I heard this phrase recently; it reminded me of what has happened to me in my life.
I had a happy childhood, up to the age of 13, except for the horrible time that I had a Cuddington Croft School, something which my parents quickly remedied for my brother and I once we got the nerve to talk to them.
From the age of 13, I have had “fits and starts”.
When we went on a holiday in Corfu, one night I had a massive fit. It was diagnosed by the quack doctor to be heat stroke and I ended up spending the rest of the holiday in hospital.
On our return, my mother took me from hospital to hospital, for a period of 3 years, so that they could try and find out why I was having seizures but, to no avail.
Then I went with my brother to a Led Zeppelin concert (their last one at Knebworth) and it went on into late in the night. My brother woke me up early and said that we had to “go home” but he would not say why (He was great in those days, we were real chums).
As it turned out, I was scheduled to go into hospital for much more serious tests and to cut a long story short, they discovered that I had a tumour in my brain; it was that what was causing the seizures.
After the scans, a houseman came to see me and told me what they had found. I nonchalantly asked as to what would happen if they did not operate.
He said I would be dead in 6 months as a massive seizure would cause a heart attack and my youth would not save me.
So, I had the operation and when I woke, I could not move as there were tubes coming out of my head to drain the fluid. Because I had been under for so long, I was constantly vomiting as a result of the anesthetic. I overheard the nurses saying on change over that “David is very ill”. I thought I was going to die.
But, I slowly recovered and led a relatively normal life but some things I could not do anymore, like any contact sport.
I did my “A” levels but I flunked those and had to leave Epsom College.
I seemed fine for quite a while until I studied for my professional exams for Chartered Accountancy. I fitted again and that was put down to the stress of the exams and the studying. So, my driving licence went for the first time.
I seemed to be better and after a false start, I moved to Premium Credit, where I eventually became a finance director but my first role was to handle the management buyout. There were many meetings with my Chairman, many late at night and on one occasion, I had another seizure. So, he ordered me to go and see the company doctor, who was a glorified quack. No tests at all but he just put me onto an anti convulsive medication, which seemed to do the trick.
But these mini seizures kept on happening and it was then that I was referred to a neurologist, my old friend, Dr Patrick Trend. I had a couple of scans but only of the CT variety, as if I had a MRI scan, it would have killed me as the magnetism would have pulled out the screws and my plate; I would be dead in 30 seconds. (I used to wear a band warning any hospital that I could not have any MRIs, in the case of an accident, but given that I really no longer care if I live or die, due to what Verity did to me, I no longer wear it; in fact, it would be a blessed release from all of the pain)
He told me that I had scar tissue around where the original operation had been and that it had sensitised my brain. So, when I got stressed, I would have these seizures. So, lots more medication. (i was later shown one of the scans and when I asked what the black hole was in my brain, the size of a small lemon, he said that it was atrophied brain. I was amazed at the size of this hole and said to him “I should be dead“)
Then Premium Credit got bigger and bigger so more work for my team and I. I asked for more staff 4 times and did 4 reports but each time, I was refused extra staff. So, I took on the extra work myself and I got more and more stressed.
It got so bad that on one day, I just put everything down and walked out and drove home. I went to see my doctor who referred me to the Priory Hospital. I had had a nervous breakdown.
A year later, I saw my shrink with my parents. He said that I could not go back to work and worse still, I could not work for anyone ever again. If I did, the stress would build up and I would have a complete nervous breakdown and would be a gibbering wreck, which would be permanent. He said that I had been “lucky” this time.
So, my career was over
That narrative is just what happened to me in my career and my health but here is a roughly full list
- Had a grand mal ( massive seizure) at the age of 13
- Had a major brain operation at the age of 16
- Had minor seizures when I was studying for my professional exams
- Had minor seizures in my early 30s
- Did the management buyout at work, moved three times and got married, all in the space of 3 months
- My baby nearly dying because she had a chord wrapped around her neck (until I threatened the midwife and doctors with a law suit)
- Got divorced for the first time, due to being set up by my wife and her being adulterous with my best friend
- Lost my house and everything that I had worked for, due to the divorce and left homeless
- Had a nervous breakdown at work that ended my career
- Met a wonderful woman, Liesel, who died of brain cancer at the age of 39, after being with her for only two years
- My mum contracts Alzheimer’s
- My father has major heart issues and I drop everything to look after both him and Mum; my business really suffers
- My mum dies from pneumonia on a heart valve
- My company collapses, leaving me with £45,000 of loss to me
- Met someone who I thought was wonderful but she walked out on Christmas Eve, after just one year of marriage
- Got divorced from wife number 2
- Had to pay wife number 2 £180,000 plus her £45,000 divorce legal bill
- Moved to the Isle of Wight to escape everything
- Got arrested in April 2016 for abusing my daughter
- Cleared my name in August 2016
- Campaign started to be waged by father, brother, cousin and daughter later on that year
- My father contracts Alzheimer’s
- Life self destructs as a result
I have not written this piece for people to feel sorry for me. Oh, no, far from it.
I have written this to illustrate to those who seem to breeze through life and when something minor happens, feel so very sorry for themselves, such as my brother and daughter, that there are many people out there who have had very hard lives, a great many with lives much harder than even my own