The first phase of my recovery and rehabilitation.

When I was finally discharged from Flinders Medical Centre, it was clear that I wasn’t in much of a physical state to just go back home, AS MUCH as we had hoped.

Eventually, I was transferred from Flinders Medical Centre to Hampstead Rehabilitation centre, where I spent half of a YEAR surviving and just HOPING for progress and improvements.

My physical ( and mental ) status wasn’t exactly “ideal”, BUT their services and therapies were FAR from adequate.

I couldn’t walk because of SEVERE spasticity and cramping in my left limbs.

I had EXCRUCIATING neuropathic ” BURNING ” pain in my right arm, neck, shoulder blade and chest.

My memory was OFF, meaning I didn’t even remember what happened an hour ago.

ON TOP of ALL THIS, I had a stent in my right bronchus, holding my right lung open and fixed up to my body. This stent had complications, resulting in NUMEROUS hospital visits and Bronchoscopies.

I actually remember that during these bronchoscapies, just before I was put to sleep under the general anaesthetic, I silently hoped that I would soon awake in my bed at home, like this nightmare would end.

The same thing applies to when I went to bed each and every evening.

I just would NOT remember the previous day or what happened and where I was when I woke up either in hospital or Hampstead.

The next morning, I’d wake up to a blank slate. Starting from scratch.

Hampstead was by FAR the hardest and MOST difficult phase of my recovery.

The first steps towards some sort of normality were:

I started wearing normal clothes and not a hospital gown.

I began learning and getting used to sitting again.

I began learning how to transfer from bed to an electric wheelchair.

Because I ended up spending just under 5 MONTHS of laying in a hospital bed, immobile, my muscles had significantly atrophied, and I had SEVERE spasticity in my left limbs.

It was so bad, that nurses managed to squeeze a face towel into my hand to prevent my finger nails from digging into my palm.

My left elbow and biceps were so spastic that I would often awake in the middle of the night to find my left hand cramped and pressing into my throat, hence suffocating me.

I lost function in my right arm and hand because I had a brachial plexus nerve injury.

My left ankle was also spastic, whilst my right had very limited control, it was flaccid.

Although I was not paralysed, I had virtually no control over my limbs.

My vision was also impaired. My left eye was short sighted, whilst my right eye had suffered a nerve injury, resulting in no movement, rendering it crossed.

My brain couldn’t render two images, so it stayed closed.

My hearing was good, though, but I became EXTREMELY sound sensitive.

Any sudden loud noise would knock me out.

I would lose consciousness.

I also developed an incredible craving for food. I was always hungry.

This is a common consequence of being in a coma.

I completely forgot what foods I liked and disliked.

For example, I really hate Brussels sprouts.

But when they were served at dinner I would eat and praise how much I liked them and ask for seconds.

I was so mentally weak that I couldn’t have a prolonged conversation, I would just fall asleep.

If someone were to talk in my presence, but not directly to me, I would simply doze off.

I couldn’t laugh OR cry. These are higher brain functions and they were totally absent.

I’m writing this in such detail to show what the consequences of a severe Traumatic Brain Injury look like, and to tell others that it is indeed possible to rise up from such a devastating condition.

To be continued…

Author: theunspontaneousrecovery

I am a motorcycle accident survivor in active rehabilitation and on my way to greater things!

2 thoughts on “The first phase of my recovery and rehabilitation.”

  1. Dimitri, I am almost 10 years out from a Motorcycle related TBI that sounds pretty similar to yours. I never had that incredible wake up moment you see in the movies, just a gradual clearing of the fog. I too am sharing my journey and the fact that there is hope after such a tradedy in a blog https://hopeaftertbi.net/. I was a good bit older (52) when mine occurred but the recovery struggles are very much alike. Keep working hard and let’s show people how far we can go.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Rodney,

      Thank you for paying attention and writing to me. I started reading your blog. It may take a while as my ability to read depends on my energy levels.
      From what I gather about your journey is the importance of family support. Yours is truly remarkable.
      There are a lot of similarities in the recovery processes that we have been through. It really strengthens my faith and motivates me.
      Keep on making the most of every day mate 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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