Doubting that this will come close to reaching the north of the map, I let the kids reclaim Disney Junior, and leave for work. Quickly and startlingly, however, her prediction soon begins to come home to roost... At work a student teacher is telling me about a troublesome class and I am seeing his lips move but the words are not reaching my brain...I am standing, lurching forward and trying to look "normal" whilst feeling that I will faint any second now...
I am sent home and am taken by my wife to the Accident and Emergency department of our local hospital. When the doctor sees me, I cannot speak to explain my symptoms. He tells me I have concussion and, much to my embarrassment, I simply start to cry. I wait for my wife to lead me sheepishly out of the hospital, where I will return four days later for a CT scan on my brain. (Fortunately, we will find that there is still one there and it has not suffered any long-lasting damage.) In between I will sleep. In my few waking moments, I will wonder what has happened to my personality. Unable to take in what people are saying, I will struggle to make sense of the world through the hazy tunnel that I have entered. Desperate to take off again, I will be firmly rooted to the ground, like an aircraft at Heathrow on that Monday morning it began.
And then, ten days after the event (allowing a spring-loaded projector screen to fire into the back of my head as I knelt in front of it, by the way), my wife informs me that I have "come back". There is relief all round as I slowly but surely step out into the world again.
But, these have been amongst the strangest days of my life so far... And so, I take the opportunity to note down my "ten commandments for the world of concussion" should it ever happen again:
-I will not eating anything... until a desire for potato waffle sandwiches and chicken soup brings my appetite back.
-I will not try to calculate how many people have flown past my window on aircraft each day. This is ultimately pointless.
-I will grow a beard and perhaps wear a daft woolly hat. This seems mandatory in these situations.(See right)
-I will not struggle against sleep believing that I will pass out and cease to exist each time I drift off. This will probably not happen.
-I will not spend time debating in my mind whether I need to get out of bed for unusual tasks. I will not have the concentration levels required for painting a picture of Ayrton Senna driving away from Tamburello corner.
-I will simply enjoy the chance not to watch television or be on a computer.
|Virgin Mary brings light to the street|
( If you examine the lamp-post to the left you might see that it resembles a head-scarved Virgin Mary. I first spotted the miraculous sight reflected in a mirror in my bedroom. I watched Mary for ten consecutive days from my bed. You can perhaps imagine the epiphany of lighting up time which happened each day at around a quarter past four.)
-I will remember that music is a source of beauty. Listening to it will cause an emotional response and may bring tears, but I will feel better for listening. (But I should also realise that tracks like Swedish House Mafia's Save the World Tonight may loop endlessly in my head for hours even if I don't want this to happen.)
So, for now at least, the fog has cleared. I have discovered that the human brain is far more precious and powerful than I had previously realised. I have discovered that the world can quickly become a strange place as a result of a head injury. I go now, thankfully, to trim my beard and prepare for my long overdue return to work!