It’s not all sunshine and rainbows!

I am a hugely positive person, but don’t think for a minute that I don’t have my low days. I do! Today is one of those days. I am 2 days post surgery to try and rectify the scaring that I have in my trachea from being intubated. This was an issue from my original intubation in 1996 when I had my first brain injury (TBI). I have been intubated a number of times, the most recent being from my third brain haemorrhage in January 2017. This recent intubation resulted in further damage to my trachea, as they weren’t aware that my trachea is considerably smaller than the average adult due to my past history – a condition called subglottic tracheal stenosis. So here I am, feeling rather ordinary and a little sorry for myself. You see, there will always be situations/ circumstances that happen in life that can get us feeling down. That’s life – It’s going to happen! There is nothing wrong with having a shitty day or week…Just don’t unpack and live there! So what do I do when these days or weeks strike?  I accept and acknowledge that life isn’t always happy and amazing! I tell myself something along the lines of – ‘I’m having a bad day, and that’s okay. It’s just a feeling that will pass’. We can be flooded by the notion that we should be happy all the time. It’s utter BS! Sometimes life can be really shitty, and there is nothing wrong with that. After all, you are human. Like anything in life, bad days come and they go. I often think of the ocean when I describe emotions. Like the ocean, some days are calm, gentle and fun, while other days they are turbulent, frightening and unsettling. Learning to ride the waves through … More

Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional!

Life sure does throw some curve balls. Sometimes it even throws you ones that you thought you’d never have to face again. You see, this isn’t the first time I have been down this road. This was my third brain haemorrhage, in my short 30 years walking this Earth. Some would call this unfortunate and unlucky. Not me! I believe that everything in life happens for a reason. And while some experiences are difficult, painful and damn right challenging – they tend to teach us an extraordinary amount about life… if we are prepared to listen. As a child, it taught me patience, determination and resilience. As an adult, it is teaching me that accepting things the way they are, and the way they are not, is where inner peace and calmness can be found. It has taught me that suffering IS optional. What do I mean by this? Well, we live in a world where there is an extraordinary amount of suffering that goes on around us, whether it be our own personal suffering or the suffering of others. Suffering, to me, is a state of mind. It is a choice – a choice in which we have control over. Pain is just a fact of life – each person will experience pain, in varying degrees. Some more than others. But as an individual, we have a choice over the impact that pain has on lives. We can carry it around with us and let it weigh us down. Or, we can acknowledge that it is there and make a conscious choice to let it go. I continue to witness so much unnecessary suffering, day in and day out, over such trivial and small issues in the grand scheme of things. I see the impact that this suffering has … More

Hello 30….Hello Third Brain Haemorrhage!!!

I brought in the New Year, 2017, in Fiji with my partner.  Celebrated my 30th birthday a few days later, with much excitement building for my trip to Canada, and to top it off I had just started studying for my dream job – to become a mentor…and not just any mentor – A brain injury mentor. I have always felt incredibly passionate about wanting to help people who have experienced brain injury, create and build a life that they truly love living after brain injury. I worked so hard to get to this point. I was right where I wanted to be, and it felt amazing!!!! Fast-forward to the 10th of January 2017, when I landed in Canada for a dream snowboarding trip that would see me road trip solo from Vancouver to Fairbanks in Alaska, and back down through the Rockies, Banff and Revelstoke before making my way back to Vancouver…I was on top of the world! Under an hour later, I was asking a staff member at the airport to call me an ambulance as I was certain I was having another brain haemorrhage. I wasn’t wrong! After brain surgery to remove a large AVM (arteriovenous malformation) and evacuate a heamorrhage, I was on a flight back to Australia 17 days later with 50 staples in my head and feeling very ordinary! Utterly devastated, yet so incredibly grateful that I had pulled through my third major brain haemorrhage in my 30 years of walking this planet. Now I am someone who is incredibly active and spends that majority of my waking hours outdoors, doing something physical whenever I can. But over the past few months, I can’t tell you the amount of times that I struggled to get out of bed. All I wanted to do was … More