Posted on October 10, 2012 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 6 of 28 in the series Lori

Hospital Stay after Severe Brain Injury: Lori Part Six

In Part Six we talked to Lori about her hospital stay after severe brain injury. Her memories of this time are very vague.

Now let’s go back and talk about how what happened to you in terms of that first period after your injury.  You said you were injured on April 25th, then you left the hospital sometime in the summer, early, sometime in June?


What do you remember of your hospital stay after severe brain injury?

I remember seconds of time prior to when I was able to be transported to the therapy department.  So I remember seconds of time when I was, I needed to stay in my hospital room.  And I only remember seconds of that, it like, almost like blinks of seeing a few people that I knew and loved.  That’s the only memory I have of that.

So you have a little bit of an island of memory about your hospital stay after severe brain injury .  When would that be, two, three weeks after your injury?

I have no idea.  I have no idea.

Was that a particularly pleasant or emotional memory?

Actually it had to be less than three weeks, because I wasn’t doing therapy, you know, in the department therapy yet.  And that was really confused, because I remember, like I said, flashes of seeing people that I loved crying.  And I didn’t know why.

So they were being emotional at the time of your hospital stay after severe brain injury and that’s the one thing you remember would be their emotion being poured out towards you?


At three weeks you’re transferred to where in your hospital stay after severe brain injury ?

I’m not real clear, but I know that the progression was from ICU to where I would have my semi-private room.  That’s what I was told.  Where I had to have 24‑hour whatever.  And then I moved to – which I don’t remember – a hospital room where I had more free movement to come in and out of the hospital room.  ****.

General ward perhaps?

I guess, yeah.

And then did they transfer you to a rehab ward during your hospital stay after severe brain injury ?

No. Uh, maybe.  I don’t know.

Do you remember getting any therapy at the hospital?


Other than the pleasant memory of being on the ball and giggling, what do you remember of your therapy during your hospital stay after severe brain injury?

I remember therapy as an inpatient.  I remember physical therapy and speech therapy the most.  Physical therapy because my physical therapist was about my age, and we seemed to get along.  And so I was able to, I felt that I had, that I had her on my side.  So I remember that part of physical therapy.

And then speech pathology is the only therapy that I liked.  Because I felt like they treated me like an adult and like they were trying to help me move forward, where I didn’t understand, I thought the others just wanted to, whatever.

What physical problems were you having a month after your accident?  Were you able to walk?

My memory is so not good about that.  I know, like I said, my first memory in therapy was when I was on a balance ball, and that’s a big, huge ball where you’re trying to balance.  And I was laughing, because I felt like a child, because I knew I wasn’t a child, but I couldn’t balance myself on the ball.  So I know that I couldn’t walk, but I don’t remember not walking, if that makes sense.

Is it clear that the problem you were having with walking was balance, not that you had lost the use of your legs or your arms?

Absolutely, yeah.  It was my ability to mentally understand walking.

So you didn’t have any sort of paralysis or partial loss of movement or use of your limbs?

Not, not that was documented or anything.

How long did it take you to get to the point that you could regain your balance well enough to begin to walk normally?

I don’t remember that instance, but I remember when I was first able to jump, and when I was first able to be standing and to put my pants on while I was standing.  So I remember that kind of balance.  And that was a lot later.  I mean I know that I did walk fairly early on.  But I didn’t walk well and confidently, confidently, until maybe, I don’t know.  Nine months?  I don’t know.


Next in Part Seven –  Speech Pathology after Severe Brain Injury

About the Author

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