Well, following Richard’s post, I can not add my bit albeit with somewhat less aplomb. I have never tried to share my experiences before. As Richard said; only I really know… or at least that is what my damaged brain tells me.
I had a ‘cold’ in Dec 2015.
Being a typical man, I disregarded my loving wife and continued my 90 hour week as always in that month including the absurdity of a family trip to Sydney and a high-pressure US trip for Raytheon. Points on the BA Gold card… so, I cooked Xmas dinner as always complete with trimmings etc and that cough just would not go away.
On Dec 27 I agreed to be ‘hassled’ by my wife Kim and go and see the on-call GP. This was, as was proved to be lucky, at St Mary’s in Paddington.
I never saw the GP.
Instead, I had an SCA next to the lift.
That was my last memory of 2015…
The easy bit
Little did I know I had raging pneumococcal pneumonia which had gained sepsis to help it to basically kill me. At the time my lungs were 90% damaged. 6 rounds of CPR ensued after my wife screamed and got a Dr out of the ladies’ room. I got to visit the special room normally reserved for the Royal Family and was in an induced coma for several weeks.
That was the easy bit!
I woke up and everything was a bit different… I too had that pesky Action Myoclonus thing, otherwise known as Lance Adams Syndrome. So, I essentially went from retired RAF Fighter Pilot, decorated senior officer of 20 years and senior engineering Manager to a 2-year-old baby. I hit myself in the head with my spoon when I could pick it up. Could not stand, forget walking.
So, there it was.
I too dreamed about suicide innumerable times when in the Charing Cross Neural Rehabilitation Unit (CNRU).
Every day was another failure to meet my own standards.
What next, I hear you ask?
Piracetam and lots of it dampened the shaking and jerking, 8g, 3 times a day at that time – the maximum. Lots of physio and eventually release 24/3/16.
Special toilet seat, handrails and swivel bather.
Daytime TV as per Richard and eventually Physio/OT outpatient care.
Quite a lot of despair and utter rejection of love ensued. Amazing who you can hurt, just because they care… I discovered that Alcohol makes everything go away… life, love, hope.
No one needs them huh?
Clearly, that’s not the end…
…just the start.
We now live in Sydney, I have loads of nephews and nieces to spoil.
I catch every cold going because I have no immune system, Myoclonus never goes away. I get scared of crowds, transport and anything that changes my routine.
I’m blessed because of what I have now. I might have changed, but that’s all. My wheelchair is in my Mum-in-laws garage. I’m a house husband who bakes a mean apple pie if he can avoid stabbing himself.
I have a 30 year RAF Reunion to go to next week in the UK and I shall.
Am I scared?
Shall I do it?
That is the start of my new story.