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.

Hello. Well thank gosh you are alive after a plane crash. It’s been one and a half years for me and I have very similar issues... no longer do I enjoy people as I did and it is much easier to “erase” them from my brain. I get irritable and hear ringing in the ears all the time. I get scared a lot that CSF is building...: severe pressure on the brain. Stress has everything to do with it. Stay strong

I literally thought my husband basically wrote this minus the airplane part.
His TBI has been so dismantling and so complex and we are all still learning how to naivigate through each day. May your family stay as strong as you are forced to be and that you all learn how to cope with the harder parts of all of this and are able to celebrate all the parts that you’ve overcome and that are more realatable to how your brain interpreted life and information prior to your accident.
I am so sorry that you have to go through all of this .

Thank you for sharing this. My accident was 11 yrs ago and your story could be my story except for the wife and children part. I haven't had any ongoing therapy or help from anyone. I haven't given up but I want more than anything to just live alone and be responsible for only me. I think in the right environment I could build a small happy life for myself. I am so tired of defending and explaining myself. It's gotten to the point that I feel like meeting new people I have to give a speech that explains me. Sort of like a disclaimer. I live in a small town and I feel like I'm constantly being judged. I'm 50 yrs old and I want a clean slate.

You are sooooo right.. I wish I knew something different to do :( tbi's are hell!! It's been a year and I still just wanna get better

My son 4 years is still in recovery after 2 weeks of coma fall of 15 Ft ,, two months are over and can’t get talk or feel us or walk or see us well he is like half died now ...

In March it will be four years since I had my accident. From what they tell me, during the night I was in the kitchen and must have fallen and hit the lower left side of the back of my head on the granite corner of the island I hit hard and my brain bounced back and forth a couple of times.

My wife was told I would most likely die from my TBI. I was out for several weeks, then in recovery for almost a month then therapy for months. It was a miracle that I came out with really no visible signs of my TBI.

I walk, talk and remember all from before, but nothing for months afterward. Inside is different. HORRIBLE headaches day and night all the time and other headaches in the back where I hit my head, my neck is in constant pain, and all down my spine. I no longer have any smell at all. My tastes are about half of what they were.

I have really bad short term memory. My wife tells me to take out the trash, and I say OK, she comes back in an hour and says did you take it out? My answer is YES, but I didn't. When I have something to do, or hear something, my brain, says OK all done and it files it away and I am over with it. It happens all day long. I ask my wife where is ???? she says I told you twice and I say I still don't know where it is. It's so hard on my wife all day with me.

I used to read lots of books. I haven't read one in 4 years, but I still buy them wanting to read them. I can read SHORT articles on the internet all day long, but if I pick up a book it almost terrorizes me to think I have that much to do and I put it down. I want to read more, but I stick with Readers Digest type of things. Never read all of an article, just enough to know what it is about.

I hate loud noise. I love my Grandkids but I can't stay in the room when they are having fun or I just want to run and hide. I have been a gardener all my life and taught it but now it is days to a week before I even go out and water. I feel bad but just can't do it. I get up all excited about doing something but then sit in my recliner all day and watch what ever comes up on TV.  I don't care.

I am on an antidepressant but it gives me lots of side effects, Effexor generic. I want to change but no one knows what would be better. Sometimes  I wish that the accident had just killed me, but I never EVER think of suicide. I am 73 yrs old so I have all of the aging to add to what I have.

I try to make each day a new day, but at times it seems almost too hard to keep going, but I won't give up, I love my wife and kids too much to leave them now But it is hard sometimes. I hope some of you understand as not many people do , and they just think you are weird or way out there. Thanks

I hit my head very hard on the road when I was about 6 years old. I wasn’t showing any symptoms of immediate issues (such as a concussion) so I wasn’t brought to a hospital. Now, years later after having many restless nights and having dropped out of school for cognitive dysfunction problems, I decided to look up if that hit on my head was maybe worse than was originally thought. I’m now worndering if maybe I could get tested to see if my issues are a conglomeration of bad luck, or maybe it’s all related to when I hit my head.

My son at 11 was hurt playing football. He had a TBI knocked his brain to 30%. We oushed forward and treated it with Dr’s. He is ok for the most part but we 6 years later are now experiencing massive headache, trouble sleeping, dizzy spells,gets angry very fast, short term memory loss, doesn’t want to work or go to school, now we have to go back to the drs
I believe your brain never truly heals. And its a shame their should be some kind of help for people with brain injuries. He will be 18 in 5 months and no way he can work and maintain adult life. But social security said he is not disabled.. so what can I do??

Dearest Rebecca,
Oh, the heart of a mother. We love our children with our whole hearts and do everything in our power to nourish them, guide them and help them to grow into responsible, productive and compassionate people...then along comes life, which forces us to deal with the most unimaginable circumstances. My heart and prayers go out to you, for I have experienced your pain.

Perhaps my words can be those of encouragement and hope.
When my daughter was only 6 years of age, she was a passenger in my friend's car when they were hit head-on by a drunk driver. She was knocked out immediately and had bleeds throughout her entire brain....she remained in an induced coma for nearly three weeks. She received a treatment which basically froze her brain (neuro cryogenics), and when they brought her out of the coma, she faced many challenges for many years. She had to learn how to walk, talk and feed herself again.

She tired easily, had difficulty focusing in school, and for a time, she had a rough time with friendships. She suffered terribly with headaches and vomiting for 10 more years after the accident. (She had some intestinal injuries that were diagnosed and then she had surgery to repair/remove some damaged and scarred intestine, so she no longer has to deal with the vomiting).

While in school, it took her longer to complete assignments and tests in class, so the school gave her extra time. She struggled with school, but she did it anyway. I encourage you to take your son to a Junior College and have him sit down with a counselor and plan out the courses he needs to take for his Associates Degree. Regardless of what he wants to do (or not do at this time in his life), this degree is the foundation of ALL careers, and the classes are the same regardless of your career choice.

Because of his head injury, you can get a note from your Physician and sign him up at college through the DSPS office and he will get "1st Pick" of courses!!! This is HUGE because there are waiting lists a mile long for most classes.

Regardless of how he's feeling, if he has a headache, or if he's angry, teach him to be a successful person by overcoming his adversities in life. It's hard to watch your kids suffer, I know.

We did this for our daughter, and she didn't always like her classes, or professors, or the school, but we didn't give her a choice. She received her list of classes from her counselor, and as she finished her classes she checked them off one by one! This helped her to "feel" successful, but more importantly, she was learning to deal with life and her circumstances!

Because she went to Junior College she didn't need to take the ACT or SAT...which was a great relief to her. When she was in her final semester at the Junior college, we helped her select a 4-year college (she still didn't know what she wanted to do, and didn't until her last quarter at the 4-year college). She ended up with 2 Bachelor's degrees! She's now 25 and volunteers in the missionary field.
She didn't want to, but she learned how.

 

Keep fighting, hon! For every rejection letter you get, file an appeal, but do not go out and get him a lawyer. If you find your own attorney, they will take a chunk of that initial lump sum check which dates back to when the application was filed. It is a terribly disconcerting process, but the fight can be won.
Do not go out and find your own attorney though! If he voluntarily hires his own lawyer, they will take a huge portion of the lump sum check he gets once he wins.
You will want to research trust accounts before he wins as well. It is complicated, but being smart about it is the best way to successfully navigate the storm.
I pray this helps!

Challenge the denial and reapply.

Your son needs to have a Neuropsychological evaluation by a Neuropsychologist to look at his brain functioning and determine a disability.

Definitely have as many evaluations, tests as are available because having a sound mind is priority.
What are some cognitive therapies have you had? I wish a better life for you soon.

I have had a lot of the same issues. Multiple concussions in high school from football. TBI from bad car wreck in college. I can’t sleep on any normal pattern, have social issues, and have missed work so much Do to migraines that it is taking a toll on my self esteem and ability to raise a family. I often will become lost or forget daily routines. Do not feel like even leaving the house and when I do , I feel alone even around a crowd. Always feel depressed. Have yet to find magic bullet that will end it all. I try and remember it is all in my head. Just glad to know I’m not only one who is struggling. Well let me rephrase that. I understand. The frustration, pain ,and mood swings. Let’s just keep our heads up and use the tuffness which kept us alive in the first place, to fight for tomorrow, because hell it might be one of those good days.

I’m so sad reading this post. 1.5 yrs later and symptoms are incredible. Sometimes when people say “well thank God you’re alive,” I question if there’s a God and why he kept me here just to suffer: broken back, neck, and TBI are just the most severe injuries. I want to be alone most of the time and issues and isolate. Stay strong

I’ve had two head injuries one when I was eight I was riding my bike and I was told I flipped it and landed on my head. I only remember before and after. I begged mom not to take me to the doctor. About 12 years ago my ex-boyfriend got mad at me and bashed my head into a cement floor in his basement. I blacked out while he was doing it and I thought I was going to die because he wouldn’t stop. My nose was bleeding and I couldn’t stand up because the room was spinning so fast. My entire head was swollen that’s how many times he bashed it into the floor. He wouldn’t let me leave to get treatment at that time. He probably wouldn’t let me because he knew he’d go to jail for a while. The severe headaches started not long after that. I still get them but they aren’t as bad. I get vertigo all the time, motion sickness, I get insomnia, sleep paralysis happens quite often, mood swings, irritated easily especially around loud noises, I’m tired all the time, I have memory issues all the time. My current boyfriend took me to the store not long ago and I remember walking in and didn’t know where I was and become scared for a few minutes. That happens often too. Sometimes in the car or at home. My anxiety is horrible, social relationships not so good. I don’t like being around people often I get overwhelmed. I feel so sad because I have to live like that this I feel that my family doctor would only think I’m crazy. The thing that scares me the most is the sleep paralysis. It happens several times a week. 8 have trouble breathing a lot of times. I don’t know what kind of doctor to see for it. I feel hopeless at this point. I hate my life and myself because even tho things heal they didn’t heal right. I feel so alone and that nobody understands. I wish I could just have one person that understands how I feel. People just think I’m crazy. I wish I could find one doctor that could help me.

I understand its been 20 years since someone tried to kill me on my job was pistol whipped & left for dead ...I am just now getting help by a neurologist ...Its such a scary feeling to know my thinking is so off ....Anxiety ptsd forgetting words i know what it is like a " table " but just cannot say the word ..Getting help now because my memory is getting worse .I I have a hard time making friends & havent been able to work since then.

I understand you. It been a week since my injury and I'm terrified.

You need to get a referral to a neurologist and get an evaluation. If you are having trouble breathing or swallowing make sure an MRI is done which shows the brain stem better than a CT.

I understand completely , I have endured similar problems. Suffering with a complete lack of memory and cognitive functioning. The incident was subtle but the effects are permanently terrifying

I'm 35, when I was 30 maybe 31, I rolled my pickup off a fifteen-foot embankment, don't remember how I got out of the truck, I don't remember a lot after that for about a day or two. I have had a lower back condition since 06, was on oxy, muscle relaxers and such, got addicted, abused them, never had any problems, but for some reason that I can't remember I cut down to the doc recommend amount. Sometime after that I had my first overdose, friend called 911, good as new, a little bit after that, had my second, wife at the time did CPR, called 911, all good, sometime later,3rd, same thing,but for the 4th overdose, wife didn't do CPR,didn't call 911,left me on the floor,some hours later I awoke,couldn't hear anything but a loud ring,couldn't even hear myself scream for help I was in so much pain, started to recover hearing and pain started to subside, some of my hair fell out though, sometime later I had no option but to shoot my dog of 13years. The PTSD from that I am still battling, started drinking heavily,but through the grace of GOD was able to come off all my meds, I didn't have any pain anymore,then one night standing in front of my sink, I blacked out and fell into the bathtub hitting my neck on the tub and head on the wall. Since the truck accident I've been subtlety but getting worse, and I admittedly have been denying that.

I don't remember being places but my friends say I was there with them. My wife kept telling me I said things I don't remember saying, acted differently, all the same things as everyone else.

This all came to a head last Saturday. I drove from my house to coffee shop that is pretty far away with two occupants. They said I was not acting like myself. I only remember bits and pieces and woke up in my bed barely remembering anything.

Please believe me when I say I feel like I'm going insane. Until last night I've never heard of a MTBI but I'm right there with you.

I'm seeking help, I'm researching and investigating. I finally know I'm not crazy. We are not crazy.

I had a head injury , manys ago , my parents said i had a brian injury , the hospital or no doctor explained this to me , i left with no support . i have problems forming relationships with people holding onto jobs , depression , adjustment disorder. Sleep disorders I lived like this for years hating my life feeling crazy . not knowing where i could go for help. i didn't know this could be connected to my head injury . my mom says i repeat myself . i am not the same i don't deal with things . i have a hard time dealing with change , i don't feel well and its hard to keep a job becaise i don't always feel well.

I also had TBIs as a child. Back then, there was barely any follow -up, aside from x-rays, and no treatment if you seemed mostly okay. As I have gotten older, I have noticed the same issues you are experiencing. It helps to know that I am not alone. It is very difficult to get medical help and even evaluation for old TBIs, but I'm glad that more people are talking about their experiences and more research is being done. I hope you get the help and support you need.

im so sorry to hear this happened to you. I also was assaulted by a person I trusted 3 weeks after I had a concussion from hitting my head playing in door soccer. I still have the chronic daily headaches and its been 2 years already. what helped you recover from the daily headaches?

You should see a neurological chiropractor. I can totally relate with you and mine has helped me so much.

Please don’t feel alone. You sound just like me. From finding Nemo “Just keep swimming” .

I understand how you feel. I was in a car accident 30 years ago and received severe head trauma. In some ways it seemed like my life stopped there. Nothing is easy anymore, and no one knows what I’m going through. By looking at me you’d never guess I had such an injury. I have a good job and make decent money, but I could’ve excelled so much more without this injury.

CP. My brother was in a severe car accident 30 years ago. His life changed forever that day . He changed to a new person. He had such a good job before and hasn't worked since. He is going through a tough time right now no one but immediately family knows the difficult times we are currently dealing with. Be thankful for your gifts as others are not as fortunate.

my nephew hit his head from a skateboarding accident about 4 years ago after that he has never been the same he was an honor student he dropped out became very angry mood swings he would throw up every morning and complain of headaches all the time he has had CT scan and MRI done and DR's keep saying there is nothing wrong about a week ago he committed suicide he was 17 years old I am just trying to find out if this might of caused him to do that he had trouble sleeping as well

I am so sorry to hear about your nephew. I am not a doctor, I suffer from a TBI. I was 26 years old when I got hit by a truck. I am now 32 and feeling much like this is the end. TBIs effect everything in your daily life. I have found since my TBI if I don’t get enough sleep or take naps throughout the day I am useless. I fell my brain requires more rest and if I do not sleep... I become the hulk, everything sets me off. My TBI turned me into a completely different person. Everyday is a frustrating event that doesn’t just cause a small moment of upset it crests a catastrophic downward spiral of feeling, dumb, useless and embarrassed but the worst is feeling like a burden to everyone around us. I can not speak for your nephew but living with a TBI , especially one that can not be seen on an MRI (this happens) is an exhausting life, not only for him but for everyone around him.
At the time of my TBI I was an accountant, I had just got accepted into a masters program for international stocks and finance.. I was successful and my daughter and I were going places.. I’m now 32 and my world is utter chaos and no one understands. everyone is to busy judging me for my outbursts from lack of understanding. My 9 year old daughter just told me she wants to move in with my parents and only see me on the weekends.. it hurts, it hurts so bad.. but I can’t blame her. She sees my struggle and then she sees how her friends parents don’t. One of the hardest parts of having a TBI (for me) is knowing it takes it’s toll on everyone around me not just me. Life is extra hard when it doesn’t make since & everyone’s solution (around me) is get some medical attention.. and what no one wants to accept is medical attention isn’t helping it isn’t enough to give me my life back.. medical attention isn’t going to give me my high paying job back, so I can move us out of our awful unhealthy “home” medical attention wont give my daughter back the mom she needs..
I am sorry if this doesn’t answer any part of your question.. another part of TBI trouble making since.. I am truly sorry for your loss.

Yes, this happened to a good friend’s cousin. He was 17 had a brain injury while playing football. He committed suicide several months later after exhibiting similar symptoms. Similarly, however, for myself, radiologists missed bleeding in my brain on both a CT and MRI. A neurologist checked my MRI results and discovered multiple bleed sites and a shear injury. Finding a good neurologist is what kept me off the street and out of the graveyard.

A TBI is very frustrating, especially with the realization that life would be so much better without one. I’m frustrated every day. I have to compete for promotion with normal people, and in that situation I don’t stand a chance. They may be linked. I’ve never considered suicide, but get very depressed dealing with this injury.

My son also felt sick for months prior to his suicide at age 16. I attribute this to depression on some level, boys and men show it differently than girls and women. To me, he didn't seem depressed, but the doctors all said he was fine. I know it bothered him greatly. Anyway, sorry for your lost. Stay strong, talk about him, talk about suicide.

My fiance was In a car accident when she was five her mom gave up guardianship of her at 16 cause she wanted to do what she wanted like every typical teenager. Well she was making bad choices and they blamed her brain injury and got put in a group home know as Willowbrook. She is now in apartment through this program and they tell her it is a 8 step program and she is only on level 2. Any tiny mistake she makes, like they do a cleaning check in her apartment if they find one speck of dirt, they mark her down she got to get 4 plus weeks in a month to go up a level but they find something every time to set her back. There are people who need the programs but this girl works a job, pays her bills, takes her own meds, don't need help with taking care of her self. I have been with Kristin for 3 years now this place only let's her out in public for 2 hours of the day and back in her apartment and I am seeking legal help so if any one can give me tips our even a lawyer that can help me fight for her rights it would be a blessing.

I have had multiple TBIs and I feel my brain has been damaged beyond repair but doctors won't look into it. I've had a major concussion that resulted in loss of consciousness to the back of the head. I've fallen into giant rocks on the left side of my skull, and I've been hit in the head with a brick three times and that was all I can clearly remember. I was still conscious but nothing actually existed anymore. The doctors still have yet to look into what's going on with my brain and I get to deal with constant pain, constant issues and I end up having times where I start to slip away from reality and I feel terrified because I'm having a baby next month. I don't know what to do. And I have multiple dents and fractures from everything. I have a Bluetooth symbol on the left side of my head and my right tear duct is connected to my sinus because of how my nose broke into my eye socket.

Pls seek neurologist. We had our son into Hermann Memorial Tirr, Houston. 2nd in the country. Go! Do u have medical insurance? Go to fb Brain Injury & mental health. This is a grp of people with tbi.

Hi,
I was diagnosed with a severe TBI. For a while I'd watch things happen that I'd have no control over such as not saying things correctly, struggling to fix it but being unable to, even having my thoughts scramble on me.  I don't have any rehabilitation services in my area. So I'm watching all of this and its getting worse. My girlfriend says I wake up almost every day and for 20 minutes I am in utter confusion or I revert to memories before I met her or the accident. Today I woke up and had forgotten being in a relationship for two years. She sat there trying to get me out of it. She says it's happened recently four other times. Other times I get up and walk around thinking this is my old apartment and run into walls trying to navigate --  stumbling, confusion, loss of balance. I even forgot where I was multiple times. Once in a great while, I become aware of how I am acting like as my memory returns.

I'm scared of what's happening to me. I'm 28; I have a 4 yr old deaf son who I have forgotten once already, what do I do? I don't have a doctor familiar with TBI (let alone severe TBI). Case managers and such have no resources about where I can go for help. I'm fighting for SSI.

I'm worried that one day I won't be me anymore. I'd to imagine this is what it'd be like if I were to get Alzheimer's. I'm just scared of all of this and no one understands.

I'm becoming more and more forgetful every day. My intellect comes and goes and I'm like stuck on the inside watching it all happen, fully aware half of the time, but there is nothing I can do. It's frustrating, I've read up ppl die within years if a severe TBI and I'm hoping that's not the case every time.

What you are describing sound like you are having seizures. I always felt very confused and disoriented every time after and most of the time I wouldn't remember any of it

Are you doing okay?? How is your son??

I played football from when I was 9 until this past fall when I was 18. I’ve had many hard hits over the years as other people and myself got bigger, faster and stronger. Starting in 8th grade I remember taking hits that just rung my bell but didn’t have any concussions, yet. Then in the spring before my sophomore season I had my first diagnosed concussion. I layed a guy out with the crown on my helmet and I vividly remember everything immediately going white and almost felt like I was moving in slow motion and everyone around me was talking in slow motion. While I’m still in this shocked state I also vividly remember it felt like fluid or water was coming out of my ear and I remember unbuttoning my helmet reaching up and checking but I was covered in so much sweat I couldn’t tell. The next day I went to the trainer and told her everything and a doctor diagnosed me with a concussion. Skip ahead to my senior season last fall and I had my second one that I was officially diagnosed with. It was the first play of the 4th quarter, I made a tackle and my head hit the ground so hard it concussed me. I was dazed, confused and was told I was doing things I knew not to do, like call a timeout when I was injured instead of faling down so we get a free injury timeout. Not calling a timeout in this situation was something I’ve always known was a big no no. After being taken to the trainer and evaluated I was told I did not know my own name or address and from the descriptions I’ve heard of my state of mind, my short term memory was worse than someone with demensia. By the time my parents got down to the sidelines I remembered my name but I was still asking the same questions multiple times per minute about the game. It lasted that way all night, I was taken to the er and after what I’m assuming was a ct scan or an mri, my parents were told to take me home, let me go to sleep, and I would be ok when I woke up. Well still to this day the memory of the night from the time of the hit to the next morning when I woke up is still gone. I do not remember being on the sidelines injured or even being at the hospital at all. In my memory, one minute I was playing and thhe next I was waking up very confused about what had happened. I say all of that to say this, since then I have had problems with short term memory (forgetting little things I’m told to do at work) and my attention span when doing everyday tasks (I can’t even keep my attention long enough to read a book most of the time anymore. I’ll read a paragraph and my mind wonders, I’ll still be moving me eyes accross the page but nothing is being absorbed. This makes it impossible to get any work done now that I am in college). I will admit, I’ve never had the greatest memory or the most impressive attention span, but I certainly notice a difference. I was always able to maintain good grades all the way through high school and aquire a good act score but I’m not sure how much of that I can keep up through college and how this will affect my future career still having symptoms like this.

Hi Joshua!

I'm not sure where you are located/living, but I would suggest finding an outpatient TBI program if you are still experiencing any long-lasting symptoms since those injuries. As medicine advances, we are beginning to understand better how to treat concussions/mild TBIs. My husband has a VERY similar story to yours. He was the "hard hitter" in football through high school, and had two instances of being knocked unconscious on the field. He only sought medical attention once, but they didn't do much for him. Now, 8 years later, he has short term memory problems, depression, can't read (the words move around on the page, and his vision is blurry around the edges of the page), he has trouble talking (will forget what he was talking about mid-sentence), and can't stay asleep. We JUST attended our first appointment at HCMC's Outpatient TBI clinic in Minnesota, and we were blown away by the care he received! The clinic has neurology, optometry, clinical psychology, occupational therapy, and speech therapy in one clinic-all keeping track of your progress and working together to get you back to functioning as normal as possible.

If you're not able to attend a clinic like this, or you're not ready, check out @mollyparkerpt on instagram and read some of the strategies and things she has to say. I hope you find the support and help that you're looking for! Going in sooner rather than later will produce better recovery results in the long-run.

:)

I suffered a TBI Aug 2017 I eventually was referred to HCMC TBI clinic it was the best thing that ever happened to me the staff is phenomenal. I would recommend them to anyone. there is a new building now as of March 2018 which makes this place even more better.

I was involved in a crash with an 18 wheeler last year that nearly took my head off, but instead have suffered a TBI that has severely effected my cognitive thinking. Now its putting a black cloud over my family causing tension between my fiance and I. What can I do to help ease this pain??????

After suffering a TBI I eventually came right. However one problem that still affects me is that where before I could really get into a book and lose myself in it now I have trouble retaining the story thread. Does anyone else relate to this?

I WAS 24 WHEN THIS HAPPENED, NOW IM 26 11/25/18.I had a SEVERE TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY (STBI) in the key west, lost my debit card, went up some stair’s and leaped over and rail the cobblestone 15 feet from where I was. Still recovering, going to speech tomorrow, really helps me out a lot. Most of my injuries were in my frontal lobe of my brain, Trouble focusing,, I’m taking METHELPHENIDATE 36 mg (some thing as RITILIN) and I have had a GRAND MA SEIZURE, Taking 1000 mg of LEVETIRACETAM (KEPPRA) I am taking METHELPHENIDATE 36 for focusing. Still have to go back to school and get my degree.

I'm 65 and in work and play I ended up taking too many hits to the head. I've been an avid reader all my life, but of late I find that when I put the book down I have trouble retaining several hours ago, or yesterday, the story, the mood, the tone of the book. I dont have an answer but I now do number puzzles before and after reading and I think it helps. Ten minutes or so and then back to the book. I can identify with the one who said they read the same pages over and over because they couldnt track it. At time I have shortened my reading - shorter passages and more frequent reading sessions and I try to latch on to a key passage or point. That also seems to help

I have this same problem. I was a straight A student. Then I was hit by a man, driving, with severe dementia. I went from top student to drop out. I can't remember who/what I have read let alone larger facts. It sucks

I used to read all the time. I can no longer focus long enough to read a book. I end up just re-reading the same 5 pages. It is so frustrating.

Same here. TBI with brain bleed in 2006. Graduated college and fairly successful professional now. My wife just thinks I don’t like to read. No one knows how bad it is.

Hi everyone I have fractured my skull in 2 places and have had a brain hemorrage this happened about 2 months ago. I start rehabilitation on Thursday I lost my sense of smell and taste which was horrible but I have something back that is worse everything i smell and taste is the same and it's not nice makes me sick nearly every time I eat or smell it. I started back at work after 5 weeks but I struggled to much so I am back on sick as my angers bad and my headaches just wont go away and just feel really poorly. I have always struggled with depression and anxiety but now it's even worse. I find my self looking at these sites everyday which sometimes I don't think is helpful because everyones is different and will heal different. I don't really no if my injury is mild or moderate but when I was at the hospital I dident really take it serious as I felt better when I first woke up then what I do now. I struggle sleeping and I get tired doing anything. The worse thing that keeps me awake is thinking about the bouncer that booted me in the head after I was already on conscious. Sorry about my English never been the best at it. The list gos on but I can't write at the moment as I'm to tired and feel bit dizzy from looking at the screen.

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