It was a brilliant day for football, matched only by the centre back’s brilliant slide tackle which thwarted the opposition striker’s clear run on goal. That centre back was me and I followed it up a few minutes later with a beautiful clearing header to deny the striker another goal scoring opportunity.
We’ll never know if the late shoulder charge into my face was retaliation or not, but I didn’t really care at the time. Blood fountained from my nose and I curled up on the pitch thinking “Oh shite, that was a bad one.” I wasn't knocked out and we had no substitutes so, after a brief spell to staunch the nose bleed, I was back on the pitch.
It was 36 hours later, after a day in the office joking about black eyes and a very enjoyable night out with friends that everything changed. The world was spinning violently when I woke up and it was clear something was wrong. I managed to get to A&E who took a few x-rays of my badly swollen face and told me to take a week off from football.
It took more than 15 months of sick leave, doctor appointments, waiting lists and clinic appointments before the fifth CT scan showed a cavernous hemangioma, also known as a cavernoma. This had then led to vestibular migraines. In layman's terms there had been a bleed in the brain which led to horrible cycles of migraines causing severe dizziness and the dizziness causing yet more migraines.
After the initial problems getting treatment, help came thick and fast once I was on the NHS Brain injury radar. Only it had taken 9 incredibly difficult months to get there. The injury was five years ago, March 2014, and the recovery has been long & slow, much like the diagnosis and treatment.
Along the way I’ve learnt a great deal about brain injuries, physiotherapy, neurological treatments and research. I'm sharing some of what I've learned here so it might help other people living with brain injuries, their friends & families and anyone affected by or interested in Acquired or Traumatic Brain injuries.