Description of Injury Event and Initial Treatment: Found, in Bushy Park I was riding to work. Memory stops about a minute before, so no ideas as to the why. I was taken to St Georges where I had a head to hips CT scan and ECG which found that I had fractured my skull, with bleeds to front and rear. plus an abnormal heart beat.

Where treatment took place: St Georges, for 3 days

What (if any) Specific Procedures Undertaken: It was decided that the subdural Haematomas could be treated conservatively, i.e. I wouldn’t need a craniotomy operation. I did have a further ECG and once discharged a ECG Holter monitor for 48hrs to check if there was anything.

How did this make you feel? I have only very weak, confused memories of that whole day/week/month but from the islands of memories and others. It would seem that I was calm. I am used to hospitals and am generally calm so its probably not surprising, that I was calm though I wasn’t always compliant, I refused to eat much, if at all and wasn’t keen on nurses supervising personal care, i.e. going to the toilet.

Initial Rehabilitation: Neuropsychology – I was convinced that nothing was wrong and in denial, so was discharged.

Ongoing Rehabilitation: I had my balance looked at by the Local Community Neurorebilitation, which improved it dramatically. I was referred for low mood by my GP, to Richmond Wellbeing, who said this isnt something we can deal with, the effects of a brain injury and how you deal with it. With advice from Headway south west London’s staff, Laura Slater I am seeing DR Dr Shai Betteridge a Neuropsychologist who has referred me to a cognitive assessment in The Wolfson, Neurorehabilitation Centre in Queen Mary’s which I am booked in for the near future.

How did this make you feel? I enjoyed the Physiotherapy though since it both improved my Balance and also improved my knowledge of the balance system and how mine is damaged and what I can do to mitigate. The well being service was interesting but annoying since it was clearly a waste of time.

The Wolfson, Neurorehabilitation I’ve only seen Dr Shai Betteridge once and at the Phoenix Centre and haven’t been to any appointments at the Wolfson Neurorehabilitation yet, but i’m hopeful that if nothing else i’d learn more. so I’m positive that it should.

Other thoughts which you feel other survivors should hear about: Headway UK website has some very good information and factsheets. Local Headway groups where you get the chance to see others like oneself.

What did ‘helpful help’ look like? And why do you feel it was helpful? Headway South West London, where I have got the chance to meet others and hear their stories and tell mine, plus help from staff and Volunteers. My work who was very supportive with phased return, and looking after me. My GP who saw me for the first 6 months and was very supportive, and explained the physiotherapy which both improved my balance and my knowledge. My wife and my family who have coped with a changed and in many ways less nice Husband/Brother/Son. who as my insight has improved I have realised.

What did ‘unhelpful help’ look like? Why do you think it was unhelpful? Some of the “you look good” comments was missing the point/brushing it under the carpet. I have found navigating the NHS difficult, in accessing services and knowing what exists.

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