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 (439)

Another motorcycle accident here
2 frontal lobe bleeders, accident 2 years ago , severe loss of consciousness. I am scared to death, short term memory gone, I was a construction superintendent, and I went back to work, n
But it got worse. Vertigo, frigging memory, stuttering.. Dr said it was a severe head injury when I say head injry. Getting EEG THIS week. Y
The headaches are worse.
Does this get worse over time, Dr says we wait for tests. What can I do to make it better.

motorcycle accident here, back in march 15, 2013, i got into a motorcycle accident, was a normal day to say the least, that afternoon, decided to go out with my friends on a little motocross practice, i got on my motorcycle and went a few laps, on the last lap, after going over the finish line jump, i slowed down and took off my helmet and went back to my teams area, then suddenly my bike slid, went off balance, my head hit a rock, went straight to coma 10 days, but i dont remember any of those, my friends told me about what happened and when i woke up, i dont know anything, even for the next 4 months, ive got pharesthesia on my right leg, sold my motorcycles since i cant take it anymore, lost my balance, mild vertigo 24/7, but i go to the gym sometimes and i bought a few gym equips here at home. i said that to myself too, i wont stop, keep pushing forward. been having occasional headaches, vertigo always there, there are times its a bit more stronger than usual, but amid all this, i thank GOD im still here, alive and breathing.

I had a Tbi 12 yrs ago and have had 10 years of happy healthy living with no symptoms except capacity - where I could get mentally overloaded and adjusted accordingly.
Yeseterday I had a long very emotionally exhausting day handling an old family members affairs and knew I had reached my capacity but then daughter phoned with issues I felt compelled to hear and help with. After this overload I became dizzy by the time I got into bed I had the full room spinning couldn’t lie down symptoms that I had for the first 2 years after tbi. Was able to sleep some but every time I got up I could barely walk from the spinning. Now this morning I feel brain injured again for the first time in10 years. Heavy head eyes feel slow small glitches in speech if I move my head it feels like it does after you recover from a headache very slow. I am wondering if I had a bleed in my brain again or if this is just results of a super stressful day.

I think it is a result of a super stressful day. but go see doctor get a second opinion.

I was assaulted at work nearly three years ago. My treatments are covered by worker's compensation, however, to get what I need takes months of fighting with them about whether the issue at hand has anything to do with a TBI or is even related to the assault at all.

I've had nearly constant headaches since the assault, trouble with keeping my eyes open, light sensitivity, hyperacusis, difficulty reading or concentrating and yet the Independent Medical Evals I had two weeks ago says there is nothing wrong with me.

I've had doctors telling me it is a result of head trauma sustained during the assault and since I had none of these things before the assault, I believe them.

I don't know what to do. How do I make them listen? Any of the treatments recommended for me lose their efficacy as time goes by.

I had a head injury 13 years ago, a football was shot towards my head and I was 7 years old at that time, it ruptured my right optic nerve and left me blind in that eye. I had some series of treatments done at different hospitals to recover vision in that eye but to no avail. I noticed that I have problems with my memory, I can’t seem to remember some past events and of recent I have familiar triggers that makes me not remember anything after the trigger occurs. The worst trigger that I can remember was when I finished bathing, on coming out of the bathroom I forgot who I was and where I was. I later recollected who and where I was but it was really scary and I would like to know if there’s anything I can do to prevent a recurrence of this memory lapse.

Does anyone know what effects being shot with a taser can have on a person's brain??

One case study in 2012 documented a 27-year old man who had one of the two Taser darts penetrate his skull (frontal lobe) and 2 mm into the brain itself. In his case, the long-term effects (6+ months) were anxiety, strong frontal headaches during physical activity, as well as unease with the number of people who were looking at his forehead, due to the scar from the operation. There were no signs of physical damage (apart from the skull penetration), though it should be noted that tests were done with a CT scanner, not an MRI. A CT is faster (used for emergency situations like this) but not nearly as precise. It would have been nice to see follow-up MRI's or fMRI's.

Of course, like any TBI, no two cases are the same. Age, health, prior neurological conditions, where the barbs hit, and a hundred other things can all affect the outcome. Target position is also a big factor; if you get zapped, fall and hit your head, that may cause more brain damage than the shock itself (though the brain has protections to minimize/negate damage from lighter impact, such as a simple fall to the ground). As the cited case sounds like it is one of the more extreme (with regards to the brain), it seems that the risk of brain injury from being tased is probably very low.

doi:10.1016/j.forsciint.2012.03.027

I wish you could shed some light about living with the person with a moderate TBI. My husband exhibits EVERY one of your list of 'OTHER POTENTIAL EFFECTS' since his minor stroke and major fall last June. The only one they left out was multiple suicide attempts. Meanwhile, I AM GOING CRAZY. I get side effects from antidepressants, tranquilizers, and I don't drink and will not smoke weed. I've been seeing two counselors a week since last November, but that doesn't change the patient. I'm not a nurse. I'm exhausted, overwhelmed, angry, and frustrated. "Support" groups where I listen to everyone else tell about their horrible lives only make me more desperate. No one mentions the devastation to the family after a TBI.

I am sorry you have to go through that. As a brain aneurysm and stroke survivor, I can honestly say that he doesn’t want to be that way any more than you want him to be that way. I hope you can replace the anger and frustration with compassion, as this is a situation that we didn’t choose for ourselves and find it hard to be happy with ourselves as well.

Dear Mrs. Turner,
I just started reading Living With Brain Injury, a guide for families by Richard Senelick, MD & Karla Dougherty. This book may help if you don't already have it. Praying for you,
Sincerely, A Barnes

Hello everyone,
 

After reading this article and the comments below, I can clearly identify with all of the struggles that are being lamented about by all of you. 
 
My TBI happened at work, when a stack of serving trays (between 50-100) fell on my head, neck, back and shoulder-left side. I was told that all I had was a concussion, but as I have been researching about this condition, I realize that I was inappropriately diagnosed because the insurance company did not want to pay. I could go on about how I was lied to, misinformed, made to feel like a fraud, etc.; but that is just the icing on the cake.  The point is that I understand what it is like for you all and I am very glad that so many people are speaking out about this.
 
I can't see most of the time when I am trying to work, or even get through school.  I can't remember most things when I am stressed; almost like my brain shuts down.  I now have CVS (Computer Vision Syndrome) which is awful because it is always triggering some form of narcolepsy as well.  Now I am pregnant and I see how the symptoms of TBI don't go away or get easier without the right treatment. ( I was denied the proper medical treatment during the most crucial points of my time to heal). 
 
All people seemed to care about then was when I would be ready to go back to work, and when I could become my old self again. I can do some of the stuff that I used to do, but not without being extremely fatigued and aching to the point of temporary immobility.  Some days it really is mind over matter.  Meditating on scriptures, prayer, and peaceful environments help.  However, when certain stressful event occurs, it takes me a minute to recover.  Social interactions are a challenge as well.  I have little to no tolerance for things that used to be fairly easy for me to ignore.  I am better when I have time to myself to reflect on what I am doing and where I am going.  I tend to get lost sometimes, even with places that I am familiar with. When I take certain medications, I do not have this problem as much, but now that  I am pregnant I cannot medicate to help with the symptoms so that I can work.  The TBI has effected my personality as well.  As I stated earlier, I have little to no patience for certain things that I generally did not disturb my peace at all. 
 
If there is anyone who can recommend a treatment center that I can visit, please reach out! 
 
I am a firm believer in help form our Heavenly Father, but I also understand that practicality goes a long way. 
 
Thank you for sharing all of your experiences.  It has been truly helpful and encouraging to know that I am not alone and someone understands.  As a mother-to-be, I am more determined to get all of the help that I can so that my child can have the best life possible. 
 
Thank you for reading. 
Yah bless!

HI,
I am currently going through TBI recovery. Everything was downplayed because it was a Worker's Comp. I had two 6 foot by 5 foot cabinets, fully stocked fall on me. I don't remember it happening. I was rushed to the hospital where I also received 20 stitches. Thankfully, despite the WC not helping, my wonderful boss has helped me immensely. I still have horrible headaches, dizziness, nausea. I am on emotional rollercoaster and going through all kinds of the listed symptoms. However, my point is; my boss has paid for me to go to a specialty clinic called Turning Point Medical Center. Excellent, top notch treatment and staff. I live in CO Springs, and I am fortunate to have 2 clinics nearby. However, I know they treat people from all over the world. You can look into this specialty rehab. Hope this helps. Yah Bless you!

First I want to thank everyone who has posted here. Nobody knows the pure struggle of a TBI but those who have lived it.

3 1/2 years ago I was in a high-speed MVA where I went over my steering wheel and airbag and into my windshield. I wasn't diagnosed right away with a moderate TBI. Just another concussion that I figured would go away just like the others. Boy was I wrong.

The hell kicked in about one week after the accident and really changed my life. I was pretty much in bed for the first year barely living. I have made a pretty much miraculous recovery in my view and I am so thankful to the Lord for the progress I have made.

With that said, man, there can really be some hard days and even some weeks. I will be doing great with minimal problems and I start to feel like "Yeah, I got this and this may be over," only to have a quick turn around and start falling fast. It usually begins with stress from work. "stress," that would have been nothing to my former self. But I just can't handle any stress it seems. I can NEVER let it go and so I avoid it like the plague which is just not possible and not very healthy in its own right as I want to challenge myself to grow but at the same time I need to work to pay the bills and I know the stress can lead to a complete and total "shutdown." I wonder if anyone here is like that as well; I am sure there are plenty.

I guess I am looking for some affirmation or something on this one but the hardest part for me is this feeling of  "NOT CAPABLE OF STARTING," anything. I'm not lazy, I don't feel depressed. In contrast, I am actually a very motivated person and I come up with plans and ideas ALL the time about what I want to accomplish but 90% of the time I just can't figure out how to START. Most of the time after my wife gets me started (which is usually just a small step) I can take it from there...but may not complete it :) It's very hard to explain. It feels like my brain just literally will not move when it comes to starting something and it really hurts my confidence. I have been told it is Adynamia. Whatever it is, I will not quit until I beat it because out of everything that my TBI causes or has caused ( Crying, confusion, anxiety, exhaustion, etc..) this is the worst for me.

I pray for all of you and all of your families. There may be nothing harder than a TBI but just know through prayer and dedication you can live a happy and purposeful life. Good luck to all of you and God bless.

Chris   

It feels like I found a twin!!! It was 3 yrs ago that I got injured playing hockey. I have been and still going through the same roller coaster. Plus I was identified with severely high level of mold in my body. It came from food !! I am at over 50 000$ of my pocket for therapies. After 12 specialists and many Neurofeedback therapy, it is only now that they identified TBI by using anRI and SPEC Brain Scan. I am now starting TBI recovery with a Military specialist. We are going back to the beginning and starting 30 min work followed by 1-hour full rest all day long! This is Stage 1 out of 5. I am being told this could take a very long time to get back to normal if it is possible. So the objective to to retrain the Brain and make new connections. There might be a TBI clinic in your country or state that could help you. I am determined to try everything to overcome this.

I still cannot work full time and I am worried that time is running out with my work. Nothing has worked so far...

What do you do for treatments?

Take care...

FJ,

I am glad you found my post to be at the very least comforting knowing someone else feels like this. If you were playing hockey when you suffered the TBI then you're no wimp :) and sometimes that makes it harder in a way because the guy who nothing could harm is now harmed by things that just seem so small or would have seemed small. If you can even accurately remember the "guy," you used to be. I know my memory is a mixture of what I think I was like and some guy I might have made up :) but the hard truth is this; It does not matter WHO you were or who you THINK you were because all you have now is NOW and the quicker you can accept that and be ok with that the faster you heal. That mindset is what I can say has been a huge part of my healing. That and prayer. Lots and lots of prayer. In terms of physical treatments, there has been two interventions that have worked well for me, or as well as I could hope. One is treating my hormonal imbalances. With me, all of my hormones were JACKED. Damage to my pituitary. I get them checked and take replacements. It is not easy to find a Dr. who is good at it in truth as a lot of them just know the very basics of "hormone replacement," and TBI hormones may be much more in depth than that. The Second thing that I have done that has really made a huge difference is I eat a Ketogenic diet. I have for almost a year and a half. I believe it has lowered my brain inflammation and allowed me to either heal or compensate very well. It really has been great. Not easy at first but well worth it. Everyone is so different that I say these things with caution but they are worth looking into for sure. oh, one other thing I have done which is just something I did almost out of spite for for this damn TBI is that I constantly take like IQ test and logic test like the LSAT and crap like that. I have no idea if that helps but I can only imagine it does. There are really good days and there are really really bad days. I wish I had more help to give. I think attitude over anything is the best hope...that and time. I wish you well my friend.

I had a TBI from a motor vehicle accident as a young teen. I was comatose for two months in 1967. When I woke up, they thought I was healed. Other than my left ankle which was crushed in the MVA. I couldn't walk on it for a year. I couldn't get help for my cognitive deficits, because there wasn't any help like that back then. I was from Nebraska then. I live in Arizona now and love it. I couldn't get anyone to understand that my cognitive deficits were neurological, not mental. I finally met a Neurologist in Flagstaff in 1979 & he diagnosed me correctly and put me on the right medication and I met a Psychologist here in Az. in 1991, who helped me get connected to Vocational Rehab in Phoenix. And they helped me get thru my classes to be a Social Worker. I still have the short term memory deficit, and i have been working Temporary Social Work jobs until i find a place where i fit in with my disability. I hope this info. helps. The Neuroligist was so important so i could get diagnosed properly. Debbie Hunt

Chris
I know what your going through.
In January 2008 I was injured at work, I shattered the right side of my skull, broke my neck and had to have my nose reattached. I was left with a severe TBI. Not only was it server but it was left undiagnosed but untreated as well. For the last 11 years I’ve been doing battle on my own. It’s been only after changing doctors that I’ve been getting the proper treatment.

The days of constant pain the migraines as well as times of feeling hopeless. But there is hope. Your wife is standing by your side in all of this. For me to get past all the issues (I haven’t yet) has been a great deal of work. And a lot of faith and trust in God. There are new parts of my personality that I battle daily. Behaviors that were just not me. While I have the desire to do things and get them done. The mind say nope not today. If your wanting to know how to get motivated? There is a line in an old movie. One person is dealing with a monumental task and ask how am I going to do this? The other person ask him how do you eat a elephant? One bite at a time!
So what ever you do for the rest of your life just remember one bite at a time! Then you can accomplish anything.
What ever isn’t finished today can be finished tomorrow

Thank you Chris for your candid post. A TBI is something I would not wish upon my worst enemy. I’ve been fighting to be “ME” again since my TBI in January 2019. My husband, kids, friends, coworkers extended family can’t seem to understand what I’m going through. To look at me one would never guess my daily struggles. Everyone sees me as the person I use to be and expects me to act as such. However, as you and anyone who has incurred a TBI knows we are NOT the person we were before the accident, even though we look as if nothing has happened. Don’t you wish that you could wear a cast?? People always want to help people in a leg cast. No body seems to be capable to understand this type of injury. It’s the most frustrating, lonely, depressing , anxiety ridden part for me. Reading your post and many others for the first time makes me feel normal. At least as normal as a person with a TBI can feel. Thank you for that!

Heather,

You are welcome and thank you for sharing as well. A TBI in the family is a huge learning process for all involved. I suggest that your husband and other relevant family members study up and even go to therapy or classes or whatever. My wife is in surgical residency so she had a decent idea of what was in store but even then this thing has been a beast to deal with. In terms of my other family, no concept whatsoever. That is why I suggest the classes or something because without specific TBI/medical knowledge it could be hard for some to even get close to understanding. But where there is a will there is a way. The funny thing is, I used to tell my wife that I was gonna wrap a bandage around my head just so others knew what was going on so I can absolutely understand why you wish you had a cast. I am not sure of the nature of your TBI but I know at the one year mark is where I made a lot of progress so I think you should have faith and hold out hope!! Just the fact that you are on here is a good sign that you won't take this TBI lying down. You need to have a dogged determination to not let it win! Above anything else, that will help most. Well maybe not above anything ( God, and family) :) I am so sorry to hear about your struggles and I agree, I wouldn't wish it upon my worst enemy either! It is NOT a death sentence though. I wish you all the best.

Chris

Chris,
As far as your "Stress" goes, your Not alone. My post is a few spots below yours.
I cannot handle Stress or Conflict, especially at work since I am stuck there 9 hours
a day, 5 days a week. I know You are Not Lazy, Don't let it affect your confidence.
Even tho sometimes we don't feel tired, our Brains get Tired. Our injured Brains have
to work harder than normal, then we get "Neuro-fatigue"
God Bless
Joe

I suffered a 3-6 hour withdrawal seizure known as status epilepticus on Oct 1st of 2018 after I tried weaning off my “medication” (vimpat) and now have severe brain damage. It was a decision that I now regret for the rest of my life. So many critical memories that made me who I am are gone. It’s like trying to fill in the gaps or put the peices of the puzzle back together but you just can’t. However, if I smoke cannabis, it makes me think deep and remember my past clearly but only bits are retained. Adapting to a whole new world along with overcoming PTSD, amnesia, aphasia, mood swings, paranoia, severe depression... have been the biggest/scariest battle I’ve ever endured. In a way it’s as if I’d been dumbed down to the 4th grade or less and have been slowly relearning how to fit in again. I’m 22 years old btw. To anyone whose experienced a TBI or who may be diagnosed with FTD/AD or CTE my heart and prayers go out to you.

I suffered a TBI 25 years ago during a motorcycle accident, my Helmet flew off and my head hit the pavement. Then 6 months after the accident I had a Nervous Breakdown,
which is when the Anxiety, Depression, and Panic started. I have been to various therapist and been on every SSRI there is, and they have only helped a little bit.
Now after 25 years of struggling with these horrible mental health issues I am TIRED,
Physically, Mentally, and Spiritually Worn Out. My Brain cannot handle Stress or
Conflicts anymore, and workplace Drama is unbearable. I am only 45 yrs old now, but I am trying to figure out how to retire early. I MUST Reduce my Stress level somehow !
I'm glad I found this website. Thank You in advance for any comments.

Hi, I suffered a TBI and broken bones in 2003.
I was a Kent Firefighter and before that, a Royal Marine.
I was in a coma 2 weeks where my life-support was terminated. When all hope had gone.
I then had a Brain Abscess in 2014!
I have seen double now for 16 years despite 3 eye operations at Moorfields Hospital.
My only advice I can possibly give you is to never ever stop. I'm lucky that I like the gym anyway. I love the effort required and I rise to it. Dealing with personal loss and frustration is a constant battle.
I have poor balance and right-sided issues too. I've learned to walk now 3 times!
I've thrown myself into my recovery and I simply won't stop!
Keep battling, we will win ☺

wow, thumbs up to you, motorcycle accident here, coma 10 days, and ive got pharesthesia on my right leg, sold my motorcycles since i cant take it anymore, lost my balance, mild vertigo 24/7, but i go to the gym sometimes and i bought a few gym equips here at home. i said that to myself too, i wont stop, keep pushing forward.

My wife suffered a TBI in December 2018. She is now in rehab after 2 weeks in a coma, and a few weeks recovery. Some days seem bleak, others I'm really upbeat, and reading some of the stories here make me feel much better.
My wife has a lot of difficulties as the moment, including eating by herself, talking, obeying commands, etc. She's not yet walking or anything and the physio team are just getting her to stand. I pray for better days and hope she makes a really good recovery so she can come home and be with me again.

My wife has an acquired brain injury from 2008; she is highly functioning but suffers from feelings of loss and low self esteem. She has always been a very social person and needs to interact daily with friends, she has many friends but they have the commitments of their lives to attend.

I am going to show this blog to Debbie in the later hours of this morning hopefully it can spark some interest or new ways for her to connect with some new friends by phone or blog.

Thank you

Social situations are tricky. I crave and need them, and also want and need to ignore them. Two things that worked for me and are totally opposite. Things with one or two friends, and a medium to large group where you feel part of a group but there isn't the stress of conversing the whole time or mingling.

Hi, I also had an ATBI back in 2008. I can relate to the struggles your wife experiences daily. The dynamics in friendships changed 180 degrees all the way to nonexistent because of my sensitivities and changes to my financial situation. She is very lucky to have you and your support. I’m not as I’m unmarried. If your wife would like a new friend and also a survivor that would’ve awesome! Let me know and we can exchange contact info.

Take care, T (my nickname)

I was in a mva when I was 16 years old. Now I'm 50 and I have long lasting issues. I have to take medications for my anxiety and my brain issues I have because of the mva.

I was 18 years old just graduating high school when I was in a MVA. My best friend was driving and we were going to the movies one summer afternoon. I had temporary amnesia and other injuries. At that time I was diagnosed with Short Term Memory Syndrome. I would meet someone and the next day I would not remember them. Worse yet how about going to eat lunch with a friend and then running into them about 4 hours later. Not remembering you had lunch with them earlier that day. How do you try to explain this to others? Craaazy! I learned to write notes in my calendar throughout my day so my daytime became my memory and my saving grace. I almost did not graduate college because of this. Fast forward to 24 years later, I went into peri menopause and my hormones began messing with my memory and my daily cognitive routines. I found a neuropsychologist who did some testing on me. This is where I learned more about TBI. This whole time I had been struggling with daily cognitive scenarios and I thought that I was losing it. How can you explain to someone what you are fighting through in words? I am now 51 years old, post menopausal and my brain has decided to go on strike when it come to functioning with time.... timelines, appointments, deadlines, breakfast time, lunch time, dinner time, etc. What is “10 minutes” or “I will see you at 3:00 pm”.... my brain, “concept of time”, numbers and action are all on different planets. I am divorced for the past 15 years. I have been dating the Love of My Life for the past 5 years, we just broke up last week because of this. He has had enough of me being late or saying that I will be there at 1:00 pm and I show up an hour late. I am struggling professionally at work, personally with my family and now emotionally with my Love. I am struggling all the way around. Is there a good article or book about TBI that is an easy read that I can share and help explain to others close to me the daily frustration, anxiety and stress that I go through daily just to function. I feel like I am loosing everyone around me. How do you explain something in words when it is confusing to you and you are trying with all of your being and heart to begin a plan, continue a plan, much less complete a plan or put into words what you know, but cannot It is not about being lazy, or inconsiderate or uncaring or a snob.

I was beaten nearly to death by my (at the time) husband. He beat me in the head with wine and vodka bottles for over a week and I tried to escape every day and often. The final blow was me running out the door, him slamming my head in it, backhanding me so hard my pupil is paralyzed, then smashing my head into the floor over 20 times. I have no idea how long I was out but he was so drunk I managed to escape. I found someone on the street and used their phone to call 911 (he broke my phone so I couldn't call). Reading all the stories here has given me hope. Did any of you develop a stutter after this and write backward? That is kinda freaking me out.

Hi Kristin,

My heart breaks after reading what you wrote. I don't have any words. Tragedy is an understatement. Yes I developed a stutter, and still grapple with it sometimes when I am really anxious. Yes at times I wrote and spoke backwards while healing.

How terrible. I will pray for you.

Yes it sucks. I was beaten in right side of head with brass knuckles and it was such a blow that I bled in my brain everywhere. And stayed in a coma for 2 weeks. My brain was swelling bc of so much blood that the hospital flew me in to a place where the surgery team specialized in that area and when we landed they were ready for me and was able.to stop the bleeding and release. Then the doctors didn't know the outcome in beginning is what I was told.. when I woke up I was told by a family member that I had no.insurance and that if I could get up and go urinate well i.could go home.. I couldn't understand what they were spouting off but they gave family member a list of specialists I needed to.see and said if we could afford it that it would be imperative that I had Re Hab amongst a lot of.other things and meds. Well the family member never did try to see about the help but you see ... I actually taught myself everything again and with a little help from an old school friend. Yes it is hard and I'm lucky and if.your typing anything and can spell ans.u make sense... STOP and think about how.lucky we all are!

Hmm, I can totally relate. Same exact scenario. Brass knuckles to the temple and it was lights out. When it happened there was no comprehension about how to treat TBIs. They told me I'd be fine. The only thing is, I wasn't. 10 years later they wondered what was wrong with me. I told them that had been messed up since I took the brass knuckles to the side of the head. They looked at me with bulging eyes and immediately sent me for help. By then I had learned techniques to keep me stable in the world. The thing that messes me up the most is the way my brain functions now. Memory loss, concentration, and panic attacks. I'm messed up, but don't know how to express it or have people understand.

I fell off a two story house and landed on a concrete patio at work and was in a coma for a month just over two years ago. I used to be a very outgoing, extroverted person before my accident, but now...I’m the opposite in almost every way. I stay by myself and push friends and family away to the point where I don’t want to see almost anyone. Social relationships/activities, vision, motivation, memory, and depression are a few of the things I’m going through. Depression and mental health (men’s in particular) are very overlooked. Physically I look fine so no one thinks there’s anything wrong. Just because you don’t see a problem doesn’t mean it’s not there...

I also suffered a fall injury it was in July of 2009. I'm very blessed to be alive still. I fell 128 feet onto a flat roof below. I have to add that I was not trying to commit suicide. I was dead set on getting back to the gym and back in shape. I did just that.
Anyway, lack of emotion was the only noticeable effect on my brain. It wasn't to severe and I coached myself out of it. But here I am almost 10 years later. I've had minimal vision issues. My biggest fear right now is my lack of memory. I've had a lot of stress in my life recently. It's taking its toll on me. Concentration seems tough at first but I manage to get my focus quickly enough. Mainly scared about the lack of memory. I've had some things happen recently that worry me. Telling the same stories over and not able to remember that I told it once already. Tonight I showed my girlfriend a Facebook pic with the added story.... Guess it was the third time now. Really can't recall it happening before at all. I'm currently going to appointments with additional follow ups scheduled. After the accident I was warned of possible down the road side effects. And well.... there here.

Find my self in the same spot.

I wish I had visible injuries. Society has no concept of how to deal with brain disabilities.

We have a 22-year-old autistic son that presents well. He is viewed as someone in charge of all their faculties, etc. No matter where we go when he does his best to be social with those who talk with him, the minute he can't respond it's usually "What's the matter with him, can't he talk ?" to his face.

Now I know how he feels.
Everyday I try to focus on one action I'm having issues with. I make it the goal of the day even if it is difficult. I make myself do it.

I truly believe no one understands unless they have experienced it themselves.

I agree Sandra. Society and a the scientific articles and medical writings focus on symptoms immediately after brain injury. What is less understand are the long-term symptoms that are hidden; the hidden injury aspect.

I feel you. Same thing here. Sad part is I want to engage but don't know how to anymore.

It's like trying to play a game that should be so easy - but I never get the rules or the queues anymore.

So to help, I pick small things limited social stuff like 2 hours for a game once a month but consistent. Same people, they know what my issue is, have the game at my house and limit the exposure.

Wish you all the best.

I was in a auto accident. I know how you feel. I feel the same way. A real disconnect from who I used to be, how to adjust to who I am now and other people perception of who I should be. I don’t know if that’s how you feel but that was my perception of it

I have to add two quick things:

For my migraine headaches, I am now getting BOTOX shots and it has been such a blessing after 3 yrs I can now go all day and not have one. I get shots every 3 months and MEDICARE pays for it.

Also I have had to learn the old me will never be back, it is gone. Now I have to try and like and make the new one the best I can. It is hard to give up so much of the past that I enjoyed, but it can't be any more, so Every day is a new day of experiences and changes. I don't mind this part, but I do miss all the things I can't do anymore, my art, my reading, my gardening, my trips and hikes. But I still have people to love me and to help others.

Thanks again

Cliff, in addition to Botox the new monthly injection to prevent migraines called Aimovig and others are proving to be highly successful in reducing the number of migraines per month. I started Aimovig six months ago and went from 9-15 migraine days per month to three. Not everyone is this successful but a lot of people are. I still take Botox until I am sure I can switch to the other. I hope you ask your doctor about it. Aimovig provides the first year for free until insurance companies get on board with covering it.

I relate to the changes in “you” you described. There’s definitely a grief and loss process. Sounds like you’re staying positive and that’s not easy I know.

I suffered a TBI 20 years ago. It was moderate. I have been blessed in my recovery. My challenge is I put all my efforts in to my career and work. So much so I have no friends, hobbies and cant function well at home alone. I have to be constantly scheduled or structured. If not i just spend hours doing well....nothing. I could use some input from anyone. Thanks.

Hi Lisa,

I hope that you saw my post from earlier. I can identify with you so much, and not just by name! I think what we are all learning is that we may never be the same people that we were before. We have to take it day by day, like you are doing, to get re-acclimated with the new people that we are and pull from those strengths to develop into brighter beings. I hope that Yah blesses you with much joy and accomplishment despite all that you had to give up. I bet if you look really closely you will notice that you see things differently than most people, which is most likely a gift. So learn how to use it! Take care Lisa.

Me too. I started painting miniatures for that dungeon and dragon game. Forces me to engage all my senses. Then as I relax, focus creatively (left frontal lobe injury), I am able to get more focused in my daily life.

Also, my dogs are a Godsend. I have to walk them or else. This helps me get up and have a schedule.

Not easy, and interrupted by life at times which I struggle with constantly- but at least I'm outside

Hey I have read your comment. I had a severe tbi. My brain sheared against my skull. It's been almost 24 years. My accident was August 24, 1995. I used to be very outgoing. It's hard to remember my life. I was 12 years old when it happened. I also broke my neck. I also had a foot drop. That's where the nerve in my back broke and grew back a totally different way. I find it hard to keep friends hold conversation with people. Have lots of mood swings. There are other things that I find challenging. I have 2 kids as well. But it's hard for me to get along with my son. My daughter is ok though. I find myself being alone much better than being with other people. I like doing puzzles and word searches and working with numbers. I like working my brain alot. But not all the time.

I was in a car accident 3 years ago. I was stopped in traffic and a woman who was texting hit me from behind at 65 miles an hour. The car exploded into flames and I was rescued by a good Samaritan. I had seven skull fractures and 5 brain bleeds. I feel the same as many of these comments here. At first, I thought that everyone else was the one that was wrong. Then I began to realize that I was misplacing things when I would find them later. I feel horrible after having accused others of moving them. I get little sleep and I am in pain every day. People still ask me how I'm doing and I always say "ok" but it is a lie. There isn't a day that I don't wake up a headache or pain-free. Because of the new anti-opiate push, no one will give you medication, I am a federal employee so I can't try oils and I struggle with memory, aphasia and minor muscle spasms like many of you. I also live in rural Vermont where there are no treatment facilities available. I have tried to get into one of the larger facilities to get some help, but I haven't been successful yet.

Move to a state that you can access Marijuana derivatives.

I too have many of the symptoms you expressed, CBD tinctures help set my day up for success. Anxiety does not disappear, though I control it does not control me.

Tried to survive the conventional way all it did was make alcohol the first choice.

Which all of you know is the worst thing someone with a TBI should do!

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