5 Things to Know About Traumatic Brain Injuries
By Space Coast Daily // September 23, 2020
Traumatic Injuries Can Alter Your Personality
Traumatic brain injuries happen often and they can affect different brain parts, and when they do, there are unpredictable results.
Sometimes, you can only tell the injury’s severity over time.
Medical science can treat traumatic brain injuries better now than it once could. If the damage wasn’t too bad, you can sometimes fight your way back to some facsimile of what you once were.
Because these injuries happen every day, it’s useful to know a little about them. This way, if one happens to you or someone you love, you’ll have some idea of what to expect.
Here are a few traumatic brain injury facts that will give you a brief overview.
Many of Them Happen in Car Accidents
Studies show that approximately twenty percent of traumatic brain injury sufferers don’t ever recover fully. Still, that means that about eighty percent do, which is pretty good.
Car accidents account for many traumatic brain injuries. They can happen when:
• Someone T-bones your vehicle
• A vehicle strikes yours from behind
• There is a multiple-car pileup
If you wear a seatbelt and follow all traffic rules, you have less chance of suffering a traumatic brain injury. Don’t speed, and don’t tailgate other vehicles. If you drive defensively, you can hopefully avoid this trauma.
Others Happen During Slip-and-Falls
Slip-and-falls are another possible TBI cause. These can happen:
• In a store
• On a construction site
• In your home
If you suffer a TBI in a store, like if there’s a wet floor, for instance, you might have lawsuit grounds. Your case is stronger if there was no adequate signage warning you to be careful.
If it happens at your job, your employer’s insurance should give you a nice cash settlement unless the company can determine that what happened was your fault. If you came to work intoxicated, for example, it’s doubtful you’ll see any money from what happened.
Traumatic Brain Injuries Can Alter Your Personality
Some people find that, depending on the part of the brain they injured, they might feel or act differently afterward. They might be mean to their family members or short with their coworkers. This can be true even if they were very pleasant beforehand.
Those who love and care about you might feel dismay because of these fundamental personality differences. They may want the old you back, and you might want the same thing.
Whether that’s something that ever happens depends on the damage severity. You might return to the person you were in time. You also might seek therapy to help you better regulate your moods.
It’s especially in the early going, right after the injury, that you’ll have to cope with these changes. Once some time has elapsed, you’ll better understand whether you’re changed forever, or whether you can find your way back.
You Might Have Memory Problems
If you experience a TBI, you might also experience memory problems. These can be either short or long-term.
The short-term ones can annoy you, but you’ll probably recover, and it will no longer be an issue. As you’re waiting out the problem, you can write down vital things that you think you should remember.
Carry a pen and paper with you, or you can use your smartphone to jot down some notes. If a family member tells you to go to the grocery store for a couple of items, you can refer back to them.
If you have longer-term memory problems, like if you can’t remember critical childhood details, or you don’t recollect those close to you, that’s a more serious problem. This usually happens with more severe brain injuries.
If this happens, you might have to consult an expert to determine if there’s any way you can recover those memories, or if you’ve lost them for good. Looking at old pictures might jog your memory, but you’ll probably have to be a little patient.
It might frustrate you, but if your family members consistently remind you of who you are and where you came from, that might help.
You Might Have Problems Walking or Talking
Depending on what brain section you hurt, you also may experience speech difficulties. You might know what you’re trying to say, but the words come out garbled. You also might use different words from what you intend to say.
This can drive you crazy, but, just like the memory problems, you can probably recover as time passes, at least to some extent. It helps if, as you’re speaking, you take your time and try and say what you mean slowly and distinctly. Your family and those around you should be patient with you during this process.
You may struggle to do other things having to do with your motor functions. Maybe you can’t walk in a straight line, or you have to hold onto a banister as you go down the stairs.
You might have to do some physical therapy to help you regain your balance and ambulatory skill set. If you have good insurance, that should pay for it. If your insurance is not so great, you might have to come up with a significant copay for each session.
Again, if what happened to you took place at work, the settlement should help you pay for this sort of thing, not to mention the medical bills for all the testing you’ll have to do.
Sometimes, in the days and weeks after you sustain a traumatic brain injury, it can seem like your life is over. You might feel very emotional, crying, or laughing at inappropriate times.
You can feel like an entirely different person compared to who you were. You might look in the mirror and not necessarily recognize the person staring back at you.
These feelings usually pass. If you’re one of the eighty percent who recover fully, then you’ll one day be able to resume your life. If you’re one of the other twenty, you’ll have to consult the best doctors to determine your best path forward.