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‘The Hunt for Mad October

I was initially going to write this as 2 blogs but they both inform each other so much it made more sense to merge the two.
I have had the most tiring, emotional crazy October and its time to write about it. I need to make sense of it and unload it before the inevitable slump.

On September 30th I was rushed to hospital, I was at derby training with Belfast roller Derby, my new team who I’m trying to impress. I went in for a hit that didn’t feel right and the next thing I knew I woke up 4 days later in hospital.

It would seem I had a bleed on the brain and collapsed at training. If it wasnt for the quick thinking of my amazing team mates I probably wouldn’t be here to write this. That’s a scary thought, a thought I can’t process because even though it happened to me, i didn’t witness it. I was unconcious for all of it, so its a bit of an abstract concept to me. The people who really went through it were my loved ones- my team mates, friends, family and partner. They are the ones who saw me collapse and thought I had died in their arms, they’re the ones who visited me whilst I was sedated in hospital and saw my head completely covered in blood and plastic tubes.The people who got on a plane to come and see their poorly sister/daughter. They’re the ones who thought they had lost someone from their lives. That’s bloody scary right?

They’re the ones who have to help me cross the road because my eyes got messed up (temporarily I hope). I’m lucky really, I could be altered beyond recognition, I could have lost brain function, heck, I could be dead.

The hospital removed half my head, relieved the pressure and sewed me back up again

I have no recollection of any of this, all I know is I lost some of October. I do have some moments of fear when I get a raging headache and think its happening again, I get frustrated because I cant do very much at the moment, my wonky vision makes cars and walls jump out at me. I am naturally independent so you can imagine having to lean on people makes me very uncomforable and awkward. I usually like to be the support. I had a panic attack yesterday, my first one in years. The stress and worry finally got to me and needless to say I cried like a baby and telephoned Ian. Ian who has been so kind and patient and loving. I hate the fact that this has put his life on hold too. I know I couldn’t have prevented it but I still feel so guilty. I am still nowhere near ready to have a full and active day, I get knackered so quickly. My brain feels ready to tackle things but my body just needs to recover. I’m also feeling really ugly and unconfident, I lost half my hair and my left eye has a mind of its own. I wear glasses now with a patch over the left eye until it settles back. I feel disgusting.

This then makes me think about my future in skating, let me get this straight, I LOVE skating, it has saved me many times and initially in the first couple of days after waking I was ready to give it all up. But there’s a part of me that still needs it. I wont be competing for a long long time if ever again. ┬áThe thought of not being part of the skating action fills me with great sadness. I have played roller derby for 4 years now, whilst this isn’t a massive amount of time, in UK derby terms it’s kind of bordering on veteran. I was beginning to doubt my own skills recently and feel that I have hit a slump in terms of my skating. I weas questioning my ability and my commitment. At least now I have to ‘rip it up and start again’.

Luckily I have found a team who are loving and patient and inclusive, I’m sure they’ll support me as will my family and partner. I don’t want this to stop me, it’s just a temporary blip. There are some days when the blip seems insurmountable though and I lose hope and faith in myself. On those days I curl up and cry and hate the world and myself and my wonky brain but I have to keep going, I have to fight. Sometimes fighting is hard, sometimes its easy but I’m so glad I’m not doing it alone.

Let’s hope the end of the year brings good things, good recovery and good cheer. I also need to focus on finding a job. Ha! lets see who’ll employ a reject from Mad Max with a roving left eye.

But seriously, this is a thanks to all who were there, all who saved me and continue to do so. The unflinching support and love is invaluable and even though I don’t show it, it means the world to me. You certainly find out who your friends are in times such as this, so to those friends who haven’t even bothered asking how I am, I hope you have good lives but I think our paths may end here. To everyone else who doesn’t know me, thanks for reading my babble.