I know that I was supposed to be telling you all about my recovery journey, talking through the different stages of grief; starting with shock and disbelief; but then today happened.
Today involved travelling all the way up to Oxford for an Neurology appointment.
Today was a journey in more ways than one.
Today I was able to reduce my medication.
Today I met yet another NMDA sufferer.
Today is Fat Tuesday.
All you social media buffs will know about #fattuesday
I spend most Tuesdays refraining from stuffing my face after seeing all the delicious food posted all over my news feeds…
Not helped by the fact that my steroids make me crazy hungry ALL THE TIME.
But what if I could indulge into Fat Tuesday and not feel guilty about it?
It just so happens that…not only is is Action for Brain Injury week this week….it is also National Doughnut week!
Each year, for one week only, bakers and coffee shops up and down the country sell doughnuts to raise money for The Children’s Trust.
Every doughnut sold by participating bakers in National Doughnut Week raises money for The Children’s Trust, and this year this coincides with Action for Brain Injury Week.
This is a great way to increase awareness about Brain Injuries whilst raising money at the same time!
Join me and indulge this Fat Tuesday.
For those of you that can’t get out to a bakery or can’t find one near by you can Text DNUT13 £amount to 70070 to donate to The Children’s Trust and make a difference today.
No one loves doughnuts more than Homer Simpson.
And this got me thinking.
What would Homer think about someone having a Brain Injury or even Encephalitis?
“I hope I didn’t brain my damage”
I couldn’t seem to find any quotes where Homer describes his views on brain injury, so instead I delved in to see what I could take from his views on life. Someone that loves doughnuts must know a little something about life.
Sometimes he talks a load of old codswallop:
“If at first you don’t succeed give up”
Talking from the point of view of an Encephalitis sufferer this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Giving up is not an option.
There have been so many opportunities for me to give up but I haven’t. If I had I may not be here writing this today.
This became even more poignant today when I bumped into Dan in the waiting room.
The conversation went a little like this:
Dan: “Hi, I’m Dan, what is your illness?”
(Puts out his arm and we shake hands)
Me: “Hi, I’m Liz, I’ve had Encephalitis.”
Dan: “Me too, what type?”
Me: “NMDA, what about you?”
Dan: “Me too, aren’t we SO unlucky? And can you believe they still won’t let me drive??”
Me: “Oh no, poor you, I better go and get my bloods done.”
After Bloods…(Mum is talking to Dan and his Mum when I walk back in)
Dan: “They had to feed me through a tube, look, I now have two belly buttons”.
(Dan pulls up top to show the scar)
Liz: “Wow, that is impressive, have you heard of The Encephalitis Society?”
And so it carries on….and he shows me what it looked like when he was in a catatonic state!
Just one conversation made the whole day that much more bearable.
Neither of us have give up.
So whilst Homer may have been wrong about giving up, he can also come out with something just beautiful:
“Sometime when you least expect it, you’ll realise that someone loved you. And that means someone can love you again. And that’ll make you smile.”
Today, I really needed to hear this.
Sometimes you can feel so alone. Like no one will ever love you again. Like you are unloveable.
So I suppose I have come around full circle really.
That is the shock and disbelief.
That a cartoon man with a ‘pea sized brain’ can come out with something so deep and so true to how it feels when you’re recovering from a brain injury.
And more importantly, that each day there will be something shocking. Whether that be the boy next to you in the blood waiting room lifting up his t-shirt to show you his “second belly button” or simply learning that you can help be part of Action for Brain Injury week by scoffing a donut. There is always something that may come as a shock.