Writing a book wasn't in my plan. Who would want to hear what I have to say? You have more chance of a bleed on the brain than winning the lottery. There's a one in 7 to 10,000 risk for brain bleed. I had one. Thankfully, just the one. You have a small chance of surviving a burst aneurysm. That was me too. Let me describe how it felt. I was thrust into the darkness of unconsciousness and woke to the news in hospital, I'd suffered a burst aneurysm, a massive bleed. I was alert enough to remember all my family members who had succumbed to the same. At the time, my music career had been thriving. I had established myself as a good fiddle player, a great fiddle teacher. I had been transitioning to include performance around that time too. My world crashed down around me, Thursday 20th October, 2005. Six days later, I underwent surgery to repair the torn artery. Then began my road to recovery.
Just as the lights had gone out on 20th October when I had suffered the subarachnoid haemorrhage, out they went again. I'd lost all love for playing and teaching fiddle. No music therapy for me. Better find a new job. I deliberated for eight months. Decision made. That was it. Fiddle no more. Excited to retire from music, but nervous at the same time, I wondered what might replace fiddle in my life. After exploring medical administration for The NHS and roles in supply chain for an oil and gas services company, there was a curiosity in the back of my mind. My dear friend, Anne Taylor would often try to nudge me back to playing fiddle again. For a while, I resisted. For a spell, I relented. I borrowed a fiddle and played some gigs with Anne. I explored a bit of teaching again. The bottom line was, I admitted a relief to be once again playing and teaching fiddle, this time on a freelance basis.
It's taken me 16 years to complete my story. I've come full circle. Returning to a career in music has caught me out. I am happy with it. I want to share my personal brain injury experience with readers, and fill in the gaps that the textbooks can't. Organ donation? I think I am comfortable with that now. Finding the charity, Headway UK was cathartic. I am delighted you are coming on my journey. This is my story, in my own words. Come and delve into it. No pity, please and no tears. I am happy to have; survived, endured, given up and started over.