Last night was the start of what would become another crash. I had a conversation with my Wife but I can’t tell you what it was about, not because it was too private but because I can’t remember what it was about. I call nightly to speak to my Son who is having a really hard time at the moment with a few things; one of which is that he does not understand why I am not at home and so I call him just to find out about his day and so that he hears my voice. I don’t remember the conversation starting with my Wife, I remember that the conversation got heated but don’t remember what was said but I do know how it ended. This then continued via text messaging which I have looked back over and it should have been ended but instead was a further argument, pushing and pushing again and again. The text conversation ended and I got myself undressed and went to the bathroom area of the room to wash and clean my teeth. I was wound up and angry at the conversation that had taken place, then the usual things started kicking off in my head, same things going round and round torturing me the same as they do every bloody day. This caused my leg to bounce which wound me up some more, more thinking about what I had said, more of the usual going round and round which caused a spasm in my legs which kicked out resulting in my feet kicking the wall and snapping the toenails on both big toes. Because the legs stretch out fully when they spasm they kept trying to push out which they could not do and so resulted in my body going in to violent spasm and lunging backward which in turn resulted in my chair tipping backwards and me rolling out backwards and wedging in the corner of the wet room under the shower. As I was in full spasm I could not move, I was unable to free myself from the spasm which made me anxious and angry. I could not get to the emergency pull cord and simply had to wait for the spasm to stop. It took ten minutes for this to happen and when it eventually released me I simply slumped in a heap and had to try to get myself upright but each time I tried I would spasm some more. There was no way I could spend too much time on the wet room floor as it could damage my skin, damage which could be serious and this was assuming I had not already caused myself damage by my fall and spasms so far.
I finally managed to get myself upright and moved over to my wheelchair, removing the bag from the back of it to begin with before lifting it back on to its wheels. From here I had to shuffle myself back toward the bed but I had to take the chair with me. I got there but I had now been on the floor for approximately 20 minutes. I had made a point of having Jo show me again how to get from the floor to the chair on my last visit to the Spinal centre at Stoke Mandeville a few weeks ago so that I could practice, something which I am still unable to do but I had to try to do it. I did not want for anyone to have to come and try to lift me from the floor to my chair or bed and so I set about trying to do it myself. This led to more anger, frustration which resulted in spasms which caused more anger and frustration which caused more spasms and so on and so forth. Now I have the conversations going round in my head, and the things I have been fighting in my head for nearly two years. My case and accident go in there and it spins round, throw in the frustration again and the marriage breakdown and the anger and more spasms until finally after being on the floor for an hour and twenty minutes, an hour trying to get myself in to the chair, I just broke down and cried. My ass was killing me, my toes hurt, my legs were scuffed, my tummy hurt from the fighting to stop the spasms and my arms and wrists were really painful from trying to get myself up on to the chair. I had even removed the seat cushion to make it less of a height for me just as Jo had taught me. I took the seat cushion from the bed and put it on the floor by the bed, and then I lifted myself on to the cushion to make sure I spent no more time on the hard floor. Half an hour I spent on the cushion, pretty much crying the whole time, going over in my head again and again which caused more spasms until I made the decision that I had to get some clothing on and press the emergency button. It was half an hour later that I was in a suitable state to call the security guards for help. They came in and lifted me in to my chair and then I got on to the bed, with the guards happy that I had ensured I was ok they left me to sort myself for bed.
I woke at 09.00 this morning having missed the morning energiser, breakfast and the daily meeting. I was getting myself sorted when there was a knock at the door; it was one of the staff and a member of the security who had just come to check I was ok as I had missed the morning meetings. I left my room and went to the library for a brew, I still felt crap and I didn’t really want to speak to anyone which is fine in here. If you speak to someone and there is no response it is not rude it is simply because they do not want to speak for whatever reason and you simply respect it. While in the library Lisa came over to speak to me about how I was as I had missed the morning. We spoke about the evening and what had happened and about my conversation and I spent the entire time having to pause periodically, fearing I would shed more tears which is not what I wanted, it is not what I am about. We spoke for over an hour and when the conversation ended I made my way to the dining area for a team’s game, the game was to see how many phrases we could get right where there were letters representing the words of the phrase with one word in full to help. It was really good actually and got the mind working which meant I was not thinking about the things that were aggravating and winding me up. The team I was on won which was good but with the game over my mind was full of the crap again, just what I didn’t want. I spoke to Stacey for a short while for a catch up but ultimately the conversation was again about the previous evening and again I had to fight back the upset. I had a small lunch as my appetite has again gone and then I had another appointment with the psychologist.
My appointment this time was hard, I would speak then have to stop as I don’t want to be upset even though the whole point of the psychologist is so that you release the crap in your head, I spoke about what was going round in my head and the events of the previous evening, the conversation and the tipping out of my chair. She asked me specific questions which I struggled to answer as it upset me to give the answers, I tried and tried and fought and fought to keep it inside but despite me trying not to I again broke down. I hate how I am, I was supposed to be the man of the house; the man who made a promise to look after the woman he married, the man who was supposed to fend and provide for his family. I am supposed to be the guy who can cope and until very recently I was, now though not so true. I know not why but I again broke down with the psychologist, after answering her questions and talking about the answers even though I thought I could not cry anymore. An hour and a half I spent with her, and during the appointment I was brutally honest about how I was feeling about one certain subject, an honesty that I have had going round and round in my head which if I am truthful about has left me more than a little concerned. Leaving here I went to the cafe for a cuppa with Amy and another talk, this was also a difficult one but without going over old ground with you we spoke about some help which we are looking in to next week to try to sort out my home situation and I really hope that it is successful not just for my sake but for that of my family.
I have always tried to be there for people; be it recruits when teaching them, friends and patients in hospital because I like to help people. I try to support and care and for the most part I think I have done it well. Except for the one I should have moved heaven and earth for. I have always helped others with the hope that if I needed it the help would be offered to me but I have learnt the hard way that this simply is not the case. I have learnt that I cannot fight everything on my own and that despite what I may think, I am human and I am not unbreakable. I have come to realise but not understand why, that I don’t remember or register things anymore and that my head is a washing machine of crap that I don’t want, I am unable to sort out the things I do want in to an order of importance and instead I seem to of concentrated on the stuff which is important but not as important as the most important thing which I failed to do anything about. Then I have been asked why and I can’t get the answer. I can run through many possibilities and any one of them could be the right answer but I can’t say which is the right one because I have for whatever reason not recognised, acknowledged or wanted to believe the problems in the first place and I can’t explain this either. My accident has not taken my life and turned it upside down, it has destroyed it, I have destroyed it and those of the important people in my life. I have destroyed it because I don’t know that I am destroying it until it is destroyed. I am exhausted with the sessions I have which are there to help me. Emotionally I am a mess; I am drained, tired and struggling. I know I was a proud man, in and out of uniform. A man who was one of the richest and most successful in the world because I had my Wife and kids and my own house, I had a job driving lorries and I was responsible for looking after and training soldiers and those things were the reason I was rich and successful. It is not always about position or money that makes you feel rich and successful, and I hope that you will remember that. Now though all that has gone. I hate sounding like I am feeling sorry for myself, I don’t like wallowing in self pity as I have said to a few people but maybe that has been part of the problem so far. Is it so wrong to feel sorry for myself? Is it wrong for me to even briefly be upset about my situation or is wrong that I have not been forthcoming with my feelings and emotions? How different would my life have been if I had actually had rehab at the spinal unit? How different would it have been if I had actually gone ahead and had the counselling that my Wife had almost begged me to go for but I felt I did not need? How different would it have been had I not had to fight with DVLA, HMRC and the NHS to get physiotherapists? How much strain would it have relieved had we not had to be waiting for the insurance company to respond? How would our lives as a family be if we had not had to be dealing with all of this stress? Well thanks to the fact that all of the afore mentioned actually happening I will never know.
I have met some great people here at Tedworth House, all different reasons for their needing the help here but all with the one thing in common, they need that help. I wanted to show you a picture that one of the guys staying here has done. He has kindly allowed me to photograph it and show it to you which I am really pleased about. I watched him start this in the art class this week and the finished painting is fantastic. Why is it so special? Why is he so proud of it? Because it has been born from his thoughts, feelings, experience and emotions. I hope you like it as much as we do.