This is the continuation of my last post on my car accident (you can read it here) In the last post it is about the car accident and arriving at the hospital. This is what it felt like being in a hospital with no memory of who, how, what where. Anyone you know who has a Traumatic Brain Injury or know someone who has will relate to this. The worst part it can happen to anyone without warning. 1.7 million people have a TBI each year and they probably would have said “It Wouldn’t Happen to ME”
This is my story waking up in hospital.
Maybe there are two ways of describing what it is like to
Have no memory of your life.
- Totally drunk or even drugged these days and in the morning have no memory of the experience. Even though it might only be a few short hours.
- Forgetting your keys or something you put down, which is terribly important the time but very trivial.
Imagine waking up in a hospital bed, (I was 30 at the time) and everything is a total blank. “Where Am I”. a nurse came to me and asked, “How are You?”
Hmm, how do you answer that? Here in a 6-bed ward, the guy to the left was just laid out in bed, the guy to the right was on his back and he had a brace on his head and you could see a chain going down the back of the bed and a large brick holding him from moving. Across from me were two guys quietly lying down and a 3rd he was complaining about been a paraplegic now. Something to do the rocks falling on his head in an underground mine.
Here myself in white, in a white room, everyone wearing white, a window with a garden outside. Crap am I dead?
Seriously though the nurse asked and my reply was something like “Um I think so. What happened?
That is left to the surgeons to discuss. It wasn’t long before 3 white coats walked in and talked to me. And like a little kid, it was yes sir, no sir, maybe (maybe I should have also said three bags, full sir?) They said: “You have c5/c6 injuries to your neck and 4 skull fractures and suffering Shock.”
Still when you’re like this. Time, Life, really means nothing. It’s like been stunned and sitting there thinking what now. After all, there was
No memory of
- Where I was, even the city or where home is
- Home, now have to think about that
- What I did, day, age, lots of things
- Then the next big bit of NEWS
This woman walked in with a nurse and it never really meant anything. And I Had to be Re-Introduced to my wife. Then had to really think as he wasn’t there but there was a little boy sitting at home waiting for me to come back from the mines. He was about 2 at the time. We had been together for about 9 years. Living in Auckland New Zealand then moved to Perth Western Australia where the accident occurred.
This was a really difficult time as there was just no memory at all. Not even a hint could regain any memory. Now many years later it really brings home to me and hopefully people I know how serious life is and how short
Now many years later it really brings home to me and hopefully people I know how serious life is and how short you’re on the planet and to make the most of it.
Seriously if you think life is passing you by, it is. Few people are really making a difference in their life and making sure they are doing what needs to be done, First before having what they want. Think about it.
The accident happened on a Sunday, I came to about Tuesday. Evidently, my head was the size of a soccer ball and had subsided by the time of being sent to a ward.
To think I’m sitting there in bed with a collar around my neck in a Spinal Injury Ward. Should it not be better in a ward for head injuries?
While in Hospital
No one asked me about my head injuries, just my spine, “Oh No its Shock, he will be ok in a few days”
It was interesting. One day these surgeons came in and one was talking to me and they said just lay there and we will do some tests. If you feel anything, just say yes.
Some spots I felt it and then they said can you feel anything at the moment? It turned out they had been pricking the bottom of my feet and there was no paid at all. Which was a worry to them? I was just thinking where the … am I?
Then the next day as my arms were moving etc. It was time to see if I could walk.
I will Never Forget my First Walk
Remember, this is a Spinal Injury Ward 3 white coats and a nurse, might have been two. The room was quiet and finally made it onto my feet.
Just imagine the size of a six-bed ward and I’m in the middle one. I managed to shuffle to the door, it took a while and there was no one to my side, they were just standing there watching me.
Now, this was exciting in a way as I had been on my back for about 4 days. And kept walking. Now the scary part. I reckon it was about 6 or 7 steps and just leaned against the wall. My brain and body were exhausted.
Where was everyone? They had just let me walk off and probably discussing the weather. Probably not, but, why and where was my support. Until someone came. It is somewhat like a stunned mullet. Thinking, if I could walk back, what if I fall etc.
But, it was cool. That was a good move for me, not the carers.
Then Shock Number 2 for A Serious Injury
The surgeon (head) came in and discussed a few things and next thing you know I’m off home within a week of a spinal injury, shock which to them wasn’t a real issue.
The reason, oh we need the beds. It was the 2nd week in January, with a huge increase in spinal injuries and require the bed.
- Go Home
- Not allowed outside the front of backyard
- Only leave home to see a doctor or visit the hospital
- We will see you in a couple of months
- You must wear that collar for 12 months and special one if having a shower
- The in 12 months come back and we will review your spinal injury
- Just Lie down, Stand Up and Sit Down
- There is no etc.
Oh yeah, the shock my memory, it is the only SHOCK. If you don’t have any improvement in a few weeks go see a doctor.
What is Shock? What is the meaning of Shock? I’m not sure but I know one thing the Spinal ward didn’t appear too worried about the fact that the only thing I could remember was
- How to dress
- Walk now
- Just the basics of life.
What I could not remember
- Everything else
So, here I am, going home with a woman I really don’t remember, to meet a child who is ours and will be a passenger in a car driving through a city I don’t really remember.
A lot more will come out in my autobiography, this ends my first week since the accident.
Remember one thing if you never read another post of mine, or even if you do.
One of the worst things in the world is to be a victim. Whenever you do anything, don’t go overboard in OMG what if, but have a good think when you do something dangerous or even just driving a car. Treat everyone as a new car driver. Always be aware of what next.
As Einstein did. He would shut himself away for a couple of hours each week and contemplate on what he had done, the present and future planning.
One was “What is the worst thing that could happen in the next 6 months”
You don’t need to be virulent more about every single thing.
Prepare Properly. After all no matter how old you are. Life changes in many ways
The 3 main ones
- Family (extended)
If you think of life and be like the scouts say “Be Prepared” for anything. What would your next 6-months be like if something goes wrong?
Look out for my next Post about the drive home and arriving at home.
By the way, I have far exceeded what the medical people said and have achieved completing 10 major goals in the last 28 years
How many have you achieved and be able to write about?
Life is as fun as it is serious. Don’t let it glide by on excessive TV, computer games.
Watch out for my next post