What Impact Will Moderate or Severe TBI Have on a Person's Life?

Center of Excellence for Medical Multimedia
What Impact Will Moderate or Severe TBI Have on a Person's Life?

The effects of moderate to severe TBI can be long lasting or even permanent. While recovery and rehabilitation are possible, most people with moderate to severe TBI face life challenges that will require them to adapt and adjust to a new reality.

Moderate to severe TBI can cause permanent physical or mental disability. Because polytrauma is common with moderate to severe TBI, many patients face additional disabilities as a result of other injuries. Even patients who appear to recover fully may have some long-term symptoms that never go away.

Challenges with work and completing tasks that were once routine can be much more difficult than before the injury. Some patients find that the skills and abilities that they used before the injury to meet these challenges are not as sharp as they once were.

These ongoing challenges can also affect the patient’s personal life. People who have experienced brain injuries may take longer to do cognitive or “thinking” tasks associated with memory, such as coming up with the correct change in the checkout line at the grocery store or placing an order at a restaurant. Family relationships will almost certainly change, and in some cases the patient will be totally dependent on their caregivers.

Despite the advances in early diagnosis and treatment of moderate to severe TBI, the fact remains that traumatic brain injury will be a life-changing experience for many patients. Helping the patient, family members, and caregivers to cope with these long-term consequences is an important part of TBI rehabilitation.

Motor Deficits and Disabilities

For many patients, the damage to the brain resulting from a moderate to severe TBI may lead to life-long disabilities or motor deficits. The term disability in relationship to TBI means a loss of physical or mental function caused by damage to the brain. Motor deficits refer specifically to the effect of damage on motor skills or movement.

Examples of disabilities and motor deficits caused by moderate to severe TBI include:

  • Paralysis
  • Spasticity (muscle stiffness) or uncontrolled movements
  • Problems walking, talking, or swallowing
  • Difficulty carrying or moving objects
  • Vision problems
  • Loss of fine motor skills, such as buttoning a shirt
  • Inability to recognize something based on touch
  • Difficulty thinking and remembering
  • Difficulty with social relationships

Other challenges that a patient with moderate or severe TBI may experience include:

  • Difficulty making and keeping personal and professional relationships
  • Difficulty being part of social activities
  • Difficulty taking part in recreational or leisure activities
  • The decreased ability or inability to keep a job or go to school

During the rehabilitation and transition phases of TBI treatment, members of the healthcare team will provide information to the patient and their family members about dealing with these issues. Specific tools and coping strategies will be suggested. Examples of coping strategies and tools include:

  • Writing a detailed list of steps needed to complete a task
  • Using prompts or visual aids to help remember things
  • Using assistive devices to move around, such as a walker or a wheelchair

Learning new ways to do things is a very important part of recovery.

Other Potential Effects

The long-term symptoms of TBI can be divided into several categories, including physical changes, cognitive effects, sensory effects, perceptual effects, social-emotional changes, and others. You’ll find a partial list of these symptoms and possible effects below. Keep in mind that the severity and duration of symptoms and effects will vary greatly from one patient to another, depending on the severity of the TBI.

Physical effects

  • Sleep disorders
  • Loss of stamina (easily fatigued)
  • Appetite changes
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Physical paralysis or spasticity
  • Chronic pain
  • Loss of control of bowel and bladder functions
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty regulating body temperature
  • Hormonal changes

Cognitive effects

  • Difficulty with attention, focus, or concentration
  • Distractibility
  • Memory problems
  • Slow speed of processing
  • Confusion
  • Perseveration, which is the abnormal persistent repetition of a word, gesture, or act
  • Impulsiveness
  • Difficulty with language processing
  • Problems with executive functions, which include planning, cognitive flexibility, abstract thinking, rule acquisition (determining right from wrong), initiating appropriate actions, and inhibiting inappropriate actions

Speech and language effects

  • Aphasia (difficulty with talking or expressing ideas, understanding everyday language, and problems with reading and writing). Types of aphasia can include:
    • Receptive aphasia, which involves difficulty understanding the spoken word, or
    • Expressive aphasia, which means the patient knows what they wish to say but is unable to get the words out. In some cases, the patient is able to perceive and comprehend both spoken and written language, but is unable to repeat what they see or hear.
  • Slurred speech
  • Speaking very fast or very slow
  • Problems with reading comprehension

Sensory and perceptual effects

  • Difficulty recognizing and distinguishing between touch and pressure sensations
  • Difficulty perceiving temperature
  • Difficulty perceiving movement and positions of the arms and legs
  • Difficulty with fine discrimination (for example, distinguishing between small everyday objects, like coins)
  • Difficulty integrating and understanding information gained through the five senses (sight, smell, touch, hearing, and taste)

Effects on vision

  • Partial or total loss of vision
  • Diplopia, which is weakness of eye muscles that causes double vision
  • Blurred vision
  • Problems judging distance
  • Involuntary eye movements, called nystagmus
  • Photophobia, which is intolerance of light

Effects on hearing

  • Decrease or loss of hearing
  • Tinnitus, which is ringing in the ears
  • Increased sensitivity or intolerance to sounds

Effects on smell and taste

  • Anosmia, which is loss of or diminished sense of smell
  • Loss of or diminished sense of taste
  • Bad taste in the mouth

Social-emotional or behavioral effects

  • Dependent behaviors
  • Fluctuating emotions
  • Lack of motivation
  • Irritability
  • Aggression
  • Depression
  • Lack of inhibition
  • Denial or lack of awareness
Posted on BrainLine August 9, 2018. Reviewed March 28, 2019.

About the Author

The Center of Excellence for Medical Multimedia (CEMM) is a dynamic initiative from the Office of the Surgeon General, supplying award-winning interactive multimedia for patient education throughout the Military Health System.

Center of Excellence for Medical Multimedia. (n.d.). Moderate to Severe TBI: Long-Term Effects. Retrieved March 28, 2019, from https://tbi.cemmlibrary.org/Moderate-to-Severe-TBI/Long-Term-Effects

Comments (561)

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.

Reading this was so helpful, I suffered a tbi 2 years ago and had an emergency crainiotomy my life will never be the same but my belief in god and his healing is the only ultimate thing I have. I just take baby steps every day and be greatful for every blessing I have. May god love and give strength to any one who had suffered a tbi it has truly been the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with . Colleen tbi survivor

I was in a roll over car accident in 2006. I was diagnosed with a TBI. I was told I had a deep subdural hematoma (brain bleed) on the right frontal lobe. Along with other physical injuries. I was in alot of pain and life as I knew it came to a complete stop. No drunk drivers just a big black bull standing lengthwise across my lane. A dark rural two lane hwy, speedlimit 65 at night. I was going about 50 up an incline. I met the bull at the top. Blk bull, blk pavement, blk sky up an incline, visibility didnt allow me to see the bull until I was face to face. I somehow swerved and missed impact but my suv flipped and rolled a few times when I hit the grass and the ditch. I was told though that hitting that big bull would of most likely killed me and maybe my whole family. I'm happy to say my husband and children were unharmed. I experienced about every symptom that I have read about and then some. When it seemed after two years I was getting somewhat better I had a relapse and got worse. Then after asking my doctors about a hyperbaric chamber and getting laughed at and told it would be a waste of time and money I went to one. It was 3 1/2 years after the accident. I was worse than ever at the time. Tremors, headbobbing, slurred speech, memory problems, bad headache that never went away from the initial head injury. Peripheal vision gone, unable to focus well, poor concentration, time mgmnt gone, my emotions towards people, except anger, gone. You name it. I've been there done that. But after a month of hyperbaric dives twice a day, 1hr each six days a week I had a dramatic improvement. It actually felt like I popped out of that state of not being me. If you have a TBI you understand maybe what I mean about not feeling like me. I felt like myself again. The drs. told me to kiss my old self goodbye. They said that person is dead and this is the new you. They said I would need help the rest of my life. I told them Yah-Weh(God) is bigger than brain damage and He is. Im not saying a hyperbaric chamber is a cure all for everyone but it can help some, it helped me tremendously. I will tell you this I got sick several months later with upper respitory stuff that went around in the winter. Went to a new dr. and told him I had experienced a TBI so he would be aware of my history before he prescribed meds but he prescribed something that brain injured persons are not supposed to take. I didnt read the caution page that came with the med until I started throwing up minutes after taking it. That night while sleeping I woke up, sat up in bed and it felt like something in my head exploded. Started experiencing some of the old symptoms after that, for about 18 months it was the worst of the worst. I am again much better but still not feeling 100 percent. I will go back to the hyperbaric chamber again but its expensive. So not right now. I want to encourage you not to give up and try not to focus on all the overwhelming negatives. The human brain is amazingly resiliant and our will and determination is amazing too. Plz read this and be encouraged, its one of the few things I was able to write during that initial 3 1/2 year nightmare. Its called ''Opportunity" I gotta get out, I gotta get out, I gotta get out of my mind I feel like a prisoner lost somewhere in time Standing on the outside, looking back at me Dazed and confused at whom I will be I gotta get out, I gotta get out, I gotta get out of my head I gotta find me, but they tell me she's dead But I don't believe a word that they say I'm not in denial, I just have strong faith That a better me will emerge someday God has a plan and a purpose for me And it will take more than this to steal my destiny So just as I changed and became a new creation in Christ I'll look at this as an opportunity to become a better me this time Because I trust you Lord completely, to me rebuild my new life... Just reminding you that your never alone.:)

For the one who mentioned the chemical smell, posted on Nov. 9th 2013, I had a TBI just last year. I recall having that chemical smell multiple times and describing it EXACTLY like that. "Chemical smell." I guess I'll go ahead and tell my story while I'm at it. I'll try to make this as short as possible. The driver was drunk in our vehicle, I didn't know it, I was a backseat passenger. I wasn't wearing my seatbelt I don't think. We were going 100mph, lost control, hit an electrical box, flew 8 feet in the air, snapped an entire telephone phone in half (at 8ft) I was ejected out the rear windshield, landed by a bunch of steel rods and shattered bricks, "woke up" in rehab after I apparently spent 10+ days in a medically induced coma to prevent me from getting pneumonia, I received a broken wrist, 2 shattered fingers, a broken bone across my face (from left cheek to right cheek) 2 broken neck bones, half an ear that was sewed back rather quite well, a severely damaged amygdala, and bleeding near the brain stem. Spending 7 years training to be a Marine I can confirm that it blew a whole lotta dick finding out they do not accept TBI patients.
My 13 year old son had TBI a little over a month ago now from football. It was raining hard and he had helmet to helmet blow that also caused whiplash. He still does not recognize any people besides me and his dad. He has been reintroduced to his friends and family. He has forgotten his preferences in food, along with a great deal of his 13 years of his life, he has a few vague memories but doesn't recall names of some common objects and is having to relearn a lot of things . He is starting to exhibit some social problems, one of which is not knowing what kind of stuff is appropriate at times . I know its only been a month but it seems like so much longer. I am encouraged to see all the posts here so thank you to everyone for sharing the good and the not so good so that I can get a realistic perspective and be able to help him more. mom of cmb
My boyfriend fell two years ago from the back of his truck onto the back of his on the pavement. He did lose consciousness for what he explained was a dream state of mind. He spent one week in the hospital and was released with no explanations of what to expect. Since then he has a decrease in taste and smelling ability is zero. There is a constant ringing in left ear with hearing loss. He has explained the smell he smells as a chemical smell of many different things. Has anyone else had anything similar to his symptoms? Has anyone ever gotten better from similar symptoms?
I was 4 or 5 yrs old when I Had a TBI, I was playing ballerina and fell and hit my head on the corner of the coffee table, All I remember is throwing up blood. 10 yrs later I was hit in the head by accident with a baseball bat on the left side of my head. I blacked out just for seconds, but was dazed. Depression or the depression like symptons started and its not till now, I'm 54 that I'm really having problems with memory. Long and short term. But I must confess. I did have problems with my personalty when I was young. I did not know how to socialize and to this day I still don't know how. Its very lonely and scary. Because people do not understand. And my depression is worse than ever. But, after reading about brain injuries, this might be the answer, its not just me, but something that happened to me a long time ago. Maybe now I can make some sense of what is going on in my head.
I was hit by a car when I was four years of age and suffered a Severe TBI. After reading this article I have a better understanding of the motor effects that I am inflected with. Now over 40 years later since my accident all the effects that I understand have become just a part of my personality. I feel that I live a normal life, If there is such a thing, but with a slowed speech and taking the time to think what I am going to say before I say it, which I had learned through speech therapy when I was younger, I have no complaints of what my life has become.
I have a moderate tbi, I think all of your stories on here are amazing. I was hit from behind by a speeding car and knocked unconcious. Memory is terrible. Cannot drive yet. Bless you all and thanks for the human connection.
In 1999 my husband had a motorcycle accident. His handlebars whiplashed and he flew over the bike landing on the track hitting his head, hip and shoulder. He broker his collarbone and had a 6 inch laceration where the skin just pulled apart. Emergency medics asid he only lost consciousness for 30 minutes and cam in and out of consciousness for 8 hours. But, he feels that he was conscious. He thought the same when I arrived but he was still in and out. His helmet was damaged on all four sides which meant his braid richoted in the helmet. He has had a severe personality change. He is irritable over minor things and can't let go in an argument. He is always unhappy with someone over something. I agree that the issues are disappointing but he writes long repetitive emails trying to prove his point. He doesn't laugh anymore. He was so funny prior to the accident. He is explosive if he feels inadequate. He often does not understand explanations that he used to and does not realize the change blaming confusion on others. He seems to have lost his empathy. He didn't care when he lost a good friend and his mother. He was mostly angry. He had no compassion for other people's ways of grieving. He feel unsafe and threatened all the time. He feels people don't respect him and are lying to him. It is so very sad.
07/07/2007.. I am not severely religious but the date would seem that I am still here and should be. TBI from a motorocycle accident. I am a computer software engineer. Spent a month in the neurology unit while not remembering my name and not really remembering what had been said to me 30 min prior. While I have a wonderful wife and two outstanding children. My continued mood swings, headaches, general irratability would indicate just how wonderful and outstanding they really are. While I indicate content with family. I could seriously do without those symptoms. If I I can indicate directions for anyone reading this, it might be to appreciate those that remain after a TBI. And if someone gives you a chance by saying in a conversation with you that sometimes head injuries change personalities. You should listen and get real help.
I had severe TBI in 1990 - did great for about 16 years - college degree, etc... but I started having seizures then - now everything is a huge mess - my cognitive functioning sucks - I can't remember anything. I'm in graduate school and I'm struggling so bad - I just want to hurry up and get out - my professors all know about my accommodations and me getting lost and overwhelmed. Life just isn't as easy as it used to be. I can't remember normal stuff anymore - the doctors always told my parents that I wouldn't be the same and my parents know my personality is much different, but I can tell that learning and remembering is so much more difficult for me than it used to be. It used to come so easily - I never had to study or anything - now I can't remember what I do study = It's really caught up with me. My brain can only hold so much and it can't hold anything more! Frustrated in Texas
Incredible story. There needs to be more education regarding TBI and how early treatment is key. Share your story.
I am a 35 year old female and today is my one year anniversary from my car accident in which I was rear ended while stopped in traffic by a car traveling 65 mph, the rear end impact sent my car into the middle lane (from the right lane) where I was t-boned by a passing vehicle at 65mph, my side curtain airbags deployed into my left temple and then I was t-boned 2 additional times by other passing cars. I kept asking the cop if my cheek was broken because my head hurt so bad, he never called an ambulance and I was too dazed to realize I was injured. The cop's exact words were "go home and take some advil because your going to be hurting tomorrow"....really?? I was off of work for 3 months straight with daily 10/10 head pain, returned to work on half days for 3 months where my employer gave me full time work while on half days that created so much frustration and delay in my recovery. I am now at the one year mark and seem to be going backwards in recovery. I have severe PTSD and depression. My MRI was positive for traumatic insult to my frontal lobe as well as a abnormal EEG. That neuro said I was fine and sent me on my way one week post MVA. Soon after I had 3-4 seizures, ordered my bills and records which showed both positive MRI and positive EEG results when I was told they were normal. I did not get the records until after I went back to work on half days otherwise I wouldn't have gone back. I feel the lack of basic protocol for TBI's is a huge problem and causes more people longer pain and suffering. Air bag deployment, especially side curtain airbags with multiple impacts requires automatic concussion/TBI review by medical professional which I was never given. I couldn't find a glass in my own house just after the cops sent me home with a friend since my suv had $22,000 in damage. The police report once received advise no injuries. Every vehicle had injuries after speaking with my insurance company. Due to my delayed diagnosis and medical treatment my doctors advise I can expect a 1-3 year recovery. I plan to go back out on FMLA next month as I have perm muscle damage behind both eyes, both pupils are still dilated and are perm, including peripheral vision loss shown on testing, cognitive issues, weight loss, and still not sleeping well. Early treatment is a must, have them check your vision, balance, nutrition, and sleep habits. I have never felt more alone as many mention on this page, because I appear fine I feel like no one believes me when I will be battling these issues alone for a very long time. Good luck to everyone, stay positive no matter what!!!!! Remember we are TBI survivors, not victims!!!!!
I had TBI on November 2010. I used to be a mixed martial arts fighter until I got TBI from an illegal knee which had me out but my instincts were still going and my fight or flight response took over and I continued the fight for another 15 minutes approximately. In that time I sustained approximately 25 impacts to the back of my head via punches and elbows which were seen on the CT Scan taken at an emergency room three days later to rule out a skull fracture or cranial bleeding. Luckily I did not but the doctor said my trauma was similar to a major car wreck. I now had a condition called Post Concussion syndrome which is pretty much like Post Traumatic Brain Disorder. It is something I deal with everyday and try to make the best of. The part that has really made me lose faith in people is the fact that we had evidence proving foul play and the North Carolina Boxing Authority felt fit to disregard it and blow me off. These guys were cops and chose to do nothing in the face of evidence that hand grounds probably cause along with a fight that had a referee that was negligent to the blows as well as showing intent to violate the rules and regulations of the State. I had bouts with alcoholism, much greater anxiety, a potentially lucrative career now over as a result, and lost my girlfriend due to changes in my mood and behavior. In order to counter act this I have started writing and now keep a blog and am working on a trilogy of science fiction novels in order to keep my brain as sharp as possible and it definitely has helped. I read some of the stories on here and I can definitely relate to the type suffering of it is. I just want people on here to now that you can still do something despite this injury and you shouldn't give up on yourself if you have. I'm not. I just hope that this condition can be prevented someday. It's an injury the people just cant relate to until they experience it. You change.
Bicycling accident, August 2004. I was hit from behind by a truck. Despite having severe head and spinal injuries, I was not diagnosed with TBI nor informed of the possible behavioral and emotional effects until well after my marriage was destroyed. "The person who once was is no longer there"
i was in a wreck this year. fractured skull into brain broke sholder bones and got pnuemonia in hospital. also bells palsy on left side of face. i was so weak lost 30 pounds and cant remember the wreck. i was in hospital for two weeks 1 week uncounscious had people visit me i didnt remember was out cold. looked at my dad and wife and mom gave me support. as well as other friends broughts meals to my home and gave money. im always sleepy weak brain hurts and nervous. but jehovah keeps me strong with family and friends. one day we will be healed and accidents no more. rev 21:3,4
I am 25 years old, and was in a coma from a car accident at the age of 5. A first aid kid came out from underneath my seat upon impact and opened and the reflector came out and hit me right in the middle of my forehead. I have been struggling lately with depression and other things and have been researching to see if the coma in the reason for this. This article had very useful comments
I had car accident on December 1992 and I was in coma over a month. As soon as I was wake up from the coma, I was my own, because I did not have any family. I was new in America and I did not know how to get help. I felt every one took advantage of my weakness. Even, my compensation from car accident was managed and mishandle by others. I did not have place to stay, and I went dormitory school, to have place to stay and it became like hell. Doctor suggests me to leave and rest. I did not have any relatives or good friends in America, I also I was not able to go anywhere else. To make long story short, now after over twenty years, thing are getting worse and I do not know what to do or who can understand me.
My husband sustained a severe TBI 12/1/11 and he is still recovering. He was in ICU for 41 days and has gone through more than I can even understand. He had bone flap removed during initial surgery, got and infection 19 days later and was reopened, was in Acute therapy for a month, and then sub-acute for a month and finally came home. He had bone flap placed in,, and after 5 months had another infection and had to have it removed again. He wore a helmet for another 6 months and then had a prosthetic placed. He lost all movement and use to his left side a year after his ATV accident and he is going through therapies now. Over the last 5 months he has had 4 seizures and they can't seem to control them. He was just hospitalized last week and had MRI to see what is going on, the Drs. told us that over this time of healing his right side of his brain shows damage and that he will be permanently weak on his left side. He is frustrated and depressed and his emotions are all over the place. He wakes up sometimes with slurred speech and he has chronic headaches which are not improving. He is so strong and I am so proud of him! He tries, but unfortunately he doesn't comprehend somethings and that breaks my heart. I will say that all I can do as a wife and to try and keep him moving forward and stick by him. Afterall that is what love is all about. He is different than he used to be, he was so active and funny and always happy...I do live a "changed man" but by no fault of his own, it just happens. I am his sole caretaker and I am with him all the time, I see his highs and his lows. I just know he has to go the extra mile to work hard and he knows that too. Best of luck to all of you who live this day to day as I know it is not easy and no one will understand unless they live with someone with a TBI...God Bless

We share almost the same story .God is able .

I appreciate your comments! I have a realistic view now. I had a brain aneurysm 10 years ago and still suffer the effects. I thought to get better would be to be perfect - not so. Thank you all for sharing and please allow me to say God Bless you all.
I was hit over the head with something pretty solid in an Armed Robbery at my place of work on the 4th April 2003, IT HAS TAKEN A LITTLE OVER TEN YEARS TO GET THE BRAIN TO FUNCTION AGAIN IN A NORMAL WAY.I lost the neural drive to many parts of the body, the hormonal or endocrine was all to pot and has only righted itself very recently,last evening and I am not going to describe how I know, suffice to say I am now a slightly sad sixty-one year old suddenly, overnight. I Had no memory at all for four years, I have only just begun to reason as an adult again, I have never given in, even though I kept loosing the neural drive to the heart for ten minutes or so each time, in the first four years. I am now learning to play the piano, ça va très bien pour moi, and of course a little German,aussi mir geht sehr gute, cheers Christian Morgan.Brighton, no doctors helped me either!
My dad aged 77 is currently in Criticalcare following a horrific attack in his home. He suffered 2 fractures to the skull 1 bleed on the brain, horrific facial injuries and fractures, including his nose and pallet damage. He also received massive internal bleeding needing surgery and part of his bowel removed. His progress has been amazing the docs and nurses are well considering they did not expect him to see the night through are shocked. His memory is more about his long term past rather than short term. He doesn't know where he lives or that my mum died in October of last year and keeps asking after her. The docs say it could take months for him to fully recover, what was two weeks a strong independent 77 year old pensioner is now a pitiful weak old man, but he is alive and that is all thanks to the amazing staff and his fitness and strength. I have read some of these and take it all inboard that this will be a slow and long process.
My accident was in 2004. March 31st, but my husband says April 1st. I think I would remember April Fools day... My problem how he minimizes my improvement (recovery ?) I am so afraid at the thought of being with anyone, but can functon with people at grocery store, can't write witj my hand so I write with a comupter. He just wants me to do dishes, cook, clean, take care of myself and be support to him like I was to do before all with a great job of 75K income. I know it is hard to take a person so changed, but he now is scaring me with yelling. I am so scared all the time when because when he yells my head spins. Now have a tremor in my hands which is going to make me unable to feed myself. So scared. This took me 25 minutes to write so it had no mistakes. I bet that errors still exist.
While reading all these comments, I can\'t help but to feel blessed. I sustained my TBI in 2008. As time goes on I\'m able to notice my own deficiencies (such as stopping what I am doing to tend to a more imperative situation at hand) and work on bettering them. Sad to say, but some deficiencies do not go away, for me anyway. I just learned how to cope with them; jotting quick notes, being a bit more tidy (not really OCD tho),exercising, etc. However, I get very frustrated with the fact that I have a difficult time controlling my anger, getting flustered when things don\'t go as planned and making the wrong choices (even when I know they are wrong and even detrimental to me) BUT since my accident I have been raising my four year old, got my GED, started college, and even met somebody and got married. As I praise and give thanks to God for making it this far, I continue to pray for my impairments. Mainly my anger... it has become a real problem between my new husband and myself. I still do not always do or say the right things, but I\'m trying.
I was Six Years of age when I had my first head injury. It was 1980. I was riding my bike and my father was behind me and I lost control of the bike flipped the bike and landed on the right side of my head. I was in ICU for over 72 in a COMA swelling of the brain. My parents stated they had to sign a waiver to drill a hole in my head if the meds did not work to reduce swelling. Lucky for me they worked. I was an A/B student at the time in a Catholic School 1st grade. I was held back in 1st grade again due to this accident because once I got back into school my Moods, behavior, grades slipped to F/D's, memory, concentration levels, cognitive skills, Reading, Writing, even tying my shoes I had to learn again. Yet the doctors said there was nothing wrong with me. That the CAT scan was fine. Well when I was in 3rd grade I had to be taken out of Catholic School and placed in Public school because I fell so far behind and I just could not stay focused on anything I was lucky to be focused on myself. In 3rd grade public School I was Diagnosed with Multiple Learning disabilities. In 4th Grade I was diagnosed with ADHD my parents refused Ritalin and told the Doctors and the school to figure out another method because they where not going to have a drugged child. In 6th grade I was diagnosed with Eye problems due to the head injury that took place in 1st grade... (OH YEAH) I had to wear Tri-Focals to Bi-Focals to Glasses to Reading Glasses and went through two years of Vision Therapy for children who sustained Traumatic Brain Injury with a doctor in Ringwood, NJ Named Dr. Joel Warshowsky. IN 7th Grade I was transferred to A Special Education School Orange-ulster Boces in Goshen, New York with other students that where mentally emotional and physical Handicapped. (Autism, blindness& partial blindness, deafness & partial deafness, psychiatric condition, Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, Down syndrome, and the list goes on. I stayed there until 9th grade when New York State tried to main stream me back into Public school again, which was a nightmare. Once I went back to my home school I was teased, beat up, raped, abused, was in a fight almost ever day, I even began to fake seizure just to get the heck out of the school. They finally sent my back to Boces however the damage to me was already done. I became Depressed, Moody, Full of Anxiety, I began to self-mutilate drawing things into my body then picking at them, this is when I began to have insomnia, and nightmares, started to runaway from home. They kept me in Boces until I graduated High School However I was never accepted at my home school even though my father forced me to walk at graduation to get my diploma WHICH I HATED!!! I was always different because of my behaviors I was never accepted everyone knew there was something about me that was just a bit off. I was eccentric & passionate in my eye, in other peoples eyes I was crazy, weird, strange, neurotic, compulsive, obsessive, impulsive, and my nicknames in High School where "CRACK BABY" & "TINKERBELL". I was 19 I was on a motorcycle and got into a accident I was lucky to be waring a helmet or else I would be dead today. In College I was called "JUMBLE G". due to my eccentric behaviors. By 1995 I was pregnant that was a nightmare all on its own. Seizures, Sugar problems, Blood Pressure problems, mood fluctuations, pains that the doctors where telling me where not their, YET they where there!!!! I was miserable. I was crying one minute, screaming another, happy the next and this is not exaggerating... I was out of control. Then I was kidnapped while I was 3 months pregnant and the police did not want to believe me. Yet they did not want to bring the K-9 unit out to search my car and do scent pad tracking on the guy which they would have found the keys to my car at the very least. Four blocks over on some persons lawn. I have had one problem after another since my head injury medical issues after medical issues. Hormone problems where always a major issue for me. I had to have multiple surgeries down in the female region I am hoping I am going to have my last one this May 2, 2013 this time they are going in Roboticly. Hopefully this will be my last and final hysterectomy!!! Ever since they took out my ovaries my moods have been easier to manage. I still have anxiety . I still to this day at 39 years of age have problems memory cognitively moods matter of fact I was diagnosed with a mood disorder due to a general medical condition with a Personality disorder, anxiety due to Traumatic Brain Injury in 2003. 2003 I was diagnosed with Cervical and uterine cancer had a hysterectomy however I have had one ovary keep growing back about every two to years with masses cysts and tumors every thing has been binge. Fibromyalgia in 2005, OA 2008, early onset Parkinson 2012 (brought on by the head injuries. At least this is what I have been told). Liver and kidney issues... Pains numbness vertigo weakness I been told it is all in my head... I tell people your damn right it is all in my head all from my head injuries I blame it all on the head injuries... So for all of you who have issues yeah I feel your pains mentally physically and any other way. I believe you over any doctor who tells you it is not possible it cannot be happen or even if it is happen I have had them to more frequently in today's day and age. So yeah I understand all of you and I feel for everyone on this website because it is so darn frustrating when Doctors think they know you and they have only known you for three minutes and never even seen a chart of yours before.
I wreaked on August 19th 2001, I don't remember any of that & only a tiny bit of being in hospital. I never got rehab. I do know that it took me 10 years to be ok that I lived after wreak. The me know is not the same person that was here before. It is like there is/was 2 of me the one before & the one after. I had no memory after wreak none & my right side didnt want to work right plus many other things. The bones healed some things got better & went away. I still have many problems but now only with my head injury & th resulting opps just got lost. That wreak took so much & showed me that the ones I called friends before were not at all. I trust all & believe all I have been taken advantage of because of this. so my way of dealing with that is to stay away from people as mush as possible. I noticed that I react very very strongly to situations that happen my emotions seem to have gone to extreme mode. I have always had lots of emotion since wreak but this is so much more intense & way over board. I also was told that i have been talking different to someone then i have ever done before to them & I have known them for 2 years now. In 5 months it will be 12 years since I wreaked. Do i have to deal with new personality & emotional changes again.
I had a severe TBI in Aug 1992, I fell off a car moving about 15 miles an hour. hit the back of my head stood up and fell and hit the frount of my head and of course stood up one more time and fell for a third time and hit the bck of my head again. I spent 4 days in a coma and have very little memory of the incident. About 8 years ago I noticed I started having problems with shakeing of the arms and other mentel and emotional problems. My recovery went very well from the accident, but the problems I am having now seem to be directy related to the head injury I have years ago.
i suffered a t.b.i. over ten years ago when i was a junior in h.s. hanging on to a moving vehicle whilst riding a skateboard. i was a \'gifted\' student (hard to believe? ha) and was able to finish out the rest of the next year while earning a scholarship to study in Germany. I messed that opportunity up because I started smoking marijuana heavily overseas because, well it was strong and I liked it. Upon being kicked out of Germany I enlisted in the navy. Now when I was hospitalized it was like an emergency helicopter and medicated coma for two days kind of scenario, and my recruiter told me to \'falsify\' my enlistment paperwork to say I was only unconscious for two minutes. Well after finishing my basic training at Great Lakes I was shipped to california, to the presidio of Monterey. My inability to cope with the military life, the alienation (now that i see was of my doing), and the fine grass of northern california ended up with me being kicked out of the military with an o.t.h...a lot of things i did during that time warranted medical attention but because of my cannabis use, i\'ve been up shit\'s creek dealing with that being the scapegoat.As for the strained relationships with my family and friends they too can use \'well it\'s just the pot suck it up and grow up\'. don\'t get me wrong i should have more power over smoking because i was able to put down the bottle,but the chaos of everyday living gets to me. i\'m punching holes in the wall, getting arrested, getting fired. conning my way into employment by leaving out the tiny little detail of my deficiencies when it comes to interpersonal relationships, anger, stress management, sense of reality...and don\'t even go into the beautiful kind loving women that have blessed my life and then scrambled for an exit after months of varying \'episodes\' that make me look like I\'m psychotic or something. It\'s those 5 seconds of just pure explosive rage that come and go like some unpredictable storm that has me in a position relying on my family to support me. i don\'t want to be this person, but i am, and i have to deal with it but how?
I suffered a TBI in September of 2000 and the two worst physical injuries I received were a broken back and loss of vision in one eye. When I woke up in the hospital I had no idea where I was or who I was. I have undergone every type of therapy possible; physical, cognitive therapy, occupational therapy, and others that I don't recall. Like one person above said that there is a thought on the tip of my tongue and I just can't get it out. It's a very frustrating feeling and it happens more than I'd like. Also, like someone said, I look normal except for a slight limp and a droopy eyelid which eye glasses pretty much cover. Unfortunately like many above I have not been able to return to work. Betweein my back and my eyes I've undergone over 50 surgeries with more planned. Am I grateful to be alive, of course I am. I was able to give my daughter away at her wedding and I was able to enjoy the birth of my two grandchildren. The only thing I can do is to keep fighting this and some day contribute back to society.
I suffered a TBI and also broke my neck in 2000 while a passenger in a car accident. My life has never been the same since. I continue to have memory problems, difficulty concentrating, experience mood swings, irritability/anger, fatigue, depression, headaches, preoccupation and the list goes on. I am grateful that I am alive and that I healed from my injuries after surgery and a lot of therapy. It is difficult everday though because I never have felt right since. I look ok and no one understands what it is like because I am not. Friends, family, co-workers and professionals do look at you like you are crazy. I am a social worker myself and it is frustrating to not be able to say what you want or mean but have it right on the tip of your tongue and never be able to put things into the correct words. I wish so much that people could understand what it is like to have a TBI. It is exhausting to constantly doubt yourself, feel misunderstood, also abandoned because no one understands. I never thought that after 13 years things would still be difficult and frustrating. There needs to be more resources, education, support and resources. I tell myself that I have accepted that I am different but I have not and I'm not sure if I ever will.
Suffered severe TBI in Nov. 1991 - unconscious for entire stay in first hospital. Shattered my right femur - in addition to which the entire right side of me was neurologically affected (right arm spastic/right leg paralysed/very little muscle control on right of body). For the past five years (or so) in particular, I've suffered much rejection or 'misunderstanding' by my once close family & friends - simply because I no-longer behave or react in the same way as I used to. For about 15 years after my unfortunate 'incident', I simply behaved as I thought others expected me to behave; my self confidence was so severely damaged, but now I'm able to behave independently, my genuine 'new' behaviour is rejected - having an alternate (or different) way of behaving and thinking, that differs from the standard 'accepted' way, has made life very hard. The problem is that my behaviour for most of the first 15 years was a lie, merely to ensure social acceptance!
Suffered severe TBI in Nov. 1991 - unconscious for entire stay in first hospital. Shattered my right femur - in addition to which the entire right side of me was neurologically affected (right arm spastic/right leg paralysed/very little muscle control on right of body). For the past five years (or so) in particular, I\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\%5
Skydiving accident. I was discharged after day or two, but do not remember weeks and apparently I was in and out of conscience on the couch. Took about 2 years to get back to a normal of sorts. During that time gave away all of my possessions. 5 years later had a grand mal seizure. Been on seizure medicine ever since.
May 30, 2009 I fell backwards onto concrete resulting in a severe TBI, 10 days in ICU, 3 days of that with raccoon eyes from the impact. Cant remember anything of the first 6-7 days in the ICU, but my wife said I was talking and recognized the people I talked to. Got home and developed dizziness for about 2.5 weeks. Dizzy 24/7 for 2 weeks is the worst feeling in the world. An audiologist friend did a maneuver and after sitting in a neckbrace for 48hrs, dizziness was gone. Spent the past 3.5 years healing and have only felt back to normal about the past 3 months. Your personality changes severely, so much so, that almost all of my friends turned their backs on me, my job ended up letting me go due to my agressiveness towards different situations. You can actually almost watch your real self disappear into something else. You say to yourself dont do that or dont engage that person, yet your body doesn't listen/ So, you feel like you are watching yourself go crazy. Throughout this experience, you find yourself trying to explain what is going on in your mind and people just look at you like you are nuts. Then they stop believing you all together no matter how hard you try and explain they just get farther away. The only person who finally came back around was my wife, after one point telling me to leave, she finally stuck it out until I came out of the fog. People who haven't suffered one of these have no idea what you are going through, and all of the people you thought you knew have these self proclaimed psychology degrees they use to judge you and destroy your future instead of sticking it out with you. You do almost become another person, your views of certain things change, I have found that its almost impossible to trust anyone anymore, especially the ones who gave up on me and exiled me from my normal world. You really learn who the true people in your life are, cut the others loose. The headaches are few and far between now and a lot less severe/ Just give it time and dont turn your back to your "friends"or "job". They really dont care.
my husband was hit by a car a few weeks back. He maintained a few skull fractures and a small bleed. We were in the ICU for 2 days and then stable so the doctor released us. We went to the neuro floor and within one day, we were back in ICU. His brain was stable again and we eventually made it home. Now, my husband feels so much better and acting like himself although he is still tired, irratable and is just wanting to "get back to himself." I do not know what to tell him? I cannot get a good answer on the recovery of this injury. When we went back to the Doctor, he said his brain was still swollen and wanted to see us again in a few weeks. I feel tortured and so uneasy every day. Will this ever get better for him or me?
On 05.05.77 which was the day after my 13th birthday I was knocked down by a car and spent twelve weeks in a coma with severe TBI, I then spent a year at hospital school where I learnt to write from being left handed to using my right hand. I returned to my secondary school a year later and a year below my actual age group plus rather than being placed in the top where I had come from I was placed in one of the bottom sets. I was bullied at school and refused to go to college due to the trauma. At the age of 29 I was capable of going to university and was accepted (had worked in a shop until 26 then bar work until university). Im now 48 still at home with my amazing parents don\\\'t have any close friends, but that\\\'s life and Im alive!
I am a mother of a 13 year old boy who is a year and 7 months past moderate TBI. We live in a very rural area and have not been able to get the medical help he desperately needs. After being hospitalized 5 times since his injury, we are now hopefully getting the help he really needs. He is really not the same child we had 2 years ago. I am really hoping to find him some help to make him happier. He used to play 3 sports and was an A/B student. He received his moderate TBI playing football at the school, not wearing helmets and he fell on the back of his head on to the cement. I just really wish there was more information out there for children with TBI!!
I am four years post-TBI. Four bi-lateral frontal lobe subdural hematomas and a slew of subarachnoid hemorrages. GCS was 9 when I finally got to the trauma center. Post injury amnesia lasted a long time. Speech aphasia lasts to this day. Altered sense of taste and inability to regulate body temperature lasted years. I received no post-trauma rehab. I was sent home to care for a 2 year old when I could barely walk, couldn\'t read, still having seizures, it was a mess. Didn\'t drive for 7 months. Had a hard time controlling my emotions, couldn\'t recognize sarcasm in other people. I returned to work but found that I no longer had the chaos management skills necessary to work in an active shipyard on highly complex computer systems for a program I was the senior engineer. It was heartbreaking. I continued to work, but not at my previous level. Now I don\'t touch the systems, I just perform project control type activities. All the negatives aside, I believe God spared me for a reason. I\'m home with my family more and am super active in my daughter\'s school and our church and community. TBI changed my life immeasurably. For others out there get all the services for rehab and help there is to take. I regret not getting help, because I think my recovery was not as complete as it might have been had I receive some post-ICU follow-up.
I'm a 42 yr survivor of severe traumatic brain injury (happened 1/23/1971). I've been without a sense of smell (and taste) since the injury. The physicians didn't know how I was able to survive the multitude of injuries: multiple skull fractures, swollen brain, severed small intestine, dissolved wall of bowel, abdominal cavity filled with blood,digestive juices, solid waste. I was unconscious five days, with the first three days my eyes bulged out due to brain swelling. It took me over 25 years to finally discover the reason for my survival: I am blessed by God. There is no other explanation. I continue to live a "normal life", in that I worked many years in fairly demanding capacities. Retiring from the federal government at the age of 55.
Four years after a severe TBI caused by a fall which changed my life beyond all recognition. I still suffer with the usual aftermath; forgetfulness, absent mindedness, so much so I have lost my way home on one occasion,fatique and headaches.I become confused and overwhelmed with what used to be the most simple of tasks. Medical help is inadequate to say the least, damn well unhelpful most of the time. The biggest issues are the loneliness and frustration of not finding answers if, indeed, there are any. I do feel adrift and forever apologising for the shortcomings I now have, caused by the TBI.
I suffered from a TBI in 1995. I was hit by a van as a pedestrian. I spent about three weeks in a drug induced coma after having an emergency evacuation of a sub-dural hematoma. I had fractured my skull and was very lucky to have survived. I have little to no problems since revovering which took a good deal of time.
My brother had a motorcycle accident on Sept 19, 2012 and has severe tbi. He is still in a coma but moves slightly and opens his eyes at times. My question is to the person who had severve tbi when he was beaten in a bar and left face down. Can you tell me how long you were in a coma?
I experienced moderate to severe TBI at 12 years of age. It was a skull fracture in the back of my head that resulted in coma for a couple of weeks. Over time with not much therapy, I seemed to make a significant recovery. However, I am now understanding that it has been a partial recovery. I have been plagued for the last 38 years with life long depression, apathy, dizziness, and aggression. I just assumed it was bad genes, but am now realizing that part of my struggle has been due to the brain injury. I've had to work VERY hard to overcome these lingering long lasting effects. The thing that continues to trouble me the most is the following: "cognitive abilities referred to as executive functions - the complex processing of large amounts of intricate information that we need to function creatively, competently and independently as beings in a complex world. Individuals with TBI may be unable to function well in their social roles because of difficulty in planning ahead, in keeping track of time, in coordinating complex events, in making decisions based on broad input, in adapting to changes in life, and in otherwise "being the executive" in one's own life." I have often felt like a failure in life because of these difficulties. I have considered suicide dozens of times. However, I have always battled HARD and managed to have a modicum of success in life. I managed to get a college education. I managed to be relatively successful in a career as a musician. The thing that really saved my life, however, was a deep spiritual connection based on the practice of meditation. I've worked with different spiritual teachers who have helped me tremendously. Although I've always know that trauma was at the root of many of my problems, I now discover that part of the reason for my life long STRUGGLE to survive and thrive may have roots in my brain injury. Wish I had known about it long ago. Perhaps I can improve some of these difficulties. I have heard of a therapy called EMDR that supposedly helps with PTSD which I've also always suffered from. I plan on exploring that and seeing where it takes me on my life-long healing journey. To everyone who has experienced this trauma I say this: make your LIFE about healing. Focus on it. Commit to it. Pray for it. Or unresolved trauma will destroy you. It very nearly destroyed me numerous times but it hasn't yet, and I keep battling. Good luck!!!
i am 47 and had my moderate TBI in january 2012 while ice skating. was initially conscious but luckily knew the signs of head injury and went to the ER. was unconscious for 12 hrs, hospitalized for 4 days, and the 'improvement' has continued since then. i returned to work - full time - after 5 wks to a demanding environment which was only made more so after my injury. despite going to my boss on a monthly basis to let him know i was very overwhelmed and that all of my paperwork wasn't getting done, i was terminated' on october 1 for not having my work done. it is a healthcare environment and timely compliance is very important. many of my co-workers, and my boss i think, thought that because i was back at work and looked fine that i was in fact fine.....which i was not. i would urge everyone facing this type of ongoing issue to be very honest about your limitations! i was......but i got no assistance. i have really good days and really bad ones, balance and dizziness continue to be an issue as does my lack of appetite. in time i know i will make a new normal for myself......
10/10/12 I am 21 years old and I have suffered a TBI from a car accident in May 2012. My memory has been lacking in a few areas, mostly the memory of the month of May. In the same car accident I received a back and neck fracture and collapsed lung. I look back on my injuries and think of how lucky I am even though my life has been a struggle. I refuse to give up.
i was involved in a head on auto collision november 9 1995 i have suffered years of bad migranes and depresson and memory problems and i have tried not to seek medical attention after spending time in hospital and close head injury clinic i,am getting older and experiences more symptoms i know i must seel medical attention but i find it hard to tell my self i need to i have had people tell me i need to seek counceling
My tbi happened sept. 24 2009. It was classified as a severe tbi. I was over double the legal limit a .18 alcohol blood level and 38 years old. I was left in a coma. I left a wife and 2 kids at home so I could do my daily drugs and alcohol binging. I was severely beaten at a bar and left face down for dead on a highway. Wow what a day. The greatest day of my life! why? Because I found a relationship with god. God can turn the worst tragedy into your greatest accomplishment. Relationships I had severed have been restored. I have not missed a day of work in almost 2 years and have not had a job complaint either. No Iam not a rocket scientist, lol, but I work with materials that have only .031 1/32 tolerance that must be precise and making a good living in the worst economy I have ever seen. Iam supporting my family. Dont give up whom ever you are. All things are possible with god. Iam living proof.
I had a severe TBI when I was 12. My parents were Christian Scientists and did not take me to the hospital even though I had a large fracture of my skull, was unconsious for over an hour, and had complete amnesia for 5 to 6 hours after regaining consiouness. I really never associated this event with the many of the personality changes that occurred with me shortly there after until recently. I went from a very athletic, A student, to doing drugs and failing in school. I was able to make it through college and get off of drugs but this event clearly was a pivot point in my life. I am now 47 and to tid day still struggle with some issues. It does get better with time.