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That might seem a pretty random heading for my first real Blog post. But believe me, that date will be imprinted in my brain (or what’s left of it) for the rest of my life. Kind of like a watershed moment, when I look back and say “pre 2016” or “post 2016” I’m actually talking about the events of that night that changed my life so radically. And it feels like only yesterday…

You see, I’d contracted an extremely rare form of auto immune meningitis, but I just didn’t know it. And it had eaten into my brain causing a strain of encephalitis which flared up and damn near killed me. But being a single man, living alone, pretty much cut off from the world, I just didn’t know how to deal with it. Neither did the A & E Department at the local hospital who sent me home without testing for it properly. They just dismissed me as a crazy old madman, steam rising from my head (which in retrospect, was a pretty big giveaway). But at four o’clock in the morning, no one was ready, willing, or able to go down that route at all.

Anyway, to cut a (very) long story short, in September 2017 (yes, ten months later) I finally managed to get an appointment with Professor Maston in the Walton Neurological Centre, and I’ve never been so happy to have needles rammed into my body before in my life. (Not small needles either!)

But the damage was done.

It took me until now (February 2019) until I could walk and talk properly again. And even now, I still regress back behind a shield I’ve developed, so no one can mock my stuttering insecurities. Which is weird, because the words are still inside my head (I’m TYPING THEM, dammit!) but I just still can’t verbalise them quite so easily.

Thing is, I learnt a lot about myself over the last three years. I’m stubborn (as a mule), short tempered, grumpy and gnarly. And they’re my good points! Which makes me determined, inquisitive, strangely creative and impatient to get everything I’ve ever written out into the public domain, before I become that sad old man in the nursing home again.

So please bear with me as I struggle with all this new technological stuff. I’m OK writing these things, it’s the uploading, downloading, building and optimisational stuff I find hard to do.

Here’s a pic of yours truly after Professor Maston expressed my spinal / brain fluid and went on to save my life (for the record, I was not an easy patient) and how he put up with me, I’ll never know. But I’m entirely grateful to him and his incredible nursing team in the Walton Neuro Centre for caring so much.

This won’t be the last time you see this photo (I’m actually really proud I came out of it in one piece)

I think they got my best looking profile too…. 😉


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