How a brain-injured Brit prepares for a trip to China

Wow… is it nearly a month since I wrote anything on here ?  Just shows how busy I’ve been.

So much to do now that I’m working almost full time on the “placement”, and am trying (trying) to get ready to go to China next Wednesday to meet my darling Amanda 😛

This last Wednesday was a typically confusing day for me…

For a start, everything I had arranged for Wednesday had stuck in my head as being on Thursday !… Not good !

This is normal.  This is normal for me !  That is one of the symptoms of my injury.  When I originally got the appointment letter from the Consultant I had “assumed” that the appointment would be on a Thursday because every other appointment with him and his crew had been on a Thursday.  I had noted it down correctly in my organiser as being Wednesday…. but my brain said Thursday.  And that was what stuck !

So, I had this appointment at the hospital (to get the all-clear from the Consultant Psychiatrist).  Why my doctor referred me to him in the first place I will never know !  Getting run over by a car doesn’t mean I’m crazy… just brain-damaged !!!  So, as I was going to be seeing him and will be officially starting “full-time” work when I get back from China, I needed to get my “return to work” note from my own doctor.

I had managed to arrange that for the same day.  Good work Tom… well done.  But when I rang to make that appointment, with the letter in front of me… still it hadn’t clicked.

It clicked on Tuesday when my new PDA Phone gave me the reminder !!  I had even put the appointments in there correctly, and still it hadn’t clicked.  So on Tuesday I had a panic, because all the things that were on my “general tasks” list I had mentally planned to be doing on Thursday, and couldn’t work out how the change of day would affect things, if at all.

This is starting to sound muddled…. but that is what life is like for me every day.

So anyway, as there was a gap of about an hour and a half between the two appointments I went and got my hair cut.  Good work Tom… well done, that was well overdue.

There have been problems in trying to arrange my holiday cash through the local Post Office, they wanted me to pay them in “cash” rather than use a card…. so I nipped into town to check with the local branch of my bank that I could withdraw enough on one day (subject to id).  Yes, all ok there… just bring my passport.  Good work Tom… well done.

Got home by about 2:30 and was camming with Amanda 😛 .  I told her that I would need to go by 3:15 so that I could get back into town, get the cash, do some shopping for presents for her family, and still be able to get to the Post Office in time to order the currency.  All ok….

… until the phone rang at 3:10… it was Rosie from the Jobcentre… “Hello Tom, you’ve forgotten our appointment, haven’t you ?”…… !!!!  Oh… (very rude four-letter word !!)

The consultant’s appointment letter had arrived at about the same time that I had been offered this job on a full-time basis.  Anne, my mentor at the “work prep” scheme, had taken me down to see Rosie and talk over how this would affect my benefits over the next 12 months, and we had arranged (sensibly) that I would see her after I had seen the consultant to get me signed off the “work prep” and get all the forms completed for my return to a more “normal” life.  That had been noted down in my old, paper organiser… but not transferred to my new PDA.

(to Amanda 😛 )… “Must go darling…. wait up for me, I’ll be home just after midnight your time”… and off I dashed.

Rosie was her usual friendly, helpful and very understanding self.  Lovely woman. 8)

I went to the bank and withdrew the cash (although I could have had anybody’s passport with me… they never asked to look inside it), did the bits of shopping I needed to do (Diabetic chocolates for Amanda’s Mum, filter coffee for her Dad; DEET based anti-mozzie, suncream, anti-squits and other medications for me) and headed back to the Post Office.  Ordered the Yuan and HK Dollars, and settled down to talk to Amanda 😛 again before she went to bed.

Just after finishing with her I was wondering to myself if I still had time to cook myself any dinner before the European Cup Final (I thought it might kick-off an hour early because it was being played in Moscow) when the phone rang again…

It was my mate Baz, (best mate… lives in Reading), who has recently had a triple-bypass.  He’s feeling really down, so I knew that I would need to chat to him for a while, which would mean definitely no dinner.

Ah… but he said that the match starts at 7:45… so I’ve got an hour I didn’t know I had… great !  So I will have time for dinner, after all 🙂  Ok, so I can chat to him for a bit without panicking….

Just as we’re getting to the point of winding up the conversation… the doorbell rings !!  Who the hell is that ?!

It’s my friend who rang me just as I was coming out from the doctor earlier.  While I was wondering if I had time to get my hair cut between the two appointments, she called to ask if I could lend her £50 until next week.  “Ok”, I had said, “Come round this evening after 6”.

I had remembered to get the extra cash from the bank, and had even put that aside while calculating how much currency to order at the Post Office… but then…. nothing !  Totally forgotten.

Oh well… bang goes dinner.  But at least she did give my back a “knurdling” for me, which was useful because I had thought about fitting in a trip to the Osteopath (on Thursday!) because I could feel it was slipping out of true again.  Good job I hadn’t made that appointment !

Dinner consisted of a call to “Hong Kong House” around the corner, timed such that they would deliver during half-time…. (I’m not totally stupid).

The Post Office had said that the currency would be arriving on Friday.  I had planned to nip in this morning (Saturday) to collect it, but I happened to just get home before they closed yesterday so I thought I may as well pick it up then.

It hadn’t arrived !!!

Also, by the time they had searched high and low, it was too late to ring the office that arranges it…. and this is a Bank Holiday weekend, so they wouldn’t be able to call anybody until Tuesday !!!…. Aarrgghh !!!!  PANIC !!!

Poor Amanda :P… yet another problem that she heard from me 😦 . She really must wonder at times just what she’s letting herself in for….

But good news this morning… it did arrive…  Phew !

And I took 28 shirts along to the Ironing people on Wednesday as well.  They came back last night.  The T-shirts were folded flat in a polythene bag… so that’s my packing started ! 😉

So… on top of all that one of my blogging pals on another site is a relief worker who has been in Burma for a while.  She’s gone back home to Singapore now but, weakened by the strain of the situation (and the fact that she had just been through a number of personal traumas just prior to going out there) she has picked up a virus and is feeling really rough.  She keeps “plugging away” though… always having to be doing “something” to help less fortunate people.  The woman is a true angel !   Slow down, AnnaMarie !!  Making yourself ill won’t help anyone ! :P:P

So there we have it…. how a person who has lost his organisational skills manages to cope with too much to do, all on the wrong day, and manages to come out the other end of it.

Now I just need to get on that plane.  Once I do that it will be too late to do anything I haven’t already done, and anything else that anybody wants me to do will just have to wait until I get back.  I can let my brain empty itself of all the detritus that it’s been carrying around for the past few weeks… and just relax !

Roll on Wednesday !!

I’ll be putting some photos up on here while I’m away, so that all you hardy people who have read this far can share my happiness in finally meeting my Amanda 😛

The task list is still increasing, despite the new PDA.  Unfortunately, good as those things are they still leave you, yourself, to perform the actual tasks.  But given the speed that technical things are advancing I’m sure it won’t be long…………

That’s something to dream about on the plane…. and Amanda 😛 , of course… 😉

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3 Responses to “How a brain-injured Brit prepares for a trip to China”

  1. Susan Kishner Says:

    Nice writing style. I will come back to read more posts from you.

    Susan Kishner

  2. maldives travel Says:

    informative article

  3. honorarynewfie Says:

    Thank you Susan.

    Sorry, Akismet held your comment up as potential spam… WordPress didn’t e-mail me (again!) to say that it was waiting… and what with me being “behind the iron curtain of bloggism” in China I hadn’t picked it up.

    Reminder to self… read the dashboard more closely in future !


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