You CAN

Post by Ian

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.

Dec 27 I agreed to be ‘hassled’ by 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; “I think I need to sit down darling “…

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. Life over. 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. With wheelchair. 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 ?

Damn straight !

Shall I do it ?

Equally.

You CAN.

That is the start of my new story.

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