Here goes, second attempt…
4th September 2009, Mount Ruapehu, North Island, NZ.
2nd day of skiing, my mojo was back. We had gone to a higher slope to try & escape the marauding crowds that had started to gather. It seemed the whole of NZ and northern hemisphere countries were taking advantage of the mountain, not so great for me as I need space to show off my moves! We found a good slope for me, so I was deposited there, my partner on the other hand (Eddie the Eagle personified!) needed bigger, better & faster so he took off to one of those black runs to exercise his creativity.
Back on the slope of ‘Sharon’ – this is where it gets all fuzzy as I really do not remember too much, apart from, one minute I was happy skiing & the next I was flat on my back, being asked if I was alright. I guess so, or so I thought! I met my partner in a cafe somewhere on the ski slopes, he tells me I look pale & pasty, he knows how to compliment a girl!
(The following is written from the words of my partner & what he remembers…)
I began to feel dizzy, my vision blurry, we needed to get down the mountain as the weather was closing in, my partner not really knowing how bad I truly felt, suggested we ski back. He soon realised I was
incapable & took me to the chair lift, where I was met by medics (‘were they good looking’ I asked…he refuses to respond! 😉 ) who checked me over before placing me in one of those rescue sledges. They whisked me down the mountain at great speed, I am finally in the medical centre, where numerous tests are performed before the ambulance takes me to hospital. I have fragmented memories of the hours I spent in the hospital, one in particular, was being taped to the bed (across my forehead) and told NOT to move. Panic of course sets in & I thought I had broken my neck, but further tests indicated not & a wave of relief would hit me. Severe whiplash was diagnosed & a brace was fitted. A concussion & mild traumatic brain injury (mtbi) would also be diagnosed. I left the hospital armed with what can only be described as ‘horse tranquilisers’! The pain that would follow certainly warranted taking such medication.
I certainly did not imagine my life to change as much as it did after that eventful day on slopes of Ruapehu. For many many months I struggled to understand & cope with the changes. I really needed someone to tell me why this was happening & what to expect next. Many of the psychologists I saw were close to hopeless, doing their text book thing, cognitive tests that provided them with answers they did not want to believe…after all it was simply ‘a bump to the head’. I was passed from pillar to post through the system they have here in NZ (ACC – more on that crowd in later posts). I will tell you my greatest source of information was through the internet. Brainline.org being a huge help, Dr Diane Stoler & other individuals (I found through blogs) who had gone through similar experiences.
I truly believe, if it wasn’t for the a fore mentioned, my recovery process would have been very different. It is a well known fact the medical profession know very little about the brain & how it works. So to be told by pyschologists (who were supposed to be helping me) that I should be better by now – 2 months in, made me very angry. What I do know is that each mild traumatic brain injury (mtbi) case I have read or heard about have the same or similar symptoms. The extent of the symptoms, the speed of recovery, on-going difficulties etc etc all vary from person to person.
I would LOVE to hear of your experiences x