Having once been told by doctors I may never move my left side again, because the bleed caused damage on the right side of my brain, which, as all us brain experts will tell you; controls the opposite side of your body.
So one of the best things about being able to walk again all on my own, as well as only absolutely everything, is I am now early for everything - not that I'm complaining!
When I go into work for three hours on Monday and Tuesday mornings at The Citizen and Echo newspapers, here in Gloucestershire, or when I catch the bus to Headway. I still leave at the same time as a year ago so I keep arriving earlier than I'm supposed to!
I have learned it is better to be early than late. When I was born in 1982, (yes that makes me 32!) I'm told by my mother, I was 10 days late, in fact, all three of us; myself, my older brother Mat, and older sister Laura, were all exactly 10 days late, which on one hand, is a relief we are related to each other - despite my mother's milkman jokes!
I guess you could say I'm used to being late, so being early represents a nice change. You could say it makes me look organised.
Our family joke is: my brother, who is the oldest of us Wood siblings, which I am sure he will love me saying - and was born by Caesarian section - would still be waiting to be born, unless doctors had not gone and got him, which gives you an insight into how laid back he is, especially when it comes to time.
He always walks in late for dinner, or drinks. Time doesn't dictate to him, he dictates to time, which is the luxury of being the first born. You decide everything and set the example. Either that, or we learn from their mistakes, which is clearly not the case in my example.
I was extremely self conscious about my limp, because it is a sign which made me stand out from everyone else, and not in a good way! On the one hand, you want to stand out from everybody in the crowd, and not be the same as everybody else, but for the right reasons, for an accomplishment, not a reason which makes you feel different, or as I have said in an earlier blog, because I felt "broken".
Amy claims a lot of responsibility over my improved walking. She often drags me up hills or through woods, as you will see in the picture above, which is not of Big Foot before anybody makes any comments! Her logic is if I could get better at walking on uneven and steep ground then walking on a pavement would seem so easy. I hate to say it, but I think she is right!
Being able to walk again "normally" is an absolutely fantastic feeling, which is a sentence I never thought I would say, giving an indication of how much my life has been changed by my brain injury and I'm one of the lucky ones! There are so many people who have it worse than me as a result of a brain injury, so I have learned to be grateful for what I have, or can do. I just wish it hadn't been such a tough ride to learn these lessons.
But the higher you fall, the higher you bounce back, which is a phrase I think of throughout my recovery.