We all did it

Well the summer of 2018 seems to be getting better by the day for young (ish) Mikey. Right this second I’m cooking something and felt the urge to scribble a little something on here.

I’m so grateful

I found heaven before I got to where I am today. Heaven is there for all of us, the only thing standing in the way is our minds. For example, before I qualified as a nurse I’d already found what mattered most in life and decided that being a nurse (although a dream of mine and something which I felt was very important to me) would be a bonus if I could get it after all these years, but life is still incredible regardless of our occupation.

Living in the moment

I’m sure you’ve all heard ‘spiritualists’ preach of this. I thought I was ‘living in the moment’ for years, but I wasn’t.

Today at the beach, I felt the sheer joy of the water lapping against my legs. The cold thrust me to the present moment, the feeling of the sun on my back was amazing. The view was unbelievably beautiful, I felt so grateful to be part of watching the sun spill over the ocean in front of me. I watched the sun reflect off the surface of the water and knew that I’d found the gateway to my ‘heaven’ long before I qualified as a nurse. 

Oh btw. This really isn’t ‘hippy’.

This is for all of us. It doesn’t matter what catastrophic events are happening in your life. If you have only this moment on the ‘beach’, what else matters?

I know real pain and suffering

But I also know that ‘heaven’ is there right in front of me whenever I choose to cast my mind aside and live in the moment. You probably think I’m a hippy nutcase, and you’d be right. But just for the lols, give it a try. Whatever faith or religion you follow, this moment is what is real for all of us. It requires no belief to live in the now.

What a summer this is

If you just humour me and try living like this for a few months you will see something magical start to happen in your life. Your wildest dreams will come true and even if they didn’t, you’d still experience the feeling of true bliss. Bliss is better than happiness.

Happiness by it’s very nature becomes ‘unhappiness’ very soon. No one can be happy all the time, it;s impossible.

My dream seemed to be getting further away, with my symptoms getting worse by the day. But I still lived these days ‘on the beach’, or going for walks, being with nature or (worst case scenario) where I had no access to natural beauty, I anchored myself to the present moment wherever I was. I listened to my breath and observed my thoughts.

Where is the magic then?

Here it is:

After 7 years of studying, I achieved my dream of becoming a fully qualified nurse. On the very same day, after so many years of financial difficulty because I am no longer able to work full time as a result of the brain injury, I secured financial security for the rest of my life.

On the very same day. I can’t emphasise that  enough.

Two days ago, I had my first job interview in 8 years. Yesterday, I found out that I  did very well in that interview and I had secured my first job as a fully qualified nurse.

Everything I went through prepared me for what I asked for

So now  I can do the job I’ve dreamed of doing all my life, at my leisure.

Please take from this blog what I have learned the hard way over the years. Anything is possible, yes this is true. But nothing is more possible that  finding your own heaven right now.

 

Thank all of you for being part of this journey so far. I value every single person who has come into my life, I just wish I could thank you all personally (but i’d forget someone. My memory is shit).

You’re all the reason I did this. From Tess,  Frans (who lives in Holland), to Wendy (my godmother in London) or my family and close friends, you’re all the reason I’m here and am now able to help so many people.

But I do want to say a special thank you to a very special group of people. Each one of them mean the world to me and I’ve learned something from every one of them in my own way. Without this particular group of people perhaps I wouldn’t have qualified for another few more years! They are not more important than anyone else, I just feel I haven’t mentioned them as much as I perhaps wanted to.

So thank you SC014, we all did it!

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It’s been a ride

Its important for me to remember that my journey of trying to become a qualified children’s nurse has been far more important than the destination.

Firstly, I completed my access course and secured a place at university, to which there were only 60 places with over 300 applicants. 5 Months into my training, I went on my honeymoon and my life changed, we had severe car crash after a dolphin swim.

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Barely escaping with my life, and after apparently shielding Dani from being hurt in the crash, I returned home from hospital to a hero’s welcome after losing nearly 3 stone in weight.

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But Dani had found out she was pregnant whilst I was in a coma. 9 months later my daughter was born. After nearly two days of labour, she was delivered by emergency caesarean. She was not breathing, she had a punctured lung and sepsis and the doctors said she could die.

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But thankfully she survived. I suffered a nervous breakdown when she was born and retreated into a dark traumatic place for some time. I went for intense rehab in Cambridge for 4 months to get myself ready for my return to nursing studies and I started back again the following September. After three months, tragedy struck. My mother in law died suddenly and tragically.

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Because of the consistent trauma in our lives, my marriage broke down and I moved out of the marital home. Some time after this, I divorced from my wife. It was around this time that trauma struck again: whilst I was living out a suitcase my grandma deteriorated and died soon after. I was only on my second nursing placement at this point.

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I rented a room in a house with a couple and their young daughter after my Grandma died. Everything seemed fine in my new home, but unbeknownst to me the couple had had an ulterior motive: they knew about my accident and my big court case and potential payout. The pretended to like me and extorted me without my knowing until one day I was physically attacked by the woman who was in a drunken rage. Again unbeknownst to me she was an alcoholic and drug abuser.

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She phoned the police and told them and my university I had attacked her and that I need valium for aggression and that I shouldn’t be around children.

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After undergoing an interview under caution at the police station the police realised she had been lying to try and get me to pay them off if they admitted that it was in fact me had been the victim. Marie Stockley then told my university that I had been abusive towards their 8 year old daughter and I was suspended and sent to a fitness to practice panel. During this period I found inner peace and I awoke.

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The charges were finally dropped by the police and the panel.

I returned to placement 4 and did so well the dean of my university insisted that I represent the uni at a prestigious event at Westminster Abbey. Unfortunately my symptoms were too much for me to handle at this point and I had to decline.

 Then I started my final nursing placement.

But staff had known about my head injury and it didn’t take long for their judgement to sink in. The staff didn’t appear to want to help me and I left the placement after 4 weeks and watched my student-colleagues of 3 years graduate ahead of me.

My university decided to send me to the most cognitively demanding speciality in nursing: neonatal intensive care. This would show if the concerns staff had previously raised were correct. I insisted that no one there should know about my condition and see what happens. I passed with 4 A*s and a letter from my mentor to the university saying she had not once noticed a memory slip or lack of concentration.

But my time of NNU drained me. Not for the first time, I had burned out and become exhausted.

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My consultant neurologist had said I needed to take time out of my programme. But time was already running out. I ignored his advice and returned to start my final placement which would be 7 months long. After spending an entire christmas in bed, I resumed my training on the 2nd of January this year.

I have left out many events that have happened in between that are very significant, but I need to write this for me and keep it relatively ‘brief’.

I have known sadness of epic proportions when my wife found a boyfriend shortly after I moved into my flat. I know the pain of always needing to tell my daughter “I can only see you twice this week’ or “I can’t take you to the party because of my head’.

Reese told me once: ‘I like being unwell because then you look after me like the children at work’. 

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Today is the official last official day of my final nursing placement. The bursary has gone and I will not be granted anymore money. I am in a mountain of debt and I am going to court on Monday if I am unable to settle with them today.

My journey has changed me. I have understood that the only way you can achieve your goals in life is to fight with peace, understanding, forgiveness and compassion. I have no anger towards Marie Stockley, the lawyers, my ex wife, the staff who didn’t give me a chance on my placement(s) or anyone else who has put up a brick wall for me to try and break down over the years. I only have understanding and peace towards them.

I’ll finish with this scenario:

Poole Hospital – TBI ward 2011

I was half asleep and in pain. I was scared and wanted to get back to my nursing and my friends. A nurse entered:

‘Mikey, your love for nursing is great, but it’s time to think of another career choice now’

 

 

 

It just can’t be done. I’m so sorry.

 

 

 

 

..and would you believe it. 7 years later (two days ago) I became a qualified children’s nurse!

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I know anything is possible for anyone. Never let anyone tell you something cannot be done. You just need to be crazy enough to have the audacity to be willing to be pushed past your limits and go through hell to achieve it.

Thank all of you

Quitting Lion

 

The journey

I’ll never forget the day I was told to consider another career choice, because being a nurse is not realistic for me anymore. I was in hospital and the nurse had woken me up to come in give me that piece of joyful news. I’ll also always remember the last time I saw my consultant, who has done nothing but try to get me to where I am from the moment he first met me in hospital 6 years ago.

This was back when I was dribbling all over the place and nobody knew if or how well I would recover from a severe head injury.

The first thought I had back then, laying in my bed feeling like I had died and come back to life, was ‘when can I get back to my nursing?’ He’s known from day one that has been my only focus. After I was unsuccessful in returning to my studies (twice), I knew I’d need a miracle of epic proportions. And I got it.

7 months ago the same consultant told me that he never thought I’d get this far.

It was though my own experience I learned most about sepsis. This is the same for; petechial haemorrhages, frontal and parietal lobe haematomas, subarachnoid haemorrhages, diffuse axonal injury and even hypopituitarism and diabetes insipidous. I even became interested in the types of medication I had been pumped full of. Years later, reading my medical reports, I noticed that my kidney cells had been abnormal at the time I was extubated. To this day it always helped me to remember this was because I was given high doses of vancomycin, which can do permanent damage to the kidneys.

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The doctors in Mexico said they did not know how I would be when I woke up from my coma. Being intubated and needing a ventilator for the two weeks I spent in my coma should have been enough cause for concern, let alone what I would do with myself if I recovered enough to have another chance at life.

Luckily I got that chance, at a price.

I’m writing these words because soon I will know if all those people who either told me I could not be a nurse, or who had tried to stop me (or worse) will be proved right. 99% of my suffering could have been avoided if I had only chosen not to pursue this dream of mine, which originally began 10 years ago.

I haven’t written much lately

Because I speak less now days. You find the truth in silence, words can never do justice to the truth.

But when I go to court in three weeks, and my suffering is being questioned in front of a high court judge in London, I will know if I have finally done enough to achieve the ‘impossible’.

But I’ve learned that nothing is impossible. I truly know this to be fact, and when this story is shared others will too. 9 months after I was discharged from hospital, when my ex wife was giving birth, a doctor in Poole hospital approached me.

Mikey, the first time I met you will always stay with me forever. You were the sickest patient I had ever seen and have ever seen to this day.

I wanted to thank everyone who has ever read this blog and given their time to sending me personal (or public) messages of support. As I wrote 4 years ago, I knew this was going to be a journey. Perhaps I had no idea just what was really in store for me, but I’m glad that although there are some people who read this blog who I have not seen in many years, it has meant a lot being able to share my story with you guys.

The next time you hear from me will be the blog I have been waiting 7 years to write, for better or worse. When my story becomes public and I’m asked about it, I’ll always remember those who supported me, in any way at all.

I have chased my dream. The journey has made it all worthwhile, whatever the outcome. I’ve learned that sometimes the journey is more important than the destination itself.

 

The journey

I’ll never forget the day I was told to consider another career choice, because being a nurse is not realistic for me anymore. I was in hospital and the nurse had woken me up to come in give me that piece of joyful news. I’ll also always remember the last time I saw my consultant, who has done nothing but try to get me to where I am from the moment he first met me in hospital 6 years ago.

This was back when I was dribbling all over the place and nobody knew if or how well I would recover from a severe head injury.

The first thought I had back then, laying in my bed feeling like I had died and come back to life, was ‘when can I get back to my nursing?’ He’s known from day one that has been my only focus. After I was unsuccessful in returning to my studies (twice), I knew I’d need a miracle of epic proportions. And I got it.

7 months ago the same consultant told me that he never thought I’d get this far.

It was though my own experience I learned most about sepsis. This is the same for; petechial haemorrhages, frontal and parietal lobe haematomas, subarachnoid haemorrhages, diffuse axonal injury and even hypopituitarism and diabetes insipidous. I even became interested in the types of medication I had been pumped full of. Years later, reading my medical reports, I noticed that my kidney cells had been abnormal at the time I was extubated. To this day it always helped me to remember this was because I was given high doses of vancomycin, which can do permanent damage to the kidneys.

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The doctors in Mexico said they did not know how I would be when I woke up from my coma. Being intubated and needing a ventilator for the two weeks I spent in my coma should have been enough cause for concern, let alone what I would do with myself if I recovered enough to have another chance at life.

Luckily I got that chance, at a price.

I’m writing these words because soon I will know if all those people who either told me I could not be a nurse, or who had tried to stop me (or worse) will be proved right. 99% of my suffering could have been avoided if I had only chosen not to pursue this dream of mine, which originally began 10 years ago.

I haven’t written much lately

Because I speak less now days. You find the truth in silence, words can never do justice to the truth.

But when I go to court in three weeks, and my suffering is being questioned in front of a high court judge in London, I will know if I have finally done enough to achieve the ‘impossible’.

But I’ve learned that nothing is impossible. I truly know this to be fact, and when this story is shared others will too. 9 months after I was discharged from hospital, when my ex wife was giving birth, a doctor in Poole hospital approached me.

Mikey, the first time I met you will always stay with me forever. You were the sickest patient I had ever seen and have ever seen to this day.

I wanted to thank everyone who has ever read this blog and given their time to sending me personal (or public) messages of support. As I wrote 4 years ago, I knew this was going to be a journey. Perhaps I had no idea just what was really in store for me, but I’m glad that although there are some people who read this blog who I have not seen in many years, it has meant a lot being able to share my story with you guys.

The next time you hear from me will be the blog I have been waiting 7 years to write, for better or worse. When my story becomes public and I’m asked about it, I’ll always remember those who supported me, in any way at all.

I have chased my dream. The journey has made it all worthwhile, whatever the outcome. I’ve learned that sometimes the journey is more important than the destination itself.

 

There are no winners

‘Jane, do you mind if I go and sit in the empty bay for five minutes, my head isn’t good’ 

As I sat in the dark and empty room, I massaged my head, my eyes and my temples. It was only 12 o’clock, I still had four hours of work to go.

Or I could tell the staff I must go home now instead

As I stood up to go back to the loud hubbub of the ward, I knew I hadn’t ever felt fatigue come on like this before. I took a deep breath and opened the door that lead to the ward.

The noise was excruciating. Children were running up and down the ward and crashing into walls, each noise was piercing and amplified tenfold and my photosensitivity to the light was unbearable.

I had three patients to look after on my own.

My phone rang. It was my solicitor. I stepped off the ward and took the call. It was bad news. I am going to court next month with only a 60% chance of success. Our meeting tomorrow is cancelled.

Well there goes that hope of settling this without the nightmare of court proceedings

I returned to the ward. My eyes were flickering, my head was in the worse pain I have ever felt. The dizziness was torment and I felt so sick because of it. My balance was so difficult to maintain, imagine trying to balance a banana on the tip of your finger.

I have to hide it. I have to pretend

If I am honest about how I feel to the staff, there are no words to accurately describe the experience.

Words like ‘headache’ and ‘migraine’ will never do it justice.

People will judge and people can change your circumstances unjustly, so I must remain switched on.

Because of my accident, this could be my last chance I have to achieve something meaningful that I love

The staff must think I am such a dick, my communication is terrible. Try having a conversation with someone and only using words with vowels, that’s how much effort is required just to communicate with people when I feel ‘fatigued’.

This is a nightmare that no one around me will ever know about.

I finished the shift and even discharged one of my patients. Everything was up to date and I went home only when I was finished, half an hour after my normal finish time. My next challenge was driving home.

I managed to get home. I was expecting another call from my solicitor, but I cancelled.

I spent hours on my bedroom floor. I clutched at my head, I massaged it, used lavender, drank more water, ate a calorific meal, meditated..I felt so sick and dizzy. I crawled to my bathroom as the dizziness made my stomach turn. I vomited back up all my pizza.

What a waste of money that was, I wasn’t grateful for that

But I am grateful for life, I am grateful my body hasn’t failed me yet. I thought I may end up with a seizure yesterday, but once again I am grateful that my body was able to cope (just about), but the feeling of guilt remains ever present as I continue to put my body through this.

But I am in love with life and everything in it

Meditation combined with these experiences make you appreciate life even more. The beauty of living in the present moment with compassion and empathy is always there for me, regardless of how I feel.

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The sound and beauty of the beach, the sun, or the lovely picture of autumn leaves, or even snow. You most probably think I’m mad, which I know I am.

I am a madman who has known suffering and who knows sadness. But I am also a madman who knows the peace, beauty and joy which can be found at any given moment within us all simply by removing the mind or ‘thinking’ and anchoring your conscious into the present moment which is full of all kinds of indescribable beauty.

I also know the latter three can only be taken away by me, not my circumstances.

 

 

The last push

These two questions will be answered next month:

Will I qualify as a nurse?

Will we win the case if it goes to court?

The power of attraction has meant that these two major life events occur in the same week, of the same month, of the same year. Only 3 days apart.

I don’t want to talk or socialise. I don’t want to debate or discuss, for the past 5 months I have only wanted to be alone.

I don’t fight what I feel, I just live whatever emotion I am experiencing in its totality.

Only the person who experiences anger in its totality knows true compassion

Why fight or try to work out why you’re feeling a certain way? We’re all human, emotions happen. Embrace it, regardless of the emotion or your opinion of it.

Only the person who experiences sadness in its complete and utter totality can know bliss

Anger, love, hate, happiness, anxiety, depression.. they are all part of the same energy. It just depends on how we translate or channel the energy at the given time as to how we will choose to label it.

I feel like I’ve given a part of me to get this far and to know it could all come crashing down is a sobering thought.

Before I started this I knew I’d have to be content with feeling sad, lonely and scared for a long time.

I took this fight on knowing it would push me beyond my limits.

I’ve changed during this journey, I found my true self. That on its own has made it worthwhile.

Nothing is impossible. Impossible is a word, words have been created by us. But conscious actions can destroy words like ‘impossible’ and prove that they have no existential relevance whatsoever.

I will stop this when I am a qualified nurse or I am told I am no longer eligible to try. Between now and then, I’m happy to go a few more rounds.

The fight of my life

I had a big meeting regarding my court case on Friday:

Your brain injury was the severest type possible. What you’re attempting to do is rare

I replied ‘and not a single soul will ever know that’. She got it. Her daughter had had a TBI too and attempted to be ‘high functioning’.

What you’re doing can bring hope to so many

My level of functioning is rare but it comes at a cost. But If I hadn’t of pushed myself like this I would not be functioning at this level now. Alas, from the start I was told so much was not possible by the ‘experts’.

I was written off from day one

But as I’ve said before, my scars tell a story that you should never take ‘no’ for an answer from someone who proclaims to be an ‘expert’ or otherwise.

Doing this costs me everything

During my darkest times I have fallen off the wagon in spectacular fashion. I’ve been in the darkest places imaginable but I did my best to reverse my circumstances.

I am sick of my heart aching for my daughter every single day. 

But as always I need to put that aside and focus on the tasks at hand.

I’m in the fight of my life right now.

I’m fighting for everything myself and my family have believed in and fought for for so many years. I’m fighting to prove that not only is ‘nothing impossible’, but that regardless of how you’re told ‘things are now’ you can still achieve the ‘improbable’.

I am fighting for what I believe in..

..I am fighting for the minority. I am fighting for those who have to fight for themselves every single day, whether that be fighting against discrimination, difficulty getting the right support they are entitled to and deserve or simply to help break the rule that says being different is a bad thing and you can’t be fulfilled if you don’t ‘fit in’.

I have no plans to ‘change’ anything. But I do know my circumstances can give hope to so many people.

I will prove that fighting for what your heart is telling you, when your mind and all those ‘practical’ people around you are telling you something different, will lead to your happiness.

Fear is something we all have, but it is something that can become our best friend if we change our outlook

I believe that  depression, anxiety, disability (hidden or otherwise), physical pain and suffering and social isolation, after so many years of people all over the world fighting them, instead of being fought, should now be treated as our invisible ‘friends’.

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If you can make peace with all these little fuckers then you can do anything

One day this will all make more sense and I am fighting to make that day become a reality.

This is why I will only stop this journey when I either achieve it or I am no longer here living this life. I’m willing to put myself through all sorts of hell to get there, because it’s not just me I’m doing this for.