Posted on June 8, 2012 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 18 of 36 in the series Michael

Life with TBI Goes On: Michael Part Eighteen

It has been some time since we visited with Michael as our interview was interrupted last summer and now it is April of the next year.  Michael talks about how life with TBI goes on.


How Life with TBI Goes On For Michael

You remember being interviewed last summer? 

I remember you being there, what we talked about.  I know we talked about my dog, and that’s really all I can remember.

And your dog’s name is Little Bit?

Little Bit, mm hmm.

Work Life with TBI

One of the things that we didn’t get a chance to talk about as life with TBI goes on is when the last time I interviewed you was, you went back to work at some point, did you not? 

I’ve tried a few times.

College Life with TBI

And you got a college degree from Oshkosh.  When did you get your degree? 

I got it for the 1998 year; graduated in December and got my certificate in January.

When we first did this interview it was the summer of 2011, it’s now April of 2012 as we’re finishing it.  So that means 13, 14 years ago is when you got your degree? 

Yes and then five years before that I had my accident and I can’t even see.

One of the things we talked about the last time I interviewed you is some of the problems is how your vision is  effected  by life with TBI. 


And you just showed us a little bit of a problem with vision? 


Is the room too bright? 

No it’s, I still see double.  My glasses, if you can see the thickness on my right side, I see double still.

Is there anything we can do to make you more comfortable while, while we’re doing this interview? 

            I’m fine.

Now this spot that we’re doing interview isn’t quite as quiet as the last place we did, because we did that in the basement of the library.  We’re in your house and your house is on a busy street. 

Yeah, we’re right on Johnson St., we’re on the main street in Fond du Lac.

Does that make it harder for you to concentrate and to follow conversation? 


And this is your home? 


How long have you lived here? 

It’ll be two years, um, June 1st.

Since we interviewed you, you got married. 


Marriage Life with TBI

Tell me about  how you met your wife and about your marriage and how it is effected by life with TBI. 

That’s kind of odd.  We were at, we both graduated from University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.  We knew each other by sight, but we didn’t know each other’s name.  She worked in the library.  I lived in the library.  So we always passed each other.

Then I got divorced in 2007 when it was final, and I met a few people and then I went online to, I guess it was part of, and that’s how we met.

And you actually knew each other?

We knew each other by face.  We didn’t know each other’s name.  She was pregnant at the time and getting married to her ex husband, and she worked in the library.  She had just moved off campus, and I lived in the library.

So this was while you were still an undergraduate student? 

Yes, that was back in the fall of ’98, right before I graduated.

Then you hadn’t really had any contact with her for ten years. 


How did the relationship develop? 

Well it developed kind of odd.  Probably saying this from, bad for me, but I was part of this site and a couple other sites which she was also part of, and they match you by percentage.  While everyone else got to me like 92, 94 and below, she was either a 99 or 100 percent.  And after a while of keep flicking through I was like well, I’ll see.  And since we first met in, our first was February 1st, it’s three years ago, so it was February 1st of 2009 was our first date.

When did you get engaged? 

November of that year, on her birthday.

Family Life with TBI

You talked the last time we interviewed you about the number of children you have in your life with TBI now. 

I have one that’s mine, and I inherited, and I’ve got three more, so we have a big family.

You have a son? 

Yes, his name is Colin.

How old is Colin? 

Colin is 9.

And Colin’s from your first marriage? 

Excuse me, Colin’s 8, he will be 9 this year.

And you’re getting corrected by? 

By my daughter,  Ali.  They’re both the same age.

And Ali’s watching our interview? 


Is she distracting you? 

No, she’s actually helping me.  Giving me hand signals and when I give an age.

How old is Ali? 

Ali’s the same age.

They’re both in third grade? 

Yes.  Different schools.

And there’re two other children? 

The oldest, is Jordan, he’ll be 13, and the youngest just turned 6, and that’s Jason.

Its not a problem if we use the kids’ names? 

Is it, is that a problem Ali?  No it’s not a problem.

Okay, she’s shaking her head in the background. 

I don’t think she would like to be called Bianca.

Life with TBI Wedding Planning

How was the wedding? 

It was actually very good.  My first wedding was planned in a week.  This one was planned over 2 1/2 years.

Was that a problem? 

Of my first wedding yes, because it was all done in a week.  This one, we knew everything, and so finally when it showed up neither one of us were nervous; we had everything planned.

Was the process of making decisions and planning, was that hard for you? 

Not this time, no.

Did you make any of the decisions or did you pretty much just get consulted and say yes or no? 

I just made the decisions on where the honeymoon was going to be.

Okay, where was the honeymoon? 

We went to House on the Rock, then we went to The Dells.

And that’s about an hour from here? 

About two hours.  I wanted to go to Gatlinburg, but it’s too expensive.


Next in Part Nineteen – Waking up Tired After Brain Injury

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