Category: Caregivers of TBI Survivors Written by Caregiver
Summary - the cause - the injury - today's quality of life?
My husband tripped and fell in our home. He sustained a 13cm laceration on his forehead/scalp and a concussion. We later learned the injury damaged the frontal lobe of his brain.
Please share your experience at the time you became aware of the injury?
I was calm at the time of acute injury. Emergency training kept me focused on what had to be done to stabilize the bleeding and get him to the hospital.
Tell about the experience immediately after the injury. Surgery? Coma?
I ran him through the head injury checklist (we both have medical backgrounds) and decided he had to go to the hospital to be checked out. He went to the emergency room, was given a CT scan and received stitches to close a 13cm laceration on his forehead and scalp. He was discharged a few hours after arrival with instructions to follow up with our family doctor.
Tell us about the hospital stay after the survivor was no longer in a coma
Tell us about the time in rehabilitation?
Tell us about coming home!
"Please type some single words that describe how TBI has touched your life. For example: Frightened, confused, sad, etc. Enter as many or as few words as you like. Separate each word with a comma"
changed, challenged, complicated
Tell us about life today?
In the five years since his TBI, my husband refused to pursue any treatment options and his ability to function in everyday life diminished to the point where he became mostly homebound. His past issues with drinking increased and he spent three weeks in the hospital (a private mental hospital followed by a state hospital) last year after I sought a mental health warrant to compel him to get help. He refrained from drinking for several months afterward but began drinking to excess again, then kicked my daughter and I out of the home we had shared for several years. I left everything behind that I could not fit into two suitcases and have not seen him in three months. I have heard from his parents that they are taking him to the VA hospital for regular appointments and looking at finding an assisted living situation for him as his ability to form short-term memories is too diminished for him to keep track of taking daily medications.
What do you want to tell others going through the same process? Treatments, understandings and actions that made a difference?
Be as patient as you can with the changes in your loved one. Caregiving can be exhausting and there is support out there for you -- groups, therapy, and respite care. I strongly recommend creating a safety plan with a caseworker, therapist or loved ones so you have clearer signposts of when to take action for everyone's well-behind.