Road to Recovery – Traumatic Brain Injury

a man receiving a head mri

After surviving something as life-altering as a traumatic brain injury, returning back to normalcy can be a challenge in and of itself.  The process of recovery comes with an incredibly daunting group of circumstances that can affect the way that you live your life, and it is important that you navigate them correctly.  By surrounding yourself with qualified, experienced individuals who have a firm grasp on not only the law, but your rights as well, the team at Henderson Law can help you navigate the uncertain road ahead.  If you are facing an upcoming battle with an insurance company, a lawyer in a civil case, or are simply unsure how to proceed in order to secure a recovery for your injuries, then Henderson Law, LLC may be able to assist you.  Henderson Law, in conjunction with the necessary experts, is willing and able to help you to the best of their abilities, with a vast amount of experience stemming from an extensive history of handling cases involving traumatic brain injuries.  The path ahead can be challenging, but with a solid team of experts at your side, you will be prepared for the likely challenges. 

Traumatic Brain Injury Recovery 

The command center of the human body, your brain is an absolutely integral component of your body, your mind, and your personality.  Every function of your body depends on an initial command stemming from the brain, and whether you are thinking critically or practicing mindful meditation, your brain plays a crucial role. 

When a person sustains a traumatic brain injury, they are dealing with potentially life-altering effects that, if not properly treated, can change the way that they view the world, navigate relationships, and live their life. This essential organ is delicate, yet delivers functions and commands that are imperative to how humans interact with their surroundings. The road to recovery from a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) will vary from person to person, but the end goal will always remain the same. 

By educating yourself on the early stages of recovery, knowing what to expect when embarking on your recovery, and the long-term effects of a TBI, you will be better equipped to know exactly what you need for your recovery and the means to achieve it.   

Hemispheres of the Brain

Every person is different, and every brain plays a crucial part into the unique nature of an individual.  In order to determine how a brain injury can affect motor function or personality, we must first educate ourselves on the part that the human brain plays in our composition. 

The brain is split into two halves, each with a unique purpose that works together with the other in order to create a fully functioning system.  Left and right sides, or hemispheres, have different properties and characteristics that combine to create our thoughts, feelings, and more.  In contrast to intuition, the left side of the brain controls the right side of the body, and the right side of the brain controls the left side.  Because of this, an injury to the right side of the brain may affect the left side of the body, and vice-versa. 

Generally speaking, the properties of the brain are broken up as such:

The right side of the brain controls intuition, spatial awareness, and the piecing together of visual understanding.  Essentially putting the puzzle pieces of everyday life together for you to comprehend, the right side of the brain is generally associated with music, visual arts, and other forms of visual/auditory stimulation and understanding.

The left side of the brain is a bit more rigid in how it processes information, generally taking responsibility for concepts like language, logical function, reading, writing, and mathematically-based calculations. When you are remembering addresses, phone numbers, or measurements, you will usually be utilizing your left hemisphere. 

By working together, the two hemispheres of the brain can create wonderful things. The ability to recognize a face and attribute a name to it, the understanding of taking measurements and recounting them at a later time, these are all small concepts that the brain is capable of. These concepts are all susceptible to being altered by a traumatic brain injury, and will need a planned recovery period in order to potentially retain or regain what has been changed or lost. 

Physical Effects of a Traumatic Brain Injury

It is important to note that while some people who suffer from a traumatic brain injury do not experience major physical disabilities, the possibility of physical impairment still exists and will require additional treatment to potentially improve or regain what was lost. 

Difficulty with balance and coordination are common for those who have suffered numerous concussions or have experienced second impact syndrome, while increasingly severe complications may be experienced by those who have experienced multiple or more severe TBIs. Fatigue and weakness are common complications for those who have suffered mild TBIs, and may take time and/or treatment to fully recover. 

Cognitive Impairment Stemming from a Traumatic Brain Injury

Commonly stemming from a Traumatic Brain Injury, effects to mental cognition go hand-in-hand with brain damage, and must be treated carefully and diligently. Those who suffer from a TBI commonly experience mild to severe complications with cognitive abilities that affect concentration, the ability to maintain attention, retaining new information, problem solving, and critical thinking. Cognitive complications stemming from a traumatic brain injury may include difficulty in the following categories:

  • Recalling words, phrases, or information when attempting to speak
  • Impaired perception and visual complications such as facial recognition or comprehension of everyday objects
  • Reduced peripheral vision
  • Lack of motivation to begin a task
  • Diminished concentration when completing a task
  • Mental organization and retaining of new information
  • Forgetting what has been said during a conversation
  • Critical/logical thinking and general reasoning skills

Emotional/Behavioral Effects of a Traumatic Brain Injury

Generally stemming from TBIs that occur to the right side of the brain, emotional and behavioral complications can manifest themselves in a variety of ways after an injury has occured. These symptoms will vary depending on the severity and location of the injury itself, vastly dependent on the section of the brain that has been damaged. 

One such example is the frontal lobe of the brain. This segment of the brain regulates personality, self-control, and expression. When the frontal lobe is damaged, an individual may experience alterations in personality or self-control.  One such example is an introverted person who has experienced a TBI and now demonstrates an extroverted, social personality, or vice versa.  There are many variations of emotional and behavioral complications stemming from a TBI, and they are all dependent on the personality of the person who is suffering from the injury. 

Any degree of damage that occurs to the right side of the brain has the potential to alter or change the emotional behavior of a person, and can manifest itself in the following ways:

  • Impulsive behavior
  • Sudden outbursts or fits of anger
  • Apathetic outlook on life
  • Risk-taking behavior that may not have existed before
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Expression of emotions that are not being felt (crying without being upset, or laughing when there is nothing humorous occurring)

Stages of Severe Traumatic Brain Injury

While the brain is being repaired after a severe brain injury, swelling and bleeding often result in a limited cognitive state, known as a coma.  A patient experiencing a coma is unconscious and unable to respond to their surroundings.  They do not experience conventional waking and sleeping time cycles, are unaware of events occurring around them. 

After awakening from a coma, patients may enter a vegetative state, during which time they can experience wake/sleep cycles and make minor responses to stimulation. This period of time can be extremely delicate, emotional, and crucial for the recovery of a patient, and is generally a good sign in regards to the road to recovery. 

As brain swelling and brain bleeding decrease and consciousness returns to the patient, communication may be established between the patient and their family, practitioner, or others in the immediate area. When in this minimally conscious state, patients may be able to respond to their environment or react to stimulation. 

Unlike recovery from a solely physical wound, the recovery process from a TBI may not be as linear as one might expect. The complex nature of the brain means that while significant progress may be made one day, it may not be apparent the next. A patient who is able to communicate with doctors may lose the ability to do so the following day, or they may go in and out of consciousness as their brain goes through the healing process. 

Generally, as swelling and bleeding decrease, brain function improves. While the physical signs of recovery may ebb and flow on a day-to-day basis, recovery itself should be forward moving in this stage. Individuals without permanent brain damage in a specific area of the brain can expect full function to return with a thorough and diligent recovery plan. 

Length of Recovery from a Traumatic Brain Injury

The most rapid recovery from a TBI usually occurs within the first six months of the injury itself. While this may seem like a short period of time, the recovery process generally takes about two (2) additional years after the sustained injury has occurred. While swelling and bleeding may have completely ceased, there may still be a significant amount of nerve damage that will need to be addressed. The only remedy for these circumstances are time, practice, and repetition in order to regain what was lost. 

Damages Stemming from a Traumatic Brain Injury

While TBIs can lead to complications in the physical and mental capabilities of the individual who suffered the injury, the damages can go far beyond that.  Economic and financial challenges are also a factor that must be addressed after a TBI, which is where Henderson Law can step in to lend a helping hand.  The combination of medical expenses, a loss of earnings, consequential expenses (child care, travel expenses for treatment, etc.), and more can change your life long after an individual has fully recovered from a TBI.

Henderson Law Can Help

Henderson Law is dedicated to providing you and your loved ones with passionate, dedicated service that will ease your mind throughout this difficult process. If you or a loved one has suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury, contact us online or call (410) 721-1979 to schedule an appointment to discuss your case and whether Henderson Law is the right fit for you.  

The team at Henderson law is highly experienced and offers ample expertise on the topic of brain injuries so that you can potentially obtain the recovery that you deserve for your injuries and other related losses.  The recovery process may be long and arduous.  Henderson Law is here to minimize any undue stress from your claim or lawsuit while you are undertaking your recovery process.