What does the future hold - first post

Hi All,

This is my first post and from reading some of the topics and chats I feel like a bit of a fraud but am finding things difficult to come to terms with so thought I would join and see if anyone had a similar issue and also just to vent/discuss with people who may understand.

So precisely one month ago I was involved in some sort of push bike accident, I have no recollection of the accident itself but I basically hit the road at about 36 mph and appeared to use my head/face as a brake as I slid down the road. Many things where out of character for the actual event, I was dressed in a strange outfit when compared to my normal cycling gear, I was on a road I would never routinely go along, I was traveling so fast (keen cyclist but not the quickest and certain not wreckless enough to go that fast normally!) and it was early in the morning at least an hour earlier than I would normal normally be out and about on my way to work. My physical injuries are fairly limited, one knee was badly grazed and bruised, I suffered a cut to my eye brow from my glasses digging in and one side of my face was badly gravel rashed along with my leg, arm and hands. These have all healed pretty well and despite the odd scar I have got off lightly.

Then there is the hidden injury resulting from my head hitting the road. I was wearing a cycle helmet which was split right through, suggesting that the impact was pretty hard. I was clearly concussed and have no recollection of the event or the immediate time afterwards, but more of a worry is the memory I seem to have lost for the best part of a week before the accident.

I spent nine days in hospital being poked, prodded and put back together and am still awaiting and MRI and EEG scans. The neurologist is of the belief that I may have had a seizure of some description so has stopped me from driving for 6 months, not great when you are self employed but with two very small children safety is paramount.

The trouble is at the moment not knowing what happened and what the future holds is weighing heavy on my mind. Physically I feel stronger every day, but I find it difficult to cope with day to day life, my concentration is very poor, my memory is awful I seem to spend my days writing notes so that I don't forget things, I am not sleeping properly and my emotions are up and down like a yoyo.

The Occupational Therapist feels this is all fairly normal, although the amnesia is not necessarily, and I need to give myself time to see what will come back and not to stress out about the little things.

I am so happy to have come home to my young family but selfishly at times wish I hadn't, I have had some very frustrating and dark days recently. I definitely don't feel like the person I was before this all happened.

Sorry for the long post but the words just kept flowing.

17 Replies

  • One month is a very short time, just take it easy for the moment. It is very likely that your health will improve greatly in the next few months. You can't hurry it, mental injuries take time to heal the same way that physical ones do. Good luck.

  • Hi and welcome :)

    Your symptoms sound very similar to a lot of the posts here from people who have suffered similar traumatic head injuries. Even if you didn't have an actual bleed in your brain, you obviously hit the road with some force if you broke a cycle helmet. Sounds awful :( I was in rehabilitation with someone who had what was called Post Concussion Syndrome who also reported many of your symptoms. Glad you found us here as many people on the forum will understand your feelings and thoughts. I wish you well with your recovery, and hope you get the 'right' treatment / diagnosis. Although it's difficult, try to be firm and explicit with the health team about how you're feeling, in order to ensure you get the correct help. (I'm presuming you've already had brain scans). It's great that you appear to be doing well so soon, but other issues are sometimes revealed as you return to 'normal' routine. Wishing you all the best and keep us posted on how it's going. You'll always find a listening ear / helpful advice here. Have you tried calling the Headway Healpline? Might be worth giving them a call.

    Take care :)

  • It seems pretty remiss that you weren't given the scans at the outset, or at least before you were discharged. Are you in the UK Whoopsy ?

    But the memory issues you describe are the norm in most head injuries, especially if you suffered concussion. And one month is very early days. Most of us have little or no recollection of the 'event' but, in the (hopefully) absence of any brain damage, some of the details might well return to you with time.

    The fact that you are still struggling with memory issues suggests there might be temporary damage to your brain so please allow for an adequate healing period before reaching any conclusions about your condition.

    Do come back and update us with your progress won't you. Best wishes. xx

  • Thanks for the kind words.

    Writing on here was a tentative way to get advice/support from people who have been there. Don't get me wrong I have many friends and my family who have all rallied around and helped but sometimes I feel like they don't understand it all. As the cuts, bruises etc clear up and the swelling subsides so does there tolerance of an injury.....if that makes sense.

    I know a month is not long, I guess as I wait for an MRI and EEG I am just frustrated that I can't do the things I want to do and get on with the full active life I had before. Hopefully the next month will give some more info when tests are done

  • I am described by various health professionals as "high functioning" in that V2 is remarkably close to V1 at a month on, I wasn't functioning that well I was home but off work and being largely cared for by my wife. But functions did quickly return so that at the 6-8 month mark I was back at work full time and driving and being active.

    I should qualify that every ones injury is different, I lost maybe 30s pre the accident and though conscious at some point shorty after was a number of days before memory restarted in a continuous form I have a number of weak confused timeless islands of memory around hospital. I barely remeber now much of that month.

    Re being active ie fit that will return and quite quickly I found. I found that time slowed for a few months.

    A month is a very short period try not to worry too much, maybe if you feel up to go to a local headway meeting?

  • Thanks for the reply Roger, I guess I am being impatient, and like others have seen the bruises etc fade and expect everything to be back to normal. Not being able to drive is a massive frustration at the moment and puts a load of extra pressure of my wife as we live ruraly but it is a minor issue at the moment.

    As for going to a local headway meeting I am not sure if I am the sort of person to do that if that makes sense. Even writing words on here is out of character for me.

  • Hi Whoopsy, I can relate to how you are now feeling in these very early stages. My injury was in July 2015 and as soon as I came round from it and woke at Kings hospital I was already saying all was fine. It took a while to realise that all was not correct, and I am like you very impatient. It's natural I guess, and is alot to go through but being inside the head you can't see it so think all ok. I also can not drive and thought I could until I had to give up my licence. But it won't be like it forever... So I understand how you are feeling.

    I only found out my home town holds a Headway meeting in recent months. Had I know when I returned from hospital I could have gone. It's been very beneficial to me. I would give it a try when you feel up to it, but I cam understand you not feeling ready just yet. If you don't mind me asking do you get help from a neurology psychologist? I was lucky to get referred and see mine regularly still. All takes time... Being on here will help you, talking to others who have this to cope with too. Take care xx

  • Ro_76,

    Thanks for your reply. In hospital my neurological consultant referred me to a Neuro psychologist but I got a letter over the weekend to say he would not be able to see me, something, he did give a reason but I don't have the letter with me and I can't remember what the reason was!!

    I have looked and my local town does have a headway meeting, just not sure it is right for me at the moment.

  • Hi confident you'll find HealthUnlocked useful.

    Your accident was a few days ago in brain injury context. My do was Jan 14 and provided me with skull op before a couple of weeks coma. I'm in my 3rd year without driving, after 30, and have had to sell my business shares.

    Main thing for me is looking forward, not backwards, and being as positive as you can in the context of your accident. Exercise your brain daily (recommend Lumosity) and get in contact with Headway.

    Best wishes

  • Sorry you have experienced such a grim event; don't worry about how, when and why your accident happened, give yourself as much peaceful time as possible. Not easy at all to convince oneself to step away from day to day life and focus on oneself - it took me rather a long time to do this - but now I can manage to predict what events create tiredness I can plan. Rest before and after - tough stuff to make oneself important I know but by doing so you will benefit yourself and your family eventually. Take care, let us know how you are doing.

  • Hi Whoopsy,

    Wow I can identify how your feeling and what you describe as I had an accident last May (2015) which resulted in an Abi. Frontal lobe bleeds not nice but recovering well. I too found this forum early well just under 3 months but but it was a massive relief to me as I though what was happening, what I was thinking I was completely alone as the doctors and consultants never warned me of what was to come. I too couldn't drive but for 3 months but the thinking and personality changed.

    I would highly recommend getting to your local Headway centre and would again highly recommend talking to them as much as you can. As others have said we all recover at different paces and have different stories to tell but the hidden injury is all there and its difficult. So pleased you came on this forum as it will help you as its helps me. God Bless. Nick XX

  • Thanks all, feels great to know people are listening.

    Had a strange weekend, physically I feel a lot stronger, just the mind that is playing tricks on me at the moment.

    We went as a massive group of Sunday to cheer on my wife, some friends wifes/girlfriends as they ran our local race for life. This is by far the biggest gathering of people I have been to since this all happened. After a very short time I found it all a bit much, everybody say "Wow you look better", "Weren't you lucky to get away with a few cuts and bruises", "Great to see you back to yourself so quickly". I just felt very isolated and kind of reinforced my feelings that the physical bruises have gone but the healing is not done and people don't understand.

    I ended up quietly backing away from the group and hiding out in the car as I needed to get away. I think the wife understood but I felt so bad for not cheering her over the finish line after all she has done, and all she continues to do for me. :-(

  • I am afraid that it is still early days. Don't worry, you still have plenty of recovery to do!

    I fell off my bike in 2005. I had a helmet on, too. I was on holiday in France. I was in a coma for a while. After a couple of weeks, I was flown home in a Lear Jet. Thank you, Churchill Travel insurance! I was in hospital for 8 months (although six of those were in a rehab. unit), and off work sick for 18 months.

    When my husband used to come to see me in hospital, he often brought our lovely toddler, and a cute little baby. "What a sweet little baby. Who is her mum?" "Pam, YOU are. I told you that yesterday!" I didn't know we had moved house so that we would have space for her. I am still missing a couple of years - 18 months beforehand (moving house, having my lovely second daughter, going on holiday to France*), and 6 months afterwards (so, most of the time I was in hospital, and I only have patchy memory of the first couple of months when I was back at home).

    It took almost a year before my day-to-day memory was back to normal. My husband didn't dare leave me alone at home with our toddler and our almost-a-toddler. I was off work sick, but they were still at a nursery, all day, because I couldn't really be trusted.

    However, I have improved so much (and I think I am still improving - it is slow, but it *is* happening - other people can see it, too).

    *Although, oddly, I do remember standing on a roadside, watching the Tour de France come past, which was just a couple of days before my accident!

  • How are you doing now? Have you managed to find any help? Hope you're getting along ok :)

  • Hi,

    Thanks for staying in touch with my story. Yesterday was my Birthday and we had arranged a long time ago to take our two little rug rats away to a well known theme park for the a couple of days. Wanting to maintain some normality we decide to he** with it lets go anyway. Things went ok, I found Sunday a bit difficult due to the volume of people there but yesterday was much easier. The days were long, busy and hot. I didn't go on any of the big rides, which is fine as our girls are two small to go on them anyway.

    I tried a few of the smaller merry go round type rides but even came off of those slightly light headed and disorientated. Before all of this I was a real adrenaline junky.

    But all in all, apart from a minor teary moment we had a couple of lovely "normal" family days. Definitely getting stronger, have had a really good chat with my specialist OT and she is really helping me come to terms with things and deal with the situation. Apparently following some of the tests she has done my biggest issue is attention, or lack of it. Without this i am unable to proper process and store information for recalling later. Hopefully with time things will get back to normal.

  • So today is the day, the next step along the road to recovery. Finally will be having my MRI today to have a look and see what is going on. Big part of me obviously hopes nothing is the answer to that, but then another part of me hopes they find something that can explain what is going on.

    Not had a great few days/nights in the build up to this and I know it will be a while until I see my Neurologist to get the results but I guess at least this is a step closer to that.

  • So here I am 14 weeks on from the original accident and things have changed dramatically. I have had all my tests done and so far still waiting on one set of results for my EEG, everything else has come back as normal.

    My memory is improving, and life has got a bit easier. I am still having some dark days but these are getting less frequent. I am back on the push bike and trying to rebuild my physical strength, however it is proving difficult as I have next to no confidence on the bike now, I can't bring myself to cycle down the road where my accident happened but I have walked down it a number of times, I always seem to break out in a cold sweat as I near the scene of the accident.

    We had a lovely two weeks in Spain as a family and life seemed normal for a while. I have to admit that I found the flights very painful, I seem to have almost a migraine like pain when takeing off and landing but this relieved reasonably quickly.

    My current work contract has been terminated early which added a lot of stress for me as I rushed round to find something else but I managed to even working around the issue of not being able to drive still.

    Life seems a bit more positive. The only downside is my Wife and friends say I have definitely changed, not necessarily for the better. My language has got a lot bluer and I can be quite abrupt almost to the point of rudeness on occasion and controlling my anger is proving difficult at times. Hopefully things will continue to improve!

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