At the Haywood Hospital during my early days of recovery, about 90 days post-TBI.
In a volunteer role as an "IT buddy" at my local library, about 18 months post-TBI.
The month values on each heading below are references from my TBI date.
Hospital Rehabilitation: Months 3 and 4
Click on this link to view a web page showing general observations about my time at the Haywood Hospital. There are also some diary entries I made of events which happened to me, or around me. The term recovery was misleading for me as I wrongly interpreted recovery as meaning getting back to how I once was. When it appeared clear that this would not happen, I felt sure I was never going to recover. I received much advice from NHS staff about dealing with being discharged from a clinical setting into a normal home environment, so I thought I was prepared for the outside world.
Home Rehabilitation: Months 5 to 13
I kept diary entries and made notes of how I felt, it can be viewed by clicking on this link. I used the records as a recovery barometer, as without reference to how poorly I had felt previously it was difficult to recognise the progress which I was indeed making. People would often inform me how much better I seemed, as they could remember me being very poorly. It was only by having the baseline notes to refer to that I could properly evaluate their positive comments.
Neurosurgeon Review: Month 5
Click on this link to view a letter my neurosurgeon sent to my GP, further to a follow-up meeting with him two weeks after my hospital discharge. He mentions the severity of my injuries and the progress made in the Haywood Hospital, furthermore, there is discussion of my intent to return to work.
Acceptance: Month 6
Click on this link to view writings about my thoughts on how I managed the frustrations which I knew I was susceptible to. I was intelligent enough to recognise that dwelling on negatives would be a downward spiral. I focussed on my positives: I still had the love and support of my family and close friends.
Anxiety: Month 9
Click on this link to view notes I made in preparation for a meeting with my rehabilitation consultant, nine months after my TBI. There's nothing particularly insightful in the list (which is rather personal), but I thought it useful to record anything at that time which came to mind.
Physiotherapist Assessment: Month 10
I was given an assessment by my physiotherapist who assisted me during my period of home rehabilitation, the report can be viewed by clicking on this link. While the physio's role was nominally to work on my physical deficiencies, she gained great insight into my thoughts and feelings, which helped me better understand how I felt about myself.
Occupational Therapy: Months 10 to 22
Click on this link to view minutes of meetings, and some tasks I underwent following the intervention of a group of occupational therapists, psychologists and physiotherapists.
Speech and Language Therapy: Month 17
Part of the speech and language therapy I was given helped make me aware that I wasn't as limited as I had thought I was. Some of the therapy tasks involved me doing simple exercises on vocabulary and the like, similar to what I might have done at a school age. With hindsight I can see how this therapy was extremely useful to me, the output of some of the sessions can be viewed by clicking on this link.
Volunteering: Months 12 to 24
Click on this link for an overview of my journey through vocational rehabilitation. About one year after my TBI I felt sure that returning to my previous professional role as an IT security consultant was unrealistic. However, I felt well enough to want to have more purpose in my life, so I involved myself in various volunteering roles. I learned that the voluntary work I did is recognised as a recovery approach by the term "vocational rehabilitation". When I undertook my volunteering path it wasn’t with any objective towards getting back to work, as I never imagined it could be possible. I pursued volunteering simply because I wanted to have a vocational purpose to give me life satisfaction. Volunteering turned out to be very successful for me, eventually returning to paid professional work was purely a (wonderful) by-product.
Professional Work: Months 25 to 48
My return to professional work as an IT security consultant with the Metropolitan Police Service in London was fraught with concern / anxiety over whether I was still up to it. Nevertheless, I was delighted to be doing something I enjoyed and kept a detailed diary record for each day during my first week back, see link. I came to realise it wasn't the work I enjoyed so much, but the interaction with people I respected on a professional level, and dealing with challenging situations.
Retirement: Months 49+
I retired from professional employment in July 2019. I decided to become involved in various volunteering roles, the likes of which I had gained much personal satisfaction during my recovery. Click on this link to open a page containing an overview of my career, then scroll down to the bottom (My Future) to view some of my volunteering activities.
I've often pondered the role of the National Health Service in my recovery, following this link takes you to a web page containing a few of my thoughts about the NHS.