On 3 July 2013 I was diagnosed with a cerebral aneurysm, which later turned out to be two. This blog is a journey into my brain as I deal to the aneurysms lurking there. Along the way I'm calling on the collective proverbial wisdom and sage advice of some recognised (and maybe a few not-so-recognised) writers for aphorisms which complement my journey.

This is not just a personal journey but also a journey of discovery for everyone who has, had, or knows someone with a cerebral aneurysm.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive. ~ Elbert Hubbard

Well hello people! It has seemed like a long time since I went against my surgery, went backwards, got taken into PA Hospital’s BIRU, and have been locked in for…. 6.5 weeks!  What happened?  Well, where do I start?

On April 22 I went into my surgery, expecting that it would attend well, I’d stay in the PA ward for a few days, and I’d come home. I couldn’t really hear or understand when the ward staff spoke to my daughter about how I was doing. After one week I was shoved into a wheelchair and pushed across the hospital land to BIRU – into the locked ward, locked in with staff, laid in my bed, unloaded with my suitcase. I couldn’t understand what was happening, it seemed seriously and I had no information. I cried, I waiting. The next day I packed myself and went to the locked door to wait.  No-one wanted to let me out; I stood in the hallway by the door. I went into the gym and wait in there, looking at the other door. I sat with my gear for quite a while.

I made it through the door when someone opened it. I pushed past, but I was stopped in the hall outside the locked door. I cried, I refused to move back, I refused to allow any staff lead me into the locked area. My doctor rang my daughter, who, in an hour, arrived to talk to me. She explained to me what was happening, what I was required for. I couldn’t see any truth, but I had to turn back with the staff. My daughter walked back inside with me and kept me accompanied in my room.

I didn’t want to stay on, but I had no choice. It seemed that I had suffered a brain injury at my surgery, and had been taken to BIRU for support. The staff who were supposed to supported me would often be unable to help me as they helped with wheelchairs and bed chairs - not me, we had far too many BIRU clients with too hard injury. I was frustrated in the inability as I couldn’t really feel moving ahead. I couldn’t talk properly, I would repeat my own – unregistered – words and realised that I wasn’t replied in English. I couldn’t use my laptop – it didn’t even work from BIRU – but I felt okay with small FB words.

At the second weekend I was allowed to go home on the Friday afternoon and go back to BIRU on Sunday afternoon. I came home and spend most of the day with my daughter, until I helped her to take my dogs over to her home where they could stay when my home-tenants were due to go to Sydney for a week. I loved them and said goodbye to them and was taken back to my hospital.

I was drawing into different training. I had a SP, a music therapist, a physio, an OT instructor, an instructor to walk me… I was positive, had turned my brain around and began to talk as I could continue to understand and believe, even though I often had to stop and think. I left the next weekend and stayed at my daughters’, and we took my dogs for a drive to meet a friend at Sandgate beach and had a lunch where we could take them.  I got back to the BIRU on Sunday afternoon and followed with my work tech.  I was involved with a music therapist who was a great help with my singing because I had sold my guitar months earlier and had stopped singing. I didn’t know the words of each song, but my MT printed out the words and music of some songs and put them on a USB.  Unfortunately I missed it on Friday as I was headed home to spend the weekend with my friends.

My daughter had left to go to Cairns; she had some special time with her partner’s mother who was very sick. I spent the weekend with my friends, walking my dogs and travelling to one of the houses which was being packed and moved. I got too tired at the end of the day and couldn’t help out in full. I slept, and went back to BIRU on Sunday afternoon.

When my daughter arrived back from Cairns on the Monday morning we had a full meeting – with 7 staff – to talk about my days. I was quite full about finished on the 6th, instead of the 18th. I had had a “day end” of 6th June presented to me. I had accepted it, but I had been told by the Social Worker that my day end was 18th June. I disagreed with any longer period and agreed to continue to work to the 6th of June.

My daughter was not happy, and not entirely at me.  She knew that her mother-in-law in Cairns was dying.  She was going back. I was reluctantly agreed to be let out on 6th June, and my daughter was going to pick me up on the Friday morning before she drove to the airport from where she was flying to Cairns. It was two weeks, not felt with explanation. I got home, not to feel relieved, but it was necessary.  My friends, who had stayed at my home, watching my dogs, were due to move out on the 7th, with only a week to pack their stuff from Deb’s original home. I said goodbye to them and was left on my own. 

Coming up - I’ll explain my neurosurgery outpatient meeting, which set me on my future, and my PA therapists another day.

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