Diary of A Teenage Stroke Survivor part two
I struggle to write this. It's writing from what could be memory if my stroke hadn't severely impaired my short-term memory to the extent that I remember nothing between Easter 2006 and about July 2006. I know that I was comatose in Intensive Care in London for some time (weeks?). I think my family stayed with my aunt in her London flat- it's lucky that I and my siblings were all electively Home Educated! On the note of Home Education, when it comes up in conversation I always find myself justifying the fact that I was so slow with my own formal education (I did GCSE Maths in 2018, aged 25, and that was only because I was seriously considering going into teaching) because I had a massive (in all senses of the word) stroke at the age of thirteen; my siblings all did their GCSEs and A-levels (or equivalent) at the normal age. Home Education didn't break me, it made me or I made it.
I have been asked to write about three specific people that visited me in hospital at that time and how I feel- all my feelings, not holding back... Two of them were family friends who are very much like surrogate grandparents or a great-aunt and great-uncle, and one was one of my heroes, musician Lizzie Prendergast. I feel guilty that I put everyone that's known me since I was a kid through the stress of trying to get me to wake up from my induced coma, to be honest.
This doesn't upset me, it's not like the guilt of letting someone down when I have control over the situation- like if I was intentionally shutting my eyes and not thinking or trying to memorise important things (perhaps like some of the people that still love Boris Johnson despite the long list of potentially intentional errors that he's made during his time in office)- but I know from over a decade of short-term memory loss that if I don't retain a memory in the short-term, and therefore turn it into a long-term memory, the best my brain can do is to fabricate a memory, which then becomes what I perceive as real, if that makes sense.
Like if somebody told you over and over that immigrants had stolen your job, even though you were sacked for gross incompetence and replaced by a second-generation British Asian with better qualifications, and you heard the line about immigrants so many times that you started to repeat it, I guess. Hey, I wouldn't know, I've never been sacked OR racist!
Anyway, I now know that those three people made the journey all the way down to London just to visit me and- presumably- try to wake me up. I've been instructed to ask my mum about it... I'll find a time to have that conversation at some point.
In 2014 or 2015, I was at university with music playing on Youtube. At one point, Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd came on and I had this feeling that my dad played it to me on guitar when I was in my induced coma. I asked my sister and she couldn't remember whether it happened, so I have put it down to an educated guess rather than a memory.