The blog about the blog
An iPad on an extendable arm hovered over my bed offering me solace when silence descended on the ward every evening. My primary tool of distraction acted like a big shiny life raft in a sea of fear, worry and boredom. ‘Do apple make life rafts… probably, probably really expensive ones that everyone buys anyway because they’ve already got apple boats’. Anyway, because of my limited movement and hand function back then, it not only offered me access to books, films, FaceTime and music, but an opportunity to regain some dexterity in the form of typing. It didn’t take me long to realise there was only so many people I could annoy via text, so I decided to focus my ‘finger rehab’ into a diary. The potential benefits of writing in stressful situations was not completely alien to me and although I had never explored it myself I knew people who had. I soon found that dumping my day into text before bed was the shortest and most effective route to relaxation and ultimately sleep. Initially this was the only purpose of the exercise and it wasn’t until Lois found the content of my ‘finger rehab’ that we considered it may have further benefits.
Unless you either work in the profession or you or someone close to you has been effected by an SCI then you really won’t appreciate the full extent of the process and complications involved, and why should you, I know I certainly didn’t. Because of this, almost no one is prepared when it happens. You are suddenly thrust up a completely foreign creek of confusion and fear without a paddle, therefore challenge number one is finding your paddle. My paddle came in the form of knowledge…. trying to understand my injury and what I could expect over the next few weeks/months/years wasn’t easy. Mainly because no one could or would give you a straight answer. Even so, the more I understood, even if it wasn’t what I wanted to hear, the more comfortable I felt.
My main insight didn’t come from doctors or physiotherapists but from others who had been in my situation. I was lucky enough to know the parents of a guy called Jack Widowson who had trod this exact path a few years earlier. Jack made an amazing recovery and the knowledge and experience gathered by his parents became invaluable to me. It offered not only hope but comfort to an ever worrying and wandering mind. So this is why i started to post publicly. I wasn’t really in to social media but i just thought that like Jacks story helped me, maybe one day my story could do the same for someone else.
To be honest, even if no one ever read my posts it would have still been worth while. The fact however that it has reached so far and given me the opportunity to get to know so many is beyond belief……