Posted on July 26, 2011 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 14 of 16 in the series Mike

Rehabilitation from Brain Injury: MikePart Fourteen

We can picture the numerous television stories of the struggle and pain a professional athlete goes through in rehabilitating an injured knee.  Rehabilitation from brain injury is a slower process, a seemingly less intense process, which is in reality so much harder because the losses impact so much more of the body.  Before a brain injured body can give maximal cardiovascular effort into a task, it must relearn the basics of movement through intense rehabilitation from brain injury.


MIke's wife hangs on to the belt to help him get in and out of his wheelchair during rehabilitation from brain injury.


Do you remember when you started walking through rehabilitation from brain injury?

When I started walking? I’d say it was about two months ago.

Tell me about your first step.

It was at therapy. They were hanging on to me, on my belt so I didn’t fall down.

And your, your right leg moves fine.  Does your right side move fine?

Yeah, my right leg, yeah.

And your right hand?

My right side, I can grip down.

Can you write with your right hand now?

A little bit. I was left handed before and I had very good penmanship.

So you’re working to learn to write with your right hand?


Your wife said that you have about half the use of your leg and about 15 percent of the use of your arm.  Is that true that you can move the leg better than the arm?


What’s your day like here?  What have you done today for your rehabilitation from brain injury therapy,before I got here?

I get up in the morning and I eat breakfast and I usually go to therapy about 9:30 in the morning. The occupational therapy.

What are you doing in occupational therapy? They working with your left hand?


What do they do with your hand?

Make me lift some weight bars. Just the one side (the right side).  They make sure that this one’s (left side) is working okay, they check the muscle on it while I am doing it.

They’re working on writing with the good arm?

No, speech therapy does that.

So tell me about rehabilitation from brain injury as far as speech therapy.

They make you write on sentences in there.

How are you doing with that?

A lot better than I was. They can read me a story, like today, and while I’m going on, he can ask me about the story he read me and I can tell him what the story was about.

What was today’s story about?

I didn’t have a story today.

What was the story about yesterday?

Some guy’s geese that he’s coming into a market.  He fed the geese and they kept following him home.

So the deer, do they do that at your house?

Feed the geese at home?

Do you feed the deer at home?


They don’t follow you though?


As part of your rehabilitation from brain injury you’re also getting physical therapy. What is the physical therapy like?

They make you walk, they stretch you out on a mat, down there.

That hurt?

Not really, no.

What does hurt?

When they stretch you out and your muscles are really tight that is about the only pain you got.

Do you have other areas of pain from the injuries you suffered?


Your head doesn’t hurt?


What about your shoulder?

My shoulders sore yeah – I didn’t really know if that was from the accident until they told me.

So you’re eating on your own now?

Yes, before I couldn’t eat on my own.

Have any problems swallowing?


You’re remembering things from day to day now?


And you remember important things (as I say with a smile) like meeting me – four weeks ago.  What problems are you having that you know?

Little problems with walking.  Today I did walk out in the air and over the grass.  It’s the first time I ever walked on grass since I had my injuries.

Next in Part Fifteen – The Transition towards Returning Home from Brain Injury Rehabilitation

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