Hello and welcome to my blog about living daily life with the affects of acquired brain injury and how I overcome lives daily challenges.
My story: My brain injury happened when I was just a couple of days old and in hospital. My mum tells me I had a straight forward natural birth and was well and healthy. However, after that I didn’t feed well and slept a lot of the time. My mum was constantly asking the midwives what to do and why I wasn’t feeding and they assured her that it was perfectly normal for a new born baby not to feed and only commented about how pretty I was and how she was lucky that I wasn’t crying all the time. When the paediatrician came to check me over to discharge me she knew immediately that something was wrong and whisked me off to special care after a pin prick blood test showed zero sugar levels. I was diagnosed with hypoglycaemia and hypothermia, and put in an incubator and wired up to lots of machines for a week. It is not well known that lack of sugar causes brain damage; most people only know that lack of oxygen causes brain damage but my family and I have witnessed first-hand the problems it can cause. This is how I got my three conditions epilepsy, dyslexia and dyspraxia. I also Have some memory difficulties.
My biggest challenge/barriers: have been peoples understanding of what and how brain injury affects survivors and the people around them. My orientation can sometimes be off; my balance and co-ordination can also give more challenges. This means I have a lot more difficulty than others remembering how to get myself to places easily without getting lost unless I have done the route lots of times before, I now use my smart phone to get to new locations until I know a route. In busy locations or at events or while standing in long queues it can mean I can stand too close to people.
How it has affected me: Throughout the years I have had to have lots of treatments, therapy and medication to make me the capable person I am today. I have also had to put up with lots of bullying, being ignored and lack of understanding by my peer groups. Daily challenges: Dyspraxia as it is hard to spell more complicated words correctly such as prescribed medications and sometimes it’s hard to follow the line I’m reading especially with signs and I can miss lines. My orientation can sometimes be off; my balance and co-ordination can also give me challenges. This means I have a lot more difficulty than others remembering how to get myself to places easily without getting lost unless I have done the route lots of times before, I now use my smart phone to get to new locations until I know a route. In busy locations or at events or while standing in long queues it can mean I can stand too close to people, being in on to be a Health Care Assistant in a Care Home. epilepsy has affected
it prevents me from driving and doing some careers I would have liked to have done. Another way in which epilepsy affects me is that I could have a seizure (fit) anywhere at any time which used to be embarrassing such as having a fit at the gym where there are lots of people there to see me. But now something I’ve come to realise is that having a fit is part of who I am and there’s no point worrying about something that could happen anytime, anywhere, like recently when I woke up at my last job with my head pillowed by 50 TY Beany Babies!!! I’ve realised that if I see the funny side in things and don’t dwell on it I keep the stress down and keep myself positive.
I’ve been on three previous Namibia trips of which I was the youngest ever and still hold that title! 2018 will be my fourth mission. To fund raise for the trip I have set up a go fund me page on Virgin Money Giving and have completed a Virtual London Loop which is 150 miles and was my biggest challenge so far! I am also doing car boots to fundraise.
I started living independently in a flat near my parents in 2014. I’ve learned to make a larger variety of fresh meals and baking. It was a bit eerie at first as I’d been used to a big family and all its noise but I soon got used to it and enjoyed my own space.
Since I was 18 I’ve been trying to find love and after years of searching using various safe dating sites and speed dating locally and even singles events. I finally met Chris in March 2017 through Flame Introductions who have both disabled and non-disabled members. We moved in together at the end of 2018 and our celebrating our year anniversary in June. I’ve never been happier and I’m really looking forward to our life adventures together especially this years Namibia mission and hope to be married in the next few years and have a family together.
I am part of The Silver Lining brain injury charity which has helped me to broaden my friendship circle and be with and meet people who have more understanding of the affects of brain injury. I look forward to the monthly meetings and variety of social events. Its enabled me to travel to Namibia which is a country I would never have travelled to usually offering the opportunity to work with and help people less fortunate than myself and provide them with educational tools and equipment. This has been a very rewarding experience and has made me very grateful for all I have and all I can be.
Thank you for reading