Tuesday, 1 March 2016

... words would return ...

by Simone McPherson
 On the second day of November 2015, I awoke in a large Hospital ward.  I don’t remember feeling frightened or even confused though I did feel astounded as I had no idea how I had got there never mind what had happened to me.

I had a hospital gown on and not much else apart from a drip in my left hand.  I remember feeling an ache in my left arm and upon examining it I was shocked to find a deep purple swelling on my elbow joint as large as a baseball.  On further inspection I had a large bruise going across my left foot, which later I would find out was were my breakaway stirrups let my foot out and both my shins had large bruise marks across them, as well as a large dinner plate bruise on the right side of my ribs.  I had grass and small sticks in my hair, and my hair was plated, did I do that?

I still had no idea what had happened to me or how I ended up here in Brisbane.  How did I get here?  How long have I been here? And these were questions that I asked all who entered my little curtained off area, over and over again.  I was later to find out that I had lost my short term memory and this questioning was one of the symptoms as my brain attempted to find all my “files” my recollections.

I could remember my name when I was born, my mother, my father, my siblings, how old I was and the name of my Great Grandfather and his favourite mare … though I had no memory of yesterday or the day before … I could not remember the nurses names even though they had only mentioned their names to me only minutes before, yes another symptom of short term loss of memory though this would soon pass.

I was later to find out that I had come of my horse whilst out mustering and that I was airlifted to Brisbane.  I still could not understand this scenario as I had absolutely not one thread of this event ever happening in my mind.  

“You’ve lost your short term memory from your fall” I was told by a man in a white coat, as he looked down at a clipboard he was holding.  I do remember thinking that he looked as though he may have come all the way from India, what a strange thought?

“Are you a Doctor?” I inquired, he looked down at me and said, “yes I am” then I proceeded to ask him what had happened to me, at this stage he turned and said something to the nurse in attendance and said that he would come by a little later to see how I was going.

 The nurse told me that I was very lucky as all the injuries that I had sustained were some bruising and some scrapes and scratches.  I had not broken anything and in the early hours of the morning when we landed in the Emergency Helicopter I was taken directly X-Ray to have my head scanned to make sure that I had no ruptures, bleeding or bruising in my brain which thankfully I did not.

After an afternoon of all these faces coming and going and asking me all manner of questions I was told at around 3pm that El Ranchero would be here shortly to take me home.  “Really” I said … a little confused as I felt rather odd, I just did not feel myself.  

I was struggling to find words that I knew somewhere I had, however those words had just vanished utterly and completely from my vocabulary, that is strange, I remember thinking to myself.  All I could see in my mind’s eye was blankness; total and utter blankness.  

 I felt as though I was a child using very simple language in an effort to communicate with others and at times using words that sounded the same though meant something completely different, I would get odd looks from others as they would politely correct me, I noticed too, that I seemed to be slurring with my speech.  Again I was told that I had just lost my short term memory and not to forget that I had had Trauma to my head and that I would need time to heal, all in all, the words would return and not to worry as I would be fine in time. 

… to be continued …