Survive

Crawling on the floor, can’t see so well but I can hear helicopters overhead. Bombs are exploding. I can’t find anyone. Oh fuck, what’s going on? Where is it? Where’s WHAT???  There’s just me, preparing to fight.

Must be morning & I’m safely in bed with a weird feeling about what happened during the night. A doctor comes in & asks me the date. No problem, a daily paper is left in my room & I’ve cheated & had a look. It’s the 28th of June. 

I smile at the doctor who asks if I remember her name. I don’t know but it’s something to do with birds. She smiles back & asks how I am. I tell her about being in the army & looking for something I couldn’t find, all the noises & not being able to see. She looks interested, she heard from a nurse today that I was on the floor last night.

Another visitor who I’ve never seen before comes in and asks if I remember him. Nope, no clue. He’s a psychiatrist… he must be under the misapprehension that I’m mad, that’ll be it. He asks if I remember him & I’m embarrassed to say no, sorry. And I smile. It’s important to smile because there’s nothing wrong with me. He tells me he’ll give the nurses some pills to take at night then leaves.

The day presumably passes. I’ve been very tired. A friend and my boyfriend have been to see me. Finally I’m sleeping. 

I leave hospital 10 days later. Over the next month I re-learn to use the computer and discover that I have a traumatic brain injury, that it’s unlikely I’ll be able to teach again, but that the recovery will mostly take place in the first year. Despite that, only two months after the accident, the neurologist tells me to ‘forget all about it & go back to work’. So I smile and I do, because I’m bigger & better than this. 

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