Nine years ago today, I fell off my bike, in France. I spent several weeks in a coma (some of which was because of sedation, but not all). I was on a ventilator for a while, and I still have the tracheotomy scar on my windpipe. I was flown home in a Lear Jet (thank you, Churchill Travel Insurance!). I went into an Intensive Care Unit in Chertsey (at the same hospital where, for the last couple of years, I have been seeing the physio about my hip injury). Then I went to a rehab hospital, at Woking hospital.
This afternoon, my husband will drop me and the two girls off, at the Bradley Rehabilitation Unit. We just walked down to the supermarket, and bought a cake. We will hand round slices, to all the staff, and the patients, and say 'Thank you!' to the staff, and "Don't give up! Recovery takes a long time, but don't give up!", to the patients. Unfortunately, not many of them will be able to recover as well as I have done (as I have been very lucky), but they mustn't give up!
I so often think about how lucky I am, to have survived that, and to have recovered as well as I have. OK, I am still officially blind (although I'd say 'partially sighted', but the eye doctor says I'm 'blind', and hey, it saves me quite a bit of money!), I have grotty handwriting, and the physio says I still walk babdly, and the brain injury is the cause of all the pain in my hip, which has affected my running for 2 and a half years now. But:
* I am still happily married
* I adore my 9 year old daughter, even though I never knew who she was, when my husband brought her into hospital. She was lovely, but who was her mum? "Oh honestly, I told you this yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that - she's ours!"
* Thankfully, my day-to-day memory is fine, now.
* I don't just love QTKT, I love her big sister (who is 12, now) loads, too. But, when she came into hospital to see me, I knew who she was.
* I was able to go back to my job, as a university lecturer, after 18 months off.
I am so lucky!
What is more, tonight, I am going to the O2 dome, to see monty Python, live. What a day, eh?