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

Some days you’ve just got to grieve!

Most days are filled with positivity, determination and a fierce ‘I’ve got this’ attitude. These days are great! But as the saying goes – what comes up, must come down. I spent so long trying my best to not have these ‘down’ days, because I felt that being a hugely positive person meant that I shouldn’t have these days…That I could somehow rise above the despair and the sadness.  Then I realised that this was in fact bullshit! And from that space, I felt like a I could authentically honour my feelings as they appeared. It was okay to go from positive and happy, to being engulfed by sadness and frustration. I didn’t have to tell people that I was great, when in reality, I felt like shit and I just want to put on some sad music and cry my eyes out for a day (or two). My third brain haemorrhage has definitely been the easiest. It’s kinda funny saying that, only because going through any major brain injury isn’t at all easy. But there is so much to be thankful for this time around – I wasn’t paralysed. I didn’t miss many crucial years of my childhood. I didn’t have a full-time job of intense therapy just to regain basic speech, motor skills and movement for years on end. And I do remember my life between age 9 and to age 30….winning!!! I still remember the awesome and adventure filled life I have led thus far. In saying that, I still grieve. I grieve for the days that I spent rock climbing, hiking, diving, mountain biking, snowboarding or any other physical pursuit I could get my hands on! I grieve the conversations that I was able to have, that didn’t require a ridiculous amount of concentration just to grasp … More