In the last few weeks a few good friends of mine have made me aware of those they know recovering from ruptured aneurysms. My prayers go out for you even if I don't know you by name! I woke up from something doctors tell me "I should not have". Early on I felt like I just couldn't relate to people. Nobody could tell me what was "normal" to expect since I had actually woke up alive and could even talk about it! But, the injury to my brain made me feel like a stranger in what should be a familiar land! Imagine trying to relate to people when you are not exactly sure what year it is or why that is important. I only knew the bascis facts about myself and the name of the hospital I was at as I was asked to recite it several times a day. Being able to recite basic facts and actually understanding their significants are two very different things, let me tell you! But I was still desperate to relate to people as I remembered being able to. I would even try talking to nurses and those taking my vitals in a desperate attempt to find someone "who could really understand what this was like". I, of course failed, to relate to them when I got mad that "they didn't speak English" (but at least I knew what language I was trying to communicate in). My point is, I just wanted to find someone "who had been there" and could say "I felt like that too". Other brain injury survivors were, in my mind, not able to relate to all the complicated medical problems that I now had to deal with, I was 25 a many of them were much older and at a different point in life with established families. I always thought nobody could understand me. I so longed to talk to somebody my own age, at the same stage of life so I could finally relate to someone. Thankfully I found a few brave souls on the internet willing to talk/type. This blog is my desperate attempt to help somebody else who might feel like I did!
I thought I would try to describe, as best I can, what it is like to wake up in a hospital without any memory of that day (or several before it)! I remember very little from those early recovery days and I think I have probably created some memories to fill in the gaps! I remember a whole lot of confusion. I was confused about how I got there and what year it actually was. The seasons outside confused me and even my own dreams confused me. I was never totally sure if I dreamt about something, watched it on TV or actually lived it; this really freaked out my family! This often led to panic attacks for me. One poor radiology technician strapped me down for a CAT Scan and I literally flipped out. She remembered me weeks later and turned a little pale, making some comment about how scared I was the last time and tried to reassure me it would be OK this time. I remember new people's reactions to my medical chart scaring me. I had no idea how serious my condition was and was barely hanging on to reality as it was! The one last thing I will say is, that it was all SO EXHAUSTING. I just wanted to be left alone to sleep. Answering questions like what is your choice for breakfast, lunch and dinner were was just plain annoying and hard to process. First, everyone rattled off the choices so quickly I couldn't remember them. Then, I didn't think anything really sounded good and I wasn't able to analyze what would make one choice better than another. Over the last 6 years this has gotten better but I'm not going to lie, it is STILL a struggle!!! All small prices to pay for being alive and exactly where God wants me, relying daily on Him!