Sketching the outline
Life can be turned on its head in an instant
In the summer of 2007 I went to Magaluf, Spain, for a friends stag weekend. 16 of us intending on one final weekend of madness before he settled down for good. Within minutes of arriving at the hotel I decided it would be a great idea to dive into the swimming pool (despite it being 2 AM). Turns out it wasn’t such a great idea after all.
In the dark I didn’t realise how narrow the pool was. Just before I entered the water my head collided with the wall at the opposite end of the pool.
I lay floating, face down and still conscious, until my friends saw blood and dragged me out the water. I knew it was bad straight away.
Although I could move my head I couldn’t feel or move anything below my neck.
I broke my neck at the C2 vertebrae which is only inches from the base of the brain. 80% of the time this injury would be discovered post-mortem so I can be included as one of the lucky 20%. It was however to leave me permanently paralysed from my neck downwards.
I spent one week in a Spanish hospital being operated on to secure my neck and stabilise my condition. They inserted titanium rods and pins but complications during the operation resulted in me losing the ability to breathe on my own. I am now attached to a ventilator 24 hours a day.
After returning to Scotland I spent 16 months ‘recuperating’ in the Southern General, Glasgow.
I was lucky enough that during my time in hospital a large custom designed extension was built onto the back of my parents house where I now live.
Due to my complex health needs I require two trained carers to be with me at all times. I am fortunate enough to have a great care team who I consider to be friends as well as carers.
I refuse to let my care needs dictate my social life. I am determined that this house will not become a prison, it does not need to be that way.
Now that I have introduced myself I will hopefully be able to paint a picture of what my life is like. The plan is to post as often as possible but the process is tedious using voice recognition.
I hope to examine how I feel about my life and how the accident has changed it.
I will share memories from before and after the accident, describe different challenges I face, try to make sense of why I feel the way I do, be honest about my bad days and celebrate my good days.
Opening up may be difficult at times. I will be forced to tackle some of the emotions I hide from. Hopefully I can learn more about myself through sharing. Hopefully I can help inspire or enlighten someone else through my sharing.
Bear with me….