A Lot has happened today, and I’m going to tell it in reverse. I had a legal appointment which I left with the feeling that now things are moving. I am obviously not going to disclose the particulars but I left having had answers to questions and feeling more reassured. I received a letter from the Spinal Unit informing me that they have sent my case notes to my GP with the relevant information to refer me to Stoke Mandeville to start some rehab with them. In no way shape or form am I saying that my Physio’s have done a rubbish job, in fact quite the opposite, but I need to go back in to hospital to manage my spasms and other problems my body has since my accident.
We had a visit from our landlord’s representative giving us a chance to talk about the bungalow, how things are going, and any problems, queries or questions that we or they have. This went well and the rep was impressed with the upgrades and alterations that we have done since moving in. A meeting which was positive and ended that way, it is a yearly visit to check details and ensure all is well and to reiterate the fact that the rep is there as a point of contact should we need to get in touch.
And the first meeting of the day was another appointment which had been requested by my Doctor. I have always been someone who would offer support or an ear to listen if friends, recruits or lads and lasses in the TA or on tour needed to vent or get something off of their chests. I have held positions of responsibility in areas of conflict with other services and considered myself to be strong. Today I had to put the tough outer skin to one side and open up to my Doctor about how I am doing. My Wife accompanied me and sat in the appointment giving information which led to questions. It is important to know how my Wife has fought through this whole life changing time with me, has had as much if not more than me to deal with, has supported and encouraged me and travelled thousands of miles back and forth to hospital both for visiting and running me to appointments. While I have been learning to do basic things, she has taken the role of carer as well as wife, taking the phrase “In sickness and in health” beyond all that I ever expected. While I have made light of my situation and made fun of it to relax people and prevent them from worrying, little things like not being able to change light bulbs, being unable to carry out basic vehicle maintenance and generally do the everyday things I used to do have been frustrating me over the time so far. I have had the occasional out bursts but they have become more frequent. My Wife has seen that I am getting more snappy, and a couple of weeks ago I had pushed her so far that she really did not know which way to turn. I was pushing her so far away and was unable to acknowledge or recognise that there was a problem that she told me that she could not keep going. In short, we were going to have to end our thirteen years of marriage.
My friends Alison and `Me Val` have spoken to me when we have gone for walks or just visited but as I could not recognise or see any problem, I did not talk about it. Looking back now I can see that those two close friends were trying so hard to stop me losing my marriage. My kids have had their lives turned upside down, have had to cope with so much that they need the stability of the family that my Wife has been working so hard to maintain. My friend Sean has phoned on several occasions also to see if I needed to chat but the same applied. Today though, I was able to see what had been happening and as a result and more importantly, not wanting to destroy my relationship with my Wife or my kids, I have accepted the fact that I need to talk. I am going to talk to a “counselor” which will get the things bubbling away under the surface out in to the open, give me a chance to air my concerns and fears and manage anger and frustration.
There are, on reflection, two major things which wind me up internally every single day, which are both related to my accident and not my injuries, and this came out today with my Doctor. He hopes that during my “talks” I will be taught how to manage these items as they are a major part of the problem. I do feel though, that after my court case they will hopefully be put to bed. And so I have had a difficult day in many respects, but I have learnt something extremely important. It doesn’t matter how strong you believe you are, or how strong you can show that you are, after having a major event happen to you or seeing something extreme, it may not affect you immediately or even shortly after, but there is a likelihood that as time goes on it will manifest inside you in many little niggly ways. If you don’t have the courage to ask for or admit to the fact that you need assistance, be it medically or just vocally by way of off loading to someone, then you risk losing other important things in your life, perhaps the most important thing of all, your family. Looking back now, I wish I had not dismissed the help of my good friends, Alison, `Me Val` and Sean. They are not the only friends I have, but they are the ones who know how stubborn I can be and will persistently return with the same offerings knowing that there is a likelihood of “the pin being pulled” and me “going off”.
This has not been an easy Blog entry to write, it has meant that I have had to really open up to complete strangers, to people who know me, to people I have trained as recruits and on courses and hardest of all to the very people who have tried so hard to get me to break and open up to, but I have done it and for that I make no appology but instead hold my head high. To end I am going to say thank you. Thank You to those friends I have just named, thank you to my Doctor for his recognition of my need. And finally, thank you to my amazing Wife, words can not be put together well enough by me to tell you how sorry I am for not listening to you, or to express my thanks for not giving up. Love you.