Brain injury survivor Roger Merriman shares his thoughts on his accident, his blog, and what makes him happy.
Roger has no memory of his accident, which happened in December 2013. All he knows is that he was cycling to work through Bushy Park in London when something caused him to fall from his bike at precisely 7.43am, according to his GPS tracker.
He was assisted by a passerby and taken to A&E where he was diagnosed with a fractured skull and two subdural haematomas. Roger was stable enough to be discharged after just one week in hospital. However, he still struggles with the effects of his brain injury, including symptoms of memory loss and fatigue.
Coming up to two years now, I started in May 2017.
There was a lot going on in my life. I was having lots of medical assessments and rehabilitation. I began to use blogging as a way to express what I was feeling.
It has allowed me to write down the thoughts that have been bubbling inside. I’ve found it a useful way to keep track of my progress and see the improvements I’ve made along the way. It’s also helped me learn about my injury – I know a lot more about brains than I ever did before!
Yes, my family say reading my blog has helped them understand more about my injury.
Don’t worry too much about the content, if you enjoy writing then give it a go. There doesn’t always have to be a deep meaning. Personally, I do it because I like it. I’m a long way from being an influencer!
Initially, when I was discharged I was given some Headway leaflets so I read those. When I felt ready I contacted my local group which allowed me to meet others like myself. Equally, the HealthUnlocked forum was very useful in the early days and helped me to understand what was happening. I’m very grateful for the help Headway has given me.
The invisibility of it - since I don’t look like there is anything wrong, folks struggle to understand. The fatigue is really hard work at times. After an hour of cycling I can feel fine, but an hour in a loud, busy pub can leave me feeling shattered.
I’ve always loved cycling and the accident hasn’t changed that. I have good and bad days and sometimes my injury means I don’t always remember or recognise my cycling club friends. But for the most part, cycling is a nice break from it all.
My wife also makes me happy. My injury has been hard for us both and, although some things have changed, I love her very much.
Try not to dwell on things too much, life carries on without you – the world didn’t end when I didn’t make it into work that day.
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