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What is this FAQ?   This FAQ was designed as a general forum for questions and issues related to brain injury and its treatment. It is a sampling of frequently asked email questions concerning brain injury. The links in our replies lead to other pages on this site that provide additional information and resources on the subject in question. 

  For additional information and resources on brain injury see the links on the left side of this page. 

   Please Note: This FAQ is not intended to provide advice on personal medical matters, nor is it intended to be a substitute for consultation with a qualified medical and/or legal professionals. 
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The family and friends of the victim feel the psychic repercussions of the head injury acutely as well. 

     Caring for an injured family member can be very demanding and result in economic loss and emotional burdens.

    It can change the very nature of family life; the resultant emotional difficulties can affect the cohesiveness of the family unit. 

     Typically, the emotional damage is intense, affecting family and friends for years afterward and sometimes leading to the breakup of previously stable family units.


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believe is a good thing. Secondly, your browser is probably slow, dial-up vs DSL or broadband.  What can I say.
 I would love nothing more than to upgrade the site yet again, however, people who use the site do not seem to feel the need to support it with donations. We ask only  that you give what you can afford. If everyone who uses the site would donate a little, we would be able to maintain it and upgrade it so that is more user friendly.  However, under the circumstances we do what we can to give you the best and the latest information available with the meager resources at hand,.

    Again, thank you for contacting Brain Injury Resource Center, I hope you have been helped by the information provided. 

      Subject:  Headaches and Head pain... 

Q: I had a severe skull fracture and brain concussion in 1969.  Closed head injury.  I was not expected to live, but I did.  (I had one of those out of  body experiences where I was in the light.  I was asked if I was ready to go on to what had been prepared for me---quite awesome and powerful experience. I said I was not ready to go yet and was returned  In any case,  I recovered 100% and was actually Most Valuable Trackman on my high school track team about 3 years later. 

     I used to have very sharp pains about 3-4 times a year in the area of the injury, above my right temple. About 3 years ago, those pains began increasing.  Over the course of maybe 1 year, they got to where I would have 3-4 a day.  Sometimes I would have them just 2 minutes apart.   These pains would strike hard, last 5-6 seconds and fade in about 1 minute. 

     Then, I had a very scary "event" where I became totally disoriented and lost control.  I didn't know where I was, what day it was or anything.   This lasted several minutes.  I was only 6 houses from my home at the time!  I was in my car at the time.  After that, my ordinarily outgoing personality vanished and I became quiet and timid. Everyone around me knew something was wrong. 

     My doctor was not helpful. Now I have been out of work for 7 weeks suffering from extreme fatigue.   A psychologist is trying to help me, I have also just started seeing a psychiatrist. I am concerned because I am a caretaker for my wife who is disabled and need to know if anyone has answers.   Did I have a "mini-stroke" or something?   Is is related to my injury?    By the way, I never have had any medical evaluation of my brain since I recovered from the accident in 1969.  Would appreciate any help! thanks, RSR.

 A: Headaches and Head pain... 

Dear RSR;  I am sorry to learn of the unfortunate circumstances regarding  your 1969 head injury.  With the exception of  your alarming, head pains, you seem to have made a remarkable recovery, congratulations.

    I can relate to your feelings of  apprehension concerning those electric like head pains.  I too, suffered similar head pains for a number of years following my 1982 head injury.  Mine were, sudden, swift and brain numbing.  They would strike without warning and stop me in my tracks.  And, much like a lightening storm, they would end as suddenly as the had begun. Afterwards, following a brief recovery period, I was able to resume my previous activities.

    Mine, however, unlike yours, have grown less intense and less frequent over the years. Could it be that your apprehension contributes to their persistence?  Considering, that you have received a "clean" bill of health, it would seem to me that there might be an emotion factor associated with them.  I am sure that the stress of your wife's disability also plays a role in your head pains.

    For information concerning stroke symptoms I would refer you to the Stroke, Aneurysm, and Brain Attack  page on the Brain Injury Rehab Center  web site at http://www.headinjury.com/linkstroke.htm.  I would also urge you to check out the resources on the Epilepsy page on our web site, http://www.headinjury.com/linksepil.htm.

    Additionally, I would suggest investigating deep relaxation training and bio-feedback.  Brain injury takes a heavy toll on those with such injuries as well as those who act as caregivers for friends and loved ones. See our Support group page for Caregiver Resources . Sincerely, Constance Miller, MA

 Subject:  Friend was drinking before being knocked out... 

Q:   John writes:  I have a friend who was in a car accident and was knocked out. He is 18 years old, has glasses and they wrecked on the 18th of July at 5:30 in the morning. He was drinking. The right side of his head is a little mushy, but he didn't go to the emergency room. He said the other night he was watching TV and suddenly he couldn't see anything, for a half an hour or so. Then earlier today he thought something blue was pink. He hasn't eaten anything for awhile, but he ate today and he felt like he was going to  puke. Then he said he can't sleep. What is wrong with him, I am really concerned?   Thanks

A:  Friend was drinking before being knocked out...

Dear Erin;  Get your friend to  the emergency room of a trauma center immediately, his life might be in danger. Refer to the TBI  911 , http://www.headinjury.com/emergency.htm, page on headinjury.com for guidelines concerning mild head injury also known as concussion.  Scientists now believe that brain damage can be caused by a head injury even when there has been no loss of consciousness.
Sincerely yours, Constance Miller, MA

Q:  "Our family does not know how to grow..."

       Holly writes: My 19 year old daughter acquired a Mild closed head injury in 1995. Our family does not know how to grow with this type of injury as behavior is quite hostile at times, and self esteem is so low. I fear she will be denied success unless she is able to accept and understand how her concentration and memory "doesn't work" nor does her ability to read. Our community literally has no resources for support; denial and lack of understanding prevails. I am looking for affordable assistance for learning & support. Please advise. Thank you. 

A:  "Our family does not know how to grow..."

Dear Holly;  Thank you for visiting the Head Injury Hotline web site.  I am sorry to learn of the unfortunate circumstances concerning your daughter's head injury.  It sounds as though she is suffering from a classic case of Post Concussion Syndrome.  Head injury is one of those disorders that frequently causes long term impairments such as the type described in your e-mail. 

     Denial is perhaps the most difficult obstacle on the road to recovery.  The shame that results from such impairments prevents acknowledgment of, and acceptances of the changed self.   Without self knowledge  one is doomed to mere shadow existence.  Hiding behind a wall of ignorance and denial is the first line of defense against things that threaten or frighten us.  But, sooner or later we have to face the music.  In the case of brain damage, the longer the delay between the injury and rehabilitation the more difficult the problems are to treat.

     Each year 5 million persons in the U.S. suffer head injuries  Of that number 2 million suffer brain injuries many of which result in permanent impairments.  Many such injuries do not even require a stay in the hospital, yet they result in impairments so profound that lives are forever changed. For more information of brain injuries see our Brain Injury Types

    Often the effects of head injuries are not immediately apparent.  Many months may go by before such changes become apparent.  For many who sustain head injuries the effects last for a few days or weeks. For many others the problems last a lifetime.

    Problems such as memory loss,  impaired concentration, attention disorders, mood swings, heightened arousal, personality problems, fatigue, and diminished IQ, etc., are symptomatic a neurological disorder that is caused by brain injury due to head injury.  It is known as Post Concussion Syndrome, PCS. 

    The definitive test of PCS is a battery of test known as a neuropsychological assessment.  Typically, a "neuropsych" will contain, among other things, a standard IQ test as well as measurements of high level mental functioning such as memory, concentration, attention, mood, execution, and initiation. Assessments of test scores are compared to those of individuals with similar backgrounds (demographics) who do not have a history of head injury. Test performance is judged against past accomplishments as well as other influences in the personal history. 

    Neurological rehabilitation programs are designed to treat such conditions. Go to the Rehab Facilities , page locate a center near you.  Additionally, visit the Rehab Finder ,  and the Rehab Checklist pages for additional guidelines. 

     Often, psychological counseling is necessary to deal with the many, chronic impairments that follow head injury. Young adults tend to have an especially difficult adjustment to head injury losses.  Their issues of identity and displacement take on greater proportions due to the resentments that they might feel due to their youth and the loss of independence that results from brain injury. I believe that it would be a good idea for your daughter to treat with someone who understands such issues. 

    Initially, I was very reluctant to seek "therapy" for my head injury problems. Fortunately, I found an excellent therapist, in fact, he works with Olympic and world class athletes.  Many of  his clients have sustained head injuries others simply want to sharpen their performance skills. 

    Actually, impaired performance is at the heart of head injury deficits. Consequently, it makes good sense to treat with a professional who understands the requirements of performance and competition.  The snob appeal associated with the credentials of my therapist transformed "therapy" from a mark of shame to a badge of honor. 

    Typically, friends and family of a brain injury survivors,  have their own  issues that  result  from the intrusion of such impairments on the family culture.  Frequently such issues get overlooked in the rush to attend to the injured one.  Unfortunately, this is one of those instances wherein such issues do not simply go away. Unless they are confronted and dealt with they manage to undermine the family unit.  Such issues  might include grief and loss, resentment and anger to name a few. 

    See our Support group page for Caregiver Resources

    Additionally, I would advise you to look for a head injury clubhouse for your daughter.  It is like a mental health day treatment program for head injury survivors.  They offer peer counseling, job banks, and job coaching.  I attempted to locate one on the web without success. The Jodi House in Santa Barbara, CA is one such model program. Head injury clubhouses are new and therefore, hard to find.  I will continue my search for them, and will post that info on the Support Group page on headinjury.com

     Additionally, you should consider the purchase of a copy of our head injury survival guide entitled From The Ashes. It was written by me and another woman who suffered a head injury. We wrote it to fill the gap in patient information concerning this very troubling and poorly understood condition. It is available from Head Injury Hotline via mail or phone order, credit cards accepted.  The price of  From The Ashes is $25.00 which includes shipping and handling, 206-621-8558.

    You will find From The Ashes to be comprehensive and highly readable. It address many of the most troubling aspects of  head injury. From The Ashes approaches head injury from the perspective of the patient/survivor.  Additionally, it addresses many of the concerns of family and friends of those with head injury. It could be that From The Ashes is available at your local library.  If they have don't have it ask them to add it to their collection.  Sincerely, Constance Miller, MA

Subject:  How Long Will This Last 

 Q:  Chris writes: I was struck on the back of the head at work by a box that fell from approx 3 feet, I saw a flash and hit the ground, not unconscious, but in a fog. My forehead had this dull ache on and off, how long will this last, I had the mishap. Thank you.

A:   How Long Will This Last

Dear Chris;  As with any injury you can expect to feel out of sorts for some time afterwards. Most people recover from such injuries within a few weeks, in others symptoms last for up to a year.  In other cases, such difficulties become chronic and result in ongoing problems.  With head injuries there is no way of  knowing how long the problems will continue.  The best thing that you can do is get plenty of rest and stay in touch with your doctor.  Use our Daily Journal to keep track of your problems and your improvements.

    Most such problems resolve spontaneously within (3) three months.  The next milepost is six months. If they haven't resolved by nine months you should feel concerned, and you should consider special testing called a neuropsychological battery. If they are still around after a year, it's likely that they will become permanent.  The TBI Checklisthttp://www.headinjury.com/checktbi.htm, page on headinjury.com will help you track and monitor symptoms of mild traumatic brain injury.  Use it once a week to track and measure your symptoms so that you can discuss them with your doctors.  Sincerely, Constance Miller

Subject:  Airbag injuries

 Q:  Radek wrote: Excuse me please, I am looking for information about intracranial injuries during car accidents with use of airbag. Did you see any fractures of skull or some similar (RTG, CT, SONO or MRI diagnostic able) injuries?? Do you know, where can I see (on the internet too) information about this?? Do you mean, that airbag  protect head against these injuries?? Thank you, Radek 

P.S.: Apologize me bad english, but I just learning it.

A:  Airbag injuries

Dear Radek;  Yes, airbag deployment can cause intracranial injuries. According to a 1997 report issued by the  National Highway Traffic Safety Administration airbags have been blamed for the deaths of 54 children and 20 adults in the U.S.   Websites that you can visit for more information concerning such injuries include:
 

Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (AHAS)  http://www.saferoads.org/
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) http://www.itsa.org/
U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS0 http://www.bts.gov
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) http://nhtsa.dot.gov
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  http:www.cdc.gov

 Sincerely yours, Constance Miller, MA

Subject:  At my wits end... 

Q:  Teresa  writes: Hello, I'm writing today to try and find some help for my brother-in-law, he had a head injury in August 1997, when a tire he was replacing blew up in his face. Following several weeks in the hospital he was to be sent to a rehab home but his wife put him in a nursing home instead. Eighteen months later we took him home with us. Now, 6 months later, we realize what a mistake we made. We now know that we can't give him the help and the time he needs. 

     We have tried a lot of different things to get him active but he just doesn't seem to care about anything. We thought having his children here would get him going and involved. We thought that having the kids around would make him happy and motivate him try and do things for himself, wrong again. Much to our surprise and disappointment he avoids the kids. If they are in one room he goes to another room. 

     It makes me sad and mad that he is doing this because he is able to do things. He can still walk, talk, feed himself. He can still remember things from years ago and he can do anything he wants, but being with his kids is the thing he doesn't want to do. He doesn't do anything but sit around and watch TV and if you try to get him to do anything he gets mad. He goes the bathroom on himself because he doesn't want to get up.

     If anyone out there can help me please do, I don't want to put him back in a nursing home again because we love him. I know and he knows that he can start living a normal life again we just don't know where to go to get the help. 

PS: I tried the nursing homes they will not take him because he is able to do and a retirement home rejected him because he wets and poops on himself, and rehab will not help because the injury is too old they all said he was some where in the middle. So if that is true where can I find the help for people struck in the middle 

A:  At my wits end...

Dear Teresa: I am sorry to learn of the unfortunate circumstances concerning your brother in-law's head injury. It sounds as though he is suffering from a classic case of Post Concussion Syndrome. Head injury is one of those disorders that frequently causes long term impairments such as the type you described in your e-mail. 

      Problems such as memory loss, (especially, short-term memory loss) impaired concentration, attention disorders, mood swings, heightened arousal, personality disorders, fatigue, and diminished IQ, etc. Other impairments include what's called executive functioning, that has to do with executing or doing things. Other troublesome impairments include diminished initiation. Initiation has to do with starting things. 

      Head injury compromises the person's ability to respond to the emotional needs of others. It also puts them out of touch with their own emotions, and causes a condition known as flattened affect. Head injury can cause a person to become more sensitive to light and sound. The sound of children playing might over stimulate him and cause him to feel irritable. These are but a few of the disorders that are symptomatic a neurological disorders caused by brain injury due to head injury. It is known as Post Concussion Syndrome, PCS. see our TBI Checklist

      Another, troublesome disorder that results from brain injury is seizure disorder, check out the resources on the Epilepsy page on our web site, http://www.headinjury.com/linksepil.htm. Medical science is just now beginning to understand seizure disorders, but they do now understand that seizures commonly follow brain injury. Certain types of seizures, do cause incontinence, or as you put it causes the person to go to "the bathroom on himself." Does he wear adult diapers? 

      Typically, friends and family of a brain injury survivors, find themselves facing their own unpleasant, issues that grow out of the impact of such impairments on the family. Frequently such issues get overlooked in the rush to attend to the injured one. Unfortunately, this is one of those instances wherein such issues do not simply go away. Unless they are confronted and dealt with they manage to undermine the family unit. Such issues might include grief and loss, resentment and anger to name a few. 

      I'm at a lost as to where to find help for some one stuck in the middle. Have you considered private psychotherapy, he could be depressed. If he has insurance coverage you should look for someone with special  training in brain injury, go to the Rehab Facilities and the rehab finder pages on headinjury.com for resources and guidelines for selecting a doctor. Sincerely, Constance Miller, MA

Subject:  Uncontrollable shaking... 

Q:   Concerned Mother  writes:  Hello. My question is my son fell off his bike when he was around 10 years old. He landed on cement and lost consciousness for a few minutes and bleed a lot. He ended up in the hospital in the intensive care for 3 to 5 days because  he fractured his skull but also was bleeding inside the brain. Since that fall he has gotten the shakes. And as time goes on the shakes are more noticeable. The shakes are in his hands. He cannot keep them steady.  We did all the follow ups required at the time and supposedly he was healing alight. Could these shakes come from that injury? If so what in the brain could be causing it? Is there help for him? Can the shakes be controlled or stopped? Please let me know so that I can pass it on to him to get help. 
Concerned Mother 

A:  Uncontrollable shaking... 

Dear Concerned Mother; I'm not a doctor, but it sounds to me like he might be suffering from a type of seizure disorder. And,  yes it could have been caused by his head injury.  In fact, there is a good chance that it was caused by his head injury. 

     For more information on this poorly understood disorder go to the Epilepsy page on the headinjury.com web site, http://www.headinjury.com/linksepil.htm. 
Sincerely yours, Constance Miller, MA

Subject:  Mother-in-law's head injury,,,

Q: Hello, I'm hoping you can help or perhaps point me in the right direction for resources.  My in-laws were involved in a serious car accident about 7 weeks ago.  My mother-in-law sustained many injuries (broken ribs, punctured and collapsed lung, severed liver, crushed pelvis, internal bleeding from arteries in legs and pelvis and a head injury). 

    She was flown from the scene to a trauma center where she stayed a little over 4 weeks.  Upon arrival, doctors were most concerned about the internal bleeding.  She had been knocked unconscious during the accident, but had regained consciousness at the hospital when she first arrived.  She was x-rayed, and cat scanned, etc. and was her severed arteries were repaired.  The next morning, she awoke and was looking around and seemed to know everyone who visited her. 

    While on the respirator, she seemed very alert, even writing notes, etc.  She had much difficulty breathing without the aid of the respirator.  She was taken off and put back on the respirator 3 different times and final received a tracheotomy.  Just after the tracheotomy, she was very alert and moved from intensive care to a rehabilitation center near by.

    During her stay in the trauma center we were told that all of what she was experiencing was normal for head injury -- that the swelling and initial bleeding of the brain was normal for the accident she had and all in all, the doctors didn't seem concerned with the head injury -- but more concerned with her lungs and ability to breathe on her own.

    At the rehabilitation center, she has began therapy to allow her to stand, walk about the room with a walker, make the bed, lift light hand weights, etc.  She has been in the rehabilitation center for approximately 3 weeks now.  She received a smaller trachea tube last week and is now able to talk. 

    In the beginning she seemed like her old self -- same personality, reactions, expressions, moods, etc.  However, over the past week she seems progressively worse in her behaviors -- her personality is extremely bubbly at times (not like herself) and at other times very lethargic. 

    The doctors said she had some short term memory damage, but in the beginning she could tell you every therapy session she had gone to that day, who visited, special events, etc.  Less than a week later, she has trouble remembering her daughter visiting just an hour prior. 

    She is extremely moody with her husband has been by her bedside for 7 weeks straight from 7 am-12pm daily. She has much difficulty getting through an entire thought without losing her train of thought or changing subjects. 

    She began having anxiety attacks several days ago and the doctors prescribed medication for the anxiety.  This seems to be when her moods began changing more and more. 

    Could the drugs alter her ability this way?  Is this normal for patients with head injury to seem just like normal for almost 2 months and then experience these changes?  Are these changes temporary?  Permanent?

    After viewing several resources on the web, I question whether she was put into the rehab to help her walk again because of the injuries with the pelvis or rehabilitation with the head injury? 

    My husband and I have been very involved, but I'm wondering if there is something that is being kept from us and I want him to be able to deal with this crisis effectively.

    Any help/assistance/answers you could provide would be most appreciated. Thank you!  DSD

A:  Mother-in-law's head injury

Dear DSD;  I am sorry to learn of the unfortunate circumstances concerning  your mothers head injury. It sounds as though her recovery progressing normally.  In fact, it is not uncommon to notice progressive deterioration of cognitive functioning  (i.e., thinking & memory), and emotional stability during the first few weeks or months after serious head trauma.  A recent study showed that brain cell death continues for weeks following brain injury. 

    I will address a few of your other concerns here: 1) You're right, medication and anesthesia could adversely affect her mood and behavior. Mood altering medications might need to be adjusted so that a good match might be obtained, speak with her doctor in this regard. 2)  Doctors have an obligation to first treat medical conditions that might compromise life support functions, such as breathing and internal bleeding.  Your mother's cognitive functioning, while serious, seems to have been less serious than the internal bleeding, and the breathing problems. 3)  Rehabilitation of her hip injury would take precedence over her post concussion syndrome impairments (cognition, or thinking, and emotions). 

     In fact a1998 Brain Injury Rehab report by the National Institutes of Health showed that cognitive rehab might be counterproductive when administered too soon after brain injury. 
Often the effects of head injuries are not immediately apparent.  Many months may go by before such changes become apparent.  For many who sustain head injuries the effects last for a few days or weeks. For many others the impairments last a life time and compromise quality of life. 

    Problems such as memory loss,  impaired concentration, attention disorders, mood swings, heightened arousal, personality disorders, irritability, fatigue, and diminished IQ, etc., are symptomatic of such  neuropsychological disorders caused by brain injury due to head injury.  The condition is known as Post Concussion Syndrome, PCS. 

    The definitive test of PCS is a battery of test known as a neuropsychological assessment.  Typically, a "neuropsych" will encompass, among other things, a standard IQ test as well  as measurements of high level mental functioning such as memory, concentration, attention, mood, execution, and initiation.  Assessments of test scores are compared to those of individuals with similar backgrounds (demographics) who do not have a history of head injury. Test performance is judged against past accomplishments as well as other influences in the personal history. 

    Neurological rehabilitation programs are designed to treat such conditions. Often, psychological counseling is needed to deal with the many, chronic impairments that follow head injury. Older adults tend to have special difficulty getting doctors to take their complaints seriously.  Frequently, doctors will tell their older patients that their are problems are due to aging instead of head injury.  This attitude is terribly unfair  to older adults who were active and vital before their injuries. 

    It could be that your mothers impairments will resolve spontaneously after a few months.  However, if they persist beyond six months, she should seek a neuropsych exam.   A neuropsych will show impairments caused by head injury, and it will be instrumental in resolving her injury claim.  A Neuropsych exam is different from a neurological exam and equally vital. 

    Typically, friends and family of a brain injury survivors,  develop their own  issues that  result  from the impact of such impairments on the family.  Frequently such issues get overlooked in the rush to attend to the injured one.  Unfortunately, this is one of those instances wherein such issues do not simply go away. 

    Unless they are confronted and dealt with they tend to undermine the family unit.  Such issues  might include grief and loss, resentment and anger to name a few.  Visit our  Support Groups page for family, and caregiver resources,http://www.headinjury.com/linktbisup.htm
 Sincerely yours, Constance Miller, MA 

Subject:  Teen Head Injury Saturday, 

Q: BH wrote I'm 16 years old.  On December 3, 1997, while walking to school, I was hit by a pickup truck.  The man ran a 4-way stop while I was crossing the street.  He couldn't see because he didn't scrape the frost off of his windows.  I suffered a TBI.  I had a severe concussion, tearing and bleeding of my brain tissue. I had a subdural hematoma and a fractured skull.  It's been nearly two years since my accident, but everyday I suffer and am in desperate need of help.  I used to be at the top of my class, full honors student, but now I have trouble making it through a day of school.  I have headaches constantly.  Today, I think I've had the worst headache since about a month after the accident.  It was so bad my vision got blurry.  I'm on tons of medicines, and I was even hospitalized for DHE treatment to see if that would help, and it didn't.  I hate noise, I'm afraid to be alone, and I feel like I'm all alone.  My mom has been a tremendous support, and has done more than I could possibly have asked for, but we're both really tired of struggling.  If you could do anything to help us, I'd be ever so grateful. Thank you, BH

A: Teen head injury...

Dear BH; Thank you for contacting Brain Injury Rehab Center concerning your unfortunate head injury.  To suffer such a devastating injury at such a tender age is a terrible cross to bear.  Clearly, you've been through a lot, my heart goes out to you, and your family. 

    Your request for help was more general than specific, therefore, my response will address general issues concerning TBI as they relate to your situation, I hope it helps.  You are welcome to write again should you have additional questions. 

    The terrible wreckage caused by TBI is so oppressive that only the strong among us survive.  And, you my dear, sound like a survivor.

    The good news is that much of what is loss to Traumatic Brain Injury, TBI, can be recovered. Unfortunately, the process of TBI recovery is lifelong.  It sounds to me as though you are suffering from a classic case of Post Concussion Syndrome (PCS).  PCS, as you might know is the natural consequence of TBI.  See our PCS FAQ page,  http://www.headinjury.com/faqpcs.htm .

    When you are diagnosed with PCS it means that you have been saddled with an unreliable memory,  chronic fatigue, and unpredictable mood swings. TBI can cause you to become hypersensitive to light, sound, and stimulus of all types.  It can interfere with your biological cycles, such a sleep, appetite, respiration, digestion, etc. See our TBI Checklist. http://www.headinjury.com/linksha.htm

    It means that problem solving , and decision makinghttp://www.headinjury.com/problemdef.htm , become more difficult.  It means that doing things and understanding things takes more time and effort than before your TBI.  It means that your reaction time will be slower, you will become more excitable, and your sense of knowing will be different, alien even.  It means that organizing and expressing your thoughts will be more difficult, see our Essential Skills page,  http://www.headinjury.com/selftest.htm

    It means that understanding and interpreting subtle clues, body language, and facial expressions will be more difficult. It means that self regulation and self appreciation will diminished.  It means that judgment and discrimination will be impaired.  Bone up on body language, and critical thinking skills.

    All of this means that maintaining an appearance of reasonable normalcy requires extra effort and vigilance which creates a chronic fatiguing effect which means that you will need frequent rest breaks and more quiet time.  To ignore this requirement means that you will be continually bouncing off the walls, and offending, and alienating everyone in the immediate vicinity.  See our Wellness Journal , http://www.headinjury.com/wellness.html

    Your headaches could be a symptom of your need for more rest. They could also indicate the presence of a TBI related vision disorder. Be careful to distinguish between headaches and head pains.  Additionally, check out the resources on our headache page, http://www.headinjury.com/linksha.htm.  Also visit the sites on our vision disorders page, http://www.headinjury.com/vision.htm  as vision changes are common after TBI. 

    Living with TBI  means that a lifetime of learning and personal growth goes out the window.  It means that you must learn everything all over again. You should know that your learning style might have changed too.  It also means that you have to grow up all over again.  The second time around isn't any easier, but you can get through it in a lot less time.  The best part about it is that you have a lot more say in it.  See our When I Grow Up page, http://www.headinjury.com/growup.htm .

    TBI means that you are no longer the person that you used to be.  This means that the old self is lost, a victim of the destruction of TBI, see our Lost Self page, http://www.headinjury.com.  Surviving TBI means that, like the mythological Phoenix,  you must reinvent your self from the ashes of your own destruction, see our Found Self page, http://www.headinjury.com/foundself.htm.  It means that you must embrace and love this new self, warts and all.  It means that you must continually reform and refine the new self as you progress through life's many phases, and challenges, see Essential Skill, http://www.headinjury.com/selftest.htm

    Restoring quality of life after TBI means that you must learn to work smarthttp://www.headinjury.com/actionplan.htm conserve energy, become highly focused and deliberate in all things.  Doing so means that you must learn to live in the moment, as distinguished from living for the moment.  One is very self conscious and thoughtful, the other is self centered and reckless. 

    Living well in spite of TBI requires that you become intimate with it as it affects you and your family. And, then you must create a plan , see our Goal Setting page, http://www.headinjury.com/goalset.htm , that addresses your needs and those of your family. It means that you must face and deal with the deeply painful emotions on all sides, see our Anger Inventory, http://www.headinjury.com/anger.htm .  Don't overlook feelings of guilt, resentment and denial , http://www.headinjury.com/denial.htm , that afflict family and loved ones. 

    Living well despite TBI requires you to reaffirm your values and priorities  It means that you must become more skillful, http://www.headinjury.com/assertquiz.htm , and tactful., http://www.headinjury.com/asothersee.htm   It also means that you must become your own advocate, http://www.headinjury.com/advocacy.htm ,  It also means that you must make a special effort to become sensitive to the needs of your family and loved ones, see our Pop Quiz , http://www.headinjury.com/popquiz.htm .

    A diagnosis of TBI means that learning new information is very difficult.  It also means that relearning old information is easier than learning new information. Bottom line, learning becomes more difficult after TBI. It also means that you become more distractible, and your ability to attend and concentrate have been diminished.  TBI also means that you will have greater difficulty filtering stimulus in your environment. 

    This along with all of the above means that school becomes more of a torture chamber for students with TBI than it is for those without such injuries.  Fortunately, the law understands such special needs and requires schools to provide reasonable and necessary accommodations for students with special needs, see our Little Red Schoolhouse page, http://www.headinjury.com/school.htm .

    Understanding the effects of TBI in your life requires that you make honest appraisals of who you are and what you hope to achieve within the context of your situation. 

     You did not make any mention of how your injury claim is going.  Several pages on our web site addresses this very critical and highly sensitive issue.  Feel free to have your parents call me should they have questions in this regard.

     Again, thank you for contacting Head Injury Hotline, I trust you have been helped by the information provided.

Sincerely,
Constance Miller, MA


 
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