This may look like a Monkey made out of lego to you...
But to me, this was my life.
My life for over a year.
One day I had a freak accident (I was riding my bike in my friends backyard and yes I was wearing a helmet). I landed funny, my bike hit the back of my head. One ear was full of dirt where I landed on it.
I got up, dusted myself off and carried on.
A week or so later I was still seeing stars and felt really weird. The GP had previously told me to get a massage and asked how much time I wanted off work (um none, I actually loved my job at Cycling New Zealand!).
A week or two later we found a large amount of bruising on my brain. Was there a bleed? Who knows, because we scanned it too late.
Long story short I had a long recovery back. My depth perception was messed up. I couldn't drive because of it, obviously. Couldn't ride my bike as my balance was all over the show. Couldn't even cross a damn road to go to the supermarket!
I spent the first 3-4 months in a dark room because my head permanently felt like it was in a vice and that vice was closing in. (if you've had a headache like that you would remember it. It's like pain I've never experienced).
No screens, no reading, no sound, no stimulus.
Further into my recovery my OT suggested we try some lego (you know the stuff you buy for primary school kids, piece A goes here, piece B goes here etc etc). So Gary got me a monkey.
He came home one day to find me in floods of tears (mum had just left, so I hadn't been home alone long, don't worry mates). I was hysteric because my lego monkey was missing a piece. Turns out I had used one piece in the wrong place, Gary quickly fixed it and the switch flicked and I was Debs back to building a monkey in front of the fire. Happy as.
Another exercise I tried for cognitive rehab was colouring in kids books (because the lines are wider). Gary got me a farmyard colouring in book which was going well until I lost my shit because the chickens were already pre coloured purple. Firstly who makes a colouring in book half coloured in? And 2 why were there purple chickens!!!
Let's just say it was a long way back to health...
I guess I'm sharing part of my story for a few reasons.Brain injuries are far more common than you think.
Infact every 15 minutes a person sustains a head injury. But because you can't "see it" like you can see a broken leg for example it can be hard to know people are going through a rough time.
And also because while I don't believe everything happens for a reason, I think what you choose to learn from good or shit situations is the gold.
My biggest learning was life can be really short and you literally don't know if you will get a tomorrow so go all in on what you do and make sure it makes you HAPPY.
So I spent many hours dreaming about the life I wanted to live.
I started making Towelies (towel ponchos) for me and my friends, quit my job and I guess the rest is history.Kind of..
Anyway, because this topic is something so close to my heart we are currently exploring ways we can give back in this arena.... We will keep you in the loop.