Who Are You Now: Matthew Atkinson's story
This week sees the latest publication on the Who Are You Now? website - telling the life stories of brain injury survivors.
A road traffic accident threw Matthew’s academic career off-track when he realised he could no longer understand his work. He recounts how he found his way again with the help of technology, colleagues and family.
When we asked Matthew to tell his story for Who Are You Now?, he had some doubts. He reflected that he’s been lucky enough to make a very good recovery. He’s aware that others continue to struggle with difficulties he’s left behind.
Like Matthew, many people spend months or years dealing with fatigue, disrupted sleep patterns and problems with concentration and memory after a road traffic accident – even if scans don't show damage to the brain. Tasks they once found simple seem mystifying and exhausting, and anxiety about the symptoms compounds the problem. It’s often hard to pin down why this is happening, and research has yet to come up with conclusive answers.
“In a sense, I was quite lucky because throughout most of the period where the cognitive stuff was affecting me, there was very obvious physical stuff, so people were prepared to offer support. ”