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traumatic brain injuries

Posted by @corneliasimp in Brain & Nervous System, Jan 10, 2012

My son was a victim of a violent assault three years ago,and he is suffering from a TBI. He has short term memory loss. He does not like taking drugs, so he stopped taking his Ritalin. Since he has not been taking it his memory has gotten worse.

(I forgot to mention that my son is forty-five years old, married with two children, ages 5 and 10.)

He had a tumor on his pancreas which required surgery. In removing the tumor they also had to remove his spleen, so he has been in the hospital for the past two weeks.

This is when I discovered how bad his memory was. He gets really frustrated when asked questions. He is unable to tell the nurse his pain on a scale of 1-10. He doesn't understand what she means when she asks him his pain level. He gets confused reading the hospital menu to order his meals, so he sometimes misses his meal. Is there anything you know that I could do to help. Anything I could ask the doctor to do to help him. Is there any medication you know of that might help. Do you know if the patch used for Alzheimer's patients work for his problem?


Posted by @alexsimon, Jan 13, 2012

Hi Corneliasimp -
I am sorry to hear about your son. We cannot offer medical advice on this site, however, if you are interested in seeing a Mayo physician, please click on the "Request an Appointment" link on the upper right hand corner of the screen.


Posted by @kimanance, Jan 25, 2012

Hello Corneliasimp - I am sorry about your son - I have a 35 yr old son who had a traumatic brain injury in 2003 in a horrific car accident. Luckily, my son lived - they didn't think he would ever come out of the coma but after two months, he started waking up. People have asked me if it would have been better if he didn't make it. He gets violent, goes to jail, does bizzare things and I am constantly running behind trying to help him. I have no control of his medical care because he won't allow it. But I do know what has always been recommended by Neurologists that he take an anidepressent, a mood stabilizer and some other drugs to make him sleep well.
Did your son just get worse recently? I'm not a Dr. and am sure there is a reason, but why was your son taking Ritalin? That's what my son took back when he was young for ADD. Maybe if his memory just recently got worse it could possibly be due to his surgeries. If not, they should probably do an MRI on his brain to see what's going on.
Does he have a good Neurologist that he sees? They have the insight into brain injuries.
I wish you and your son the best -


Posted by @savanti, Jan 25, 2012

Hi, a near drowning at age six baffles a psychologist with 28 years working with people, traumatized by severe head injuries. When I shared with him my state of mind after the drowing he couldn't believe the success I made on my own.
The main thing to work on will be finding ways to remove situations which creates stress, stress for any mental condition makes the condition worse. Often people fall into a mental state unawre they have been eating, smelling, touching, hearing and seeing the same things over and over and over, year after after year.
The brain can heal itself once a person learns how to think. Thinking controls the brain and when you understand the brain is like a child, then you will understand how easy it is for the mind to slow or stop the brain from healing itself. So, control the thinking by having only positive thoughts of the future.
Next, a person needs to have a burning desire to want something out of life. What does your son want out of life. He has to go for it without any negative thinking, (It took me 45 years to get where I am psychologically, and I have another 40 years to enjoy what I have in my life. What was nice, there were what I call windows opening allowing me to experience something new to me me think positive.)
My psychologist finally said to me. "I don't know how you did it? but, you have been able to rewire your brain." So, I will share with you what took place in my life to help you understand the brain. The brain doesn't know right from wrong (except for things going against our deepest human instincts like killing somebody or a traumatic experience) it doesn't up from down unless you are flipped upside down, cold from hot, or wet from dry. Your brain uses the five senses to collect information, your mind then tell you something is hot, cold, wet or what ever it may be, so it is very important to have great priciples back by great values and of course good morales.
Imagine knowing five languages, each langauge goes to a certain part of the brain. If, you smell a rose, onion, orange, banana and a strawberry, now five different parts of the brain are stimulated. Now, imagine using the other senses to experience new thing. Before long the brain will be high stimulated ready to learn new things. A highly naturally stimulated brain makes it easier to learn new things.
Just before going to bed, look back on the day, look at everything you did that day, do it again the next day and the next day, you will soon realize each day is the same as the day before. Now tell me, what is stimulating the brain? The easiest way to stimulate the brain has to be done with the five senses. Sincerely Rusty


Posted by @rnmn42, Jan 30, 2012

He should be followed by a TBI provider in his area. Also his MD may agree to order OT (Occupational therapy). They should be able to work on helping him with his memory (exercises, etc.) and most importantly they may be able to work with him on developing tools that he can use daily (memory board, etc.). Hope he improves and you continue to advocate for his needs.

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