Traumatic Brain Injury Basics

Michael Paul Mason, Brain Injury Case Manager
TBI Basics

Overview

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

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

TBI by the Numbers

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

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

A Closer Look at the Brain

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

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

Types of TBI

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

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

Treating and Living With TBI

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

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

Looking Ahead

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

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

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

Posted on BrainLine February 13, 2018. Reviewed March 27, 2019.

About the Author

Michael Paul Mason is the founding editor of This Land, a monthly magazine based in Tulsa. Mason's first book, Head Cases: Stories of Brain Injury and Its Aftermath, is an exploration into the harsh realities endured by people with brain injury. Mason's first book, Head Cases: Stories of Brain Injury and Its Aftermath, is an exploration into the harsh realities endured by brain injury survivors. While currently a brain injury projects manager at the Neurologic Rehabilitation Institute at Brookhaven Hospital, Mason continues to advocate on behalf of Americans with brain injury and is involved with several national legislative initiatives. Learn more about Michael Paul Mason >

Comments (307)

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 T-boned in Sept 2015. I had a hematoma (brain bleed) TBI as well  as my hips were dislocated.  and had double vision, headaches. After much physiotherapy , massage therapy, speech and language pathology, psychology treatments I am now back to my old self. No headaches,occasional neckache but working 40hrs per week and feeling normal again. My faith in God is what healed me. Stay positive because it will get better if you believe.

I have a brother who had a TBI 7 yrs ago and recently I've been feeling really resentful towards him and my mother for expecting too much of me. I get no thanks for helping them. Not sure where to turn I want to run away from it and never come back. Any advice would be helpful

I'm sure your brother would like to run away too. I'm sure he wishes it never happened at all.

if it was you with the injury im sure your family would help you with the emotional and physical roller coaster the injury causes suport to your brother is what you should focus on instead of resentment for the injury he wishes he never got

I was involved in car accident at age 3, this accident claimed life of my mother. I am left with disability where functions of left side are not as stable or strong as of the right side. When speaking my mouth only moves on the right side;this is so humiliating when around strangers and people feeling sorry for me I wish to change this condition. I'm 35 years old now; having to explain to my children and them being ridiculed by their friends because of me is sad.

I had brain bleed March of last year. I've been recovering well until today. I'm shaking uncontrollably on the right side. I don't feel any different except the shaking. Can anyone tell me is this normal to develop new symptoms?

Hi! I have a moderate TBI I'm recovering from. It's been 8 months and some days since everything changed. Last night I accidentally hit my head. It had a bump for a while but ice helped. I'm wondering if I should do anything about it as my 'executive thinking' might be out of order. Btw, does anyone ever fully recover? And how? Hospital I went to, other than physical therapy to walk and glasses to correct some things (so grateful for!), they did not help. I've had more help with brain building apps. Anyone else in similar place and what can be done?

I was just shot 5 month's ago by a 9mm. Was in a coma a month and I lost my right eye also, It's still in my speech but I'm ok. I should be dead but I'm still kicking. I'm a 26 year old male.

I'm sorry to hear about your TBI. I also fell down the stairs in Sept 2016 and suffered a concussion. After 2 months I felt minimal improvement and then I visited an Osteopathic practitioner. The improvement after only two visits is remarkable and I now see light at the end of the tunnel. I hope you give this a try too. And I hope it works as well for you.

I am going through these problems. I've had to relearn everything including talking and walking. Some days I feel great and like myself. I was in a coma for about a month. I feel great physically but get turned around easily in new places. My memory is good. I remember old memories pretty easily. I would like to try to drive again soon. I do understand that I'm not the same but will continue trying to make life meaningful. My spiritual life has grown tremendously. I never take life for granite anymore. I used to see something once and have it but now it make take a couple of times. I thank my mother who has been with me since day 1 and my physical therapist who pushed me to greatness and to never settle

Wow!  I can completely relate to so many of ur stories. Most particularly from the person that split her head open on concrete at a concert. It is so similar to my own story! I woke up on my garage floor bleeding everywhere. i was unconscious for 45 to 1 hour! Thank God i woke up. spent 5 days in ICU, 10 staples, seizures, on and on... I have also lost too much weight, been at my job for 21 years and fear losing it too! I also broke my back and am currently in a brace, but remind myself how lucky i am to be alive!  Also now i am experiencing ALOT of the same issues all of u have. Emotions, anger, irritable, memory and just NOT being ME... Thank you all for sharing your stories. it has helped me immensely! It helps to know i am not alone.

I completely relate to your situation.I fell down my basement steps 18 months ago landed on concrete and was knocked out.I spent a few days in the ICU and had to stop nursing school, I am 40 years old and decided to go to college and then I got the TBI.I was at the Drs a few days ago and he corrected me when I said I had a TBI with a cerebral hematoma the Dr then informed me I had 2 cerebral hematomas, I felt foolish cause I don't remember, I have lost memories of my children can not work outside my home at times I will be driving and not know where I am and I grew up in the area we live in. My children remind me of dates, what time they get out school and the list goes on.At times I mean to say one thing and something completely opposite comes out, my kids understand and I try to play it off but it really bothers me.I have good days and bad and when there are multiple things going on in a room I can not focus and get headaches.It took me 5 times to pay 1 automated bill today....I take medicine daily and see neurologist. I don't know if I will ever get better. One doctor said after 1 year, the recovery phase is over, and that's just it???

When I had my stroke in 2003, they told me that the recovery period was 6 months. I'm glad that it has increased since then. Luckily I never put much stock into what the doctors told me about what is possible. The brain has a characteristic called plasticity meaning it will adapt and change to meet the insual's needs, basically it can rewire itself making new neural pathways. Combine that with our desire to heal and we can make great improvements.
Here's a brief synopsis of my shear will and determination vs what doctor's tell us is possible. After brain surgery I was in a coma for a month or so. While I was in the coma I was fully aware of what was going on around me and what others were saying. I heard the doctor tell my father that there was a good possibility that I may never regain consciousness, and that even if I did I might be a vegetable. Okay, I did wake from that coma and wasn't a complete vegetable. After finding out that I was paralyzed on the left side of my body, I was told that I may not ever regain the use of that side -Wrong again ( I'm pleased to report). When goal setting I told myPT that I wanted to get back to lifting weights and especially to once again bench pressing over 300 lbs ( I used to compete in powerlifting). She never believed that could happen until I called her over to spot me while I attempted 300. Hearing her change her point of view was as rewarding as actually achieving the goal. My next goal to to drive again. Of course I should forget about that and that can't be fixed. My OT told me to look online since there was no therapy for my homonymous hemianopsia (where one side of my vision is affected in both eyes). I researched and didn't find much, in fact I created my own therapy. I studied the DMV requirements and worked at it until my field of vision met those requirements. After I met those I took some driver training and then road test. You know what happened? Right I got my license in 2007. The rehab facility I was accepted and lived at for 3 years also offered vocational training.
I told them that I wanted to enroll in computer training. After being tested for placement suitability I was told that I didn't have the capacity to study that and that I should consider something in either the foo service or sanitation industries. One day I went to the computer lab to ask the teacher a question about an issue I was having with my laptop. We then got to talking and I told him I wanted to be in his program. He told me that he had openings and that he'd talk to them to see if I can take the classes on a 3 month trial basis. this course was a 2 year program. Which I completed in 6 months. I became A+ certified as a computer repair technician. Not only that I was the first person from the Brain Injury Services department to ever complete the course, and in record time! Enough of the boring details of my struggles.
The takeaway here is that we are limited by our own imagination and beliefs in our abilities. Don't blindly accept what others tell you as being dogma. Each stroke is different, so there's no one size that fits all of us.
I have wondered why the doctors couldn't tell me I would never be a millionaire , I would have enjoyed proving that one wrong!
One last general message to everyone reading this; is not to expect changes to happen quickly. They may take a very long time. So it follows that looking for improvements since yesterday or last week may not be as effective as looking back 1-3 months or where you were last year this time to see how much better you actually are. You may have to learn to self-advocate as I did, but set achievable goals for yourself starting small and then getting more aggressive. Use the lonely times to work on yourself. As a child it took a year or so to learn to walk why expect it to happen in a week? Remember your not a stroke ( or Tbi) victim, you're a (insert word here) survivor!
I wish everyone the best.

Here's an example of why just one time out drinking can have some big effects. I went to the bar with some friends to decompress after a long week. We all had some beers and a few shots. Later that night, we ended up at the beach down the street. Somehow at the beach I came away with a bruise and some blood on my forehead; I don't remember exactly how it happened and no one around was watching me. None of us were blackout drunk but I have no memory of the injury or the preceeding hour or two. The next evening I was extremely nauseous, had a constant headache, and had some mild confusion. I thought I was just hungover from the previous night (even though I felt different than any previous hangover I've ever had). The symptoms continued into the next week and in some ways got worse, such as having "off" vision and balance. In addition, since then I have felt mentally slow. I have a harder time keeping up with movies and TV shows, and I feel like I have to read many things twice in order to comprehend what's written. I have a pretty constant and mild headache with pressure on both of my temples too. It's been almost two weeks but it scares me to think that any of this could be permanent.

I was in a terrible accident. Nobody will really hire me, I can hardly do any schooling it really stinks the way this has happened at the age of 18... I would love to write a story about my life because I'm pretty pathetic now...

You were given Life by GOD...See yourself as he would see you....The people that JUDGE you.....Are REALLY worse off than you, for they are sick in their soles. Take the HIGH Road....NEVER.....NEVER GIVE UP! Mental Attitude and LAUGHTER are GREAT healers, as well as, READING ! Did you know, that every time you learn something it stimulated the cells in your brain....they can GROW and you WILL GET THERE. Must be patient with yourself. a daily organizer HELPS! You are young and God made your body to repair itself in time.....try STEM CELL THERAPY OR BIOMEDS....REPAIRING your genosomes. THEY can even use just yours in many cases....God Bless You....your parents NEED to see you being strong because it rips out heart out when our children get hurt.....You are loved...Count your blessings when negative thoughts come over you. Smile...IT makes your body and you feel; better .

I relate. my sister had a granitic brain injury when she was a baby. she is not normal. she is 17 and has the mental capacity of a three year old. the kids at my school say they have it rough because they have siblings. how about you having a sister that is basically a baby in and adult body? I just wish she could have a normal life.

FYI:  Not all TBI diagnosis is from accidents. I am diagnosed with TBI and it is caused from  Neurosyphilis. It was in my system for over 10 yrs. as I never I knew I had it so did not seek treatment until it reared up yrs. later and caused TBI. Thank God a very alert neurologist did a spinal tap which it showed up on.  

Yes I can totally relate. My head went into the windshield at 45 mph. All of the safety equipment failed because the car dealer never inspected the car before he sold it. My life as I new it has for ever changed. It will never be the same. Then almost a year later I was hit by a drunk driver who had now taken any hopes of a full recovery away. Now I'm angry all the time. I hate being alone. I say things I can't control. Usually very rude. Its like I'm trapped in my head. I can't find a way out! I won't remember writing this and won't care. I had a nice life and a beautiful plan for my future. But that's all gone. I've lost everything. I live in my van now. I spent last winter I. It and no one even cares. Good luck to you.

I suffered a massive cerebral brain hemorrhage at 23 my whole life has become frustrating nightmare. I've been housebound for 21 years

I had a skull crushing blow after a drunk driver hit my mom i flew headfirst through a window my body was ran over by an old station wagon and a ford f250 ran over my head.. I have the attention span of a goldfish ... I have had migraines almost 30 years I can't sleep and when I do its not relaxing.. I'm so fatigue id give everything to feel rested.. I can get lost at times even in areas I've known my whole life!! I feel crazy at times.. I have so much pain and I try to think positive that thankfully im not the quadriplegic vegetable they said I'd be. I can be very defensive and snappy at times so I mostly keep to myself.. I avoid looking in mirrors because of my facial scars and dislopia of my eyes.. And I avoid drs. So I'll never qualify for a ssi check... Every TBI is different I hope u can overcome yours

My husband was hit in the head and few times in high school and college. In his mid 20s he was struck so hard in the head with a baseball bat. He was treated and released. Now he is in his mid 40s and I'm starting to notice changes in his behavior. He has been moody, depressed, he says he feels stuck, he is just not the same. Can somebody give me some advice. Thanks

I was shot point blank in the forehead in 1993 survived with the bullet still in my head went through 6 months of physical therapy learned to walk talk again etc... But still suffer seizures somewhat regained the use of my left arm and leg have worked on and off does anyone know of the best way to re enter the work force? I am 42 still living with my mother and tired of being a burden on her I would appreciate any advice anyone has. Matt pmatt31@gmail.com thank you in advance.

My 18 yr old son was shot point blank in the forehead... He laid in the woods, scared for 6 days and nights... I reported him missing 3 days after shooting... Another 3 days later the sheriff heard him moaning across the gravel road in woods after bringing a k9 out to search... He was conscious, severely dehydrated, paralyzed on his left side... Airlifted underwent surgery, icu for 7 days... Couldn't remove bullet from frontal lobe... Up to recovery 3 days.. Back in icu for 7 days draining excess fluids from head through spine.. I'm here by his bed at hospital as I write this.. He has some sensation and limited movement on left arm/ leg... Unable still to sit up alone for more than a few minutes, can't walk , dramatic weight loss, loss of muscle and strength... But he's a survivor, a miracle but a long road ahead.

Our prayers for your son and your family.

I'm getting emotional just talking about this. I have mild TBI . I tripped at a concert venue and fell backward on concrete and split my head open. I was out for awhile until I was brought back by the paramedics that eventually wrapped my head up to stop the bleeding. I ended up at the er where they dug bits of concrete out of my head and put 11 staples there I was kept all night for concussion observation and released the next morning. That was 5 months ago. My life is a complete hell! I still suffer from headaches,nausea,and balance problems. I was recently let go of my job that I have worked for 24 yrs. I broke my tailbone so it's hard to sit and I know I damaged my back as it hurts all of the time. I have had 2 cat scans and a chest X-ray to clarify no broken ribs. I am 56 and I have lost 30lbs from nausea and my life is not the same. Can anyone relate?

Multiple TBI survivor here. I need a more solid, pertinent support system . 

In 1998 I was ran over by an s10pickup and attained broken neck Basel skull fracture medulla oblongata severed all but a strand of hairs width. I was diagnosed with the exact injuries as Christopher Reeves. I can walk and talk write etc though. I have dizzy spells, moments of complete black out, I forget a lot short term wise. And a lot of times I do not know how to react to situations due to carelessness. And I will always try to care but a lot of times I am unable to. I was not supposed to live through the accident. Difficulty daily is very real.

I fell off a three story building 4 decades ago, my long and short term memory was bad. And also my temper and hearing. As I have gotten older my memory, temper, and hearing have gotten worse.

I ran into a glass door walking at a very fast pace. I knew something was wrong when I was becoming quite forgetful. I went to see my PCP and after a CAT scan not only did he confirm a concussion he found ano arachnid cyst at the base of my cerebellum. Two months later I had a chest cold and after one particularly hard cough I passed out in my kitchen. A visit to the hospital and an MRI later found that the cyst had increased in size and was literally tilting my brain into the front of my skull. Surgery was successful but now I'm prone to bursts of anger and I'm not the happy go lucky I used to be. Anyone out there have anything similar and if you do what steps have you taken to improve your quality of life?

My husband also hit his head on a steel beam. He was able to see his own doctor, who sent him to a neurologist. He has a TBI and is getting treatment, even though workers comp doesn't want to pay, they have to! Please get that second opinion from a doctor YOU trust! It will be in your best interest! Take care and good luck!

I need help. Can anyone give me advice? Struck my head on a steel beam in February of this year (2016), and workman's comp is dragging this out. Meantime, I saw a 'neurosurgeon', that happens to be on the company payroll, and he says nothing is wrong though he wants to test for seizures. In the meantime, I've had most of the symptoms here, and even what are possibly seizures, but still not receiving treatment. I've been told all I can do is wait, possibly get a second opinion out of pocket.

I just shaved my mohawk off because my hair hurt though, and I'm losing it over everything, I cannot handle the smallest amount of frustration. I haven't had a paycheck for almost five months now and my husband is trying to get a second job to pay for all our bills, we have nothing extra for therapy or a second opinion. Does anyone have any advice for me? Am I really stuck until workman's comp gets moving?

lydiadanea86@gmail.com Please, I need help, I see the disclaimer about medical or legal advice, but I need help.

Do have a lawyer? And did you have short/long-term disability? Apply for unemployment? Get a lawyer importantly!

talk about repeating my  self, i just read what i wrote a year ago, sorry guys, lol melissakelley

hi, my name is Melissa Kelley, maiden name Long, i was in a car accident when i was 3 yrs old, that was back in July or august of 1973, my mom, me and my stepdad was in a head on collision, we got hit broad sided, the accident knocked my mom and i unconscious on impact, i got a depressed scull fracture and a broken collar bone, unconscious for six day's, was in the hospital for a little over a month, mom got fractured ribs and a concussion, she was in the hospital for 2 days, my step dad got cut's and bruises, i had to relearn how to talk and walk, my frontal lobe was damaged but i had head surgery or i would of died, the surgeon had to laterally take my scull off of my brain and pick pieces of my scull out of my brain, i am a slow learner with cognigitive  disorder, mild depression and it has affected my life tremendsly, i tried to work but couldn't keep a job, i had no problem getting a job, it was keeping it, i tried to take care of myself financially but ended up getting on disability, made just enough work credits to qualify for disability and SSI, any way, i make friends pretty good but i'm not a big social person, i take meds to replace that chemical imbalance, without the meds, i would be so upset at times that i would cry, i enjoy life, it is precious and i stay away from people who judge me, i graduated high school with a c, cut hey at least i graduated, i am a very sensitive person and i respect all forms of life, i get mad if there is something i can't do right, but i never give up, my Momma raised me that way, she had me walk again before the hospital sent a nurse out, she knew i didn't need her any more, lol, i can't think quick enough, it takes me awhile to get to where i am trying to go when it comes to figuring something out, i don't drive but i deal with my disability in a positive way, i was above average before the accident, i was let go from jobs because i couldn't catch on in two days, and sometimes things have to be repeated to me, but over all i am glad we made it through that accident, i guess the car was so totaled that the sheriff couldn't believed we lived through it, our guardian angle was with us that day, thank you :)

Omg this sounds like me! I fell at a concert and split my head open and had staples in my head and I have not been the same since! I have no appetite and my head aches entirely! I have lost too much weight and actually my doctor has ordered another cat scan because i have hemorrhage in my left ear which was not detected a month ago in the er...

On September 29th, 2014 my stepdad got into a serious motorcycle accident. He had on all his protective gear... But the way the lady hit him, it flipped him off of his motorcycle, and the plastic/glass part broke and I think It got in his forehead. He had internal bleeding, his heart stopped beating, and he brain was swollen. He had been in the hospital since September and came back in January. He also received some serious brain damage and the part of his brain that is damaged is the part that controls his personality and he was a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PERSON when he came home. He has done some unspeakable things and his attitude is different, he used to yell at people instead of speaking to them regularly, he got angry quicker, had a short temper, etc. The person that really felt this the most is my mother. She's trying to have hope and hold on to the person that he used to be hoping that he will come back. It is now May 2016 and he is MUCH better, but he is not all the way there yet.

I suffer TBI to this day after 23 years. I was struck on the left side of my head in front of ear right under left eye. I was surprised not to hear more about memory. My short term memory has made me appear silly at times and has also been embarrassing. I definitely can relate to disruption of sleep patterns. If I can come close to sleeping at all I feel blessed. I also talk different. I was once pulled over by police and accused of drinking. My equilibrium is bad, so needless to say, I flunked sobriety test, but passed breathalyzer. My biggest loss is my creativity. I was a professional musician and songwriter. I can still function a little, but its easy to recognize that things dont flow like it used to. I have sympathy and compassion for anyone dealing with TBI. I know it changed my life and still is.

I had my TBI 30 years ago this August.  When I talk with high school students today through the PARTY (Prevent Prevent Alcohol and Risk-Related Trauma in Youth) program, I have a student ask me how long it took me to recover. When the question is posed to me, I reply with the question, "What day is it today?" When the date is given, my answer is, "I'm still recovering".

30 years ago, little of what is known today was available.  I was just lucky.  I want to help those who have not been so lucky.  Thank you for the information and research now available to us.

I am very lucky. I live alone and went to bed on a friday and woke on sunday to find I had fallen and had many injuries that did not hurt. I had been falling all over the house and had a broken arm, a large hole in my hip, and other varies injuries including a brain bleed. The doctors told me I had a large mass on my brain and I was going to die. They operated the next morning and found it was a bleed instead of a mass. I went home in three days to recover. It has been four months and the only things I notice wrong is I forget some and I am not able to do things fast. I don't know what really happened to cause the first fall. My brother was here on the Sunday when I woke up. When I woke up I was up walking. I had been up and doing things. It was as if all my lights were on but no one was home. I was seeing things that were not there. My vision was very bad. Waking up after the surgery my vision was much better but my eyeballs were jumping. That is back to normal. I was very lucky to get back to 95% in 4 months. I feel I may get back all the way to normal. I had a very good surgeon.

Hey sorry to hear that hope things will get a lot better for you I will keep u to in my prayers. I just want to how long was it before u woke up and started to kinda get back to urself? I have a cousin fighting for his life right now to that was involved in a car wreck he had swelling on his brain and bleeding. They did surgery and stop the bleeding and swelling end up going down but this the problem they're saying he's motor skills is damage and nothing else they can do. But how if he is opening up his eyes and squeeze your hand and even drop a tear I'm so confused

I was in bad car crash & i was in the hospital for 4 weeks 2 I spend on a ventilator fighting for my life an the rest in rehab . An now I'm suffering head trauma , I don't sleep for days ,I don't eat most days , I'm very depressed , I've lost friends and family . I don't wish this on anybody , this is very hard to live with I'm only 21 an life has been rough these last 2 weeks since I've been able to come home . The pain meds don't work really , I'm in pain most of my days this just all seems like a dream to me . I pray for anybody going through this an there family's .

I don't know if I have a, TBI but my husband has beat me in the head many many times !!! I have had many black eyes and other bad bumps to the head . I suffer from headaches, and I cry very easy and suffer from really bad depression !!!

Thank you for this information on TBI. I was in a Sand Truck Accident back in 1998 that busted the skin open but not the skull on the right side of my head. The doctor just stitched me up and sent me home. My Head hurt so very badly for for 6 months to the point I could not even turn my eyes or my head. I have had Chronic Daily Migraines ever since. I have just recently been diagnosed with Hemiplegic Migraines as well. Since that accident I have not even been able to work math at all and have anger outbursts that are so not me. Mixing my words up when I talk.  Could it be that I have actually been suffering from TBI and not even knowing it?

Aug 2015 had car accident 36 year old male ejected from vehicle, came crashing down, requiring brain surgery, open head wound. Lost 100% right hearing in right ear with added severe tinitus ringing in that ear. Regained myself from double eyesight, loss of taste and walking thinking. I spent 6months getting help from my Mother to use different parts of brain to thing thoughts again expand on those thoughts, remember old brain pathways to function day to day. I am 2months back at work now accountant, learned to drive again and coping best I can with all the data processing and analytics. Mostly reinventing myself, using other peoples brain to do things I can process without the added stress. The moving brain I think is a reality overlooked. I can be fine sleeping and wake up feeling like I am not fully cognizant for days, floating around, the sensation is like flying through a tunnel in space, feeling like everyone else has gravity to process the environment and my sense of it is fleeting. Its difficulty finding methods to cope, wish I had my old life ability back but this challenge is that a challenge. I don't know what tomorrow brings but I don't bank on it. I am simplifying my life finances etc. Short term memory loss a daily reality, but being very careful getting around. Keep praying for assistance in my daily routines.

My tbi was 4 yrs ago i had a subdural hematoma and crainiotomy i still suffer with headaches tracers ringing ears poor balance short term terrible memory loss irrtability chronic fatigue ect. I have found what helps me is meditation constant prayer and my love for jesus and my family. I concentrate on what i can do not what i can't do. It is literally a hour by hour day by day healing i enjoy what i can and try to stay busy and positive and rest when i need to. I'm blessed with a wonderful husband who is just happy I'm alive. May God bless anyone who is reading this. Walk with your head up and be happy you can read this. God bless c.z.

I have had my head beat in, punched, head butted to the point I have permit black eyes and my left nasal cavity is a mess... This is from 5 years of abuse... Well now I know what you call this hell in my head.,

I would like to bring to peoples attention in this country that doctors do not understand brain injury. I have suffered severe headaches dizziness collapsing brain pressure seizures and being ignored all the time. Now got a living body and a brain that is dead

Was told I'm a TBI case by the Dr today I was hit with an excavator on the construction site its been hard I'm reading educating myself to this traumatic brain injury stuff its scary how I relate to every story some more than others its scary to me and very frustrating on a daily basis I don't know how ppl have lived this for yrs or decades y'all must be strong I'm hurting everyone around me and hate life ass I type here don't know what to do my neurosurgeon I feel isn't doing the best job or doesn't work hard enough cuz I'm a workman's comp case other wards discounted its only been a month since my accident I'm forced back into work I shake uncontrollably head aches are constantly non stop lost hearing on my right side on top I jerk and shake or tremor in my sleep my back hasn't been addressed yet never had back issues before days I don't want to get out of bed and feel like saying F these drs and everyone including my job who is probably only keeping me employed cuz its the law here these ppl are so horrible when I was hit they thought it was more important to get my bosses on the job site before any one one called 911 so I remained on the floor convulsing and bleeding badly on the floor till another guy Frm another company said my coworkers were so wrong and called 911i never asked for this it wasn't my fault Sorry just want to say thks to my company sarcastically I was a single father who was going on my second yr of a awesome marriage its been upside down the past month and think I'm them too because of me and this accident I feel so broken and I don't want to be traumatic in every aspect this experience

I am 24. I was standing in a parking lot on my phone for a minute and next thing I know I woke up in the hospital. I didn't understand what happened. Everyone was crying. I first seen my new son he was about 4 months. I said hi and everyone was freak out. I talked and I was like what? My mom then said do you know me and who you are and why youre here? I said I know your my mom and I'm your son but did I get in a car wreck? Then the doctor explained it to me. He said I wouldn't wake up for three days and we weren't expecting you to be able to speak correctly or remember a lot of things. He said someone hit you in the back of your head with a car fracturing it and causing severe brain damage. I was bleeding out of both ears and spinal fluid. Long story short I don't remember me coming home. I could walk but I was really off balance. I couldn't move my right side of my face and speech was slurred. I slept for about a week straight and realized I needed to start fighting this. I'm a very strong person mentally. I fought and fought and fought. I got everything back to normal in about 2 months. Physically I lost my right hearing and I have horrible headaches. I hear ringing all the time. Still it's over whelming when I'm trying to be with my son and it hurts so bad just to hear him cry. I can't handle it and gives so much anxiety when this happens. It made me anti social. I'm always saying it's going to get better then I fail again and I hate myself. It's really shifty. I cry because I still can't handle hearing loud stuff. I want my son like used to play all day with him. Now I get flustered and that's not me and it's just mentally challenging. I then turned to alcohol to stop thinking. It just caused me alot of suffering mentally. I'm still dealing with this but I am fighting it for my son and I won't stop. I hope everyone recovers from your injury just don't give up stay positive.

Pages