(Please read the post in full).
Tuesday evening was a frustrating experience when Support Worker Dipak didn’t arrive as expected. Dipak was due on site, at my home, at 1815. At 1845 we were due to leave site to attend two meetings running consecutively at Leicester Forest East Parish Hall in my role as elected Councillor for Leicester Forest East.
At 1830, not knowing if Support Worker Dipak was going to even come I knew I’d need to allow sufficient time to get to the meeting by walking. I got my shoes and coat on and I left home to head to the Parish Hall when I heard Dipak almost running behind me. I’m taller than Dipak by quite some margin. I really dislike being late and of course one doesn’t always do tasks in the right sequence.
Thankfully we arrived at the meeting with a few minutes to spare, which is a good thing as that allowed one time to recompose oneself as one always tries to mask how one is actually feeling. I neither ate an evening meal nor took medication because I forgot to eat and to take medication at the allotted time because I have memory problems, ensuring these actions are carried out are Dipak’s main objectives each shift.
I made worthwhile contributions to the meeting, briefly spoke about Wardens’ Walk, the businesses in Leicester Forest East and Wardens’ Walk area of Braunstone Town, Litter Picking, Hi-Viz Vests, and had an enjoyable experience conversing with councillors at the end. I returned home, I again forgot to eat and forgot to take medication. On Tuesday night I experienced seizures.
On Wednesday Support Worker , Claire and I took a trip to the Aquatic Centre. With the support of my team I keep Tropical and Cold Water Fish. I’ve kept cold water fish on and off from childhood but have never kept Tropical Fish before. Claire has them at home so is ideally placed to support me. Fish keeping is very good for my mental wellbeing. Watching fish and listening to the water is therapeutic and recommended by the medical professionals and counsellors alike.
Whilst we were at the aquatic centre Claire and I spotted a very large aquarium. So big that Claire, Julian or Dipak could lay down in it and have room to spare. Unfortunately I don’t have the room big enough for it, which is probably a good thing as it would be expensive to run. I purchased three Tropical Fish and some aquaria accessories. We didn’t go to the gym which is an activity vital for my weight management, and beneficial to my physical and mental health wellbeing although exercising causes more seizures.
David Di Palma
Brain Injury Survivor and Councillor
Support Worker Dipak’s Perspective (as per previous post)
Yesterday evening was a stressful time for David, as we were due to attend a Council Meeting and I thought the meeting was at 7.30 not at 7.00pm!! So, by the time I arrived, David had been waiting for me to turn up feeling anxious not knowing if I was going to turn up as I am never late!! David did not think to call me and started to walk to the meeting without me, luckily I saw him and had to run after him, as he can really walk fast when he’s on a mission!!
Dipak Rao .. Support Worker
Summary and Conclusion.
Both of the above accounts are the respective perspectives of the authors, but, perception is one thing, reality is something different. This post isn’t to critique either author but one does find it interesting to say the least that one perceived the Tuesday incident as David taking something in his stride whilst David went without food, medication, was anxious and left home unsupervised and as Dipak suggests David appeared to make the meeting look easy “Well, David took that within his stride and managed focus during the meeting without any more excitements”.
The moral of the blog... never assume that all is well and something was easy because it looks or is made to look easy. I have a hidden disability. I am an abuse survivor, brain injury survivor and a councillor. For the vast majority of my life I’ve had to mask the abusive past and to mask the realities of living with a brain injury disability. I’ve had to mask it because my survival depended upon keeping things to myself. But I don’t have to keep quiet about anything anymore. I’m not being forced to remain silent by abusers and I’ve attended years of abuse counselling. I want to help people to overcome their difficulties through my experiences. If I can help at least one person to overcome their difficulties my life will have been worthwhile. If not then my life will be remembered as a waste of time and oxygen.
My name is David Di Palma, I’m a Survivor and Proud. Visit our website to discover more