There were a multitude of different symptoms that I struggled with. But initially I was really only able to fully acknowledge the physical ones.
The hospital assessed if I was suitable to be sent home and I was taken to a kitchen facility. The lady who met me explained that someone else was supposed to be dealing with me, but they were unavailable so despite her feeling ill she was going to perform the test on me. She proceeded to tell me to make some tea.
Making tea is a common assessment of cognitive ability as it’s something we do so often and naturally we don’t put much conscience thought into it. But at the same time dealing with boiling water and electricity is a hazard.
She told me to make a white tea with no sugar, and a black tea with one sugar. I thought this was going to be easy. I part filled the cordless kettle with some water and put it back on its base and pushed the switch. Or so I thought…
She asked me if the kettle was on, I checked I had pushed the button and said yes I thought it was OK. What I hadn’t noticed was that I hadn’t even managed to put the kettle on the base properly so it wasn’t connected to the power, thus not doing anything.
Once she resolved that issue and the water boiled I proceeded to make the tea, two white ones. We then sat down and she asked me how I thought that went. At that moment I realised I should have made a tea without milk. I said as much but grumpily. Explaining my error as her fault because “nobody has black tea so I automatically made them both with milk”. At the time I was pleased I had told her off and in my mind proved I was fine.
The fact that I failed to observe my error with the kettle or correctly follow instructions and managed to blame someone else means I failed the test. But she passed me and I went home.
I was sent home with a crutch to assist me with my walking and balance. In time a occupational therapist starting to visit me at home to help me build some of my strength.
I had some 1 kg dumbbells already so she showed me an exercise to build my muscles in the tops of my arms. I followed this fine with my right. But when I tried to do the same with my left I proceeded to wack myself in the middle of my forehead with it. My complete lack of coordination had let me down. So she said I should start doing the movement without the dumbbell for now.
I was also shown exercises to please improve my balance and get me to a point where I wasn’t reliant on the crutch.
After 3 or 4 visits she became satisfied that although I was far from perfect, I had improved enough to not be a risk at home and so her involvement ended. As I’d never been much of an exercise enthusiast I was pleased with that. Clearly still not able to analyse situations and see whats important. For me it was like being excused from PE lessons at school. So again I was absurdly pleased with myself.
Like to hear my tips on how to cope? Then subscribe on my blog and make sure you fully benefit from my mistakes.
Pages to visit next:
- My story – The accident that caused my brain injury.
- Patient images – Pictures of me in hospital, and when I first arrived home.
- Updates – My latest blog posts.
- Support carers – How it’s not just the survivor who’s life has turned upside down.
- Other blogs to watch – links to guest blogs I have written on others sites.
- Contact – All the ways you can get in touch with me.