Traumatic Brain Injury Basics

TBI Basics


Doctors say that traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a catastrophic condition, like burns, amputations, and spinal cord injuries. But TBI is different. It upsets life on multiple levels: physical, psychological, social, and even spiritual. TBI affects the roots of who we are — our ability to think, to communicate, and to connect with other people. For approximately 85 percent of people with TBI, those problems eventually resolve, but the remaining 15 percent have lasting difficulties. If you’re dealing with lingering symptoms of a TBI, or if you’re caring for a loved one, it can help to understand more about the wide range of challenges that TBI can pose.

A tap on the head, and anything can go wrong. Anything usually does go wrong. Light taps — mild TBI — can result in daily headaches, agitated moods, or periods of sleeplessness. Stronger jolts may cause you to forget your name, or make you think you’re someone different. When you tell someone you’re sad, you may unintentionally yell. A TBI can introduce a frustrating amount of confusion and uncertainty into your life

TBI by the Numbers

TBI has a way of affecting everything and everyone in your life. It can make family life tough, and it can seriously impede your ability to work. It can affect the relationships you have and make it harder to make new friends. In the United States, TBI is a quiet crisis. As many as 5.3 million Americans are living with a permanent disability resulting from a brain injury. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that 2.8 million Americans report a traumatic brain injury each year. Fifty-six thousand people die from it. Over a two hundred eighty-two thousand people are hospitalized. Some of them go home only to discover they no longer have a sense of smell or taste, or that their sleeping habits have changed, or that they can’t seem to do their job anymore. 

If you look at the numbers a little differently, they’re even more upsetting. So many Americans become disabled from a brain injury that each decade they could fill a city the size of Detroit. Seven of these cities are filled already. A third of their citizens are under fourteen years of age. Currently, there are at least 125,000 people with a brain injury so severe that it requires extended hospital care — a service difficult to find and even harder to access. Fortunately, the majority of people who experience TBI will be able to return to a productive life once they receive appropriate treatment

A Closer Look at the Brain

Even though the numbers are large, it’s important to remember that TBI is a human injury. It has a way of showing us that life is fragile and precious. Because the brain is a complicated network of cells, each injury is as distinctive as the person it affects. Our skulls are only a quarter inch thick, although male skulls are a little thicker, which is lucky considering the fact that men tend to get TBI more often than women. The skull is both protective and restricting; it is the brain’s best defense but also its greatest risk in times of trauma.

Surrounding the brain is an almost rubbery, clear layer of tissue called the dura mater. It helps protect the brain from moving around too much. Beneath the dura mater is another layer called the arachnoid layer, which looks and feels like wet cotton candy. The dura mater, the arachnoid layer, and another layer — the pia mater — all form what is known as the meninges, which keeps the brain floating inside the skull. If these layers get infected, ripped, or torn, it can cause serious damage to the brain

Types of TBI

Every brain injury is different, but there are two basic types: open head injuries and closed head injuries. Open head TBIs are a frightening mess. Whether the injury comes from a bullet, a baseball bat, or a high-speed collision, the result is always chaotic and distressing. The scalp bleeds a lot when it is cut, and when the skull is cracked or penetrated, pieces of it can get lodged in the brain. Because the brain is such a complicated tangle of tissue, it’s extremely tricky to remove objects lodged inside a brain. That’s why we put brain surgery right up there with rocket science in our everyday language.

In a closed head injury, nothing penetrates your skull, but a closed head injury can be just as complicated and vicious as an open head injury, sometimes more so. During a closed head injury, the brain may slam against one portion of the skull, then bounce against the opposite side of the wall. Doctors call that a “coup-contracoup” injury, where two injuries occur from a single blow. One of the most common types of closed head injury is a concussion — a strong blow from an external force. If a person’s head is whipped around, a small tearing effect called shearing occurs throughout the brain, resulting in a diffuse axonal injury. Axons are the hairlike extensions of nerve cells that transmit messages, so in a diffuse axonal injury, the messages either get mixed up, or they don’t come through at all

Treating and Living With TBI

An injured brain also has a tendency to swell, so if there is no room in the skull to expand, the swollen brain may start pushing against the eye sockets. The optic nerve eventually gets pinched, and eyesight is affected. A surgeon might drill holes into a skull to test cranial pressure. If the swelling is too extreme, the only option is to create an escape hatch by sawing away a portion of the skull.

The neurosurgeon is in charge of protecting the brain through medical procedures, but the survivor has to manage life with the effects of the TBI. Everyone reacts differently, depending in part on the severity of the injury, the quality of their care, and the strength of the social network around them. Many survivors feel pulled in different directions, feeling at times that the injury has made them less than what they were, and at other times that they can integrate TBI into their lives in a positive way. People with TBI are forced to confront a whole series of personal questions: How does my injury really affect me? Can I regain the things I’ve lost? What am I other than my brain? How can I make the most of my life?

Looking Ahead

Our understanding of TBI is changing in front of our eyes. As organizations such as the Brain Trauma Foundation continue to define the best practices in treating brain injury, medical care is slowly improving — at least for those patients able to gain access to early trauma care. The war in Iraq has already changed the way we treat TBI in America. Military surgeons who learned life-saving techniques like early cranioplasty are able to employ similar protocols in American trauma centers 

In the years to come, we may increasingly see brain trauma as a chronic but manageable condition similar to diabetes or cardio-pulmonary disease. That perspective might also help in reducing the negative stereotypes of TBI. For now, though, TBI survivors and those who care for them continue to face serious challenges in finding help and finding acceptance.

TBI is a much more manageable injury today than it has been in the past, but it remains a major health problem. As people with TBI continue to live longer and face the challenges of aging with TBI, it will be our duty to provide better education and long-term programs and services. We all have brains; let’s continue to use them — injured or not — to support TBI prevention, research, and treatment.

Posted on BrainLine February 13, 2018. Reviewed July 25, 2018.


Comments (248)

I took a medication for acne that injured my brain.
I suffer from really heavy brain fog, constant migranes and preasure in my head, memory issues.
I also developed really heavy visual snow and i see really vivid colors when close my eyes.
also severe tinnitus..Im quick to anger, and feel very numb and depressed...I feel like a ghost of my former self in a sense.
It has been a year now...I had to drop out of medical school, i was admitted to a psychward for 2 months...
my life was changed dramatically, but i try to keep strong and rebuild my life.

My friend was exposed to carbon monoxide. Since then, she has changed and lost a lot of weight. My main concern though is that she stole something from my home recently as she has a key to my house. She comes to walk my dog when I travel. She was NEVER like this before and I cannot trust her anymore. Could carbon m. poisoning have caused this personality change?

I have suffered from 7 whiplashes, none of the car accidents were my fault. I've also had 2 concussions and a broken tailbone which paralyzed me for some months.

The doctors and chiropractors I went to insisted on doing new x rays each time. I tried to get them to give me my x rays but they said I would lose them. Instead they lost them.

I think all the x rays contributed to the large brain tumor that nearly killed me 6 years ago. Fortunately, I had studied to be an Ayurvedic physician for 26 years. I wish I had known it was a brain tumor before I was incapacitated, unable to read or walk; but I thought the pain I was experiencing was the result of my past injuries.

I told my husband how to treat the cancer and he took care of me for the year and a half it took to heal. I've been doing very well, working 7 days a week helping others heal from cancer, then 5 days ago had a brain stem injury. I couldn't breathe well or swallow for a couple of days but I used some of the same techniques from when I had the brain tumor and I'm recovering.

To all my relations suffering from TBI, consider using natural therapies instead of surgery and harsh drugs.

My mom had a TBI 2 years ago and just fell on her bottom yesterday. I've noticed changes in her movement, speech and overall behavior. Is it possible that she was reinjured?

At 4 I fell of the swing in Denmark. Was traumatized at 11 when my parents moved to Canada. Had a difficult time making friends and had to go through 5 grades in school in 1 year.Had to quit school at 13 to work. Fell off the roof of a house I was working on and had my second concussion. was forced to leave Canada at 15 and ended up in Chicago. Got a concussion at 16 from someone dropping a large timber from a roof where I was working. Joined the US Army in 1961 at 17. Had some very traumatic experiences in Korea when my buddies got run over by tanks and shot from the DMZ.
4 more concussions from falls in commercial construction. Had constant head aches and loss of vision for up to 36 hours. At 70 I was walking the dog and it pulled me down and I cracked open my skull and was out for over 10 days. 2 years later at 72 I had another collapse in my driveway and layed there for over 2 hours before the neighbor called the ambulance. I can remember at least 7 head injuries so maybe that is why I can't remember names but I have no problem with numbers, spelling and history only names and where did I put my car keys?

In March of 2008 I was involved in an accident at work. An engineered I- beem was dropped from 15 feet and hit me in the foreheadjust above the left eye. I am still suffering severe headache's anxiety and confusion. I have a lump the doctor told me is a calcium build up, am I being dramatic or could there be something wrong or overlooked? I have been refused tests when this first happened.

Hey if it makes you feel any better. From what you explained, you are the only one that I can relate to. I cut my forehead open about a year and 4 months ago. Developed a hematoma(calcium build up) weeks after the injury. I was not a huge cut. During this process I had headaches, which was my main symptom. Couple moths after the injury one day I woke up and everything just felt different. My memory wasn’t as sharp, brain felt foggy, headaches from time to time, Dreams were extremely different, left pupil looked disoriented, and My body needed more sleep. Doctor x-rayed my brain and found nothing. Tired of going back and forth to the Nuerologists just to hear them tell me that all tests are coming back fine. To this day, I have had slight improvement, but I can still tell that I’m not as healthy as I was before. It’s like the injury knocked my nervous system off wack. I feel where you are coming from and I personally feel like the doctors and neurologists are overlooking something in our case. No you’re not being dramatic because I feel your frustration, but hopefully eventually we’ll get to the bottom of it. Until than we just have to improve.

My son had a brain stem (closed head) Injury, he has been in a nursing home for 31 years, mentally he’s very good but it’s his physical body that has been affected. He is bed ridden. His hair now has very thick white stuff looks like dandruff. A strong shampoo has been prescribed and I wash his hair and comb it with a fine tooth comb and a real thick paste comes off his head. What is this?

My husband hit his head at work and was knocked unconscious. He lost his eyesight in one eye, kept falling asleep everywhere( including when he was at work driving a tow truck), always had headaches, weight gain, had fluid leaking from his nose and ears, and many more issues. His company doctor knew that there was damage but lied and said there was nothing wrong with him. We were trying to get someone to listen to him. He went through the rest of his life a different person than the man I had spent 23 years of my life with. He died 18 months after his injury.

I am so sorry for such a loss

When I was 3-4 my brother dropped a rock on my head (soft spot) and knocked me out. As I grow older I find that sinus issues/deviated septum w/bone issues by my teeth, and find that I have a hard time coordinating the left side to work with the R - playing piano, drums, skating or skiing. The r side is so dominant that the left doesn't know how to coordinate and as I get older I am finding recall is a bit worse. SInce that time I have hit my head several times but not knocked out . Is my left side a product of the blow to the head not corrdinating properly?

Hi my brother had a bad car accident in South Africa in 1989 and he was in a coma for about a month . Once he got out Hospital ,we had to teach him how to walk talk, eat etc. his optic nerve was cut off so he is blind in one eye. He made a lot of progress in 1994 at Roosevelt warm springs and was hopeful for a good recovery. After that he returned back to South Africa and has slowly went down hill. At the moment he can hardly walk as he looses his balance and can not stop himself falling forward. He has split his head open 3 times in the last month. We are looking for help in any way to improve his condition. He is 50 years old at the moment. Thanks for your time

I got hit by a car at 18 yrs old and lost a quarter of my right skull I'm waiting on a titanium plate I was in a coma for only a day now I am 20 yrs old and wonder if I'll live long enough for my daughter I never had seizures until I hit my head 3 months ago. I feel everybody is against me I feel like I can still do things I used to but I can't. My left hand coordination is weak I dont even work it out or do anything healthy, people tell me I should be grateful and stuff but I dont know why I dont do good for myself I'm always depressed and angry and blame people for no reason I just started taking keppra like 3 months ago when I actually had a seizure. I have bad thoughts I even explode on my family like if they're taking my things but sometimes I actually find it. But yes I'm waiting on my plate still, I think because I abuse marijuana I'm not healing myself it actually gives me inflammation in my head and makes my memory worst but I'm so lucky even luckier than most people the guy that hit me did it on purpose and is now doing 8 years in prison but he ruined my life. I can't even play with my daughter because I feel she will accidentally hit my brain. If people that see this please just pray for me my name is Angel Torres that'll help me.

praying for complete healing for you.

i had a brain tumor removed when i was 13 and had a stroke during the surgery as a result of the brain reacting to the disturbance of being surgically removed 26 yrs. although im blessed to be alive i have issues with short term memory and alot of that year i cant recall. i have been told that everything i say makes no sounds or has relevance to the topic on hand or that not distancing a movie from 1992 from one made in 2012. i cant help but feel like im dumb in these situations. am i getting worse?

I recently fell and suffered a TBI. I fell 3 or 4 years ago and the same thing, a TBI.
They were pretty hard falls. (I am an incomplete quad) after both falls I experienced something that I’ve never heard of before. It’s hard to describe. It’s kind of an echo of my own voice. The first time it went away. This time no. It’s been maybe 6 months. It’s very distracting. Can you help?

I was told that when you get a Tbi the likelihood of another is better than 50%

I am 62 now but have a plate in my head from a fractured skull when I was 13 years old. I have noticed recently that the side of my forehead if the injury is changing. Are my bones not as well supported since the bone is replaced by a plastic plate. Are my bones moving and should I be concerned?

Wow you are an inspiration to me. I got hit by a car 2 years ago and I'm missing a quarter of my right side skull I always question my life expansion I will be getting a titanium plate soon. Do you think I will make it to 62? I never had seizures until I hit my head a year after my accident. I just started taking keppra as well because I never needed it until I hit my brain, very mild cut on the brain though. What do you think ? Also my left side coordination has gotten better. I got hit at 18 years old I am now 20

I take Keppra myself and it has stopped my seizure's as of now. My best to you and hope it will work for you also.

After 2+ years, my husband had bone resorption...he had a defect and ended up getting another cranioplasty with a synthetic skull.. you could have almost put a golf ball in the depression. The surgery went well, but there were serious issues with the anesthesia. Fortunately, after several weeks, and additional therapy, it improved.
You might want to get a scan and have it reviewed.

I was wondering If I was hit in the back of the head at age four with a baseball bat did I experience a TBI. In addition, I lost a lot of blood and received stitches I am very curious. I came across this web page because I was researching in detail about students with behavior differences affecting achievement for a class I am enrolled in.

Thanks, Seni!

When I was 14 my mom got me a bicycle for Easter someday in April 2014. And I took it for a test ride. I stopped at a crouse street looked both ways and crossed. And turned around and didn't look both ways and a SUV vehicle was heading my way. And I got hit and I got thrown 30 feet West and landed on the pavement with a broken right femur and broken skull and I lost 60 percent of my memory. So I had to start all over on everything I new then.

Dude I got hit by a car and lost a quarter of my skull I can barely move the left side of my fingers my coordination is bad I was 18 now I'm 20 I tell myself every day I won't live long but I never had seizures until I hit my head a year after my accident and my memory is bad I forget things but I remember everything in the past after the accident just I forget like where my phones at and stuff lol do you ever feel like that? Are you on keppra pills ? Are we on the same page ?

A friend of mine fell over 18’ and sustained an open-skull injury over 3 years ago. He was forced to quit his job for over 30 years, become so disoriented at times, and ‘blank out’ for extended periods of time. TBI has affected his sight, hearing, teeth, and now is in that ‘coma-like’ state ... I’ve lost my loving friend in a sense ... as well as his family

Did he recover??

My daughter's fiance had a severe car accident 10 years ago suffered TBI but now he says he drinks 3 to 4 beers a day which helps it's better than taking oxycodone or any pain medications is this true or is he just trying to drink and use that as an excuse

I was in a car accident three years ago. My head shattered the windshield. I've struggled, but feel I've recovered a bit.
The headaches are disorienting and confusing. Excruciatingly painful, come with elevated blood pressure and changes in the barometric pressure (weather changes). I'm easily distracted, lack my old planning skills...
No, I don't drink. But, if I did, I probably would be.

I learned about brain injuries. I fought to recover, I was no longer myself and I hated it. I exercised, meditated, started new challenges on purpose to challenge my brain. I'm still not myself, but I'm better than I was. The headaches longer and are almost unbearable, and I have a high pain tolerance. My kids have suffered because of my changes. I'm not going to give up, but it's not easy. I'm different, and sometimes I can't explain it. It's hard. TBI is hard.

When I was younger I hit a pole and my sister also hit me with big rock both very very hard head injuries I think I may have tbi

When I was 5 my father dropped me on my head after holding me upside down by my ankles. I have no memory of this but my mom witnessed it and told me I had a concussion and was sick for days. I remember as a child having difficulty learning in school particularly in the second grade. Throughout my life I have suffered from depression/anxiety and have a great deal of difficulty with focusing and remembering what I have read when reading a book. Could this long ago injury still be affecting me at 60?

I received my TBI in January of 1974 at the beginning of the second semester of my senior year in high school. Luckily for me, I only had three classes because I had a job that started at 11:00 in the morning until 5:00pm. I was in a coma for two weeks and also had to learn to walk, read, math, etc. I too tried to pull out my urinary catheter and IV's and succeeded at removing the IV's so they restrained me. I remember, but later found out that it was only a dream, the nurses putting the IV back in and I thought they were looking for pearls in my veins...yeah right. I experienced a "vision of the future" I couldn't explain so I kept it to myself but I later realized that it was a vision...another yeah right. I did things in the hospital that I do not talk about because it is way too embarassing but the nurses were great with me. Came close to burr holes in my skull but the swelling went down on it's own. When I started to come out of my coma I had no "true" memory of my life. What I mean is "true" memory is I couldn't tell whether or not I had a memory or I was remembering a story someone told me. Back in 1974 there was no rehabilitation just told by the doctor that go home and if I had a headache do not take aspirin. When I decided to go to a "head bangers club support group" my father said to me "Now don't go finding something else wrong with you". I had no family/friend support system so I to lived in an isolated lost existence. Living suicidal for so long is not an easy path to go down so having no support sucks. I too feel that animals are better than most people so I guess that explains my four dogs and four cats. Nobody truly understands this other than someone going through it. It never goes away. I was 17 when this happened and now I am 62 and I am beginning to wonder whether or not I am just getting tired and it is just returning to a fuller force than I have had to live with. It is a lonely live. My brother was telling me a story once and looked at me for affirmation of what he was saying and I said "I don't remember" so he immediately looked at me and said "What are you stupid or something"...OUCH. Living inside my head is really lonely. I too do not have many friends. I had two but when my mother died last year one of them went away. OK, this is getting a little to wordy. Just wanted to put my two cents in. Never, ever, give up on anything. We are still here for a reason and we may not ever know the reason so just accept and improve on yourself.

That was very inspirational, Patsy! Glad you shared your story with us!

thank you for sharing your story. It makes me feel less lonely. Family can be cruel, I jest, mine won't even let me have a conversation about what my life's been like, the confusion, the pains, and the struggles. I gotta look into a support group.

My granddaughter received a TBI when she was 4, she was riding on four-wheeler with her mother's boyfriend he had her seated in front of him without a helmet. He was going so fast he lost control and hit a power pole letting my baby get the worst her head slammed into the pole. She was rushed to hospital. they promptly put a neck brace and did what they possible could. The did an MRI said her brain was swelling so they tried to have her airlifted but to much fog so an ambulance with a trauma nurse came to take her they had to completely immobilize her for the trip. we followed. A screw was placed in her brain to monitor the swelling my daughter were so afraid we would lose he. The doctor said her head hit that pole with such force that it caused her braid to move back and forth in her skull several times. Then we waited a day seemed like a year I keep praying The doctor came that evening that her brain kept swelling and they were going to have to take out a portion of her right frontal lobe. My daughter was devastated she made me promise mom don't leave me I can't do this without you I told her I wasn't going anywhere. we went to another hospital for the surgery and waited it seemed forever but she came out Ok Thank God. She has changed her attitude wasn't the sweet little girl as much as she was and had some problems remembering a few things. She automatically got disability due to her TBI and she had small seizure activity in her brain each year they checked her. then she turned 18, they revaluated her without our input which I think was wrong because w2ho could better tell them. I'm not one trying to use the system but they gave it to her til she was 18 and now saying she's better. well she;s not we were going to fight it but she spontaneously decided no she was going to Georgia with her boyfriend . She is an angry person she does and says thinks without caring who she hurts, she steals and lies she will do anything to keep a boyfriend she doesn't think about consequences till it's to late' then she wants help. she gets her self in messes she goes with sleaze bags who won't work she is trying to work but she is stressing out she is going to go off on someone and it's not going to be pretty. I think it's the BTI it's self and she still has her seizure active. I read where it get worse when your older is that true She is 22 now and she sure has changed for the good

I too received a very serious TBI head injury when I was 16 years old, after being hit head on by an 8 tired farm tractor. I have had constant difficulties controlling my impulsiveness, and short term memory for 19 years, I started smoking sativa marijuana oil a few months ago, after trying dozens of pills over the last 19 years. I have found it really helpful.

I have heard hbd oil helps glad to hear my boy is in the hospitial for one right now

I suffered from a TBI 20 years ago, I suffered a closed head concussion. I was in a comma for several weeks and stayed in the hospital in rehab for 8 months. I have huge gaps in memory and have learned to deal with it. Lately I have been having very serious issues with short term memory, issues I haven’t had since right after my accident. Friends and family just shrug and say everybody forgets things and it’s no big deal. My problem is after all this time, I am really struggling with simple things, it has even impacted my job and has resulted in disciplinary action for the first time in my life. I am afraid at the age of 45 that I am having Alzheimer’s or something. Has anyone seen an issue like this reaccuring after this period of time? I am very worried and confused.

Omg yes! When I first fell ill, a lot of my symptoms were more neurological/cognitive/mental than physical which threw the drs off and I went a year before being tested and at that point it was Stage 3, NeuroLyme in my CBF and had shown signs of chronic encephalopathy so it was a little too late. But after treating it, I did regain cognitive ability and haven’t shown signs of decline at yearly eval w/Ind. Univers NP center since 2013 (15?) ;)
I’ve been so afraid every year bc after original testing they’ve said being diagnosed with MCI for more than 2 years is just a ticking time bomb. So far, (beginning of 2018) I had genuinely assumed I’d stay the same bc I’m human and want to believe I’m immortal or at least I’d get another decade or two: not unlike a lot of people. But since February I’ve started having those symptoms from when I was sick and like then, they’re only getting worse and I am so embarrassed at what I did to even tell (Let’s just say I forgot the day and missed a court ordered appearance! Omg, yes, it was that bad.
But there are little things that even my dr said to make note of if they start up, so I’m too embarrassed to tell anyone the real reason I’ve gotten into some major issues lately yet I’m so stressed all the time trying to play me and make fake excuses as to why I did or didn’t do what I HAD TO.
Oh I was a middle school teacher for 11 years before falling ill and had been accepted to law school that winter , so just saying I was a good, honest, hard working single mom who had my son in high school and carried that “guilt of disappointing” everyone so chose to work in the profession I remember dreaming I wish my parents did when I was little. By the time he was in preschool , I had 2 degrees. working on masters,publishing my writing, bartending on weekends for health insurance and of course being a law abiding citizen. (So you know I really enjoyed working and never thought I’d be forced to “retire” at the age of 33.) but I’ve been ok and optimistic and probably a little but ignorant as to the truth. But I’m too scared and feel like learning what I already know will take away hope.

Yes, I have had serious issues with my TBI. That are affecting me daily. Loss of family, loss of a 32 year job, mobility, severe depression, huge mood swings, feeling worthless,
hard time thinking, unable to perform daily functions, having an extremely hard time typing this not when I use to type a 78 wpm, loss of friends who just do not want to deal with a person like me. Can no longer do tasks that I use to always do..
Condesending relatives that ask if I am on disability or welfare

I sustained a TBI in 1999 from an auto accident on my way to work. I hit a light pole and immediately in a a coma while breaking several bones. My coma lasted 3 weeks on life support.

I just happened upon this site because I will be undergoing my 10th corrective surgery in a few days. I've also been forced to deal with many of the issues commented on and wanted anyone who reads this to understand that we are soldiers. ABs or non-disabled people can't empathize simply because it's not their reality. So stay strong, try not to take ignorance personal and remember that your pain is no excuse to take out on anyone.

Take it one day at a time. Medical professionals are supposed to work WITH you (not just prescribe medications!) so ask questions and do your homework!!!

Most of all be patient with yourself and remember the NOBODY on this planet is perfect!


I was diagnosed Glasgow three with 18 percent global loss, MVA at 136 mph, coma two weeks, what does the global loss represent? Thanks

My best friends daughter was in an auto accident 10 years ago and has TBI. Over the past 10 years she has never been pointed in the right direction when it comes to her daughter. Now her daughter is 23 and has no goals and she is worried about her future and if something should happen to her or her husband what will happen to her daughter. She has no concept of money and blows all of her disability money on junk. What can she do legally to sto this from happening so she will have something for her future. Guardianship? Power of attorney? Help!

My brother fell out of his chair (at least that was the story I got) and broke his neck. He had just been transferred to an extended care section of a hospital. He now has a cervical collar on, but he has lost his ability to speak. He makes no sense at all and doesn't even whisper, it is more like just moving his lips. No one, even his doctors, can tell me why. I just wonder what is going on.

I'm sorry to hear about your brother - that sounds very difficult at the moment. It's possible your brother has swelling or bleeding in an area of his brain that affects language. This is usually when someone has an injury to the left side of their brain (although they may have had an impact on the right, the brain has bounced against the left side of the skull). Hopefully his speech loss will be temporary and his speech will return as his brain recovers. Do ask the doctors to explain more for you.

I am the caregiver of someone with many TBIs throughout his life. We are beginning to wonder with his increased short term memory problems if he might have some CTE. He is in pain every single day with severe headaches and he has issues with walking stability and the feeling like he is dizzy. We can’t even go on a car ride without dizzy episodes. He is the same person but our lives have changed dramatically. He has problems processing but works hard to do well. I feel so bad that his life feels so hopeless to him. He is stuck in our home and is unable to work. Feeling hopeless for him. I don’t know what to do to make him feel important again?

When I was 8 years old, I was doing relay races verses the rest of my class mates. We were all racing from one end of the gym to the other. I was not able to stop soon enough and ran straight into the cement wall. I was not knocked out from the actual impact, right away. My teacher helped me to walk to the principles office to use the phone to call my parents to come and get me to take me into the E.R. On our way there I fell asleep. I'm now almost 50 and still am having a difficult time interacting with everyone. But anyhow, My best advice I can offer you is to not quit ,no matter what! and keep trying to get him to feel like he knows you got his back.

Set up a regular group of men, maybe just three, in the community or his friends to have a "playing cards" afternoon or "domino's" at a set time and let him have men's talk. Just set up a table with nibbles and coffee and relax in another room

I'm following a person that fell 25 ft and got a TBI plus multiple broken bones. They are now 9 days out from the fall and in ICU. Their eyes are open and they can do some physical therapy although they also do lots of yanking tubes out if they can, kicking pushing pulling and grabbing, wrestling with attendings etc... I was wondering if this is the brain trying to figure itself out since being basically bashed in from the fall? is this common when a person is becoming aware of their body? I would like to know what the physical movements constantly mean and is this to be expected? the left side is constantly in motion but the right side is not due to the left side of the head being landed in from the fall. I would appreciate anyone who has had personal experience with TBI or any advice from a caregiver that has experienced watching someone in early days after TBI. Is the patient frightened and the resulting thrashing and pulling and wrestling with attendings normal?

I work in the field of brain injury and most likely your patient is most likely in a confused agitated phase of recovery. Do a search online and you can discover the details. It is based on a score from one of many tests given to patients initially.
Try to limit all environmental noise, lights and distracting factors as much as possible. Talk slowly and with a calm and soothing voice and be concise and as concrete as possible. There are no predictables in brain injury. Hopefully this patient will move on from this step in brain injury recovery. Don't turn on the TV or bring in a lot of sensory noise. It can't be processed well.

I too was in a car wreck in 92', in a coma for two weeks at UCLA, many broken bones, I have been living with the moods, short-term memory but now I am shaking on left side of body, any help u can give would help, did a MRI, results a lot of brain scarring around the brain, could that be why, I can't go anywhere with this shaking, hard to even put make-up on. Thank you so much for any input. the Dr's think anxiety, I disagree.