Thursday, 4 February 2016

Boy racers and ballistic buses

Guest post by Peter Coghlan, locked-in stroke survivor and author of "In the Blink of an Eye"* 

I really, really tried to end my blogs. I really, really wanted to leave it on a high note. But it’s not why I write. I started this whole thing – the book and blogs - to share my journey through brain-stem stroke and locked-in syndrome. And I feel recent events must be written about, as they include situations a recovering Stroke survivor may encounter. So I’ve asked my pal Jacy to ‘guest’ me on her blog, leaving the last post on my website as a cry of triumph!

Ok. I’ll attempt to bring you up to speed…Speed being the key word!!! Last week I visited a 20-year-old girl who’s learning to live alone with a one-sided stroke and adapting as well as she can, poor lass. But I don’t want to talk about that just now; that’s not the issue. 

On the way home, I was waiting at traffic lights when two cars T-boned each other at high speed. I was like OMG!! Unbelievably, one of the cars came hurtling towards me like a bat out of hell!. All I could do was the same as every other brave young bloke would do – cringe, pull a pathetic face and brace for impact! Scared the hell out of me, I can tell you, and I did shake a bit! Needless to say, my car was a right-off and, after a taxi ride home, It was very clear that I was up the creek!! I was starting my health care assistant course in three days’ time with no car, but I had to get there. 
So I turned to public transport and caught the bus. Planning routes and all that took some doing, as it involved 6 buses a day! I did find the service reliable, but discovered a pitfall I want to share with my followers…’Fall’ again being the operative word!

One day, the driver took off without waiting for me to sit down, hitting the accelerator so hard it threw me off my feet. I flew down the bus like a rag doll, landing on my back and hitting the bus floor at speed. It could have been worse, of course. Having survived a car coming at me like a bat out of hell, a massive stroke, cancer, a hotel roof collapsing in Bali and explosive devices in my army days, a simple thing like being catapulted from front to back of a bus moving at twice the speed of sound is par for the course! I've come across every scenario you can think of on my journey from hell!

Yes, it could have been much worse….I could have broken a hip or even my neck and found myself in a wheelchair again (not an experience I care to repeat!) 

Now, sitting here nursing my bruises, I have learned the hard way that when you get on a bus you must tell the driver clearly: “Please wait until I sit down!!! Thank you!”

So next time you catch the bus, don’t be caught out, as some drivers clearly are drag racers!! Tell them to drive off until you’re firmly and safely in your seat!

Just to end on a high - my health care course seems great – one that can send me in almost any direction! Meanwhile, I think I’ve earned my Tetley tea n tim tams today! 

Good job i bounce, i tell ya!!

*published by Amazon 

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