Doctors After Severe Brain Injury: Coma, What Now?
I have evolved much about the way to interact with doctors after severe brain injury since this was first written in the 1990’s. Click here for my earlier thoughts on how to interact with doctors after a severe TBI. The key to diagnosis is getting the doctor to listen. Thus, while much of what I have written about using a notebook, writing down the questions and answers for the doctors, is certainly still relevant, I am more and more convinced that the patient has to take the initiative and make sure that the doctor is doing the listening, make the notes.
One of the challenges early on after a severe brain injury, is keeping straight who is supposed to be doing what in the care of the injured person. You will have neurosurgeons, neurologists, physical therapists, speech pathologists, social workers, nurses and eventually neuropsychologists involved. It is important to keep a cast of characters in mind and to keep track of the different roles each is to play. This way you will not only have the answers each one has given you, you will know who to go to with questions. Unfortunately you may get different answers to the same question from a different cast of characters that was mentioned earlier.
For a better sense of the process, there are dozens of stories on TBI Voices, http://tbivoices.com discussing the role that families and therapy plays in recovery from severe brain injury and coma. I think you will find the stories of the traumatic brain injury survivors not only interesting, you will find comfort in knowing that you are not alone. They may give you some insight on doctors after severe brain injury also. Even though every case is different there are many similarities also.
NEXT: The Medical Team