Lost & Found: What Brain Injury Survivors Want You to Know

Barbara J. Webster, Lash & Associates
Lost & Found: What Brain Injury Survivors Want You to Know

I need a lot more rest than I used to. I’m not being lazy. I get physical fatigue as well as a “brain fatigue.” It is very difficult and tiring for my brain to think, process, and organize. Fatigue makes it even harder to think.

My stamina fluctuates, even though I may look good or “all better” on the outside. Cognition is a fragile function for a brain injury survivor. Some days are better than others. Pushing too hard usually leads to setbacks, sometimes to illness.

Brain injury rehabilitation takes a very long time; it is usually measured in years. It continues long after formal rehabilitation has ended. Please resist expecting me to be who I was, even though I look better.

I am not being difficult if I resist social situations. Crowds, confusion, and loud sounds quickly overload my brain, it doesn’t filter sounds as well as it used to. Limiting my exposure is a coping strategy, not a behavioral problem.

If there is more than one person talking, I may seem uninterested in the conversation. That is because I have trouble following all the different “lines” of discussion. It is exhausting to keep trying to piece it all together. I’m not dumb or rude; my brain is getting overloaded!

If we are talking and I tell you that I need to stop, I need to stop NOW! And it is not because I’m avoiding the subject, it’s just that I need time to process our discussion and “take a break” from all the thinking. Later I will be able to rejoin the conversation and really be present for the subject and for you.

Try to notice the circumstances if a behavior problem arises. “Behavior problems” are often an indication of my inability to cope with a specific situation and not a mental health issue. I may be frustrated, in pain, overtired or there may be too much confusion or noise for my brain to filter.

Patience is the best gift you can give me. It allows me to work deliberately and at my own pace, allowing me to rebuild pathways in my brain. Rushing and multi-tasking inhibit cognition.

Please listen to me with patience. Try not to interrupt. Allow me to find my words and follow my thoughts. It will help me rebuild my language skills.

Please have patience with my memory. Know that not remembering does not mean that I don’t care.

Please don’t be condescending or talk to me like I am a child. I’m not stupid, my brain is injured and it doesn’t work as well as it used to. Try to think of me as if my brain were in a cast.

If I seem “rigid,” needing to do tasks the same way all the time; it is because I am retraining my brain. It’s like learning main roads before you can learn the shortcuts. Repeating tasks in the same sequence is a rehabilitation strategy.

If I seem “stuck,” my brain may be stuck in the processing of information. Coaching me, suggesting other options or asking what you can do to help may help me figure it out. Taking over and doing it for me will not be constructive and it will make me feel inadequate. (It may also be an indication that I need to take a break.)

You may not be able to help me do something if helping requires me to frequently interrupt what I am doing to give you directives. I work best on my own, one step at a time and at my own pace.

If I repeat actions, like checking to see if the doors are locked or the stove is turned off, it may seem like I have OCD — obsessive-compulsive disorder — but I may not. It may be that I am having trouble registering what I am doing in my brain. Repetitions enhance memory. (It can also be a cue that I need to stop and rest.)

If I seem sensitive, it could be emotional lability as a result of the injury or it may be a reflection of the extraordinary effort it takes to do things now. Tasks that used to feel “automatic” and take minimal effort, now take much longer, require the implementation of numerous strategies and are huge accomplishments for me.

We need cheerleaders now, as we start over, just like children do when they are growing up. Please help me and encourage all efforts. Please don’t be negative or critical. I am doing the best I can.

Don’t confuse Hope for Denial. We are learning more and more about the amazing brain and there are remarkable stories about healing in the news every day. No one can know for certain what our potential is. We need Hope to be able to employ the many, many coping mechanisms, accommodations and strategies needed to navigate our new lives. Everything single thing in our lives is extraordinarily difficult for us now. It would be easy to give up without Hope.

Posted on BrainLine July 28, 2011

Excerpted from Lost & Found: A Survivor's Guide for Reconstructing Life After a Brain Injury by Barbara J. Webster. © 20ll by Lash & Associates Publishing/Training Inc. Used with permission. Click here for more information about the book.


Don't give up! Find people who understand. Have you tried a support group for brain injury survivors? There is a Brain Injury Association in most states with lists of support groups.


Hi, being around children was one of the hardest things for me to handle and at the same time one of the most important things for me to be able to handle after my brain injury - and I only had one young son! The noise and confusion and immediate attention children bring are incompatible with healing from a brain injury.

From my experience, anger after a brain injury usually comes from frustration and/or overload at not being able to handle the situation or do what I want to do or used to be able to do.

My son was 8 and talking to him about my difficulties helped him understand but I needed as much help as I could get for awhile. My husband had to take over and spend alot of time with him on weekends. During the week I tried to do whatever I needed to do when I was alone in the house and then be sure to take a rest break/nap before my son got home from school so I could limit my focus to his needs. Camp was a life saver during the summer.

I missed alot but gradually I was able to participate in more and more family activities. Remember you are healing and you need rest to heal, even if you can't see a wound. If you were a marathon runner and you broke your leg, you wouldn't be able to run a marathon right after you broke your leg. We parents especially, run marathons in our brains all of the time. After a brain injury, you need to rest it, just like a broken leg.

I hope this is helpful,

Support Groups are wonderful resources. There are Brain Injury Associations in most states. Contact them for information and support group listings.

BIAA - Texas Division

PO Box 95234
Grapevine, TX 76099-9752

Info Line: 800-444-6443
Toll-Free: 800-444-6443
Phone: 703-761-0750 x642
Fax: 703-761-0755

E-mail: BIAA-TX@biausa.org.

Website: http://www.biausa.org/Texas/index.htm

Texas Division Coordinator: William Dane

I hope this is helpful,

I am SO sorry for the life that you have had to endure! I truly hope that the rest of your life, you find happiness and solice for yourself!!
Yours Truly,

My boyfriend of 3 years had two strokes at 52 years old. We were living together. He is not the same person. Says he doesn't love me anymore.. why does this happen? So he's moving out to live in his parents downstairs apt. He can't walk and needs help with things. I have been his caregiver for 10 months now. I cry everyday, It's like he died. I'm trying to understand all this but it's very painful

I need help. It has been 30 years I've run from my TBI. I have had many breakdowns I started learning about the real effects of my brain injury 2 years ago. I have tried to teach and tell family, they just don't care. It's hard to explain you are never sure and second guess yourself all the time. That what is simple to them like choices is very hard for you. You are told you look fine explaining what happens to you all the time you hear that happens to me too or everyone loses train of thought, or I have to nap to... It's fustrating because they really don't get it. They compare themselves to you yet have no clue that in your head is like scribble signs. I'm sick it seems as soon as I get back up -maybe body gives out on me. Everyone thinks I haven't tried in life. My daughter says I need to get over my TBI and I've tried for 30 years not realizing t its a forever thing. I find as the years have gone on my body has broke down each time it's harder to get back up. I've been homeless and abused. I'm alone all the time because I just no longer trust people. I feel like it doesn't matter if I exist or not no one will miss me. My family doesn't want me around. I'm just a bad memory for my mother 2 out of 3 sisters barely talk to me. My brothers one is to busy and the other as also suffers from a TBI no one has taken the time to understand either of us. We both feel the rejection.
I just want to say to family of TBI Survivors you matter in how your family member heals. Remember they didn't ask for the brain injury it happened to them. They are navigating through a storm with a broken compass Be the light giving them direction to reassure them love, safety, and give them a place to call home in your heart. Don't leave them behind they already feel stuck and have low self-esteem because of the BI. Those of you who are care takers God Bless you. You are the reason that person will succeed. Those of you who have shut your door or can't be bothered shame on you, what if you were that family member? Where ever they are lacking instead of talking about them help them guide them and watch them fly.- everyone needs someone.

I am going through the very samething since September 2014.
Thank you for sharing you experience.

It's been 13 years since my TBI and I think now things are starting to happen with me. My bone flap was left in due to being absorption and a cap was made to cover the wound. I'm experiencing things now and wonder of the pieces of the flap may be contributing to my problems.
Anything would help right now.

I wish you and your wife all the best! This can be very hard on a marriage. I had my TBI and neck injury two years ago. My doctors are trying to tell me that the pain I feel is FMS. If that is what your wife suffers from, then my prayers go out to her. But, I also know what TBI is like and how life changing it can be, with no light at the end of the tunnel, so my prayers go out to you. I always thought I would be the care giving in our marriage. Now both me and my husband have out issues. It is very intentional to some day just stay out of each others way and I don't mean that in a bad way but it a way that relieve any stress that can be more damaging to our health. I don't take anything personal and neither does he! We try to do one "little" thing a day to say I love you. Like, he like smoothies so I make him a smoothie. I actually find it take my mind off of my own pain!!! And he does the same for me, just something very small! Don't allow this to ruin your marriage, it's already ruin everything else, right? Loneliness will only make things worse! I pray for you and your wife!

Sorry to hear about your situation, I am 56 yrs old and 2 yrs into my TBI with whiplash. I suffer daily with pain and it worsens each month. I will not take narcotics as I don't believe they do much good but I do find some comfort in exercise especially yoga. My doctors have tried a few medications for the nerve pain but my nervous systems doesn't seem to take to them and I end up feeling worse. So, I am trying to find the new me and learn to live with "her". This is hard for me so I imagine it will be even harder for our families. Your daughter will love you always and we don't have to forget who we were, in fact we should celebrate it and be proud! Be strong and take every day for what it is.

Great article. Very to the point for all of us who have suffered a tbi... Hugs to all of you!!!

I feel so jealous that most of the posters are doing so much better than my son. He had a subdural hematoma that required 3 surgeries. He was in a coma/vegetative state for 7 months.

He is still unable to walk. He is incontinent. He has a memory span of about 8 minutes. Every 8 minutes, he forgets what he has been doing and saying. He has difficulty with expressive speech.

The upside is that he understands that he was severely injured and that he is much better than he was 5 years ago. He is always happy and isn't angry. When we talk about this he is always saying, that yes he got hurt but he is slowly getting better. He doesn't give up.

There aren't many articles or postings about those who are this severe. Maybe others seeing this post may see that although the struggle is very real, that others are struggling even more.

Keep fighting!


Response to the nurse inquiry about ear plugs. Many use them or noise canceling head phones. It helps some, but not enough. Nothing totally blocks and that is what is needed. Usually the visual stimulation is Also bad so dark quiet rooms are best for me

Thank You for having what it takes to publish this article. I can attest to every single symptom that you have mentioned. With a head injury at age 12, and no evidence of long term damage until I turned 18, it was then that I started having absent seizures for 23 years. On Oct. 27th, 2007, I underwent a right temporal lobectomy to cure the problem successfully. I was operable ONLY because the only sense on that sick of my brain was my short term memory. However, with a bruised brain and returning to work in a mere 6 weeks, it seemed as if it took forever to completely heal from the whole circumstances. I can honestly say that You and Only You will realize the genuine problems that you have, as you are the one dealing with them. Some people, especially family, could not and still can not deal with Who I became after the operation. I still work a full time job ten years later, and will NEVER FORGET Those Individuals that Stood By me and Helped me Realize that there WAS Going to be a Better Tomorrow.

People say that I am slow I can do things as fast as other people I had a hard time understanding thing but I can do it don't let people talk down on Outer people with the same promble I have.

Hi everyone I suffered from a head on Collision while riding my bike from my wife's house when we started dating and God bless her she has stuck by my side for over 9 years we started dating in February of 08 my accident was in may of 08 and God bless her she has stayed by my side through everything and I know I've not been easy and now after reading this Im fillaly breaking down to get help all the doctor's I've seen all they want to do is shove pills down my throat cause I'm not just dealing with a little bit of short term memory loss and a bit of long term as well but that's not the main issue it's my anger cause I'm getting frustrated with my self over simple instructions as well as compression as well I'm mean my comprehension was off a little before cause of me being ADHD but now since the accident it's worse I'm needing help cause over the years my beautiful wife also blesses me with three kids there ages are 8 6 and 4 and I really need support and help.

Thank you and god bless

Hi I myself suffered from a head injury may 28th 2008 I suffer from some short and long term memory loss as well as far as I've been told I get angry more often as well and I've noticed here lately at work it's harder to comprehend what I'm doing after a a week or two I can remember its very frustrating cause I'm 30 now with three kids they are 8 6 and 4 and I don't want them to think that the way I get angry so quickly is ok I'm trying to seek help and all these therapist want to do is shove pills down my throat and make me evan more useless to my family please I need help any advice will be helpful

This is an excellent article.

I'd love to know of a support group here in Houston, Texas. My husband had cardiac arrest May 6th resulting in anoxic brain injury. Saturday will be 9 weeks - 3.5 weeks in the hospital & the balance in a neuro rehab/medical facility. Next week they remove the trach, and the following week he goes to an intensive neuro rehab facility.

It's so brutal to watch the expressions of full comprehension, cognitive & memory on his face, but his inability (at this time) to speak, chew, swallow or move his limbs on command. I see the frustration in his expressions, but also his sheer determination to give his all in each of the morning rehab sessions. So I'm completely proud of his achievements relative to what I'm being told others have achieved at this point - which is 3-4 weeks ahead in some areas, and a year ahead in others.

I got pushed in front of a car when I was six. I'm now 28, it just isn't easy for me growing up in a world where people look at you as a disease. I had a bad childhood and upbringing. The world is a hard place when people don't accept you. I live in Brecon Wales and growing up has been hard for me, iv been in foster care system and I'm still trying to build my life up. But it's hard when people don't accept your problems!
I agree totally with this article. My daughter had her AVM treated 3 years ago and even tho she has no physical problems, she does have some of the problems noted in the article, especially the fatigue. I am very proud of her, continuing to work as a nurse with a hard job and crazy hours.
Hi, I've just read your article about your daughter and my story might help. I had just graduated from Kingston as a Geologist in 1986 when I suffered a TBI from a car crash. I recovered physically quite quickly but was left with depression and tendency to become mentally ill when stressed. I learned strategies from physiotherapy, occupational therapy and through my own research about head injuries. I became a primary school teacher! I found I could help and inspire kids and because I used my participation in sport for recovery. I'm not saying that your daughter should teach but what I am saying is tell her not to underestimate her brains power to heal.

Help!!! My husband was severely injured in an auto accident. He will never be the same, physically, emotionally, or in any way. The physical injuries are so difficult and so is the pain. but even worse is that everything he ever loved doing is no longer possible. Things that he did for decades are now so frustrating that they lead to temper flares. He loves to work in his wood shop but it is so frustrating he is ready to give it up. I don't know how to help, encouragement makes it worse, is there help to bring him back????

Hi all survivors & angels helping encouraging. I was in a car accident with my brother I was 18 my brother 19 we were hit by a drunk driver going 80 miles an hr my side of the car . We were both ejected thrown into the highway. A truck driver stopped pulled me out , my brother was not so fortunate he was hit by some vehicles. Our accident my the front page of the newspaper, was very insensitive of them to mention after my brother was hit his body sat up . I am 51 yrs old now I spent alot of yrs in denial trying to be like everyone else it's getting harder to do. I don't feel people really understand me some try to make me feel stupid mental or lazy . It's very hard very lonely thank you for this site it's so nice to read about others that have the same struggles. People can be very cruel that's been hell for me
My roommate is a TBI Survivor. He is 35 years old and did not disclose this until after I moved in. He is quiet and accommodating; however, he early follows up with things that need attention around the house. He is completely unmotivated to do nearly anything besides watch TV. He looks lost and depressed. He has a full time job and owns two vehicles plus the condo we both love in. Lucky for me I have my own bathroom and my bedroom and bathroom ha s locks on both doors. He's not scary but his dispondence can be slightly outputting. He complains how unhappy he is but doesn't do anything. I'm not familiar with THIS survivors so I would give him a huge pep talk. Being a former teacher of special needs children with emotional difficulties, I felt his hesitancy was mental- and emotional-based rather than TBI. My heart breaks that I missed the "boat" on this one. I never knew TBI was so debilitating. Now I have to decide if I should move out or stay. I have to "put up with" some blinds installed and some blind's not installed and an air conditioner that is in desperate need of being serviced. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks...
When i hear you talk about her it blows me away!! I have a tbi from a fall and i am 56 and when you mention depression.....it is so surreal..In my case i had a fall so i messed up my head and my back...And the pain is horrible for most..I refuse narcotics for pain so i guess that is why i feel depression,hopeless and wish i could work at my same job that i did for 24 yrs..Just keep an eye on her and find the best help for her problems...i wish you peace..I have 2 daughters myself and they miss whom i was...hard times

All of you are talking about brain injury but you write so eloquently.  It's an inspiration really.  I wish the best for all of you.

This is so helpful! I was afraid that I am being ridiculously difficult, but I am normal. Sometimes I want a counselor to talk to, but I don't feel like they even get it. I want to communicate with someone who can understand that things just aren't as clean cut as they were before for me. I feel so alone
I'm reading these stories and I can relate. I got a severe TBI October of last year in 2016. I was out one night, had way too much to drink(which I shouldn't of been doing in the first place) and decided to go for a walk on the road because I needed some fresh air (which I don't get because there's a sidewalk along the road) and was hit by a car because it was nighttime. I had multiple other injuries but those have healed or at the end of healing but TBI has been the hardest. I walk with a hemi walker and a little assistance from other people but I'm having difficulty with my left arm. It doesn't move. I had damage on the right hemisphere so my left side is physically effected I do stretch the muscles in physical therapy. I start a program that will work my brain and whatever I can. It includes physical, occupational, and speech therapy. I'm just really hoping and praying that my left arm will be able to move again.
I was in a car crash and suffered a brain haemorrhage last year. I think I got off very lightly although suffer from all the symptoms in this feature. What I wanted to ask: is anyone else suffered a change in their sensory feedback? I used to love music and salivate over yummy food when it was talked about but now although I like both still I seem to have lost a jigsaw piece where I feel a bit removed. It's actually upsetting more than the other stuff as I feel I don't enjoy anything fully with this aspect of the distraction. I would love to hear if anyone else has experienced this and if it improves. X Rebecca
Just found site. Thank you, thank you, thank you! TBI survivor. San Antonio

All i can say is thank you. My daughter suffered a TBI January 8, 2015. Some driver ran s stop sign and hit her broadside. It totally changed her life and my life forever. Some times are extremely difficult dealing with her negativity, grumpiness, argumentivenes, seemingly total personality change. She seems sad all the time and constantly overwhelmed. I want the best for her. She is completing her junior year at Manchester but now uncertain if she wants to continue or do the career she is studying for. I told her it would be best if she completed her degree then do whatever she wants, even if it is not in her chosen educational field. I just want what is best for her. Your article at least helps me with some sound advice on communicating with my daughter. Thank you so much. Would love to read more. God bless.

Great worldwide group Stroke Survivor's closed group with 12k members. We all are in the same boat and yes we need support. If your reading this article you probably had a stroke or know someone that did. We are encouraged to tell are story, to ask questions or just to say we're having a good or bad day. https://www.facebook.com/groups/573759576077398/

I am a registered nurse who suffered a fall in 2007. i suffer from neck injuries and was diagnosed to have traumatic brain injury. like all others suffering from TBI, I have cognitive problems..forgetful, lost of focus and comprehension is too slow, and very sleepy at times and variable moods..short tempered...nothing really change that is noticeable to others..except the fact that I tend to grope for the right word to say and get lost at the middle of a sentence or just suddenly could not remember what I wanted to get or do..repeatly say the same story and sometimes I get so frustrated and lost. All these years I have been trying to join a group of people in my place who suffer from TBI and to be of help too if only to give me a better understanding of the changes in me and to help others cope up psychologically and spiritually to the effects of TBI.

This article is really great. I had a TBI about 3 years ago due to a ladder accident.  My wife has had Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) for over 20 years.  Since the accident, my wife feels that I have changed.  Her FMS has pretty much exhausted any patience she had.  I showed her this article, but the points about being positive and having patience seem to be undoable for her.  I have been patient with her FMS for many years, but I think that it may not be a two-way street.  Since the accident we have gone to two different family therapists, but both pointed to things she was doing that were problematic to the relationship and she got mad and refused to continue.  I hope this is not what the rest of you encounter.  I hope this is not representative of the rest of you.  The points in this article, if they can be followed by family, can help in the recovery process.  I wish  you all a happy / successful recovery.

How do you deal with a person who has a TBI and drinks himself into wonikers? Came back from his original injury and proceeded to become the alcoholic he was before. How do you deal with a person who has thrown his life away and yet still desires the very poison that rendered him unable to think past five seconds.

I am grateful for all of this info....I had a TBI from getting hit by a car (3 skull fractures, permanent brain damage). I feel misunderstood daily, frustrated mostly...my memory is shitty and 'm very angry that I get to pay the price of a distracted irresponsible driver while I was walking.

I am not a TBI survivor, I am merely a nurse researching for my Masters.  I have read a few comments about noise being overwhelming, has anyone tried using earplugs?  Just a thought, I wish you all well.

OMG. You just don't described what I going through.

Sorry Denny. It sounds like you have a lot to deal with. Sending you prayers and hugs.

The contusion of my brain resulted from a head-on automobile accident in 1975. The amnesia improved over the years but I occasionally have trouble with vocabulary recall, especially when tired. Severe double vision has improved somewhat after a total of 6 eye muscle surgeries, I have pretty good functional vision but read only with one eye at a time. The normal visual fusion reflex is gone and with it is stereoscopic, binocular vision. Still I completed a Master of Science degree in 1988 and will retire from a profession as a dietitian in a few years. I couldn't fly a plane but I did ride a motorcycle for years and still ride a bicycle and drive. I'm happily married to a nurse practitioner and I'm doing alright.

Am 31 and i had my concussion almost a year ago. Somebody hit me on my head i cant recall who it is. I had black out for more than 2 1/5 hr. when i woke up i was totally disoriented. I went to the doctor though they discharged me saying i have to rest after MRI and CT scans but the left part from my breast down is till now slightly numb. No headaches, at list non that i can remember but my eyes were seeing individually for the first week. My right hand and leg was very weak that i could not raise my hand and walking was hard that i have to walk slowly and make small steps else i will fall and my left ear was ringing really hard. I could not speak and make any sound loud. But it has all reduced now slowly, my ear still rings but not like before, i can speak just few words. I limb while walking now and my arm is still week i have to apply force or strength to do things and i my fingers shakes too. I want to know, am i alone on this? how long will it take me and will any of above mentioned symptom be permanent?

How long did yalls last for before y'all healed?

I'm exactly on that. How long did it take you to heal completely? It's hard to not have any electronics. Also, hard to be the oldest and have to go to bed 2 hours earlier than everyone else. 

I can relate to parts of so many stories on here, Denny especially. I was never actually told I have this but I do. Two and a half years ago I was backed into in parking lot and saw it coming. I have had short term memory loss and issues with different brain functions. In May of 2016 I was in two accidents that were twelve days apart. The first one happened as my daughter and I were stopped behind someone. We were struck from behind and pushed into the car in front of us. Twelve days later I was traveling with my husband at 55 mph when someone pulled out in our path. We ended up t-boning him. Along with all of my memory problems, I have difficulty speaking. I lose track of what I'm saying if interrupted, I can't fin words at times either. I suffer with headaches on the daily and neck pain. The neurosurgeon is conservatively trying to help my pain but I fear my memory issues are permanent. Reading everyone else's stories helps. My family doesn't get that these issues are what have changed me so much. I've gotten the comments too about how I look like I'm fine. The pain I deal with daily and accept. The hard part is the brain issues and no one understands what I'm dealing with. Thank you for letting me get my stuff out there. God luck to us all.

This is my last comment. Wife just told me filing for Divorce. Guess idea of being a caretaker not something she wants to take on. I still do everything myself. Just takes longer so not at that point yet. Cant get help cause have no insurance. I hope you all get better and keep up the good fight. CTE means I wont get better but I will continue to fight. Not much else to say. Good luck to you all.  Denny

Hi I have a tbi, from an assault at a bar in April 2008! My frontal lobe on the right side of head is dead, and the entire right side of my head is titanium mesh! I've been on disability for going on 7 yrs. Because they can't seem to get my seizures under control, but I totally agree with Denny about waking up THE MORNINGS HAVE BEEN HELL EVERY MORNING FOR A LONG TIME! !! Between the physical pain, and another thing he said "just trying to face another day like this"! This is also the first time I have reached out to try and talk about my injury! Good luck and God bless to all my surviving brothers and sisters out there! I look forward to meeting other survivors ,and learning as much as I can from others who have been living with this silent disease, Im so sick of hearing from others "you look fine to me!" lol if they could only live a day in my head... being trapped in your own damaged head day in and day out really is hard!

Since my last post things have kinda gone to crap. Was told to go to Emergency room at neuro clinic so I can be referred for treatment. Let this be a lesson to somewhere out there. Learn from this what u will cause i cant advise u on how to proceed........ I printed off email from BIA with instructions of where to go and what to do. I go to ER, fifth floor like told. Could not find correct dept. Someone was nice enough to show me. Get there and they say first floor. They walk me down there. By this time My brain is close to going into safe mode as I call it. I get to that window and they try sending me back from where I just came from. at this point was very upset and couldn't find the words to tell them what i needed. I broke down. Was told to write down my concussion history and my symptoms prior to show doctor. I did. I couldn't speak clearly at this point show just gave the nurse the sheet like I was told. She got to the suicidal part and it was game over for me. In came security guard and was taken to a private room under guard. They took my cell phone before I could get a text off cause no one knew I was there. It was the longest 4 hours of my life. Nurse came in to take blood. Asked her to tell me honestly if I was leaving today. She said she did not know and neurologist and psychiatrist would be coming in to evaluate me. They hooked me up to machines. Put me in a tube then back into room with guard. I looked around for something to hit the guard with so I could run but everything was screwed to the walls. And i didn't know where my truck was so I just tried to stay still while I was flipping out inside. Finally psychiatrist came in and convinced her I was going to kill myself today. They let me go on a PTA at their psychiatry office so I agreed. Gave me a script for 2 weeks of sleeping pills cause hadn't slept in a long time. well here it is 2:37am. This is what happens when I miss one. Too long of a story short; tried to make appointment like they said no appointment without insurance. That means no more sleeping pills, no referral for therapy and a bill with 7 types of tests that I know I cant afford. So if anything I'm worse off. Take from this what u will. 


To Denny,

I say prayers for you Denny. Please don't give up. I am not a TBI survivor, but my tall,good looking, fun loving 23 year old son was a victim of an assault in July of 2016 and suffered a severe TBI. I think I have an small inkling of your suffering. I see it in my sons eyes,hear it in his voice,in his walk, in his actions,when he's sleeping-which is unpredictable..He tries to be brave,I know he still has headaches..I get them too...sympathy pain.. the surgery scars, the waiting for justice for the assailant, the trying to work, the trying to be 23 again,the loss of friends...that don't get it, tired of going to therapists and doctors, tired of being tired.

You had a big impact on me when I read your post several times over the last few days. Think about going back to your chair again and you just might make a difference to one more person. Hence..here is the Starfish Story...

One night, on a sandy beach, a terrible storm started. It rained. The wind blew so hard that it shook the houses along the beach. The next morning was foggy and gloomy. Many starfish had washed up on the beach. A man named Buck walked out on the beach to look around. Peering into the mist he saw a young man walking along the beach. He was tall and slender. Buck saw him throwing starfish back into the ocean. Buck walked up to him and said, "Why are you throwing those starfish back into the ocean? They'll just wash back up on the beach again. It doesn't matter." Without a word the young man bent over, picked up a starfish, and threw it with all his might. It went way out in the ocean. The young man turned to Buck and said, "It mattered to that one."

 Author: unknown

Ms. C.

I had my first TBI survival meeting last night since finding out I have CTE. Traveled a long way because I can't seek help in my state.  I took up most of the meeting since I was new. It was good to be with people who understand. As everyone spoke I asked how they got there because I did not know. I was impressed by a girl who had a stroke. Nice girl. Her husband was there and very supportive. She is lucky in that. She works real hard. As they went around, I asked. One hit a telephone pole. Another hit his head on a pole. Done that more than once. I wondered how I made it this far. Was impressed with them all. It was good. Look forward to going again. Unfortunately, only once a month so found another; also out of state also. On the way home, I tried to figure out where I fit there. The only thing I got is they will get better and I will not. So someday, my chair will be empty. Hopefully theirs too but for better reasons.

I woke up in morning feeling like I just came off a bender; just like every other morning. I strangely remember those bender days or at least that feeling. I no longer drink because of control issues. I do things without thinking. They always seem to turn out bad. While laying in bed, trying to get up, I just thought, “I don’t want to go through this anymore.” Then I got it; the reason a lot of us commit suicide is not depression at all like I thought. It’s not wanting another day being like this. At least as I see it. I don’t know if that makes sense to anyone. I don’t know if that helps anyone understand.

Mornings I guess are the most emotional for me. But I finally get up, g to my computer and read the note I left the night before telling me what today is and what I have to do.  I started by putting what I did the day before but stopped. It’s like 50 first dates accept no date.

I forgot where I was going with this so I guess I should stop now. Sad. Only thing I have to talk to is a laptop that doesn’t talk back. Good listener though. Wish you all the best and don’t give up hope.



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