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  • Paul Fink

Why am I here?

My coma lasted two weeks. I awoke from my coma but I can't remember waking up. I can't recognise my room at intensive care unit (ICU) and also I can't remember my brother is visiting me at Alfred Hospital. My older brother (Steven) lives at London and he was travelling to Melbourne specifically because of my health (and worst-case - my funeral) but - you guessed it - I can't remember. I recall lots of dreams, however it is a mystery if in the coma or after waking up... or real life. So many unknowns. Therefore I will write about what I can remember... My first-conscious thoughts 'must be mobile phone radiation [causing the problem]'... Alas it was not. I never once thought 'where are you?', 'what happened to me?'... No.

I remember was disorientated but not scared, and after I was focusing is working to my location- sort of a puzzle. I remember a huge window and tram tracks - not horizontal maybe 70% angle - and I resolved must be at High Street, Kew (suburb in Melbourne) because conjure up of old memories of my parents driving (on the way) old house at Doncaster. I reckon good-signs because my brain must be still kicking over. (After, found out this tram tracks looking out of Faulkner Park.)

Second conscious thought 'really dead or I'm alive?' This concept is hard to grasp but think about it often (still now). For example, what if I'm dead now... One possibility. What happens after? Afterlife? Nothing? Must be more to it... Only way describing this concept is an analogy to the film - Back to the Future 2. Do you remember this scene Dr. Emmett Brown discussing timelines and the timeline skewed by alternate realities. Maybe my timeline also skewed... Or two timelines - me and other people. Confidently I'm alive now but no proof of this fact, hence still a mystery. (Apologies if not seen this movie...)

Therefore - assuming that I'm alive - third conscious thoughts 'why am I here (or what purpose)'... Answer? I don't know... maybe my destiny not written yet...who knows.

I remember the ward (after discharged from ICU) but my memories are very murky - at least - and my brain definitely affected with the drugs.

I remember my last brain surgery - the Cranioplasty. (It is a surgical repair of a defect or deformity of a skull) and I recall this operation little bit of parts - but not much. I remember operating room and recall I was angry and resisting the operation. In hindsight I'm fortunate my Cranioplasty proceeded at Alfred (not after) because 90% I can't remember, consequently not traumatised this operation.

Preparing to the Cranietomy....

I remember Lauren and Oscar, my parents visiting and I remember sitting on the courtyard outside. I recall the re-learning "bodily functions" (including the nappies) I mean everything. The nurses were amazing (and I assume doctors' also).

I remember two best friends visiting me at Alfred. This conversation with Daniel and Tristan including lots of laughs and I assumed I thought I was speaking also - two way conversations - but ... sadly no. Lauren said (after) I awoke from up my coma and zero words coming my mouth. My brain was tricked me, and my communication only gestures and body language.

Every day at Alfred more and more I remembering. I remember "speaking" with social worker discussed moving rehab centre because more therapy over there... I thought it "good idea" and "let's go now because I'm ready" but I was frustrating when not moving and I don't get it why moving??

Eventually I was moved at Caulfield Hospital/rehab and I remember ambulance car trip with two people - me and other bloke. The man said [paraphrasing] "what happened to you?" I tried responding but zero words my mouth, therefore this moment found out that I know something very wrong and I was in trouble...

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