What Is the Process of Recovering from a TBI?

Injury Attorneys | Restoring LivesTM

Treating and recovering from a mild to moderate traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a process, and truly treatment has been evolving.

A lot of the research has been driven by new concussion awareness. When there is a concussive type of TBI, the current trend is to be quiet, to be putting the brain at rest, even to the point of having people separate themselves from their computer, from their television, staying in a quiet, moderately-lit room the majority of time. Then, beginning to gradually letting the brain deal with more information, more stimulus, more physical activity.

If there’s a significant concussion, with or without an accompanying loss of consciousness, physical activity may worsen the symptoms of headache, of nausea, even to the point of bringing about essentially a migraine-like condition.

Time is a really important element, and a gradual re-instituting of one in the normal activities of life has to be carefully measured.

One of the challenges for the lawyer is often to get the client directed to a neurologist, to the proper medical care. As we indicated earlier, sometimes that early, particularly emergency room care, can be rather dismissive of symptoms that should not be dismissed.

If we think about the recovery of a more severe TBI, that truly can be a process that can take a 12 to 18 to sometimes even 24 months. It is one that involves often a complement of professionals, beginning with a neurologist or a neurosurgeon in the acute phase, and then as you move into the gradual recovery, a speech therapist, physical therapist, occupational therapist working hand-in-glove with a neuropsychologist that can measure the cognitive function becomes a very important part of recovery.

When you have a severe brain injury, it will encompass family involvement. We have some marvelous facilities here in Indiana, particularly in the Marion County metropolitan area.

The Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana that all of us here at Wilson Kehoe Winingham have had a close relationship with for almost 20 years now has done marvelous research. They have both in-patient and out-patient facilities on the west side and on the northwest side of Indianapolis. They work closely with the Indiana Brain Injury Association to provide family support.

One of the difficulties from a family perspective is many times you have the observation, the “Gee, they’re just not the same person,” and truly, many time you have to find a new normal. The person who has sustained the serious injury has to have a new normal, and often the family has to reset and find a new normal.

One of the difficulties that we see families confronting can be some of the behavioral aspects of a more severe TBI, where frustration can be really quite significant. Anger control can be quite a challenge, both for the individual who has suffered the injury and of course the family members who are trying to aid in their recovery and still maintain their lives and family function as well.

It takes a great deal of empathy on everybody’s part, from the medical community and certainly from paralegals, nurse consultants, and the lawyers that would be working with TBI clients here at WKW.

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