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Kristyn Rourke

Personal Stories

Kristyn Rourke

Some of the first things I remember, when my thoughts became functional and made sense to, were sketchy memories of a normal work day and being at home culling items in the walk in robe.
Turns out I was recalling moments that happened during the week leading up to the car accident I was involved in.
On that fateful day in November 2014, the rear of my car was allegedly smashed into by a car travelling at excessive speed, my car then became airborne and careered off the side of a bridge and into a creek bed.

The right side of my face was de-gloved, my right ear amputated, fractured C2, TBI or traumatic brain injury, severed radial nerve and I very nearly lost my left arm.
Thinking back over the many months I was in hospital, I don't ever recall asking why I was hospitalised.
I would have been told at some point, but I don't recall asking questions, or any specific feeling or thought.
It was hard enough remembering what was going on around me, who the people were that were visiting, what time of the day it was and whether I had completed that days physio session.

And more often than not, I couldn't think of which words to use when I spoke. I think I knew, at least in my mind, how and what I was feeling.  But more often than not, I couldn't find words to convey my thoughts and feelings to those around me.
I remember that everything seemed stripped back, my thoughts became very simple.
However I now see, I now realise, all that I took for granted. The simple things, like breathing, like walking and talking.

Memories of the week prior to the accident are still somewhat sporadic, and then my first memory post accident is a vague memory of New Year's Day 2015.

At times I loathe having a brain injury.

It can often make the simplest of tasks that much harder, things that much more difficult and the time it takes to complete things, that much longer.
I can become worried, hurt or annoyed and I can get frustrated when I can't quite grasp or comprehend something. And I now give up on things a lot sooner than I used to.

However I do believe that acquiring this brain injury has also protected my mind from remembering details from the day of the accident, grim memories of the fight for survival and of course the first leg of recovery.

I'm not too sure if I would cope, or how I'd currently be, if I did retain all of those details.
The most important thing for me to convey, to all those who know me, is that I'm still me.
Sure I may sound and look a little different, but this is the new me.

I've embraced the 'new me', there really wasn't much of a choice, and acceptance from other's makes for a smoother transition.


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