I’m just not ready.

Once you sustain a head injury, your life will change in ways that you couldn’t comprehend until you experience it.

In life it is important to be socially acceptable. Your dress sense, the words you speak and the manner in which you conduct yourself need to be in keeping with the social norms at that given time.

In the 60s, it was platform shoes. If you wore them now though, your friends would laugh at you. And rightly so. Apart from my mate Ashley, who’s a ginger and someone I’d love to see impersonate ginger spice in a lovely pair of union jack platformers, It wouldnt be acceptable. She was the only one I didn’t fancy tbf. #nogingist.

Every single day people discriminate against me in some manner, but because 90% of the time they don’t even know they’re doing it, it makes it a trickier situation to deal with.

I laugh it off, that’s my strategy.

From friends to work colleagues and to anyone with whom you come into contact with: it’s just human nature to be liked and accepted.

I was sat in a university lecture a few months back, whereby the lecturer was explaining the nurse re-validation process, and that nurses should keep hold of any thank-you cards or presents that we receive from patients and their families to help us ‘revalidate’ (a posh way of renewing the nurse licence).

I put my hand up and voiced my opinion, which was that we should not be using thank you cards as something to judge a nurses’ performance.

I also stated that keeping hold of things like that it suggests it is not the norm, but something special which rarely happens, when really it should be part and parcel of doing a good job as a nurse (which it is). I was humble and honest, I offered up my own take on it.

Of course, she didn’t like it. I don’t blame her really, it must feel rubbish when a student nurse has the front to disagree with you, albeit professionally, in front of 500 people.

I made light of my comments by saying (truthfully):

‘I really wouldn’t be any good at keeping cards and things anyway. I’ve never uploaded them onto my practice profile document, my memory is terrible’.

To which, the lead nurse for an adult department at a hospital replied in front of 500 students:

‘Well I can’t do anything for your rubbish memory then can I?’

A few sniggers and snorts followed her compassionate (NHS England 2012) comment, but I let it go, thanking her for the opportunity to enhance my skills in maturity and consequently grow as a person.

Whether unconcious or not: to the people that are different from what you feel to be socially acceptable, it can be hard for them to learn from your dispassionate and insensitively depricating comments just how different they are to you. Not me though, I’ve grown thicker skin.

You never know what’s going on in people’s lives

My last blog I said I can feel my nursing is something that won’t happen this time around. I want to make one thing abundantly clear:

When I die, I will quit. If I am forced off my course this time round, I will happily start it all over again from the beginning.

I must be insane to think i can be a nurse. I am constantly exhausted.

I don’t do it for the thank you cards or for any sort of recognition. 

I do it because I like seeing children laughing and in absolute hysterics within 12 seconds of our encounter, despite losing all their hair from their gruelling chemotherapy treatment. I do it for the spark of magic that comes from the connection we make with children under very trying and heartbreaking circumstances. I do it to eradicate fear, pain and suffering, even if only for a few seconds. I do it (quote):

To make children laugh when they’ve been barely able to raise a smile.


These comments were from placement 5. This makes it even harder for me to accept that I’m just not ready for placement 6. But it’s true and I accept this graciously, I’m just not ready.

Not yet.





Free as a bird

The last couple of weeks have certainly played host to some very profound circumstances for me, hence why I haven’t written a blog lately. I’ve come off facebook for a bit, so I’m assuming this blog probably won’t be read by anyone.

This makes no difference to me. I write for my therapy, not to please anyone else.

For example, the poem I wrote in my last blog was viewed by 2 people, as opposed to the usual 70-100. And I know exactly who probably read it lol.

You guys will be reading this too, sat there in your expensive suits, probably pondering on where to dine for lunch. Maybe the earl grey you’re sipping isn’t quite zesty enough for your liking.

You guys are part of a very long list of people who want to see me fail and wronged, mainly by way of manipulation and libel, because you certainly can’t win with the truth. Get in line fellas, you’ll get your chance, I know we’ll be coming face to face soon, I got the email. But listen guys, real talk, just as all those who have gone against me in my life, know that I feel no anger towards you whatsoever.

love as god.jpg

I decided to leave my final nursing placement last week and the new plan will be for me to make up my hours and then start placement 6 in January. When everyone I work with has qualified I will yet to have started my final placement.

I’m just not ready for placement 6 yet.

The truth doesn’t need any comment, It simply is. The minute you try to talk about the truth you tell a lie, it becomes corrupted. For example, try explaining how light looks to a blind man, it’s impossible. Or try explaining what sweet taste is like to someone who can’t experience sensation. You’d end up talking so much looking for the right words that you’d end up giving a completely different explanation to what is the truth.

Every where I have turned these past 5 years..

…someone, or a group of people have tried to ruin everything for me. Either by lies or manipulation, they have always been there. Half my life people don’t believe the real truth, that’s part and parcel of living with a brain injury.

I’m starting to see that people like me aren’t really meant to be nurses, I won’t be around for long I’m afraid!

It’s time to enjoy the ride while it lasts now.  I’m free spirited and independent from ‘society’s norms’, but this only seems to put me in more trouble (often never for a tangible reason)time and time again.

But I’ll carry on being free as a bird and living independently from the world. Even when I did play the game, people were still out to get me. So why not just do my own thing?! I’m screwed anyway by that logic. Why not enjoy it?

My wife hated the ‘new’ Mikey, the new clown Mikey, he wasn’t as slick as the old 007 agent Mikey.

osho spirituality

Betrayal has taken many forms in my life, it’s probably running out of ideas on how to manifest itself for next time! But I forgive every single person who has in some way betrayed, lied or wronged me over the years. I feel genuine love for the suffering these individuals must have. No hard feelings. Life is tough for everyone and we’re all going on our own unique journey.

In all honesty, with 100% heartfelt truth: for the first time in 5 years I’m not sure whether I can do this now. In fact, I’m pretty sure that it won’t happen this time round. This is a difficult concept for me to grasp, especially so late in the day. Like I said, it’s time to enjoy the ride while it lasts and do my best to be a good nurse until that time comes.

I know I’m a good nurse, but when I lose that I can still try my best to be a good person. And when I do have to give it up? I’ll give it a few years and start all over again. Because although peaceful and compassionate, I’m also stubborn AF.





I took this post down yesterday as it drew comments from other people on Facebook, and I suddenly realised how much I don’t like that. These blogs are for me and until I can work out how to stop them showing up on Facebook I’ll delete them from Facebook and not from the site. 

It’s nothing personal. This is just a by-product of circumstances which I continue to learn from in life.

Before the meeting that changed a lot for me three days ago: 

Sitting here once again waiting and thinking ‘boy here we go again’,
My whole life has been a drama and it seems to have no end. 
I’m Pondering life and how alone and isolated I am,

But there comes a time where its only business and the emotion has to end.
Moving slowly but purposefully with intelligence and a desire to never fail,

When my backs against the wall I know in my heart I’ll do anything to ensure I prevail.
Even if the truth were known it would be utterly misunderstood and futile,

But before judgement or constructing an opinion climb into my shoes and try walking a mile. 
I will never understand why humans are so nasty and deceitful to one another,

Then again never say never as perhaps there IS a reason for this I am yet to discover. 
It’s easy to respect a professional in a suit but it’s not the same for a clown,

Because making children laugh by acting as such has only brought jealousy and frowns. 
My back is against the wall and I’m now asking if there’s any point to go on, 

Because doing everything to prevail and show strength has only led to things ever going wrong. 

Whatever I decide to do I know I’ll always be free. You can only truly love someone or something if it/they give you absolute freedom. 

Still smiling!

Although I said that my final nursing placement, which I am now 4 weeks into, would answer the question of whether I could sustain a job as a qualified nurse, I already knew the answer. I’ve known for a very long time actually.

Nothing makes me happier than being a nurse, nothing in the world. I don’t care how sad it sounds, but it’s always meant everything to me and always will.

I have just finished three early shifts in a row. Reese came back from a week’s holiday to Disneyland, so I saw her for the first time today.

Well, I saw her in the flesh at least. I spent half the day trying not to fall over from the swaying floors, they haven’t stopped moving.

Every time I move my eyeballs I feel like I need to puke

I knew this would take it’s toll, both physically and mentally, putting myself through such torment every single day.

Plus it’s official: 27 is the year I grew my first grey hairs!

90% of those reading this will wonder why on earth I am writing a blog when I feel so awful. 99% of you will wonder why I woke up this morning and went to the gym before I saw Reese.

And so the lack of understanding prevails

Hey, I was going to give an answer to this. But I am so tired of giving explanations for how I am to those that ask me, knowing that they don’t really comprehend it, or even try to. It is utterly astounding to me how uncompassionate people are. Therefore, I will sleep soundly and have no problems in telling you:

The gym is more important than my daughter. And I’m not bad enough where I can’t write a blog, it’s not that bad really. I’m just being dramatic.

NB I need to use Viagra since my accident. You really think I care about what people think of me? Major lols to that.

I was lying down feeling half dead today when I should’ve been playing with my daughter in the garden, after having missed her so much for the past week.

Now I must wait until Tuesday to see Reese for only two hours, as I have my annual appointment with my consultant on that day.

  • I’ll watch a third group of people qualify as nurses soon when I still have over a year of continued torment to go.
  • I continue to watch people not take me seriously as I stumble over my words and say weird things when wearing a nurse’s uniform.
  • I’ll continue to fight tooth and nail for months at a time to try and prove I need a parking permit, and then pay fifty fucking quid for 10 tickets which comes out of my never ending supply of money that I seem to have magically accumulated through not working over the past 5 years.

This is what I signed up for when I decided I didn’t want to be a patient with a massive pay-out, but that I wanted to be a children’s nurse instead.

Once I get there, I know I’ll face some heart breaking decisions. But until then, I’ll keep setting my alarm clock and hoping I don’t push myself so hard I have a seizure and my driving licence is revoked, or I pass out and they stop me from becoming a qualified nurse.

But until decision time comes, mark my words: I welcome all of it, because all of the above are not the reasons I am putting myself through all this nonsense in the first place.


Don’t get it confused though, I’m still smiling and love my life!




Being yourself 

My last nursing placement which lasted 9 weeks, whereby none of the staff knew about my brain injury, was something quite amazing for me. It was a profound experience! 

It might sound daft to some, but it was the first time I felt normal and like I was just another member of the team since my TBI. I felt more confident and walked away with all A stars. My feedback even got me invited to represent my university up in London. 

I felt like the real me, not the brain injured me. For the first time in years I didn’t feel alone, I felt like I was normal. Sure I suffered inwardly, but I felt strong and able to deal with it. 

There was no ‘maybe try writing Lists? Are you tired? Can you be quick with the NG feed, I know you talk a lot and you struggle with concentration but Try to concentrate. 

For the first time since my injury, I made proper friends. I performed well and I couldn’t hve been happier. People didn’t treat me differently. 

Anywhere I go I do not mention it. If people ask about my scars, I tell them I had a car crash. 

That’s usually followed by the inevitable ‘are you ok now? No side effects?’ To which I say ‘no, all good now’. 

Even though it makes me sad it’s the lesser of two evils. 

Sometimes I feel like a patient because even if my brain injury is not referred to directly, I become a patient indirectly. The atmosphere instantly changes when people find out I’ve got a hidden and weird disability. 

My symptoms don’t define me, but I’m not fussed if people do think this. I only care when it has the potential to affect my nursing. 

Perhaps this is why I don’t keep friends for the long term. 

When people get close I’m keen to distance myself and start again. The more they know the more they don’t know, if that makes sense. 

It’s difficult to describe but it is what it is. I am happy to be alive, it’s a bonus I made it this far all things considered! So I am grateful and happy, it’s just lonely sometimes. Either way my brain injury means I can only be who I am, I can’t pretend. I don’t have the faculties to pretend to be something other than myself anymore. No front, just truth. 

I tried being sensible for years, but it didn’t work out.

I tried to fit in, same conclusion. 

I tried to be quiet, no chance. 

I tried following the rules like other people. This was a huge failure. 

It’s true, being myself is all I can be, totally and 100%. It does seem to get me into trouble an awful lot though I’m told. 

It’s easier for me to get into trouble and be disliked whilst being myself than acting and pretending to be something I’m not. 

Finding God? Try this:

Summer 2002

I was 12 years old and going nowhere fast. I was getting into fights every week at school and I would more than likely have carried down that route as I started at my high school in the same year, had the first magical moment in my life not presented itself, in timely fashion.

At the end of school on a wet and windy afternoon, my teacher, Mr Joseph, dismissed the class for the day, but he had asked me to stay behind for a chat.

Oops. There were a million things I could be in trouble for

I stood before him, head bowed and fidgeting nervously. I asked what I’d done wrong. And then this happened:

‘Michael, you’re not fulfilling your potential. I know you said you want to help people and become a brain surgeon when you’re an adult, but you seem disinterested now, you’re on a slippery slope. So I bought you this’

He handed me a medical book. Inside he had written a message of luck for me. This guy actually believed in me even when I, or anybody else didn’t.

The book was called ‘Think Big’, by Ben Carson, the best and most celebrated paediatric neurosurgeon in the modern world. It told a story of how he had been at a similar point as myself in middle school i.e. low grades and constantly getting into trouble, and how he turned it round to become one of the most skilled surgeons the world has ever seen.

That day, something changed. I became obsessed with learning.

I would read 1-2 books a week, I read encyclopaedias cover to cover, I would test myself on the different anatomical aspects of the brain, how it worked, how it could be fixed. I became obsessed on anything and everything to do with neurology and the brain.

I stopped getting into fights and devoted my time to reading and learning. I became a sponge!

Mr Joseph was the first person to teach me the importance of compassion. It can change people’s lives and it is the only cure for any problem in the world, no matter how dark or ugly that problem may be.

Since the London bridge bombings, the people of London have actually been talking to each other on the tube. They’re being kinder to Muslims on the street. The city that the rest of the UK hates is receiving the most love and support it’s seen since WW2. The exact opposite is happening to what the extremists wanted.

Compassion is god, however you choose to define the word. There are over 300 religions in the world, but they all hanker for a glimpse into the kingdom of god. Despite religion losing it’s religious quality and becoming increasingly political over the years, all religions want the same thing: a glimpse into godliness.

For the record, I am an atheist. But I believe in godliness as a quality, not a person. And true religion is beautiful, as is a truly religious man/woman.

Well, try being compassionate to someone you hate. Then you may find ‘god’, whatever that word may mean to you. Try compassioning instead of hating and over time you’ll find that hatred disappears. This is proven time and time again for me.

I would not be sat here today writing this to you had Mr Joseph not shown me such extraordinary kindness on that day back in 2002.

Since then, I learned to never give up on myself or my dreams. There were times in my life that I didn’t think I’d talk properly again, if I’d walk again or even survive another day.

But I did survive and I did learn to walk. Then people told me I couldn’t be a nurse, I couldn’t get to my dream because it wasn’t practical anymore.

I might not be a brain surgeon, but I am living my dream and its all thanks to compassion and the people that have been brave enough to embrace and demonstrate it.




Mr Joseph attended my wedding and came to visit me in Cambridge where I was undergoing intense specialist neuro-rehab for my brain injury. We remain good friends to this day.






PTA part 2 – realities

‘Mikey! Mikey! Are you ok? Are you OK mate?!’

Tap tap tap to the chest.



The name of the doctor who was tapping my chest and waking me up from my coma abroad needs to remain confidential, because as I write these words my solicitor’s advice that I discontinue writing my blogs rings in my ears. He first told me to stop 2 and a half years ago.

They will be watching and they will be reading.

This is for you guys, in case you forgot:



4 years previously..

My neuro therapist sat cross legged in the chair next to me.

‘So, let’s get started. I know you want to try and restart your nurse training again, I’ve been told your adamant about it. Is it really what you want to do? I mean, is there something else you might find enjoyable? I’m just thinking of the difficulties you now face with cognition, communication etc, I’m just being practical

. You’d need so much support and additional considerations, are the uni aware of that? Are they willing to support you in such a way?’.

1 year and a half ago…

Health visiting was never really my thing, but I wanted to give it my absolute best as I have done with all my placements. As I sat in the cold chair in one of the offices, a member of staff spoke with me:

You’re wonderful with patients and their families. You’re compassionate and skilled, but there’s something not quite there. Have you ever thought about doing something else? I mean, there are so many jobs where your talents could be applied.

I spoke with a member of my university recently. Sometimes being so different is the loneliest feeling in the world. People like me are hard to understand, or even like, but this isn’t news to me. It’s an old reality that I’ve understood for 5 years now.

Things happen, I make mistakes. I try my best with everything and I always will. I have a year to go and I’m about to embark on my biggest challenge yet, the one which will challenge the reality of whether I can hold down a job as a nurse.

If you ever think negatively of someone because of the way they are, remember this: they haven’t had the same life experiences as you. It goes back to what I often say about homeless people, they didn’t just wake up one morning and decide to become an alcoholic or drug abuser with no home. Imagine what must have happened in their lives for this to become their reality.

You have to be willing to go it alone.

No one will ever understand, mostly because they won’t hang around long enough anyway, so act on that and be prepared before it happens, otherwise you’ll be sad all the time. Don’t be bought by the crap you always hear at the beginning, ‘I want to know you, I want to be involved with you. I’m not like the others’.

Because of my personal experiences the people I meet now don’t even get the chance to know me

Distance yourself and don’t feel badly about it, it’s your reality. Learn not to care about what people think of you, or you’ll be miserable. Most important of all, you have to find peace amidst the chaos!

Peace in storm

I’ve been told for years how I should live my life, what I should and should not do etc, what’s acceptable, what’s not, what’s allowed, what’s socially correct and what’s not.

It makes no difference to me who believes in me and who doesn’t, I have very little emotion for anything other than my family, Reese and showing compassion to people.

But I’m still here. One more year to go and I’m going to give it all I’ve got, win or lose. But I won’t fail, because you only fail if you don’t try.