Within the last year, I have been in hospital for 6 months.
One evening, I had just left the station to ride my bike to my house, it would be no more than 5 minutes to get there.
I didn’t get home.
The next thing I knew was when I woke up in the hospital a month later. This was the third hospital I had been in. Some of my skull had been removed and put into my body.
I had no idea why I was there. It was like I had been born again, but bigger and older than I was young before.
At the time, I thought I could talk to people, but no one could understand anything I said.
A few weeks later, a surgeon told me that he was about to put my skull back into my head. He asked me to sign a form to allow him to do this.
I tried to write my name and realized that I could not do it. My hand was fine, but I did not know how to write my own name.
He therefore had to call my wife to ask her if she would agree to what they would do.
In my ward, the TV was on, and out of the blue, Boris left the government. Then Liz Truss also left, whilst I was still in hospital.
The planet I was in, appeared to be pretty weird.
I have been told that what happened was when I fell off my bike and hit my head very badly. Even now, I do not remember what happened to me at all.
For a few weeks, there was an induced coma. My wife was told by one of my surgeons that I was 50/50 – I could be dying. I guess I decided to go for the better 50%.
Later, she was told that it was possible that I might never get back to who I was before. It was possible that I would spend the rest of my life not talking.
Sadly, it was much more difficult for my wife than it was for me.
My skull was taken out because my brain had started to swell. If this happens, your brain presses against the skull and starts to die. Taking your skull out is one of the last things they do. They try to do anything else because if it goes badly, that can be it.
The doctors, surgeons and nurses have saved me. And they did this, without knowing who I am. We were not friends before we met. Every day, they try to help people who may be dying. They are wonderful people.
For the next four months after my skull was put back into my head, I continued to be in the hospital. Speech therapists helped me to eat, drink, speak, write and read again. Physiotherapists helped me to stand up and walk again. Occupational therapists have helped me relearn many new skills. Psychologists help me to understand my life.
My rehab is now at home. I have not yet been fixed.
I am grateful, as you should be too. My life is much better than it could be. People in the world are killed when they happen to be where a missile blows up next to them. Don’t believe that you don’t need to think about this because nothing will ever happen in United Kingdom. I was born in Yugoslavia, and back then, all of our countries were in harmony. At that point, the United Kingdom was not, Northern Ireland had a few problems. The world changes quickly, as it did with me.
It is obvious that my brain is not as good as it was before. But it is also very clear that some of my brain has renewed itself. I have published this, writing it myself, but it has been very slow for me to write this.
It is possible that the brain continues to improve. And hopefully, at least close to what I was before.
It is only possible if you work hard.
It is also possible, that at some point, it stops. Before I would like it to.
The therapist has told me that this could happen. They just don’t know, and no one could ever know. For me, this is quite scary.
A friend of mine told me that many years ago he had a injury which was close to what happened to me. It took him two years after which he could work again. Telling me about this was not difficult for me to hear about this, but a hope.
I am determined to do as much as I can. I have always been a fighter and will continue to be a fighter, even though this will be the most difficult and terrifying time of my life.
I am now in a journey, without knowing where I am going. It is like I am on a train, without knowing its destination, and annoyingly, this one is quite slow. The conductor comes to me and also doesn’t know where I go. You know that the train could crash, to take you somewhere terrible, to somewhere you were before, or somewhere new and lovely.
The best thing to do is to ride the train and just look outside, without thinking too much about where you were before and where you might be heading.
But are you going to be the driver or are you the passenger, it is your choice.