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Long Sleep

Sunday evening, I have got a strange feeling in my back. Not pain, but like  a strain from my head to my toes, most strange. I mention it to my wife and go to bed and sleep. Monday, I wake up with a weakness in my right side. Off to hospital for tests. I wait. More tests, told to take aspirin and go to bed. Tuesday I feel tired on waking after twenty hours sleep. Ambulance, tests and more tests, scans, admitted. Now I can’t use my right leg. I have a weakness in my right hand. Every time I wake, something else has shorted out and now doesn’t work; hand, elbow, arm, leg, my whole right side. I am afraid to go to sleep for what won’t work on wakening! After two or three weeks my body stabilises and now my entire right side no longer functions. It feels perfectly but move it won’t. All I can do is sleep and sleep. I don’t even want to try. I am half dead, only my body won’t accept it. Then the dark moods come. How can I live as I am? I can’t converse, nobody understands me but close family. I can’t walk or run. My balance is gone. Nothing is ever going to work again!!!

After I’ve stewed in self pity on low heat for several weeks until tender, I think through the self pity about other people who have a lot less and far fewer prospects. I’ve got a family who love me and will stand by me, friends and a roof over my head and in all my life I have never been without food. From that moment on I have tried to look on the bright side, although the black side is always there, ready to take advantage and put in its penny’s worth of misery. I am getting every day, just a little bit better in body and mind. I can now walk although you could say rather badly. I’m getting the use of my arm back and can now converse again and it’s only taken two years. Having joined Headway I have found companionship with others who have had a brain injury and know the struggle to try to become the person that was lost. With the care and understanding of Headway, you can see the end of the tunnel and know that you can’t be the person you were but a fair facsimile of the person past before the brain injury.

John suffered a stroke in 2010.