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 (539)

Please remember, we are not able to give medical or legal advice. If you have medical concerns, please consult your doctor. All posted comments are the views and opinions of the poster only.

I suffered a TBI at the end of August 2019 after falling from a height resulting in two subdural haematoma's and a subarachnoid haemorrhage in the temporal region. I was treated in hospital and now back to getting on with life. I turn 22 next month and forever worrying about the impacts this may have on me in the future or the chances of re-bleeding. Anyone experienced similar?

My son had an accident January 21 2020 em had sever brain damage the had to remove half of his skull had a lot of bleeding I the brain he last in the ICU a month an half..the doctors to me my son would need 24/7 care that he would never walk or be normal again. So they gave us some time to about his condition, if we wanted him to keep breathing with ventilator he wouldn’t be able to eat he had a trak and feeding tube on side of his stomach..so the family came to the conclusion to pull the plug, my son was a free spirit person loved to work on bikes, and help people, so we knew he wouldn’t want To live that way, not been able to be himself again, but in my mind i wonder if we did the right thing to transfer him to comfort care...he passed on February 27th 2020 I miss him so much that I still think his alive and just doing his thing in LA where he lived...I have a huge void in my heart,

wow, that's so sad. I'm so sorry for your loss.

its been almost 9 years now since that day, that motorcycleaccident brought me to coma for 10 days, and i don't remember it at all, for 4 months, i dont even remeber what happened they just told me everything, my problem now is this tension headache/everyday/all day rated 5/10 and this dizziness that i get when standing up plus this paresthesia on my right leg. any idea how to slow this down or better, make it disappear.

Does anyone have an history with severe DAI traumatic brain injury. My husband got into an car accident and that was the result also with a lot of broken bones. He has endured a lot of surgeries but his body is healing fine. He was answering commands but had coded and now he doesn’t. He just moves around but is aware when someone is there. He has only been in the hospital 20 days. Do anybody knows what to expect?

I’m not a doctor. My husband had a brain injury about 8 years ago. They’ve given up on helping him & the only thing I can do for you is to offer my heartfelt condolences. It’s a miracle if they remember you in any capacity. After a long time of hope you finally realize that the husband you knew & loved is not there anymore. That’s when the grief sets in. You try to stay positive for everyone, but you’ve lost the man you’ve had so many joys with. But he’s still there & you still love him. I will say this, this has got to be one of the most tragic things I’ve ever been through. I’ve lost my brother & mother, but it was different. I could grieve then heal. Not so with this. Some days you feel ok even cheerful just to have him. Then others it feels like you’ve had your heart & soul ripped from you. It’s especially hard if they’ve lost the will to survive. I pray your pain will not be so hard. Get someone you can talk to & be honest with.

Sincerely
Debra

Hi,
I am so sorry to hear of your husband's accident. My TBI came back in 1981, following a car accident as well, but no broken bones. While I was in a coma(5 weeks), I was also aware when others were in the room. I did start responding to questions by squeezing their hand - one for yes, two for no. It was only my right arm, however. My left side was basically paralyzed, and I had limited to no use of that for about the next year. Every brain injury is unique. I do not know the severity or specifics of your husband's injury, but know that it will not be the same for you or him from now on. Be adaptable, and patience is of utmost concern. Although it has been some 40 years since my injury, there are still times when old deficiencies crop up from the injury, but, with time, I have learned to cope with a good many of them. My thoughts are with you as you embark on this journey. That is how you must think of it - as a long journey, not an overnight stay.

Andy, Thanks for sharing - My son was injured in 1995 and I am really trying to follow others - he was 14 and now 39 and still struggles with learning, memory - not so much physical - but very easily stressed out - prayers for everyone to heal

My exhusband had a TBI before we met and had children. Just wondering if they have found that the children are
genetically affected with learning disabilities possibly because of defective genetics. I say no, my son thinks yes

No, i was in a level 3 acoma back in 1996 for 2 months. I got a severe t.b.i. and after I have two daughters. Ones in collage studying to be a nurse and doing very well. The other is doing very good with no assistance in school.

It was really helpful. I used a lot on my project that I am doing in school. Thanks. 5 stars.

I had a fall at work on 10-6-2018, I was unconscious for about 30 minutes and had a brain bleed and was put in a coma for two weeks while they fixed my hip and ribs and other assorted broken bones .I spent two months in hospitals ,now My broken bones have mended but I still have diplopia ,tinnitus, headaches and have trouble with maths and have memory issues,I am so sick of being like this, being irritable is an understatement! I feel bad for my elderly mom taking care of me ,I would be lost without her nagging me to eat or take a bath ..or brush my teeth as I forget to do stuff!

You are not alone I fell like I slip in and out of reality and it takes other people to help steer me and keep me on course. It requires a level of dependence on others that I never wanted. I’m a grown ?!* man and I should remember to eat, shower, and accomplish tasks. The adaptation required to live this new life is enough to drive a man insane. I hear you brother. Hang in there. You have less tools in your toolbox than you did before. But at least you have some tools. Learn to use the ones you do have. I set three alarms to accomplish every task that I need to get done. I never turn the alarm off until the task is accomplished. Keep it together. Focus on sleep and not drinking alcohol. Again you are not alone.

I had a TBI back in 12/21/2014 things had been going ok only grunge was I always had severe head aches and then they turned to sharp needle like pains in my brain at random times and would come more often if I’m stressed but for years now since then I’ve used alarms for many many things not just to wake up in the mornings like normal people do but to even remind me to leave my house for work or get ready for work so many make fun of me at work because I need an alarm as they to even “shower” but what they don’t know is after a TBI it is very difficult to remember many things after that situation, and lately I’m having gaps of moments where I don’t remember at all what I did such as me turning in an order to a customer at work I won’t remember I ever did that and it worries me because I don’t know how much worse this can become

I was 41 when I was catapulted from a 4 wheeler in Mexico. My helmet came off and I bounced down a dry riverbed on my head. I was told I bounced 3 times and was traveling about 45 -60 mph. I was unconscious for nearly an hour. I awoke in a Mexican ambulance and I'm told that for the next 18 hours I only spoke Spanish. This doesn't sound remarkable but before the accident, I had a very rudimentary understanding of the language. I was told that I was having conversations with hospital staff and my English speaking wife. I ended up suffering an anterior sternoclavicular dislocation, I broke the first four ribs on the left side completely displacing the 3rdn and 4th rib. I broke either the spinous or transverse process at C5 & C6, and fractured my skull from around the hairline on right side that seemed to transverse the skull ending behind my left ear. As I was on vacation at the time, I opted on completing the holiday. Oddly enough, I don't really recall too much over the next 7 days.
After returning to the states, my wife made me go to my primary care physician (PCP). I had all x-rays and records from Mexican hospital. As my PCP could not read the Mexican medical records, he ordered his own CAT scan and x-rays. When I returned to work colleagues noted issues with my memory and speech. I was sent home until cleared by neurologists and word from PCP. My PCP noted that by breaking the first 2 ribs and the length of the skull fracture that the trauma was equal to being sent through the front window of a speeding car. The neurologist saw the x-rays and CAT scan and the issues I was having was positively a TBI.
Initially, my short term memory very poor. So much so, as I could tell you a story get distracted and see you again and tell you the same story. I had expressive aphasia that lingers to this day. I was diagnosed with dyskinesia that has resolved. My memory has improved but I still have lingering issues just not as bad. The social-emotion and behavior affects do linger but have improved. Initially, a commercial could send me into tears. It's not nearly that bad anymore but I remain a sensitive fellow. Prior, no one would confuse me with being sensitive. I have anger issues still but not as bad. I continue to get irritated easily. To this day, I can not go into a enclosed space that is crowded without a panic attack ensuing. I learn not to take elevators during busy times of the day or go christmas shopping in a normal hour. After nearly 10 years, I've gotten accustomed to navigating the my world with the remaining symptoms. It's a part of my make-up now. In my case, most of the symptoms remain but they have lessened.
I hope this gives any readers a glimpse into a typical TBI and the issues that accompany some of us. For those that read this and say, "that is exactly like me," know that you can adapt and make it work for you the best you can. A poem by a German poet captures those of us that suffer from TBI's. Let everything happen to you; Beauty and terror; Just keep going; No feeling is final. Best of luck.

I am a 59 yr old vet with moderate TBI issues that include extreme rage ,getting lost ,forgetting things,at times I feel like have to concentrate to make my legs,I don't have friends,I hate being around people,I hear and smell things that aren't real and I cry for no reason. Numerous other things happen that I know aren't right. After 33 years of begging for relief from these problems I was diagnosed with moderate TBI. Treatment was the government mandated handful of drugs the V.A. uses to cure everything. I have continually asked for help for the last 33 years. I have a diagnosis of moderate TBI along with all the symptoms and some things nobody seem to know about. I have no idea what treatments are available. I have no idea if any of these problems are permanent. I have been in prison twice since I started asking for help. I don't believe I should have to beg for help when people get hurt because of me. I shouldn't have to go to prison because these people have decided not to help for the past 40 years

Hi Michael, I am sorry for your trauma and injury - non THC CBD Oil would really be of help to calm your nervous system. Prayers for you to feel God's presence and know his love - you sound like a survivor and I pray you hear God's voice and receive his strength to move ahead with victory of which you deserve!!!!

Dear Sir are you under the VA?

What branch did you serve in? I see an Army Doc that is the best I’ve ever heard of. His name is Dr. Rigg at Eisenhower Army Medical Institute. It’s in Augusta, GA.

I had a biking accident nearly five years ago that resulted in a moderate TBI and an incomplete scalping. Being fifteen years old, I was fortunate enough to only have a skull fracture and moderate brain swelling. The swelling resulted in about three weeks of time I can't recall, but I was able to recover! My parents, both nurses, talk about how fortunate I was to have survived and still be fine - which I am. But, I can't help but feel like something is wrong with my brain. Some days are clear, and other days are cloudy. Some days I wake up happy and chipper and able to play chess (one of my main hobbies) easily and without fault, other days I am irritable and depressed, incable of sitting down to look at the board. I live functionally, working a full time job and in academics full time, working to become a nurse as well. But my brain is worrying me. I have a hard time remembering both my childhood and teenage years before my accident. Recently, I can't seem to recall details within more than a few weeks. My memory seems entirely cloudy. Last year has almost faded from my memory, I only remember key facts like the job I was working and people I was friends with. I've mentioned these things to my parents, who both said to tell my Primary Care Physician; she told me there was nothing to worry about. Maybe this was a predicted result, but if it was, it wasn't prominent within three years following my accident, which concerns me. I can't help but feel anxious about it.

Wow, I've had a very similar experience. 2 1/2 years ago I fell and hit my head on the pavement - long story that resulted in a minor brain bleed (causing a seizure) and a fracture to my temporal lobe. Ever since the accident my memory has been such garbage that it's almost scary sometimes, but I didn't realize this even a year after the accident because my memory was never great to begin with. However, I'm often concerned that I can't find the right words when trying to explain things, or that when I am talking my mind goes blank trying to recall something that I just read or I just completely lose my train of thought. The entire 6 months after the accident were fuzzy, and having two separate neurologists didn't help. I never brought this up because I didn't notice anything drastic at the time, and now I feel like it's too late to contact them. Anyway, I guess it's reassuring that I'm not alone.

Hi, my son at the age of 16 had a fall from a roof, 32feet, his leg caught railings on the way down and this slowed his fall. He had broken ribs, broken wrist, deep wound to his calf, and a compressed fracture of the scull. He was never in a coma but had Bell’s palsy on the left hand side of his face and could not walk. It was rough and go if he would survive. He looked and walked like a 90 year old man. 5 months after the accident a tear ran down his cheek and his beautiful smile came back! He is now approaching 36, drives an articulated lorry for a living and has 3 gorgeous children. I know he’s not 100% but he’s done great. My partner struggles to cope with his behaviour sometimes, and that is a strain as I know he cannot cope with things and does reply on me to help out when he’s stuck but I will always be there fo him. I am blessed that he is good, still works and has given be 3 gorgeous grandchildren. I have no idea if he will suffer any issues as he gets older but the surgeon said all those years ago, just get in with your life! And he has done. His time to go was not then and I thank all the professionals who helped him to recover. It took possible 2 years after the accident to say he had made an almost 100 % recovery. He was young enough for his brain to heal and has a massive scar on his head which reminds us all of the incident. He his his head when snow boarding and took a wise decision to get himself checked out some 6 years ago, ,that was the first time he saw the ex ray and the black mass of dead brain, he was shocked but just accepted it and is enjoying life. I hope this has been helpful to read. Luv him to bits.

I had tbi from domestic violence sent upstate NY broke. Bone in head got plate put in with VP shut drain blood and fluid in 2016 .now I'm having memory issues .diagnosed with MS last yr an Dr now says have early stages of dementia.i don't have trouble doing daily task just people say I repeat my self alot is it possible it from trauma instead of dementia. I cook drive no trouble bath clean pay bills on time so Dr really got me thinking and concern I'm only 48 to young for this .worked in health care 24 yrs prior to tbi .always tired and headaches Neuro Dr call um cluster headaches.energy level low sleep 12 hrs a day some days more and some days don't even sleep so what should I do before anything advances .

I have had several head injuries... Age one, fell down a flight of stairs, knocked unconscious. Age 11, fell off a bike, found unconscious on the road. Age 12, I was riding a new horse who ran away with me and knocked me off on a large tree branch. I had 25 stitches above my right eye … Then at age 17, I had a car accident and rolled down a 25 foot embankment, again, knocked unconscious.

At age 60; I started having hand tremors. An MRI showed I had a rare brain cyst, making me the 40th person ever. In Nov, 2016, I had brain surgery. The cyst was filled with spinal fluid. When the surgeon pierced it, it drained and pulled away from the brain tissue, causing it to bleed. I have learned that is not a good thing. I was in intensive care and a rehab center afterwards. Then 'physical therapy' for a number of months, which consisted of playing games and Journaling. My close friend also helped me so much with the symptoms. She had an aneurism.

I am now retired and on SSI... I had to leave my job. I feel so fortunate to be getting a pension as well.

My husband took care of me. It was (is) a strain on him. Our youngest daughter left her partner and moved in with us in December along with her two daughters and two pit bull dogs. They are all crammed in one bedroom. Since they moved in it has been a challenge for me, as you could imagine. I feel as if I am digressing. After reading your comments it is helpful to admit it could be so much worse.

Thank you for your support. I feel more hopeful.

Some days are just okay and I feel clear enough to think like I used to sometimes. But most days feeling not foggy, it only last a few hours and others not at all. I take naps every day & feeling foggy leaves me sad,impatient, irritable, but I try to not let this control or happen when I know I feel this way. My incident where 2 people hurt me and I was in shock when I woke up bloody. I dont remember much. Just bits here and there. I dont have enough for pieces. Is it normal for ne to feel slow & foggy , & not be able to explain things well if I say them; is it normal to fight with daily functions and hate artificial lighting? I just dont know. I just want it to end.

Thank you for posting. You’re not alone or crazy for what’s going on. I was in a horrific motorcycle accident that broke most the bones in my body and gave me a decent TBI, that was fortunately controlled with drugs, not surgery. This was two years ago. Just lately I have started to come out of what seems like a day dream, things were just foggy, hard to comprehend, words are lost from me, and emotions can be all over the board without the ability to express the way I mean to or want to. I know lots of people that have light sensitivity after a decent blow to the head. I pray time helps with your injuries and the symptoms ease because having a disconnection from your body is terrifying.
Something that helps is a support system. This is harder to find after a little time from your trauma; while the world moves on from what happen to you, you’re stuck putting the pieces together. Still getting up to speed on the traumatic experience. Most people will not understand and it is so maddening. I recommend journaling because it can help sort all of the complex loses you are dealing with. Also know that your pain is unique to you. No one has experienced what you have and you’re stronger for it. Please know there are still kind, wonderful people out there and I am sorry for the hurting you’re experiencing.

Hi Cindy, I have survived multiple brain injuries, and I am still struggling with the effects of them, daily. Yes, your issues are normal, so relax, you are not alone. Talk to your Doctor about them, they need to know. Also there are support groups with people who are going through the same issues. The key is to not worry, you are "normal", okay ?

I am 67, I was unconscious briefly, at age 6, when I hit the left side of my head on pavement after falling off my bike. I had difficulty learning for about a year and was almost held back in school. Stress and/or fatigue can cause me to have TIAs, a migraine, and/or experience scotomas—no headache but central vision loss.

My daughter was 1 when she stopped breathing lack of oxygen she is now turning 6 shes having a hard time learning writing identifying letters speech is delayed, lazy eye slower time tracking... she is in regulat kindergarten but she is struggling to keep up having frustrations then that turns into behaviors . She understands everything just takes longer to process and her right side from tracking issues to slower overall reaction is more noticeable or affected on right side not left. Any advice or things that I can do or know that might help and wish u knew sooner ..or explaining ur experience living with it from start to now of injury

My daughter was 1 when she stopped breathing lack of oxygen she is now turning 6 shes having a hard time learning writing identifying letters speech is delayed, lazy eye slower time tracking... she is in regulat kindergarten but she is struggling to keep up having frustrations then that turns into behaviors . She understands everything just takes longer to process and her right side from tracking issues to slower overall reaction is more noticeable or affected on right side not left. Any advice or things that I can do or know that might help and wish u knew sooner ..or explaining ur experience living with it from start to now of injury

I was injured at work. An overhead lamp connected to the machine I was working on came loose, swung down and hit me on the left side of my head and neck knockin me to the ground. I was taken to the ER where I only got xrays for broken bones, No concussion check til about five months later. The doctors here in Sweden do not seem to know much about tbi's and have done not much for me, it is here take this pil or that pil. I also am dealing with whiplash pain and not getting much help there either. my work insurance refuses to compensate me because with no information I went back to work for five months even though I was in pain and not realizing what damage had been done to my brain, ( yet) after the five months I went back and asked for another doctor. this all happened to me in december 20015. no one seems to understand what I am going through or just don't care

I see you, and I can relate to a lot of what you're going through. I was injured in a car wreck, but the rest of your comment is pretty much exactly how I feel. I understand what you're going through, because I am too. I care. I hope you find support. I hope you find ways to adapt. Keep pushing, you can do it! (trying to tell myself that as much as you! ;) )

I was hit in head with a crowbar at work on 2002. Saw several drs, had severe cognitive and behavioral changes stemming from a combo of the injury and the never ending or changing diet of antidepressants I was given to treat the condition. Went from a hard working loving family man to a federally indicted criminal in a year. Served 9.5 years in prison and returned to work still carrying the problems. It's now been over 17 years since the injury and I'm still getting the run-around from drs. Noone will even address my issues, only keep giving me pills of all sorts. I've been unable to work the past three years due to the pills but of I don't take them I fear what may happen in light of what's happened already. Just returned from er as I write this, once again given a pill for dizziness and one to sleep. They refuse to tackle the problem

I had a severe TBI in the military, 50years ago, many doctors has told me nothing wrong, fighting with the veterans the last 8 years and they are just waiting for all of us to die.

I am very scared I found my boyfriend a few weeks ago, he shot himself in the head and I saved his life. He has been recovering well. They say he has no brain damage because of my quick response when I found him However there are so many things that are unknown and they don’t seem to say anything about what to expect when he comes home but about the therapist and his jaw still being wired the medical parts. It’s happened so quickly and they don’t seem take in consideration that I am fearful of what how to handle this. He is doing well yes but when I show up there he wants help with everything and I don’t know how handle it. His sight has already started to change in the one eye. He is constantly hot wants the temperature at 65 or colder, it’s always got to be dim in the room. I don’t want to push him not sure what to think at this point they just continue to say he is doing great and he will be ready to go back home soon. I don’t know where to get answers but I’m ready to pull my hair out I see my therapist 2 times a week now and it’s just me and him here!

My husband was shot in the head at point/blank range. It sounds very similar to what you are describing with injuries to your boyfriends jaw & other head injuries. My husband went through many surgeries, including plastic surgery & jaw reconstruction. That was in 2015, I was his caretaker. They all celebrated his recovery without telling us anything about TBI or mental health aftercare.
Now, we are divorcing. He says that he doesn’t need a mother or a nurse to take care of him. He has “needs that aren’t being met”, I’m to blame. And, I feel that I’ve been lashed out on through the experience, my counselor says that it’s probably because people lash out on those they are closest too & are most comfortable with. I’m so sad that after all the trauma that I went through, that our relationship & marriage of 17 years is over.
I don’t want to scare you away from taking care of your boyfriend, if that’s what you want to do. His injuries may result in different outcomes than my husband. But, educate yourself on TBI & the long-term effects.
I was listening to an amazing woman on NPR today that is a neuroscientist, did her work on military TBI’s (which I think are probably similar to people experiencing GSW’s), and her husband was in the military & suffered an injury that resulted in TBI. They divorced in 2015 & he committed suicide in 2019. He knew that he had TBI & of all of his wife’s research & this happened. There’s apparently scaring that happens in the brain that the brain cannot repair. This was a very sad story for me to hear, as I feel that my husband is pushing me away. He’s had a 2nd chance at life & I hope that he does live it out to its fullest! I truly hope that the TBI does not prevent him from doing so. It’s sad that it’s preventing him from wanting to keep his marriage.
Suicide is a common “side-effect” from TBI’s, the woman on NPR was saying. I hope that this is not the case for my husband! I hope that your boyfriend’s suicide attempt & recovery will remind him to live.
One other than I wanted to mention is that we did not know if my husband would recover to the point of being able to work. He’s been working harder than he ever has in his life. He does admit he has short term memory loss & difficulty remembering things he used to know without even trying. So, it’s a process & the changes in sensitivity to light & temperature may not persist, nor may the need for constant assistance. Just be ready for things to change, and the changes & future are unpredictable for all of us. This is especially true for those with TBI & their loved ones. Be sure you’re willing to take that on going forward. Try to find some individual counseling or mental health help for yourself so that you don’t forget to take care of yourself!! I put myself 2nd, and didn’t realize it. It’s so good to help others & especially our loved ones-but remember that YOU are #1. No one will care for you like you will!!

My husband suffered frontal lobe damage in an accident in 1999. Has been on disability ever since. I can tell you that you can notice deficits and improvements for years after the initial injury. It will depend on what part of the brain was injured/affected. I will also tell you not to ignore your own needs. Caretaker burnout is a real phenomenon and you will become very resentful of your significant other if you do not take care of yourself, as well.

I am 43 married with 2 children. Since 2005 my husband has been learning to deal with me with a severe tbi from a near death car accident coming home from work one day. I feel like all of the help is given to you right after you get out of hospital with doctors and now I feel like my husband and I donot know where to turn for help now. I am able to walk and look normal but as I am aging I want to see how my brain is doing. If you have any suggestions for me I would greatly appreciate it.

It's wonderful that you were able to rescue your boyfriend! Also, it's wonderful that you are in therapy. I would stay in therapy until you are feeling confident that you can handle whatever life seems to throw at you.

I was in a serious car accident in 1981 in my early 20s and was in a semi coma on a ventilator for 6 weeks. I won't go into detail, but I nearly died and stated in intensive care for 5 weeks and had to have emergency brain surgery.

Amazingly, I survived. In 1 year my body looked healed, but it took me much longer, more than 20 years, to recover mentally, and I'm still recovering 39 years later.

I have had to deal with neurological deficits, including short term memory loss, difficulty managing emotions, anger, etc. But with patience and support, we can heal.

I eventually completed college and found my way into a career that works for me. Fortunately, I am a self-employed professional and can spend a good part of the day quietly working on my own.

Be patient with your significant other, but be prepared that at some point you might want to move on with your life and end the relationship. It's great that you care for him and are there for him now, but you might eventually want to do something different. Don't feel guilty if you decide to make a significant change in the future. I'm not saying that you shouldn't be together. But you have choices and you should do what is best for you.

I hope it all works out for you both.

I had a moderate TBI due to a scooter accident. I don't remember the accident or the next 4 days. While I was told I never lost Consciousness I still don't remember the first five days and over the course of the next month I had 3-4 day periods of time which I don't recall. I had vision problems for six months and my sleep pattern is all screwed up. This happened in April of 2016. I still have sleeping issues and anger outbursts which scare me. I'm a 60 yo man who was never a people person but know that is even much worse. I try not to interact with people at all. It is a sad situation for sure. Best of luck to all involved.

Did your vision get better? My husband has had a TBI from a mc accident he was intebated for 9 days. It’s 2 months later and he’s not the same and can’t see out of left eye I need advice~ scares&desperate

He might need to see an ophtalmologist. They're doctors that specialize in vision retoration after injuries. I had my vision completely restored after 6 months.

I went through months of what is called ocular therapy. Many different tasks to strengthen the eye muscles

God bless you. I am reading this because I've had a TBI from a violent attack with an ax, survived a subdural hematoma and have a small plate in my forehead. My recovery has been amazing I guess, but five years later I have noticed it takes longer to sort my mind out after a deep sleep. My sister, a nurse, confirmed I could have bacteria/germs dormant in my brain that could become problems later on and I'm just wondering how that would present. So I feel your pain and admire you for sharing your personality changes. Again, God bless you and keep you.

I just remembered something that happened to me in the early part of 2011 I was beaten by two guys for hours they beat me only in the face and head I was bleeding from my mouth nose and ears I never lost consciousness but it went on for hours I did lose a lot of blood. They beat me with their fists and the butt of a shotgun. And now I have lost the sense of smell and I am having a lot of problems with memory walking and just falling apart I now use a wheelchair to move around because I fall all the time I cannot feel anything except my face in places I feel no pain whatsoever nothing. My doctors can’t figure out what is going on with me. I lose time and the only reason I am able to make this post is I just remembered this a few minutes ago and like most things these days I will forget about this by morning so I am posting this now.

My heart bleeds for u dude i know what your going through i watch my husband suffer the same way every day. Day by day he gets a little better so there is hope. May god bless u man

Your story is heart wrenching. I pray you can get all the help you need.

I appreciated reading about so many similar to me on this blog. I suffered a TBI as the result of a car accident in 1991. I went through comatose and years of therapy as many on here can relate. I have seizures, but they are controlled by medication. I have seen a neurologist consistently ever since 1991. Again as many on here can relate my ST memory is extremely bad. I have been able to hold a job, but will be going on disability soon (I have a good lawyer and I am prepared to endure two years of Obamacare until Medicare "kicks in"). My question is... yes I was hurt very badly, as mentioned I have memory problems, I have balance issues, seizures controlled with meds, I talk funny, but other than that I am pretty healthy. I exercise on a treadmill (I walk). I can support myself, and I can drive (I have a license, but it does require doctor approval annually). It has been almost 29 years since the car accident. Could I potentially live a long, good life through retirement? I feel healthy enough. I am nearing 50yo now, and I would appreciate hearing from anyone whom, with undoubted challenges, has still been able to live a long time.

Insurance through the Affordable Healthcare Act (Obamacare as you call it) has been a godsend for me. The cost has been extra affordable and the coverage is very good. Do be aware, though, that you have to have some income in order to qualify. I think it is $14,000 though I am not sure -- I'm also thinking that you can't work at all for two years while trying to get on disability. You might be in a rough spot -- ask your lawyer, for sure.

Hey Brandon my dad had a brain injury when he was 41 dr said in his 4o years of operating he had never seen an injury that bad. With a glasco score of 3 we were advised to take him off life support and not proceed with the crainotomy. That he had 3% chance of survival 97% he would either die or be in a vegetated state. We went against medical advise and though my dad has short term memory loss and never has been able to drive again. Im happy to tell u he just celebrated his 81st birthday and is in great health so healthy that he takes absolutely no medications except a sleeping pill and walks 3 miles a day. So absolutely u can have a long life. Life is only over when god calls u home. Take care Brandon

Pages