Posted on April 23, 2012 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 22 of 32 in the series Quinn

Appreciation for Spouse after Brain Injury: QuinnPart Twenty-Two

I wanted to get a contrast of Quinn’s sports memory to his functioning in other areas. Ironically, he responded completely off topic, to something he found far more central to his struggles since his injury, his appreciation for spouse after brain injury:

You ran through his (Tim Thomas’s) biography, is that things you knew historically or did you learn that all as you watched the Stanley Cup this year? 

I’ve learned it and been reminded through the Stanley Cup.

So what we’re talking about now is information that you’ve completely assimilated in the last 30 days? 


Quinn Talks About His Appreciation for Spouse After Brain Injury

Do you have that type of cognitive capacity, that kind of cognitive achievement in other areas?

I don’t know.  I mean, I want to say love for my wife, love for my family is, to me has been enhanced.   I thank her every day for what she’s done for me, for being a rock, for, you know, me putting her through hell, for not, just one stupid strap on my helmet wasn’t on right and I put her through a year and a half of hell.  She has been there for me through sickness and in health, and I never thought that line would ever mean anything, and it is, she’s been unbelievable.

You speak now appreciation for spouse after brain Injury, as you should, but what hurdles has your relationship had to overcome, those first months of coming home challenges and frustrations that you went through, and describe the ones like where you were sitting at the computer and she was trying to help you and you were upset, what was that like?  I mean what, what difficulties did you have? 

I’ve had a few violent outbursts.  I’ve never hurt her, I’ve never hurt myself, but where I just  want to  destroy anything in front of me; the computer, the chair through the, I just get so frustrated, and I think I’m medicated now well enough that, you know, I haven’t had those issues lately, but I’ve had that roller coaster ride of okay, I haven’t had violent or, violent feelings or violent outbursts that, I’ve been okay, I haven’t scared her, I haven’t scared anyone around me for several months, so.

Do you feel the same emotional connection to her that you did? You described a cognitive level, how much  appreciation for spouse after brain injury, but do you think you feel the same emotional attachment to her, like you did before?  Has it changed? 

I think it’s enhanced.  Waking up in the hospital and seeing her – seeing her there and saying to myself oh good, and then passing back out.  It’s having somebody like that is, what would I do without her? I mean I’ve gone through some painful headaches that were very suicidal.  And we do have guns, we do have a license, and I was looking at her sleeping and looking at the gun next to her, and I had to ask her to hide the guns.  I was in so much pain and, and it just, you know.

You still have the guns? 


You think that’s a good idea? 


There’s a period of time when you’d come home from the hospital, where there’s a clear shift in the appreciation for spouse after brain injury.  

Mm hmm.

Instead of being an equal partner now you’re more like a child. 

Mm hmm.

Did you ever have to go through that sense of stop “I’m a grownup” and not, as Lethan says “I’m not 4?” ( )

I still have issues that I have, I sometimes have problems that yes, I am like a child.   And I understand that, and, you know.  In the support group setting a couple of months ago, I met a new brain-injured patient who is a teenager, who had that same, has that issue, and I explained to him look, you know, your parents are just trying to help, and I understand my wife is just trying to help.

I have to stop and realize that I trust what she’s saying is not trying to trick me, is not trying to be devious, she’s only trying to help me, for the better of me and her.

With Quinn’s new appreciation for spouse after brain injury that we discussed in part 22, part 23 continues to talk about the impact that brain injury has on a marriage.

Next in Part Twenty Three – Brain Injury Impacts Spousal Relationship


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