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 (477)

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.

I was 12 y/o the 2nd yr in high school, a genius who went to high school at eleven y/o. I was attacked, beaten, and had my head and faced bashed into a wall. The only think I remember was waking up two months after in a hospital from a coma, amnesia for over a year, unaware of who i was or who my family were. I was told I had TBI.I am now 47 y/o raised my 28 y/o son, but life has never been the same, still living alone, anxiety disorders, phobias, and not able to have nay meaningful relationships. I suffered a lot of headaches, memory lapses, neck, back hand face pain, joint pain, neuropathy, mood swings, depression,to name a few.I am glad I found this site, and read all these comments, because I thought I was alone.I will never be the same, unable to pass any exams, but I am trying to live one day at a time, and hopefully can get some more counseling and help that will assist me w/ my journey.I still haven't told many people what have been though or going through , just pretend as if all is normal, b/c sometimes people can really judge you, so I hope there will be more help out there for people who going through this terrible ordeal..thanks everyone for allowing me to see that am not alone, and that God for giving me the strength to make it each day.

Wow people! I am so glad I came across this. 

I had a TBI in the early 90's. I was in my early 20's. I was jumped by 3 assailants and literally turned upside down they drove my head into the concrete. I was unconscious for I don't know how long. I remember waking up and people where looking at me like I had passed out drunk. I didn't remember at the time what happened but I remember feeling embarrassed and jumping up and running to the barracks (I was in the Navy. Hadn't been there a week and didn't know anyone). They woke me up the next day and sent me to medical where I was diagnosed with a concussion and had to be watch for awhile. I had trouble with forgetting, concentration, and ANGER, but had no idea that I was suffering any conditions associated with that injury due to the fact that things gradually got worse throughout the years and didn't realize until looking back in recent years. Married when I was 34 or 35 for 6-7 years (divorced 2013). Wife convinced me to quit my job of 18 years, which I was scared to do, but thought my job was creating all my problems. She went with me on a few Dr. appointments (asked one Dr. why I was so stupid. That shattered me). In 2011 I had surgery on right wrist and shoulder at the same time (I figured I wouldn't miss so much work that way). Well, that really screwed me up. I awoke into a panic attack in the recovery room. Anxiety, which I had never had, turned into panic attacks. I couldn't drive to work anymore (X and I had the same hours, so she started driving). I struggle almost daily with suicide because I can't figure out what when and why I can't figure out. I have been told by a Dr. that was doing an evaluation for social security administration that, while under anesthesia, I could have or it was comparitable to having a stroke and all those things that been in hiding had finally came to a head, or something like that. I am finally supposed to be going to the TBI clinic with the Veterans Administration but still waiting on the phone call. Still holding on to little hope and someday understanding. I relate to the friendship, romance, time, patience, and probably all the above. Very lonely and if my X didn't want to be patient, who will? I have never been abusive just frustrated

I'm 2.5 years post tbi after falling over 10 feet head first from a safari jeep. I lost my career as an executive, my husband and some friends who left me hospitalized alone in India. I keep thinking I will "recover" but it's true, you improve, not recover and it's a tough pill to swallow.  Fatigue and apathy, diagnosed as aboulia is the biggest frustration for me as well as chronic pain.  It makes it hard for me to relate to the person I was before and it's certainly what makes it hard on those who knew me. The old cliche that a crisis tells you who your true friends are is certainly true for anyone who is a Tbi survivor or loves one of us. 

Last e-mail sent wasn't put up for viewing. Likely because I got a bit personal and stated the married name of my sister. This post I will not name her, only describe her demented personality. She takes joy in the agony of her younger brother... a characteristic that is not a quality one would seek to acquire... a twin, fortunately, her other half makes up for her perverted self. Exact opposite... a rehab specialist, she balances the equation out. For every negative encountered on your way to restoring the self back from a TBI, there shall be a positive to balance out the equation... the story of life, balance!!! Equanimity reigns in the universe of the living... understand, no good, no bad, everything is an equation that results in a balance of zero when you reach the end of the line, death. To be out-of-balance is human... to make this life a zero sum game is divine. Seek and thee shall be... !!!

I suffered a TBI while serving in the USMC. This injury was inflicted by friendlys. no need to elaborate as this isn't the topic here. I suffer risiduals permanent in nature such as : headaches, memory loss,anxiety, balance ( I fall often) ,neurpathic effects,can't concentrate, can't converse w/O staying on a topic PTSD, social deficiency. Etc.I got it all.although some of these have improved a little all still exist. I don't know where and what I'd be today,but I am sure I wouldn't be where I am now. I just live my life and make the best of it I can.I'm proud of me for hanging in tough. And behind a Marine. An FYI ,This happened 28 years ago,and this took me 42 minutes to type.

I'm newly friends with a guy who has TBI. He can't do much on his own so we mostly communicate through text. He's approaching the 3 year mark soon.. I really hope he makes a full recovery but regardless I want to be his friend. Can anyone tell me about their process by the years?

Yes both my 2 best friend jumped ship. I rarely try to make new friends now.

I had a TBI 7 years ago. Once someone finds out I had a TBI some friends that I just meet don't want to bother continuing the friendship. Especially since I have a restriction on my drivers license I can't just go anywhere I want. Has anyone else have issues with friends? God Bless!

What's wrong with being lonely...? It is the only way for a TB Survivor to begin rediscovering who he/she is after injury... a new you... you don't look back to find the old you... a mirage was the old you. Now is when discovery is made... which will ultimately lead to higher grounds... why did it happen?... it happened and that tells you something in itself... humbled for a reason... a chance to restore what was not... seek solace in survival... for there is reason you lived... surmount, surmont... it isn't easy, but then again, it isn't hard... you need to look at it in the "just right" perspective... what's that, you ask... develop a mantra... one you make up yourself... five words of empowerment you can repeat... I've written this before but I'll say it again... little, smalller, and smallest... the world has slowed down for us... accept that and play into the fact... a new you has evolved from a horrific incident... why it happen is beyond our means... acceptance is within... we can work with that... just right, just right, just right... AC

I am in a position where I see many veterans that are injured what seems to be from the inside out,  because of a TBI. Being lonely seems to be an overwhelming feeling, and hopelessness. 

Faith & Gods healing power to heal all of you, your trauma and recovery maybe able to help someone else as well as yourself.

God's Blessings on all of you

Thanks you for your comment, I have been depressed from tbi but I have a journey life is a journey.

This website is not getting many hits...? I find that hard to believe...TBI is definitely a growth business, sadly! I don't see any new additions to the writing format developed here. A great opportunity to further cognitive skills is offered when someone with TBI attempts to compose. Life is a journey...a journey that is not a straight-line. People who sustain a TBI have gone "out of bounds," referring to football vernacular. Get back into the game...set your marks...be your own guide, if that is what it takes...but get back into the field of play...as stated before, we see life from an entirely different paradigm than your average Joe/Sally...push forward and reward yourself for the new edition you are creating...the opportunities are boundless, if you so wish...the field is wide open for the TBI person...there-again, if you limit yourself and operate from a box, the picture can darken or brighten...your choice...it is up to you, for responsibility for what  you do is solely embedded in thee. Fall forward, fall back, whatever the outcome may be, grab hold and take ownership. Art C

What a devastating story the June 10 piece composed 5:50 PM is. Amazing what persistence is shown. Wonderful your sister has found some semblance of comfort through her artwork. You never contemplated drawing back and letting her find her own way. Amazing journey of sustenance...this is the struggle that is Traumatic Brain Injury. Your sister is, or was in a constant state of rage. Slowly she has shifted into less and less rage and seemingly has found a light in artwork. Amazing the persistence of you and family. Amazing story line...put some of the burden on sister to find the light. Life is about responsibility...it is time for her to stop hating the cards life dealt her and begin to realize the warm and loving foundation that surrounds her...grow up sis, because what you have now will not always be present...!!!

Thank you this really helped me a lot I am 62 Ty retired RN and Professor who had a MVA in Jan and remain disabled even now into July I found this so helpful

I had my TBI 8 years ago and I am overwhelmingly lonely too.I pray there is hope for us!

I gad a tbi almost 4 years ago and my life has changed dramatically. I always feel lonely, will this ever change? Im 22 years old an feel as though i will be alone forever

My sister and I were hit by a car in 1992 standing on the side of the road waiting to cross. No nothing happened to the person that hit us and we did not receive any compensation. My sister was a 2nd year medical student in California at the time. My injuries were minimal. My sister though sustained a very severe TBI. She was in a coma for approximately 8 months - she eventually started showing signs and responded to family and friends. She received rehab and was sent home in diapers 3 months later. After she was home for about 2 yrs living with my parents and causing major dramas. So she moved into a condo and lived there on her own (barely) for about 20 yrs. It is amazing she didnt hurt herself.  She has never returned to school, got a job or got married. She has no friends either. She is deaf in one ear and sees double in one eye. It is amazing that she never killed herself looking back now. I guess we (the family) thought we would just ignore the situation as much as we could for as long as we could.  Her eyes remain close 80% of the time when she is not watching tv or painting (apparently a result of the brain injury). She is very very difficult to deal with and can get violent one minute and then next, crying her eyes out apologizing. She is partially paralyzed on one side of her body and has a plate in her head. She falls a lot and can be very defiant. When you try to help her - she will abuse you 80% of the time. She has been known to call names, curse, yell, hit, etc. She is like a cross between MS and dementia. As the years go on, her balance is exceptionally bad. She has scars all over her body nothing makes her happy really. She is so depressed and pissed off at the world - as is the majority of the entire family.  Men have used her throughout the years for sex, and she is very lonely. Recently the doctor said to us that you need to put her into a home which financially is not an option. My sisters condition has destroyed our family in a lot of ways and each of us suffer from some level of depression - especially my Dad who is going to die a broken heart because he could not 'fix her' - which I find is common feeling for a Dad. He did do a lot for her - although basically as another father said to me - would never be happy until his child was back to who they were before. 23 years post accident, the family as a whole walks through a slow moving funeral is how it feels. My response to my survivor guilt was to get married and leave the country and live overseas - coming back once a year to care for her. Five years ago, I moved back to the area to care for her. It has been a disaster with my family since, at best. Our family was dysfunctional before - and now we are worse. We argue over her care all the time. My sisters condition is not so much the problem. It is that we cannot work together for a solution because we are all so screwed up with our own grief and depression. When a family cannot accept the condition of their loved one, how can we expect our loved one to?  I desperately needed to see a light! My sister has done artwork her whole life - so I started her a business of her art work. With me helping her, she has started to 're-defined' her life 23 years later  - promoting her and she has shown her work on several websites and galleries When she was doing her undergraduate work, she had worked so hard to get into medical school and since the accident refused to look down any other road - but has finally agreed to - and her artwork is bringing some sort of positivity to her life - finally.  She has had a couple commissioned pieces and does gain some sort of happiness in it which is good. But again, the family dynamics are still in the way! Hopefully that will subside with time - but I have little hope much will change. I have no idea what the future holds for my sister. I dont know how long it will be before we have no choice but to put her into a home which will be exceptionally depressing for her and for the family. The doctors don't know either. As far as what I have learned 23 years on for families is 1) GET HELP FOR YOURSELF because if you lose it, how can you help at all with your loved one 2) have absolutely NO expectations on either yours or your loved ones injury - every brain injury is different and NO doctor can give you answers for sure - they just can guess 3) let go of who you think the person was before and try very hard to make peace with it 4) try to help 're-define' your loved ones life as that may help the depression. 5) you cannot control everything 6) hang on tight because it is a life long journey that never ends .

Oh, please tell family! You deserve to have their support! All the best to you!

I am 16 right now as I post this. almost a year ago I got smashed in the head by a cane (the cane broke instantly when it collided with my head) because some guy thought I stole his phone this day changed my life from that day on I have a best friend I can relate to because he got hit by a car. No I did not turn into a vegetable state I was was able to run quickly away as soon he he hit me . That day was the worst day of my life. To overcome this obstacles I jog everyday 2-5 miles I am a aspiring track star it help me from thinking and relieves my moderate depression ever since I start to run and I plan to run for the rest of my life. Although I may suffer from mild anxiety from time to time i guess this was my faith. To this day my family does not know about this

Was hit by pickup truck while riding bicycle to work had fractured spine ,neck,nerve damage to both hands , hip fracture that had to be screwed back together and traumatic bleeding within the brain. The accident was not my fault but i did not have health insurance my fault.  i have no memory of accident or up to week before the accident and for several days after. i was lucky the driver stopped and others witness it. without insurance you will get care as they are required by law but it will be the bare minimum to stabilize you. they want to get you out as fast as they can . i did ask questions but found out nothing about what areas of the brain was affected but i have noticed the affects it has had on me. lost the ability dream and what ever position i go to sleep in i don't move from it and when i see a attractive women it has no effect on me , strangely this the easiest part to deal with just as a person who is not thirsty has no need to drink. the harder parts are things like my balance and the bone that form in the muscle of my left leg and hip after the surgery. Its been almost a year, how much more i will recover i have no idea?

8 months ago i met with a life changing accident since then i am not able to speak properly my left part was paralyzed but it was temporary after that i am not able to write properly...i am 23 years old male

To the person who wrote May 7 @ 11:28 am...a reply is forthcoming and today is that day...I scratched out something prior after reading your reply again...veratim, here it is!!!

Re-adjustment will come in time. Always, in time. Remember, there are no do overs or mistakes in this universe of man......Glad to have reached you in terms of understanding. I've been there and saw myself. No getting around that period of mourning timeframe. Now you are ready to climb, fall-back, whatever you want because you see the world from a different perspective then before you were touched. Take your time and get use to the new you...and remember, everything has been slowed down, permanently. Get use to it an in time you will come to love this new you...it'll happen. Driven once, driven thrice, driven no more...sit back and turn the channel!!! Art C

TO ART C......THANK YOU FOR WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT, ALTHOUGH I AM MOURNING MY PREVIOUS SELF, WHICH WAS 50 PLUS YEARS ON OVERDRIVE, WHICH I THRIVED ON.  I AM HUMBLING MYSELF TO A SLOWER ME WHICH MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS HAVE BEGGED ME TO DO FOR YEARS.  THE UNIVERSE HANDS YOU YOUR TRUE FATE IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS.  THANK YOU AGAIN

To the person who writing was posted 4-23-15 @ 1:37PM, there are benefits from experiencing a TBI. It only gets better as you adjust to the new you. Need to get comfortable with what you've evolved into. Acceptance is a pre-requirement. Grasp the new you and go with the flow. It sounds like you were in a "jet-stream." Go, go, go...suddenly void is that space...get used to it because I don't believe you'll regain the pace of change that happened before...remember to accept what has transpired...everything happens just the way it's suppose to...don't fight fate, and therefore be late to what awaits. Accept and lean in and be JR...Just Right!!! Art C

I ran into a interior glass wall leaving my brand new, first day back to work office building almost two years ago. Our previous office building was hit by a tornado which forced us to.  I was checked out at the ER and was told I suffered a mild concussion, put on bed rest for 10 days and I would be okay.  Three months later I was rushed from work to the ER with symptoms of having a stroke.  The doctors ran all the test including a CT scan all came back negative.  I did not have a stroke.  The neurologist diagnosis was TBI from the injury I previously sustained .  I was admitted to the hospital for observation, I was floored!  Fortunately, my injury is not like most on this page. But want people to know not to dismiss a hit on the head as no big deal as i did.   For me I had difficulty wrapping my brain, no pun, around TBI.  After many inconclusive diagnosis behind me including a month stay in mental health facility I continued to walk around in a fog and concluded that maybe I was going crazy. I was placed on permanent disability and no longer able to work. I am now under the care of two highly reputable nero psychiatrists in my community who have taken me off all the psychotic medication and now on Nuedexta, with an anti seizure medication and mood stabilizer.  I no longer sufferer with extreme mood swings, which was mainly rage, anger and crying.  My cognitive have improved but I've come to the conclusion that they will never be the same.  My anxiety is my major concern as I live in a hyper vigilante state of fear now, i now question everything.  I  have days that I'm afraid to drive as I seem to become confused, disorientated and afraid, so I don't, I no longer flying, as I did in previous life for my company and vacation.  I cannot tolerate large crowds,or noisy areas; in other words my social circle which was the size of the globe is now the size of a dime.  I am hopeful with time and my new meds this too will improve

Hello, I suffered a TBI last May when I passed out (from sleep apnea which I never knew I had) and fell off a ladder. I too went thru the metallic taste, anger outbursts, lack of tolerance, unable to comprehend what I read or see, etc.  Last August, my doctor asked if I had been driving and I was quite appalled! I couldn't even comprehend where I was going, let alone drive.  I did start driving in November but 1/2 mile away thinking maybe I need to do this.  Still not 100% okay with driving. There are days I feel very clear headed but many days I still have cloudy or out-of-it feelings.  I was tested for sleep apnea and am now using a c-pap nightly and has greatly improved.  However, he believes I need to go on Nuvigil 100mg each morning to help with the sleepiness I feel in the morning (his words, not mine) I sleep great and never feel tired during the day. (I'm like the energizer bunny, always have been) So I've taken Nuvigil for 4 days now and he states the effects should be immediate, I have not seen or felt any different.  Does anyone know what may help with the spacy feelings?  I'd like to start working again but do not feel confident with how I feel.  He does not feel I need any type of unemployment benefits or disability benefits because he feels this is temporary.  However, my husband and I are selling our home because of my loss of pay.  So sad!   Thank you all for listening! Love to all, Stephanie

I'd like to post some information of significant rehab benefit to the readers of this site. Closing in on 35 years of dealing, living, with TBI, you gain some insight. First and foremost is simplicity is your benefactor......................................simpler the better..................................is the motto to live in.........................................an example of this is incorporating rehab in your daily activities 24/7. Brushing your teeth is one of the most beneficial tasks to re-establishing the corridors of enlightenment on the journey forward. You must "focus" when brushing and there is no outside interference. You gain co-ordination and dexterity. Use one hand or two............................two ideally is the goal. Start with one an in time the other arm will gain the necessary ability to be included. It also strengthens the core and spinal column...........minimal, sure, but it's there.................the most all encompassing rehab around, in my estimation............................................simply because "YOU" control all aspects an YOU can do it. Success, success, success..................................if you fail, try, try, try, again until the task is mastered. Remember, small to small to smaller is where the journey begins..................................................patients heals in its own way...............................................in time!!!

Art C.

I would like to add a further comment about the the every day care-giver of someone who sustains a TBI. Care more than likely falls on the Mother initially if not forever when returning from the hospital. Such was the case with me. After three months in Wyandotte Hospital, I came home. This is when the "real" rehab begins.

Free of the cumbersome nature of a hospital, home initially lifts your spirit. But the haze of where you stand in distance from your old self soon returns and depression is your constant companion. But Mom is always there, irregardless.

I, personally, was motivated by the loss of girlfriend, who I might add was going to be taken from me that night one or another, and the relentless work of my Mother.

She started a "head injury group" Downriver at Wyandotte Hospital. She pushed and cajoled to make things happen for her son, me. For that MOM, I am ever grateful...but also grateful that the opportunity of such service could be extended.

For it brought us back to the beginning...society can be a cold setting for growing up into its arms...returning back into the loving arms of your Mother is a good thing...and that is what happened and magic of love helped me to create a new person...re-incarntion in living form.....the journey adjudicated by Mom.

Arthur Cortis in memory of MOM...!!!

 life...sustaining a TBI at some point in the journey allows one to view life afar, it seems. What was, was, what is remains elusive, seemingly impossible to regain the "old me."

Sustaining a "Traumatic Brain Injury" is a primer in controlling the "ego." The benefits of reigning in this instrument of other/under/worlds is immeasurable. We get a chance to experience the flip side of life...before the chronological time frame is reached...a benefit that is not seen as you experience the depths of depression from this incalculably action that has overwhelmed the body.

Peer into the future, oh chosen one...for you have been granted a gift in reverse...life is about perspective. Look, feel, see, how it be...!!!

It is there for the taking...life, choose carefully, for the master of deception may seek to send thee astray. Humility is the path you have been forced on. Accept the decree and travel with the wind at your back instead of fighting the blizzard 24/7.

Choice...choose...it's only you!!!

Arthur Cortis

Hi again, wish to add, TBI happened 34 years ago. Brain Stem Contusion, comatose/'semi for a month. ICU do not remember, was there for a month.

A very serious injury is what I'm getting at. Twenty when it occurred, one year old when woke up in rehab unit of hospital. Didn't know where I was, why were all these people around the bed? Lost, extremely lost...but in the journey back, a TBI is an injury that can be repaired, in time. Patience is required. Patience and effort...assume your job is a full-time position and recovery is the goal. Small steps initially and smaller. It takes time but time is on your side since life reaches an extremely slow pace with TBI. Work the slower pace that has been gifted to you. Life was swirling out of control before the "corrective action" happened. Work with the new set of circumstances an enjoy the slower pace that has been granted to you. Of course, it comes with conditions but you can and will work around them. Acceptance is paramount to ingratiating oneself with the new you.

Always keep in mind the situation you are presently in is "just right." Guilt is sent out the door. Responsibility is assumed. Recall in earlier post stated, "there is no good or bad, everything is JR." Take responsibility and leave guilt outside.  

Remember this: We are put in a set of circumstances because it has been decreed we can succeed in overcoming what stands in our Path. To feel overwhelmed is human. To overcome this feeling and set oneself up for success is DIVINE...SPIRITUAL...BEYOND...POSSIBLE!!!

Arthur Cortis...for Liz!!!

Stephanie Heidrich, you were not lucky because there is no such thing as luck...as stated before, "everything happens just the way it was suppose to." You, Stephanie, made your supposed luck...you took the warrior stance and plowed ahead, realizing what was bequeathed to you, life at a level that allows you to realize the fortune one has inherited.

I read your statement since it was the one right after my two comments that run together but separate...CNA, just right!!!

Commenting again after reading a few more of these testimonials in 2012. Believed I had it tough...an I did but after viewing more renderings of peoples TBI experiences, feel humbled. Optimism is the word one seeks...remember, everything happens "just the way it was suppose to." There are no mistakes...acceptance is the keystone to your recovery. Responsibility will come later...effort is all that is asked in the initial stage of combating the supposed "misfortune" that has engulfed you. In time, the effort and hours you put towards recovery pays off...support is needed in the early stages. Early stages can last from 1-15 years...travel forth an assume the warrior stance, for we are all warriors...sally forth into battle!!! Remember, there is no good and there is no bad...the sustenance that sustains is all is JUST RIGHT!!!

Illogical it seems now but eventually it turns the mind on automatic pilot an allows one to deal with the endless drivel of negativity that your journey is laden with...expanding your vision...will decrease the sorrows!!!

Short and sweet is the road one is to travel...for the new YOU...there are no mistakes...accept what has begot you...for the past is the past and time to embrace the new you...!!!

Art C.

Hi, I came across this very interesting piece of reading material on my computer. Sustained a TBI thirty-four years ago. Brain-stem contusion...a new person was born. Hit by a train, comatose for 13 days...3 months in hospital, 1 month in ICU.

Life changes, to say the least...reincarnation. A new you has been born.

The perspective is always "JUST RIGHT!!!"

I was 17 when I was hit by a city bus. I was in a coma for 17 days and years of therapy. I can relate to almost all side effects mentioned about TBI's. I guess I was lucky. I learned how to walk and talk. I work in a hospital as a CNA. I love it, I can relate to the patients because I have been there. For some reason I was given a second chance at life! I am 36 years old now, I love my life and appreciate everything that I have been though. Stephanie Heidrich

Hello,

My daughter was hit by a car when she was 8, she is now 24. I have been dealing with the affects of traumatic brain injury for 16 years and it has mostly been hell on earth. She had rehab all this time except for a few years when she decided to live with her dad and he said she was "fine" She's not fine and hasn't been since the accident and neither has our family.

She is mean-spirited, sarcastic, loud and verbally abusive most of the time. She swears like the devil, is horrible to anyone in the service industry like waitresses or bank tellers, she is awful to her children and has no friends or any personal relationships that last more than a month or two. Men use her for her monthly cheque, she uses drugs and alcohol all the time, her hygiene is terrible and her house looks like an episode of "Hoarders" And that is just the personality issues!

She has no sense of smell or taste so she is always sick from food poisoning. She wears special glasses because she has double vision all the time. She has a very bad back, shoulders and feet issues because she just doesn't take care of herself. Her person hygiene is sporadic at the best of times. She has chronic headaches and there are a million other health issues, I've only named a few.

And me well I cry a lot. I worry about her constantly since I won't live forever and no one cares about her or for her. She still has rehab but I talked to them yesterday and they are talking about pulling out since she doesn't care to fix her life. I've tried to get counseling for myself but there doesn't seem to be much for me since she is now an adult living on her own.

TBI is not anything I would wish on my worst enemy. Good luck for all of those living with TBI and their families

Mom in Ontario

I had a car wreck in Feb. 2014 which caused a TBI. I am 29 yrs old. Life the past year has been very difficult for me when it comes to understanding what happen and realizing that life will not ever be the same. I have had a lot of issues with my personality, emotional problems, ringing in my right ear, headaches and I had to do 3 months of rehab to be able to speak and put words together and understand what i was saying and what other people were saying to me, I stutter sometimes and i get frustrated easily.  I could not help my daughter who is in the 2nd grade with her homework. My Neuro doctor said I will be on Meds for the rest of my life.  I do not remember most of my childhood, some of my family members i dont remember, my daughter when she was a baby. Excepting the fact that i am not who i was before is hard to do. I take every day and just try to deal with it and make the best of the day and keep working on trying to get who i was back and be a better. 

TBI  number one after 35 mph motorcycle accident at age 15, Spring of 1970. TBI had not been given that name recovery was quick.42 years later a bike accident resulted in a moderate TBI that changed my life. Sight, hearing, taste, smell are all altered. Two years later memory and vocabulary still full of holes.  Reality is skewed. 

Work and pleasure both lack meaningful consistency. Libido is suppressed. Skills are diminished. My new dog makes me happy.

My son had a subdural hematoma his senior year playing football.  Anoxia set in throughout his brain.  He brain swelled, shifted to the right side of his skull and slowly herniated down on his brain stem.  He wasn't expected to live, but he did.  He was in a coma for 48 days.  He was then in a vegetative state for another 59 days.  He still has his personality and memories up to age 16.  He lacks executive functioning.  He is learning to walk and we have him on a continence training program.  I think our biggest problem is his lack of short term memory.  He is now up to remembering things in about 8-10 minute cycles. It is a miracle he is alive and we look forward to any healing that comes along.

In 2003 I had a 3 inch nail in my head for more than 24 hours. I lost my peripheral vision in my right eye. I have a lot of emotional problems, I am not social anymore, depressed all the time, sleeping habits are up and down. I have a constant ringing in my ear that get worse some days. If you want  https://depthtml.musc.edu/catalyst/2003/co5-9nail.htm check out my article. I am currently 30 years of age, I seem to be having more problems as time goes on. It is really hard to regulate my body temperature. I mean some mornings I will wake up sweating and it cold. It happens at work a lot and make me feel embrassed constantly sweating when it is cold outside. I am currently on 26 pill a day. I really hate medication but it does seem to help out the sharp pains that shoot down my neck. Where the nail entered my sinus cavity was totally rebuilt because of the air pressure. Life has not been easy, just like others some days are better than others. But I don't feel myself, I don't have a life, I have no motivation to accomplish anything which is defeating the purpose of me becoming happy again and enjoying life. No doctor won't listen to me, I have no insurance and barely can get by. It has affected everything about my life and its not fair.
 

Hey! Thanks guys for this information, that I need for my 27th grade research project.

At fifty years of age I am still struggling with frustrations about what I can do and the amount of time it takes to do things I've been doing for years. Its embarrassing and I wish I could say to people that I had a serious head injury at eighteen. Sounds like your husband is lucky to have you as I am lucky to have my wife who is so supportive.

My husband has been undiagnosed and untreated for over 27 years. When he was seen medically he would be asked about any hospitalizations? and he would respond with he hit his head years ago. From what I learned through an advocate of TBI she said my husbands response was typical of a person who has TBI. He did not realize the depth of the question or the answer. He spent the past 27 years  self medicating himself with alcohol to slow down his brain. He has had prior problems with his temper that too is a result of his TBI. He spent 5-6 months in a coma at 18 from a motorcycle accident. When he left hospital he never went back for a thing. Now that I have investigated the effects and I can explain his behavior there is hope he can get treated properly and will not be dependant on alcohol. He always knew he didnt fit in rehab for alcoholism. Its been a real eye opening experience and sad how long he has spent 'dealing" with the effects and feeling like he was crazy and now he knows there is hope.

My son had a moderate TBI 2.5 years ago.  He still has partial hearing loss and a metallic taste.  He had a fractured skull, multiple lobe contusions, hemorrages and epidural hematoma.  He came home from the hospital with personality and emotional changes. Two months later, he decided not to let this injury ruin his life and starting running 5 to 10 miles a day.  He trained for the "Tough Mudder" marathon.  Although he still has some deficits, I believe that all that blood pumping to his brain helped heal it.  I know it is not possible with some people, but if you are newly diagnosed try to get a lot of exercise.  It may be coincidental, but how else can you explain him being able to take the LSAT exam a year later and get into law school

Hi All,

I was 10 years old when I had my traumatic brain injury. I was hit by a car and fell into a coma for a couple weeks. The diagnosis was diffuse axonal traumatic brain injury. Hemiparesis happened to the right side of my body. When I woke I couldn't move that side at all. I had to learn how to walk and how to move my arm again. I now write with my left hand (I was a righty) and I walk with a limp. When I smile my lips don't arch all the up on my right side. It's still considerably weaker than my left side.

My memories were for the most part all intact. I remembered my family, friends and where I lived. My intelligence was still all there too. I am less social and i do get anxious easily now.

I am 25 years old now and this article helped me in realizing all brain injuries aren't life changing. Thank you very much! I wish you all a happy and healthy recovery!

I was 16 in 1991 and was in an accident I suffered a severe brain trauma and had trouble in school.  Years later I graduated and joined the military I started to notice that I would drink almost every night and often became very defensive when people would try to help.  Later in my thirties after loosing many friends I started to just blurt things out even posting them and not understanding why I would feel and say these thing. I'm 41 and I have noticed I'm getting worse I teach at a school and get aggravated when people on my team try to help. I have never tried to get help an I'm very scared. I have made an appointment to be seen but what do I say I have lived with this for so long I don't know how to react I feel lost and alone

Did anyone on here have an injury who went deaf or possibly a elderly grandmother?

This has been so helpful. I was feelin like the only one with on going problems with anger, and day to day routines. I sustained a tbi november 2006. Was kicked in the forehead by a horse. Fractured skull and some spine damage. My Dad wasthere and said it looked like someone took a hatchet to my head the fracture was clear to the brain how no bone ended up peircing my brain is beyond me. Eight years later some I know I have memory problems and some days are worse than others... Controling my anger and well all my emotions is really becoming a problem lashing out at the first person who crosses me. Even bigger problem trying to explain to someone that you have suffered a TBI and it isnt like II want to be unhappy or pissed off or easily angered. I dunno how many times I have been told oh you can controle it when really I dont feel I can... I have been to the point now at 27 I have to put my self in timeout just so I dont blow up. Larg crowds I cannot handle anymore... and some social situations and quickly disliking someone aand being less accepting of people. I stil, have good days and defiantly bad days, if there is a lot going on no concentration on what needs to be done. And for work they dont really allow the whole brain injury excuse when the accident was years ago, I know a lot of people are sick of gearing bout it but itsone of those dealsyou cantelk someone you still have problems with it years later and they just think its an excuse.... lots of frustration here

First and foremost I would like to express sincere appreciation to the scholars who wrote and published this article and are allowing people like myself to add comments and share our experiences.  For over two years I wondered what was wrong with me and why I had so many problems that, until recently, were virtually unexplainable.  At least I now know that I am not alone.  I can't say that makes my life any easier - I am going through, quite possible, the most unhappy time of my entire life. But I feel consoled by the fact that I'm not alone.  
One June 1, 2012 I was hit by a car that was traveling at almost 45 mph.  Two days later I received emergency surgery for an epidural hematoma.  
Prior to having my accident, I'd spent the entire year taking entrance exams and preparing to start  Mexican law school at the Universidád del Valle de México, one of the most well known and prestigious universities in the country. My father had agreed to help me with my living expenses and tuition.  I was about to embark on the most exciting and promising journey of my young adult life.  
 I didn't want to stay in the hospital any longer than necessary.  I didn't want physical therapy or any of that.  I had deadlines to meet, and I wanted to start school as planned.  In spite of having a broken leg, a broken shoulder, broken wrist, and recovering from brain surgery, I was able to start school as planned. Looking back, I should have been more patient and waited until the next quarter.  I thought I'd be able to bounce back from my injuries, and I was wrong.    
Soon after starting school, I began suffering blackouts.  Usually they would happen when I was at home, but twice they happened while I was on campus and  on both occasions I was taken to the local hospital in Nuevo Laredo.  The school staff was caring and supportive, but my parents were convinced that these episodes were drug related.  On my first trip to Laredo Medical Center, my mother told the doctors that I had "overdosed on Ambien".  This was her hypothesis because she found a full bottle of Ambien by my bed when she went to my hotel room.  Seems like, if I had overdosed on Ambien, the bottle would have been empty - not full.  But anyway, they treated me for drug toxicity based on what she told them and had she been honest and told them that she -suspected- it was a drug overdose but was not sure, they probably would have ultimately referred me to a neurologist who would have prescribed me with PTS and saved me from the months of pain and confusion that followed.   
My dad decided that the best way to "handle the situation" was to lower my stipend to almost nothing; consequently I never had enough money to go to a primary care physician or a neurologist or to even life comfortably.  My health insurance covered ER visits but I never had enough money to pursue any more treatment.  One one occasion I was referred to a neurologist by the ER at Laredo Medical Center and when I went to my appointment,  I didn't have the $15 co-pay.   

After living like this for months, I visited my mother in Austin and she witnessed one of these seizures.  She took me to St. David's ER in South Austin and I was diagnosed with post-traumatic seizures resulting from the traumatic brain injury I suffered when I was hit by the car.  I was prescribed medication and these episodes began to occur less and less.  The last time I had an "episode" was the day I was supposed to start my new job at a law office in Laredo, Texas.  By the time I was finally able to dress myself and go into work, I was fired on the spot for my physical appearance, arriving late, and looking totally dazed.  They'd come across some misdemeanor drug convictions when they did my background check for employment, hence, they assumed I was high or hung-over or God-knows-what.  
Consequently I had to drop out of college, move to Waco so I could take a dead-end job with my DAD, and try to "not think" about my goals and everything I worked to accomplish for such a long time.  
I forgot the name of the seizure medication I was prescribed but honestly, I took it for less than 6 months.  I recently started driving again and, although a big part of me died when I was forced to leave school, I can say I am living a somewhat normal, albeit monotonous and joyless life.  
My last seizure was in May - I think.  It is possible that I could have had seizures since then (I'm unaware of them when they are going on) but none of the signs (waking up exhausted, confusion, dizziness, etc.) are there.  I hope, I hope, I hope that chapter of my life is over.  
If anyone out there is having or has had an experience similar to mine, feel free to contact me.  I had to face these ordeals alone, with criticism and skepticism instead of support, and no one deserves to go through that.  

youare incredibly strong woman! you have just sparked something in me idk what, hope? i have had neumerous blows to head but nvr wentto er except once nevr told about this describe me totally

My ex husband was in a motorcycle accident last Friday. He is not responding. He is posturing. Not with his arms up.. And he makes random movements. I have heard he occasionally has moved to stimulus but one nurse says one thing the other another so I am sure it just isn't that frequent or they just don't know. Yesterday it was 72 hours. Don't know the future. What I have read... Posturing is not good. They say he is not in a coma. A semi coma. What's the difference. They said currently on a scale from 1 to 6. One being worse he is a little above a one. I pray the number will go up in time. It is encouraging to hear your stories. Life events We just never know. Have to rely on God. Know that he never abandons us.

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