Posted on March 2, 2012 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 25 of 32 in the series Kelly

Education After Brain Injury: Kelly Part Twenty Five

Even though Kelly has never made a gainful living after her severe brain injury, it is worth stating that the cost of the education after brain injury she has received, is justified by the remarkable recovery she has had.  School is one of the best place for survivors of TBI. Education after brain injury  is challenging, it provides community integration and provides goals and structure.  While it may still be too early to judge whether Kelly will economically pay back the investment in her careers, the investment in her mind has already paid dividends.

You went back to get education after brain injury and got both your massage therapy and your recreational therapy?

I earned my second degree as a recreational therapist, yes.

Do you believe that your cognitive functioning today is better because of your education after brain injury?

I’m not going to say that I believe it’s better but I’m going to  say I believe it’s as equal as to what it was.

Before you got hurt?


For example, the director and Sylvia told you there’s no way you could learn all the muscles and bones in the body.  Did you learn those things?

Yes, I did.  I know them today.

Was that a more difficult process for you than it would have been before you were injured?

It was, but I went back with before injuries memory skills.  I mean, you know the song, the head bone’s connected to the neck bone, neck bone’s connected to the shoulder bone, things of that nature.  So, I made a little bit of a song out of it so I could remember my bones.  Like there was a, your forehead is, that’s your frontal bone; and your sphenoid is a bone that connects to the, to your eyes so that you can see.  So, there’s a couple in the restaurant called frontal that want to sing to the sphenoid who was coming into the mandible to eat which will, which will require work of the jaw.

You made these things up yourself, right?

Yes, uh huh.

You’re a pretty creative person.

You have to be.  You have to, you have to learn accommodation skills to overcome any impairment.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned in this whole journey – which has been 14 years for me now – but, the one thing I’ve learned in this, everybody judges you and your actions, based on your presentation, however they perceive you.  You may not perceive yourself the way others perceive you. So therefore, you’re judged; your abilities, your mental status, your capacity, everything is judged.  Employers judge you, everybody, community; so you have to learn to accommodate your norms to meet their morays.

Next in Part Twenty Six – Difficulties with Noise/Distractions

About the Author

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