Apologies for the delay since the last blog, a combination of the holidays and working has left me busy the last couple of weeks. During my recovery, I was never a patient who needed to be given a push to get going, in fact I was the opposite. I needed to be reined in quite often as I thought I was up for far much than I really was. It was nice (no one is ecstatic) to go back working full time after Christmas, it’s great to get back into normality. It’s ironic that after three months off, being sick of the house that after three weeks back, I’d only love a day off doing absolutely nothing. Everyone wants what they can’t have but like anyone who has ever pulled a sickie from school I realise how boring it is to be at home with just the television for company.
The New Year is a time people usually reflect on the 12 months gone by and how their life is panning out in general. It was the same for me. The holidays offered me a time to think back on the events which have happened to me and their significance. To be honest my mind-set was incredibly positive, especially in the early weeks. I was on a high from simply being alive. It was a bit like Christmas every day for a while, every small action seemed to have an added meaning to me; Going for a walk down the hall, class. Sitting outside for the first time drinking orange juice, unbelievable. Having a bag of chips may have well been caviar for all I cared. Carlsberg don’t do perfect days, but if they did I was living them.
As time went by my mood slowly returned to normal levels, stubbing my toe no longer felt like a great sign I was alive it was just bloody sore. I was sulking when my friends started heading to college while I was still at home wrecked tired with double vision showing little improvement at the time. I lay in bed while everyone else my age was enjoying college life to the fullest (which consists mostly of studying in case you’re reading Mam). I asked the question. Why Me? I was the exact same as every other teenager in the world, why was I struck down with no warning turning my life upside down? It was quite easy to feel sorry for myself and I did for a while until I realised self-pity would get me nowhere.
I still ask myself the question ‘Why Me?’ except the context has changed completely. A quick Google search of a sub arachnoid haemorrhage was enough to set me straight, the stats are harrowing. 50% die within 6 months, another 50% of those who survive are left with a serious permanent disability. Why Me? Why did I come out the other side so lucky? I flipped the question on myself focusing on the positive and ignoring the negative as much as possible. I started asking how I was compared to yesterday instead of how I was before my brain aneurysm. It didn’t always feel like plain sailing but in the knowledge of what could have been it certainly was.
The line between letting a life changing event define your life or living life with lessons learned from it can be sometimes blurred, I’m sure some people who don’t know me that well may describe me as ‘your man who had the wonky brain’. It is important to not let it completely cloud your judgement. I didn’t immediately take every cent to my name and head to Vegas once I was better (unfortunately). Life goes on and something like this will always be an element in your decision making but it won’t be the deciding one and that’s how it should be.
Lastly, I’d just like to attach some of the symptoms of a brain aneurysm. It is known as the silent killer for a reason, it ruptured for me with no prior warning. There may be symptoms for others and this could help someone you know or even you reading. I hope that the fundraising will raise awareness for the condition and even the smallest dent into those statistics is progress.