Posted on February 21, 2013 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 9 of 36 in the series Zachary

 OT After TBI: Zach Part Nine 

Zach also needed significant OT after TBI.  While the distinction between OT and PT can be blurred, the essential difference is that the occupational therapist takes the recovering muscles and body systems and focuses therapies on doing specific tasks, the occupation or application of those muscles. The occupational therapist in OT after TBI also focuses more on the activities of daily living (ADL’s) and also on assistive devices.

As Zach suffered a severe injury to the right rear of his brain as a result of the swelling and hematoma in that area, most of his physical deficits were on his left side.  In OT after tBI, the focus was primarily on the left hand.

But one thing that I remember was to put these little Christmas lights in this thick putty – then try to get that out with your left hand. It was so hard though I’d do it and then I would get them all out. My hand would be, my arm, my forearm, my hand would be on fire and I was arghh!  It hurt so much, but then it’s good, it means the nerves are coming back I guess.

That, was that in OT?


What else did you do in OT after TBI?

OT, well I remember when I  got out of inpatient rehab, I remember they taught me how to drive I’m like here’s, here’s a green light, you’re going, you’re going, you’re going, okay.  Red.  Now stop, you know?  And I had this stuff on my foot to like to show that I can comprehend to do what I needed to do, to be able to drive.

Did they put you in a driving simulator?

No, it wasn’t, no it wasn’t that.

What other things did they do in OT?

OT, they taught me, when I got to rehab they taught me how to put on deodorant, because I couldn’t use my left arm, so then you got to hold it like this and they show me exactly what I have to do.

Are you right-handed or left-handed?

I’m rightie so, I guess  I lucked out. But at the same time I guess I didn’t because if I wasn’t (right handed), my left hand would be fully back.  I had to use it (my right hand) for everything. I’m still right-hand dominant like.   My left hand it’s just slower, you know?

The problem you have with your left hand is, is all related to the brain injury?

Yeah, yeah, it is.

And that’s because of the accumulation of blood that was on your right-hand side of your brain?

Yeah, yeah.

Next in Part Ten –

Speech Pathology Included Therapy for Vocal Cord

About the Author

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