Thanks all for the love and support everyone has given me over the last 7 months. I can’t thank people enough for what they have done for me since I came off the bike back in August. It’s been quite difficult at times just to look after myself, but I’ve amazing colleagues and friends who have brought me food, taken me to hospital appointments and just been a massive support. Care packages, cards and regular messages from friends and family around the world have also helped keep me sane!
I really appreciate the understanding people have shown me realising that I am often incapable of messaging straight back, take phone calls or visits. My memory of the end of last year is very hazy and I don’t remember much of August to November. I never thought it would take so long to recover from this, but I keep telling myself it could have been so much worse, and I am just grateful to be getting my life back to as near to normal as it was before.
Seven months on and I am still not back at work full time, intense fatigue is a major factor. It has taken me a long time to realise that this a normal side affect of a traumatic brain injury and with the help of HeadwayUK I am finding strategies to cope. Frustration plays a big part in my life right now. All I want to do it is work, socialise and exercise like I did before, but it is coming, I know and am finally seeing some progress in all aspects of my life. In the last month or so I have finally started to look and sound like myself again so it is easy for people to forget or not realise that I’m still not quite right.
Looking back to the that first month I now realise how much I was expecting of myself and how ridiculous it all was – I was trying to go on the turbo trainer a week after the accident and wondering why I then couldn’t get out of bed for three days after! When I finally managed to go see the doctor three weeks after the accident I was worse then when I came out of hospital. I wasn’t able to walk properly or speak. The initial CT scan apparently said that I did not have a fracture or any bleeding (I still have no memory of the accident or about 6 hours after it). When I wasn’t getting better it became obvious that I didn’t just have a concussion, and a MRI scan confirmed that I had had a small bleed deep inside my brain. It’s quite scary that they sent me home alone 24 hours after the accident!
But looking at the bright side, I am getting better, there is no permanent damage, and it is just a matter of time. In my confused state I signed up to a number of big sportives during 2017. I am determined to get fit enough to do them. So far I will be cycling Wales in a day in July and then the following weekend cycling the RideLondon 100 again. I am also hoping to cycle 6 countries in 24 hours, and have decided that I want to attempt that on the anniversary of the accident in August.
I’ve chosen to raise money for Headway UK this year. They support people and their families after head injuries. I was lucky, it so easily could have been very different. If anyone would like to support me as a training partner or as a participate then please get in touch. I can’t promise I’ll be very quick or even finish, but I will be on the start line.
Thank you to those that already have faith that I am going to be fit enough to complete the challenges I have set myself and who have sponsored me. I don’t expect to raise anything like I did last year, but if I could get close to target I’ll be happy.