10 years. That’s how long its been since I woke up in a hospital with random pipes coming out of…well, random bits of my body. Now, what would you do at that point? I did the only logical thing - I started to pull them out - its amazing how 10 years disappears when you are remembering the sensation of dragging a pipe out of your nose which goes right down the back of your throat.
Some of you know the story, but I thought I would explain it from my point of view:
So, there I am, lying on a bed that vibrates every 10 minutes or so (apparently this stops bed sores), feeling like I have the mother of all hangovers and looking at this pipe I’ve just pulled out. Wasn’t really sure what to do at this point, so I passed out. Problem solved.
Luckily, next time I decided to pop back to the real world, there was a nurse there. That made me feel a bit better, so I passed out again.
Anyway, that kind of continues for a while. Than it all gets a bit more interesting. I manage to stay awake for a bit, and suddenly start seeing people I know - Mum, Dad, Granny, Rosie, Dougan and some more nurses. Right I’m thinking, this can’t be too good.
Slowly people start trying to explain what’s happened, this takes awhile for me to get my head round, mainly because every now and then I keep popping off for a wee hallucination to myself (such as the giant Scalextric coming out of the wall and spiralling round the bed of the guy opposite - was well miffed when they wouldn’t let me have a shot!).
Eventually though, I start to grasp the reason for my rather drugged up state - I’ve been a bit ill. OK, a lot ill. It goes something like this:
- Patient Person (PP)
- You have been in a coma
- Me (M)
- Yeah, you caught meningitis and as a result you fell into a coma
- You've been out for 5 days, your very weak, your body’s been fighting it off, with the help of a lot of drugs. You haven’t eaten anything, and been on liquids via a tube - That’s why you feel pretty out of it
- 5 days? You mean I missed the rugby?
The last thing I remember is having a day where I felt really rough, throwing up a lot and not wanting to move. The next day I was meant to travel to the Isle of Wight to sort out a job teaching climbing for the summer before University. Instead, my Mum came into my room to find me with a really nasty rash and pretty out of it. Being on the ball, she knew what it was straight away, so was straight on the phone demanding a doctor came out straight away - good job she did to, without the shot of Penicillin I got at that point I would have died. Thanks Mum.
Once I got to hospital I was pumped full of drugs and slipped into the coma. Now, at this point most people are thinkingbloody hell, that must of been rough!. To be honest, I don’t remember it. Its everyone else I feel sorry for - my friends and family had to endure five days of worry and take lots of drugs just in case (bright yellow pee all-round apparently).
Apparently at my worst point I was 90% reliant of life support machines, and they where expecting to hear in a couple of hours if I would survive or not.
Lucky for me, I did! I don’t really remember much about this time, except that it wasn’t too nice. I’d gone from 13 stone to 7 stone within 5 days (new wardrobe please), I couldn’t walk, couldn’t even stand up and I couldn’t remember much about the past either.
Its safe to say that by now I was feeling pretty lucky to have survived. My friends and family where always there, and put up with some random rambling from me. They where the ones who made me get up, made me go through the Physiotherapy to try and walk again. They helped me remember too.
So, here I am now, typing up a story I haven’t thought about in this detail for a long time. Whenever I talk about it, I kind of skim over it, mainly because it still scares me how quickly thing changed. The Doctor at the time said I am the only person he has ever seen with as severe a case who walked away without at least losing a limb. I’ve got a few scars and I can’t really feel pain properly in the right hand side of my body. But I’ve still got all my bits. Never did get a shot of that Scalextric…
So, 10 years on its time I helped those that helped me. The Meningitis Research Foundation fund research into cures and support victims of Meningitis and their families. Like me and mine.
Hence we're looking for money. Simple as that. In exchange for your hard earned cash, my brother-in-law Ed and myself are going to take part in the Edinburgh Marathon. And run the whole
26.3 26.2 miles. In one day.
So when your reading this, remember that 10 years ago the only thing keeping me alive was a wee machine that went BEEP. Its a long way from my vibrating bed to the streets of Edinburgh…
Wow, how do you follow that. The simple answer is, you don’t but I will do my best to explain my reasons for this torture.
I have known Chris for years and at the time of his illness was courting his older sister Rose. To be honest, I didn’t know much about what was happening or what was really wrong. Everyone was pretty cut up and I just did my best not to annoy/upset or get in the way.
Its only in the last few years that I can probably class Chris as one of my friends, he was probably just my girlfriend’s brother back then and when you read something like that it really makes you glad he pulled through.
Chris has many great reasons for doing this and I completely agree with him. I am really glad to be supporting him as much as I can, so much so, I am doing the bloody race as well. Stupid bloody alcohol.
From a personal point of view, I am no runner. I have large clown sized flat feet and am a couple of stone heavier than I probably should be. I play rugby (Captain of Portobello FPRFC) and my body is designed to do exactly that, its not designed to run around 500 miles the next sixteen weeks and then a marathon at the end. No, its not!
I intended to do the Marathon last year but my brothers wedding plans prevented me from being there on the day (I was Best Man and the Wedding was the day before, that’s just not going to work is it!).
I am glad now that I got to wait another year, this time its for a great cause and to help a great Charity, one very close to Chris and his family.
Hopefully I will be able to complete it (maybe even lose some weight) and help Chris raise a big amount of money.