The consequences of the brain injury I suffered in March have manifested themselves in many different ways over the last few months, some are obvious on the eye, but others are more concealed. One of those hidden effects has been the impact the bleed has had on my memory. In my career as a a local newspaper sports journalist, I have always prided myself on the strength of my memory. The ability to recall or store a rugby players' name, an amazing try or who a new signing is, have always come to me relatively easily. However, now they completely desert me, which is a frightening thought to contemplate.
I have always loved sport from an early age, whether it was playing, watching, or simply talking enthusiastically about with others. I have also always loved and respected the craft of writing; so a career in sports journalism was definitely a dream destination. But losing one of the main tools needed to perform my job fills me with fear because it leads me to question whether I will ever be able to perform the duties of my role again. I can handle trying to walk with a slight limp; I wear that medal with pride and honour because the alternative is too frightening to even consider.
It seems physical restraints are far easier to improve than the mental ones; physio or occupational therapy are both ways in which normal functionality can be achieved again but the mental aspects are more complicated. I was never one of those people who could amazingly recall an entire deck of playing cards that you might see in Las Vegas stage shows. But I could quite easily bore anyone who would listen with statistics or stories about nearly any sport.
Being unable to rely on my own memory is incredibly frustrating and annoying. This is about the fifth time I have written this blog because I kept forgetting the point I was trying to make! And that point is we shouldn't take our memory for granted; it is an amazing thing. I'm told my memory is slowly improving but that doesn't bring back all of the lost memories of this last year. Nearly a whole year of forgetting all the little moments, the big events and the important details I would love to be able to look back through and relive. There are "strategies" that can help and I have tried using them all (when I remember). My sister's favourite one is singing the thing that you want to remember. This is how I now know my address.
I don't know if or when my memory will improve but I am going to try everything I can to help it along.
Thank you for reading.