The Learning Curve

New tricks for an old dog.

Brain injury: Fair warning

The subject of brain injury has come up in the press this year in connection with football players and military veterans. I write about the effects of brain damage because of my personal experience this spring, resulting from a three week hospitalization for a brain infection that caused serious brain trauma due to swelling.  I don’t remember much of the first ten days of my hospital stay after the emergency surgery, but overall I rank it as the single worst experience of my life.  When I was discharged from the hospital I couldn’t stand on my hind legs without hanging onto someone or something, so walking was out of the question.  It was not for another two weeks that I could see straight enough to read printed material, and it was only then that I discovered the hospital had sent me home with and information about brain injury and brain injury support groups.

The doctors simply didn’t know if I would recover, or how long it might take, so they covered all the bases.  One booklet was titled Brain Injury: A Guide for Families,  and it allowed, ” . . . . it is not uncommon for family members to admit that they would not have been so anxious for the patient to live had they realize what lay ahead.” The meaning is clear enough that with some brain injuries, death might be preferable over life. Apart from any resulting physical limitations that may result from brain injury, the list of possible  negative psychological and behavioral changes is daunting:

  •  Agitation
  • Verbal Outbursts
  • Temper Tantrums
  • Abusiveness
  • Egocentrism
  • Impulsivity
  • Loss of emotional control
  • Denial
  • Paranoia
  • Obsessional disorder
  • Depression
  • Lack of motivation
  • Social immaturity
  • Social dependency
  • Increased or decreased sexual interest
  • Insatiable eating
  • Excessive talking

We have seen professional football players commit suicide because of brain injury, and we bow see thousand of military veteran returned from war suffering the effects of brain injury. Since the subject hits close to home for me, I have collected s few information sources (books and textbooks) for anyone who wished to learn more here.

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Written by Tom Fox

05/30/2012 at 12:50 pm

Posted in brain injury

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