This book has allowed me to tell the story of my entire rehabilitation journey over 76 pages. It is available in French, English and Spanish.
The surgeons in Barcelona saved my life. The neurologists on site had told my parents to prepare themselves psychologically, to find me paralyzed, mute and maybe even blind. Indeed, the area affected by this attack is the center of primary functions. However, in the coma I sometimes reacted when I was spoken to. I was communicating by signs. My case was serious. Most people die in a similar case. The miraculous ones, with whom I was associated, have serious after-effects, such as problems with balance, coordination and speech. I thought I was dreaming during my two-month coma. I saw myself first in a forest, then lying on a stretcher in a hospital. I was sedated and on life support. A drain was coming out of my skull to remove A drain was coming out of my skull to remove the blood and spinal fluid that was compressing my cerebellum.
I started walking with the help of a physical therapist. As the clinic was not equipped with equipped with rehabilitation equipment, I walked with the help of a trash can on wheels. He made me do exercises for the upper and lower limbs. I saw him every day of the week. At the same time I was followed by a speech therapist. At first, she proceeded to the evaluation of swallowing by making me drink jelly water. (it’s water in the form of a gel, a little more solid). This allowed me to drink without making a mistake (that the water or the food (that the water or the food does not take the way of the trachea). Then she started a speech therapy protocol to get me to make sounds. I was communicating with my family using a slate because I couldn’t speak properly.
I underwent many tests and had doubts about being a carrier of a bacterium. Several tests were done to determine the nature and location of the bacteria. The treatment was experimental. It consisted of a fecal transplant. The protocol consisted of several steps. First, I drank an infectious solution to clean my entire digestive system. This product had undesirable effects : Indeed, after my partner and mother left, I was watching television. I suddenly had the urge to have a bowel movement. I couldn’t hold it in and soiled my diaper. I went to the bathroom with my walker and there I was able to finish. I felt diminished and embarrassed to be in this situation. I thought at that moment that it would have been better to never wake up and find a way to end my life. At that time I was in a relationship, and I didn’t want to hurt anyone around me with this act. I guess it’s a pretty selfish act. I thought of my partner and my family first.
During this stay I participated in a competition that brings together, every year, able-bodied and disabled people (Algernon) for a race in Marseille. My family and my physiotherapist pushed my wheelchair during the race, and I was the one who pushed it a few meters to the finish line.
At this race, I thought to myself as I watched the other participants run: “My god, you can’t even run without holding on”. It’s hard to see how bad you are physically. I looked at myself in the mirror and realized what a waste of my years spent in gyms. It was in this clinic that I started walking and gave up the wheelchair.
Following my vascular accident, I lost the ability to do two things at the same things at the same time. I have to make great efforts to concentrate. Most of the work was based on balance exercises and movement coordination. I had resumed driving with an instructor and my occupational therapist sitting in the back seat. She evaluated my driving abilities. An appointment with my neurologist in Marseille was made in order to monitor the evolution of the trauma. I had an MRI to know if there was a malformation or if it remained an accident of life. Today, he can’t pronounce on any evolution of my condition, and the after-effects of my condition, and the after-effects that I will keep. The time needed to recover a maximum of capacities from the accident are of the order of two to three years. All this work in the rehabilitation center must be continued by a daily personal work.
Everyday, people’s eyes make me aware of my difficulties. I am apprehensive about crowds, so I force myself to be in them in order to get used to the situation. Each action brings progress that we can see every day. Even if I don’t see the progress, those around me see it and congratulate me on it. Only an outside eye can judge it. I make efforts mainly for myself but also for the people but for the people I care about.
I am starting a new life while remaining the same. The accident will not have changed my person but makes me live in a different way. I have been fighting since 3/18/2017 and continue to this day. Life is a constant struggle and you have to keep hope alive. It is the best test of all. This life experience, certainly traumatic, but that I was able to face with my loved ones, I wanted to share it through this story because it helped me to move forward. If this testimony can help patients or their families to overcome this ordeal, then it will be useful. I would like to pay tribute to the medical staff who, through their competence and their benevolence, allowed me to come back to life. I would also like to pay tribute to all the people, mostly handicapped, like me, who taught me not to give up and to understand that the human being has extraordinary resources to continue life and to give love to others. The love of others, that is what we must continue to do. I understood!