Finding My Feet With Life

September 2, 2012

My knowledge of healthy foods was growing a little. I couldn’t process lots of information and I normally forgot what I had researched but just having a focus made me happy.

September 5, 2012

The police had been in touch and my family and I were told we would be having a hearing at Hull Crown Court in November. The police were prosecuting on my behalf. At this time in my recovery I didn’t really understand this part of the ordeal. I didn’t have any memory of it. I was told what had happened on that day. I knew that I had been attacked without provocation which had caused my injuries, but I was just blank about the situation. I didn’t think about that side of things.

My focus was on getting through the day and recovering as best I could. I didn’t have the capacity to be dwelling on the assault. Carrying resentment and anger wouldn’t have been good for me. As much as I wasn’t looking forward to it I hoped this would be over in November and I could continue with my recovery.

September 9, 2012

Something that used to tire me out during recovery was people getting angry around me. It drained me! Too much negative energy was not good for me. I noticed it when people would talk or ask about the attacker. They would get angry and aggressive. I didn’t like or need it. I had to use my limited energy wisely. It wouldn’t have done me any good getting angry over him.

September 11, 2012

People supporting someone with a brain injury should be mindful of how they’re acting and what they’re talking about. The way in which the injury happened needs to be considered. Reminding them or getting angry about the way it happened may not do them any good. They are fighting a battle. They don’t need bringing down with hearing about the cause. Plenty of smiles, reassurance and positivity.

September 13, 2012

I often found myself forgetting basic information. The knowledge was generally in my head, but I had just forgotten it. Once prompted or reminded it was usually a case of ‘oh yeah, of course that’s how it is’.

September 15, 2012

I was working on visual memories with my neuropsychologist. I was able to see a few memories. Random ones would appear. I found that if I really concentrated on a particular subject then I would retrieve some more info. This was brilliant as it gave me hope of knowing my past better. It seemed like the memories were there but just harder to retrieve.

September 17, 2012

The 17th September was a big day in my recovery! I was lying at home taking some quiet time and thought about time spent on Neurosurgical ward 4/40. The staff had left a really nice impression on me. I was so thankful for their amazing care. I thought about the other people that I had seen on the ward. I hoped those patients were making a good recovery and knew the staff on the ward would be doing a good job of caring for present patients. It was then that I had an idea – because of my improved level of fitness I would train to run a half marathon and get sponsored to raise money for the ward. I thought about doing it on the anniversary of the attack. It would be a personal achievement that a year on I could run a half marathon. I really wanted to help the ward and the future patients on it. I would speak with Gemma, family and friends to see what they thought.

September 20, 2012

I was able to go and watch Reece play his first game of rugby which was a great day for me. He had been going training but because I couldn’t drive I hadn’t seen him. I was really happy to be there cheering him on. I felt excited and nervous for him. He played really well. I was a really proud dad.

September 22, 2012

Something that you need to be prepared for during brain recovery is people assuming you’re OK once you’re walking and talking. They don’t see the hard work that goes into functioning at the level you are. I didn’t help by always trying to raise my game when people would visit. I didn’t want pity but this attitude was not helpful.

I recommend telling a loved one/s how you’re really feeling if you’re struggling. It’s hard for people to understand as it’s an invisible injury. Communication is key! It’s the only way to promote understanding. People cannot help if they don’t know that something is wrong.

September 23, 2012

My brother Mark and his fiancée Lisa had applied to get married on a TV show – Celebrity Wedding Planner. They had been accepted which was unbelievable! All the family were really excited with the news. Mark asked me to his best man. A really proud moment. It would be an honour. He had met the love of his life, had a beautiful boy and now they were to wed, on TV. Wow!

September 25, 2012

I told loved ones about the half marathon fundraising idea and they loved it. We discussed having a family fun day after the run. It would create positive memories with my nearest and dearest and put to bed what had happened to me on that day the year before. I didn’t want to look back on Easter Sunday and think of that incident for the rest of my life. The half marathon and family fun day was going to happen.

September 26, 2012

Whilst out on my runs I had been listening to music for motivation. I had created a playlist from tracks on my phone. Whilst out running some songs would bring slight memories of occasions or people. It didn’t happen all the time – the memory would fade quickly – but it gives me a buzz I could retrieve them. This was an amazing feeling!

September 27, 2012

I found this link which is worth a read if you are struggling with memories –

Memories and Songs

September 28, 2012

I was spreading the word of my half marathon to friends and family. The support was immense! Some were saying they would do the run with me. I was so grateful.

September 29, 2012

I’m still limited in terms of thinking/understanding abilities. I managed better if I went at my own pace. I wasn’t sure if I would ever get back to a good level of brain function. Everything about brain recovery is slow. It’s going to take time, a long time!

September 30, 2012

I’m going to the gym and able to do some light chores around the house which was brilliant, but I wasn’t resting enough. I pushed myself a lot which didn’t do me any favours looking back. I would hit overload which was not a nice feeling. It makes everything seem harder and it can feel upsetting.

I recommend taking regular breaks in silence during brain recovery. Especially after activities. Even just 10 minutes will help you to relax and give your brain the chance to process the activity. Don’t neglect yourself.