret that no one has any idea about. Like an undercover agent or something.

Eat your heart out James Bond

On work training days, I often clam up in front of the people who assess me making myself look as incompetent as the day is long.

Sometimes it just feels like my thoughts are wading through a thick swamp!

I know what I need to do, but my brain just takes such a long time to do it. I watch people’s faces as their already-made-up minds watch me make a complete nob out of myself. But I really don’t care about others’ opinions of me.

You’ve got to embrace what you are

I’m not ashamed of who I am anymore. Perhaps the nursing is the last bit of the ‘old Mikey’ that I’m clinging on to.

Either way I refuse to hide what I am now by trying to pretend I’m something else. What good will that do?

I did that for years when I was married. No thanks!

But Make no mistake, you won’t find a more grateful person than me. I’m so lucky for everything and everyone around me.

Although I might not get to see my daughter as nearly as much as I’d like, the very mention of her name is enough to keep me going.

I look forward to the day I can look after her myself for more than 4 hours

And that day will come. After all, all this would be a lot more difficult from a wheelchair. Or a coffin.

And sure, my days are tiring and filled with constant challenges that feel way out of my league

But when you have a severe brain injury life itself is out of your league. So I’ll continue to put one foot in front of the other and just keep on keeping on.

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