Traumatic Brain Injury Basics

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Please remember, we are not able to give medical or legal advice. If you have medical concerns, please consult your doctor. All posted comments are the views and opinions of the poster only.

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.

Hi Angel,

My son was hit by a car 8 months ago and suffered a severe TBI. He had part of his skull removed for 5 months. He struggled with all of the things you are struggling with but is getting better day by day. He has started driving again and hopes to be back at work soon. Things got a lot better after his skull was replaced. Now anger is is biggest challenge. Try to stay positive, you are young and they say you have a good chance of the best recovery when you are young. You will be in my prayers.

My boyfriend was just recently hit in a car accident a few days ago and is in the ICU now with a Traumatic brain injury. They immediately did surgery when he got here and had to stop a brain bleed on the right side of his brain along with removing the bone on that side. When he is not sedated he does respond to there pain assessments and his pupils respond also from what they are telling me. I have seen him move when they pinch him or whatever but he isn't moving around as much as he was the 1st day. Now he doesn't move or do anything when he is sedated. He hasn't woken up at all or even opened his eyes or squeezed my hand. Im just wondering how long it would take for him to wake up since some of u have close to the same situation. Can someone please just give me some kind of peace of mind. This is just so hard watching him and waiting and hoping and praying that he can get thru this.


I feel your pain ...My boyfriend has just come through intensive care and woken from his coma he was induced for 6 days and in his own for 5. He can follow me with his eyes and squeeze my hand intermitedly we are still in intensive care and noone can give me answers. I do know this though he is improving every day and the word time has taken on a whole new meaning.

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.

I also take the Keppra. I had a TBI so severe that I was in the hospital for 3 months. I don’t even know what happened but I know I fell out of the limo at my sisters wedding. I just have no clue. Scary and frustrating that I can’t remember anything.

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.

I feel bad for you that had to be awful your brother should I believe that oh, I know it's very difficult living like that I'm seeing my son who got a car wrecks and a half years ago not wanting to take his pills but he has an injury to his right frontal lobe when he was induced coma for a week and now he struggles with a lot but he walking talking gotten a lot better . But he's like not even sure if you should drive but he has his license he but nobody should ever make fun of people who go through that it's a very big long hard battle getting better but do you have to take your medicine forever my son doesn't want to he got his front Lobel part damaged just got it renewed,

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 have had the loss of “friends” along with the rude comments. It bothers them to be around me and watch me struggle trying to find my words. People can be cruel and thoughtless. I am better off to keep away from that negativity!

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.

Rocky supper normal. My boyfriend and I were in a motorcycle accident in August and he cut his coradid artery in his neck and got a tbi. He was in a coma for 18 days. When we woke up he didnt say much and couldn't remember his birthday or where he lived. And then as he started to be more aware of things he would start trying to rip ivs out
And when the nurses would go to try and stop them he would start punching them. He was in full restraints most of the time. Finally after a little over a month he started to come back into it and every day got better and better. 8 months later and almost like nothing happens. Hes juat upset he cant do MMA fighting do to his tbi!