Back to the brain


Monday 13th March 2006

A few days ago, on the 4th March, we all looked back over the last 365 days.  Yes it was exactly one year since Martin's accident.  Martin decided that to mark this milestone he would like to take a break, to do something really quite different, and he decided that he's like to include his immediate family in these plans.  After a little consultation the plans were set, and last week Martin, Jan and myself (Jack), Gina and her partner, and of course 'Bella', all went to CentreParcs (in Sherwood Forest), where we all chilled out together for a few days.  It must be said that this was made possible by the generosity of many of Martin's colleagues and associates at Britannia's Customer Support Centre in Leek, which is where Martin works, where he'll return once given the all clear from the medical profession.  Throughout his treatment and ongoing recovery the good people of Britannia have collected money through various means, which was then presented to Martin to use in any way to help with his recovery.  I can assure those of us who contributed to this fund that he made excellent use of it, the overall positive effect of this break being difficult to put into words.  It has been rather like turning a corner and putting the last 12 months behind him whilst grasping firmly the future.  As I have just said, it's not easy to put into words how much Martin got from this break, but by looking at these snapshots I took whilst there, those of you who really know him will see what I mean.

To take a look at the CentreParcs pictures here click here.

Sunday 20th November 2005

The log has long finished, the recovery continues, and Martin's Story has finally been bound into a (limited) number of books, the production of which has put home equipment to the ultimate test.  Jan has really starred producing the book - there's a few hitherto unseen photo's within its pages - you could literally refer to it as a labour of love.  Martin has had a little sortie, off on his own, for a few days.  It was something he had to do and he had to do it for himself and by himself.   I don't know where he went but suspect it was to a big city, perhaps not too far away and maybe beginning with 'M'.  Of course I could be completely wrong.  The important thing is that he did it - and coped with the difficulties that such a trip can throw your way - so well done Martin. The time has come for us (Jack and Jan) to 'let go' and spend some time on our own, which is the first event in our newly revived schedule.  So to celebrate so much positive stuff of late, I've given the web site a bit of a tweak.   Come back and visit it soon because I've some more content to add, when I can find the time.

Saturday 2nd July 2005

Martin will be starting what is likely to be his last week as an NHS 'inmate' on Monday.  He'll then be released, first of all to us - our duty is to get him fit and strong so that he can, at the earliest opportunity, move back to his own house.  This is Martin's first goal.  His second one is to get back to work, although I suspect that 'full time' employment may be some time off.  Somewhere along the way he'll have to go and be re-united with the rest of his head - or a suitable substitute.   We'll have to cross that bridge when we get to it.  There will be chances for him to involve himself with what's going on at work in a restricted fashion, perhaps doing just a couple of hours a week to start with - building up to longer sessions.  I know that everyone would support Martin in this approach, many have already suggested it to me.    Reviewing the entries on this page (below) it's clear that they had been produced at 'key' stages of Martin's recovery.  The messages of gratitude that they convey are still relevant.  Our perception of the recovery process has been documented on a daily basis and will continue to be so, as there is still some way to go before we (Martin's family) can even contemplate relaxing.  At the risk of sounding like a dodgy record playing the same piece over and over again,  a general yet essential 'thanks' to absolutely everyone is echoed once more - with special references (obviously) to the specifics that are detailed below.  It is four long months since that terrible night of the 3rd/4th March - four months that  I wouldn't wish on anyone.  This is something that only normally happens to someone else.  I sincerely hope that for you (the reader) this continues to be the case.

Sunday 17th  April 2005

As Martin moves on from the intensive care MIU to something approaching a more standard care ward, I'd like to re-emphasize what has already been said within these pages about Martin's care so far.  The package on offer within the MIU is an inspiration to all who experience it - either as a patient such as Martin, or as a  relative or close friend.  There is no doubt in my mind that it would be impossible to find a more comprehensive and thorough team of nursing professionals anywhere in the world.  I have been told this from healthcare workers in other fields, and from other hospitals, who have heard of the reputation that the NSRI, and specifically the MIU have built up over time.  I have been contacted by people who have, or know someone who has, passed through this unit on their own road to recovery, following all kinds of incidents and accidents specifically those which have resulted in major head injuries.  Everyone has their own story to tell but the MIU features in them all, as a common theme.  We've been a 'customer' of yours for seven and a half weeks and become very accustomed to your ways and the support that you've offered us all.  We shall find it difficult to adjust to the less intensive nursing, and the restricted visiting, of the more 'routine' ward.  I salute you all, and warn you that once Martin is 'up and about' we shall be making some unscheduled visits to thank you all (or as many of you as we can capture). 

Thursday 7th April 2005

I suddenly realized that this page seems to have been updated weekly.  I think that was kind of and accident but probably relates to the fact that Thursdays represent the end of each week since the accident.  I could repeat the thanks that I've already highlighted in the previous entries but that goes without saying.  I think today as we prepare to enter the 6th week, I'd like to offer a very special thanks to Martin for hanging on in there.  Well done Martin - your family and friends are very very proud of you.  Keep it up son.

Thursday 31st March 2005

Can it really be 4 weeks ?  This page is where we put our thanks and appreciation to people, and organisations, who have helped and supported us throughout this terrible incident.  I'd like to thank all those at Martin's place of work, which is also mine, for the total backing that you've given and indeed continue to give to us all.  You have really shown that you are indeed a 'people organisation'.  Thank you Britannia.

Also I have to praise Ray, who rallied to the initial call and has been by him as much as she possibly can be.  She's been a 'brick' throughout and the source of another shoulder to call upon when shoulders are needed. 

Thursday 24th March 2005

As we hit the 3 week point I feel that I must document my admiration and thanks to all the nursing staff at NSRI, especially those who have directly contributed to Martins care thus far.  But for your thorough professionalism and absolute dedication, I'm convinced that Martin would not have made it this far.  Elsewhere within these pages thanks are offered to the emergency services who worked together to get Martin to hospital as quickly as possible, but another little mention here will not go amiss.  So thanks again to you all.  Now a warning !! When Martin has recovered some more, and is able, we'll be popping along to see you and to personally offer our thanks to you.

Thursday 17th March 2005

I wanted to say how utterly humbled we all are at your kind messages for Martin, both electronically via the guestbook facility within these pages and on the impressive number of cards that you have brought/sent to him.  Words cannot really express the enormity of thanks we have for you all.  It is a truly difficult time for all of us and we have spent all our energy and thoughts on Martin's recovery that we have little room for anger and retrospect.  We only want him to get better and make a fast recovery and for this he will need all his family and friends around him.

Thursday 10th March 2005

We would just like to say how overwhelmed we have been in the last week with the support from so many people.  Everyone has been so wonderful that it is hard to comprehend.  It really helps to know that so many people care about Martin and want to see him get better quickly.  Your support is vital and will become ever such more so during his recovery.