Brain injury: Arteriovenous malformation
Date of brain injury: 2019
I had a seizure at work, there were no warning signs and I felt totally normal that day. I got up to go out for dinner and the next minute I woke up in hospital throwing up blood. I’d had back-to-back severe seizures and bit my tongue. They did tests on me and I was in for 4 days, they then found out I had an arteriovenous malformation of the left Parietal and they labelled this a grade 2/6. I then went on to have an angiogram which was the best image they could get; it was then upgraded to a 4/6 as they found an aneurysm and deemed me to be a high risk of rupturing in my lifetime. I also have a complex AVM with several feeders.
I found it difficult going from having a totally normal happy life to next minute being diagnosed with a life changing and life-threatening condition. It’s always on my mind that any day I could rupture or have another seizure. It’s hard to live with but this battle could go on for up to 10 years so I have to accept this is who I am now. I have to appreciate every day like it could be my last. It was also hard trying to explain to people the troubles it brought me, nobody knew what it was because it’s quite rare so they just thought I was going a bit nuts.
I would definitely say to others to just enjoy every minute. We are lucky to be here, others have injuries that take their lives, just be grateful we can still enjoy the world. Don’t stress, the people that are looking after you know what they are doing. They are some of the cleverest people in the world and want to help you overcome this. Don’t let it hold you down. Before this I was shy and was scared of what people thought of me, now I face life head on and make the most of it.
How has the charity helped?
The charity has brought the spark back in me. When I was diagnosed and told the news that it was quite serious, I was terrified. I didn’t want to get out of bed and I had no motivation. Speaking to the people at the charity taught me that this isn’t the be all end all. Pick yourself up, brush yourself off and move forward, this is you now, embrace it. There is always a way around every struggle you will face. It is great to see others that have bettered their lives due to their injuries and it inspires me to keep going when I’m feeling low.