Living with a Traumatic Brain Injury
Among the possible injuries that an individual might suffer, a traumatic brain injury is among the most severe. The neurons of the brain are responsible for the entire motor and sensory function in the body. Unlike other parts of the body, the neurons of the brain often do not regenerate once damaged. This means the deficits that people notice after a TBI could be permanent. Some types of brain injuries include:
- Repeated Concussions: Repeated concussions could lead to permanent brain damage that can cause forgetfulness, chronic headaches, or irritability.
- Penetrating Brain Injuries: Penetrating brain injuries damage the brain tissue underneath the skull. Depending on the location of the injury, the symptoms of this TBI could vary.
- Cerebral Contusion: This is the term used to describe a bruise of the brain. Like other parts of the body, the brain could be bruised by a blunt impact to the head. Over time, a cerebral contusion could heal; however, the brain damage could be permanent.
- Brain Bleeds: There is a delicate network of blood vessels that supplies oxygen and nutrients to the neurons. If these vessels are cut, individuals may develop life-threatening brain bleeds such as an epidural or a subdural hematoma.
Once individuals are stabilized, the recovery process will start. While the bleeding will stop, the bruises will heal, and possible skull fractures will resolve, the cognitive deficits of a TBI could remain.
The Cognitive Damage of a TBI
One of the most significant complications of a traumatic brain injury is the cognitive damage that can occur. Unfortunately, some of the cognitive impairment that people sustain following a TBI may end up being permanent. Some of the ways that cognitive deficits might manifest include:
- Decreased attention, focus, and concentration that could make it difficult to focus at work or while in school.
- Lapses of memory, including remembering past events or forming new memories.
- Difficulty communicating with others, particularly if speech production is impaired.
- Issues related to organization, multi-tasking, or following step-by-step instructions.
- Problems with executive functioning, problem-solving, decision-making, and judgment.
These cognitive issues are going to vary depending on the region of the brain that has been hit. Furthermore, the severity of the problems will vary with the severity of the injury. After suffering a TBI, it might not be immediately apparent what issues an individual might have. The cognitive problems tend to be the most severe in the weeks to months following the injury. As time passes, and with intensive rehabilitation and support, some cognitive functions might return. For help with this, neuropsychological testing could identify specific cognitive deficits, helping tailor the treatment plan to the particular cognitive deficits.
Resources Are Available: Living with a Traumatic Brain Injury
When an individual has been diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury, it is essential to seek medical care. Some of the resources include:
- Mental Health Specialists: Many people living with a TBI will start to develop mental health problems. These could take the forms of depression, anxiety, or emotional lability. Treatment of these disorders requires a well-rounded approach, including both counseling and possible medications.
- Rehabilitation Specialists: For individuals to regain some of their baseline level of physical functioning, it is essential to work with rehabilitation specialists. This includes speech therapists, occupational therapists, and physical therapists. With specific exercises and treatment plans, individuals may be able to regain some level of independence after a TBI.
Also, it is crucial for families to keep appointments with the primary care providers to help coordinate all the various specialists involved in their loved one’s care.
Watch YouTube Video: Living with a Traumatic Brain Injury. The video below showcases several people with a traumatic brain injury who give new meaning to courage.
Contacting a Brain Injury Lawyer
When a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury, this impacts not only the individual but also the entire family. Traumatic brain injuries are always severe and require the most appropriate medical care available. After seeking proper medical care, families may still have questions and concerns. In this situation, it is helpful to meet with a San Francisco traumatic brain injury attorney. An experienced injury lawyer could help with:
- Reviewing records from the hospital, the accident, and the injury to ensure that all of the details have been appropriately considered.
- Serving as an objective professional who can help families assess all of their options and make appropriate decisions.
- Helping families pursue damages that are related to the accident, its injuries, and any complications.
Reach out to a traumatic brain injury attorney in San Francisco today. You may be entitled to a financial award.