Posted on October 17, 2011 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 4 of 20 in the series Steven

Amnesia Ends as He Leaves the Trauma Center: Steven Part Four

In part four of Steven’s story we talk about how long of Steven’s amnesia was and when his amnesia ends. I focus much of our TBI Voices inquiries around amnesia for specific reasons. First, I believe that it is the best way to categorize the seriousness of the injury.  The longer the brain is unable to normally imprint memory, the more likely the injury will be serious.  Consistently reporting all that I can about the length and nature of the participant’s amnesia, gives a scale of comparison between our individual case studies.  Further, I have found that amnesia and when it ends is never well documented and it is hoped that by continuing to ask and probe questions about it, I can help to change the methodology for identifying it in the brain injury population.

If amnesia is the most important predictor of severity in brain injury, then it should also be the best documented. My interview with Steven continues on this point:

So what is the first thing you remember after your accident? When was it that your amnesia ends?

Blanking out in a really bright room, real chemically smells.  You know, I haven’t a clue as to what’s going and finding all these different wires and hoses coming out of me and being strapped to the bed.

Do you have any way of giving us a time frame as to when your amnesia ends, whether that was a few days after you woke up from your coma?

I really have no idea, sir.  The first three months, when I was in the hospital, was all just kind of a big blur because I had been on lots of pain medicines and stuff.

You referred to the first hospital you were at as the Med? We’re in Med as we do this interview? What does the Med stand for?

I think it’s just the Medical Center of Memphis.  I’m not sure.

Do you have any recollection of having been at the Med?

Uh, yes, sir.  The food.  That’s about all I could say.

 So you have a few very vague memories of the first five weeks of your stay?

 Yes, sir, because I do remember I was a smoker at the time, and I remember, being wheeled up there above like where the main entrance is to go smoke a cigarette.

You went from the Med to Baptist Hospital  for a couple of months?

It was probably about a month.

Do you remember being there?

Yes, sir.

As your amnesia ends, do you have reasonably continuous memory of being there?

I have a pretty decent memory of there.

What are the first things you remember as your amnesia ends about Baptist?

Getting there because they transported me in an ambulance.  When I was down there smoking (outside at the Med) some lady was standing at the front.   She asked me if I wanted to come to Baptist to receive  therapy.  I just said well, as long as I had a bed because I believe in Med that the rehabilitation center had a shortage of beds at the time.

And so I was just like whatever, if you can get me in there.  And then within the next day or two, they came and transported me in an ambulance.

Next in Part Five – Dealing with the Physical Side of the Brain Injury Disability

By Attorney Gordon Johnson



About the Author

Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice :: 800-992-9447