PROLOGUE: Why Blue Helmet?
The blue helmet was something I wore everyday for 8 months. It started my recovery journey.
My first surgery on the night of the accident was a decompression craniectomy, which means my brain swelled so much that a part of my skull had to be removed to relieve that swelling. If the skull wasn't removed, I could've had spine complications and might not have been able to walk anymore.
The skull protects the brain from being exposed, pretty obvious right? It's like an inner helmet under your skin. But my inner helmet on the right side of my brain was gone (bone flap), which is very dangerous especially for someone who has just gone through a serious brain trauma. Another tiny hit to that area could've caused life threatening damaged.
So what does that mean? I don't have my inner helmet, so I needed to get an outer helmet.
On my discharge day a month later, the nurse mentioned to me that I had a follow up appointment with my surgeon a few months later to see if the swelling has gone down enough to put my 'bone flap' back in. This was news to me. One of the first stops I made on the way home was to get a helmet. Go to Canadian Tire and get a bike helmet? Sure.
Instead, I had to go to a 'custom helmet' store. The helmet was a custom made orthotic device that protected my brain. Just like a custom cast for your leg or arm, I had a mold put around my head, waited until it dried and then it came.
The lady making the custom helmet asked me what colour I wanted it to be. Now, she asked this approximately 4-5 weeks after my accident. She gave me a sheet of colours to chose from. I remember looking at it and thinking, "Blue is my favourite colour. Let's go with that."
WHY. DID. I. DO. THAT.
The lady replied with, "We can put little cartoon skulls on it. Are you sure you don't want that?" At least I had the judgment to say no to that. I also want to mention this helmet was bright blue, not even a dark blue.
And for the next 8 months, I had to wear that bright blue helmet wherever I went. This was the start of my journey.
Follow along in Chapters as the stories I will tell unfold my full journey.