Admittedly the first few days in intensive care were a blur, I don’t want to second guess exactly how I was feeling but certain things have stuck.
Some of this is a bit graphic, but I want to give the most honest impression I can of the situation. I promise it isn’t all doom and gloom moving forward but like anything you have to take the rough with the smooth and early on times were pretty rough.
Waking up with central lines in my neck and wrist, a drip in my hand, drain in my throat and a tube through my nose. This combined with the collar caused issues swallowing, resulting in some of the most harrowing early moments. The problems came from my inability to cough due to loss of power in my chest and abdomen, this meant every time fluid was lodged in my throat I would end up choking. That drowning sensation would immediately take me back to the accident and left me constantly on edge. Above is the cough assist machine designed to help clear fluid from the chest. Initially it’s a very strange and uncomfortable experience but I quickly got used to it, actually learning to love it. Luckily enough after 72 hours I was well enough to have some of the lines removed which helped ease the coughing issue. .
I can only describe my mental state during these early days as numb. I don’t know if it was the drugs, the shock, or being in denial but I don’t recall feeling a huge amount of specific emotion apart from fear. The fear of what i may have done to my career, my relationship, my family, my future, my life. The fear of the unknown has been a tough one for me to deal with and is something I will be touching on again. .
So far I have found that the main battle to fight is mental rather than physical. I don’t know if that balance will swing in time, however i do know that the support I have received from family, friends and even people that I have never met has been invaluable. The effect of this support on my ability to cope mentally has been the main influence on me to start documenting this journey. Many people have travelled this road before and unfortunately many more will have to, i just hope that my story can help someone on this road in the future.