Posted on February 13, 2012 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 11 of 32 in the series Kelly

Post TBI Disability: Hand Becomes the Symbol: Kelly Part Eleven

Kelly talks about her  post TBI disability, her hand.  She explains that she feels like her hand is useless and frustrates her to the point of wanting to cut it off some times.

Talk to me about looking at your hand and not being able to get it to do something.  What’s this post TBI disability like?

It’s awful.  It is to this day will make me cry so I’m going to  try to overlook that, but it was awful, awful.  I just wanted to get a knife and just cut my hand off because it was useless.  It [dictation ends here]

When your, when your hand doesn’t move and you cannot, you cannot make it move, it, it’s like why, why do I need this hand?  It was all I could do just not to find a knife or something just to amputate my own hand.  But I didn’t because I had already come a long way and I remember, I remember thinking that it would probably come back it would just take some work.  But it’s just awful when you just know that there’s a part of your body that you cannot use, you have no control over, it will not mind your command, instructions or anything.

Your left hand was the symbol and the post TBI disability of the injuries that you’d suffered?

Yes, because my injury was right side it referred the trauma or impairment to the left side.  It’s all a matter of the physiological synopses in the brain’s functioning.

Did you have a similar problem with your left leg.

Not that I remember, not that I’m aware of, but I do have a gait impairment to this day.  I walk like I’m limping, but I don’t perceive it, other people say, “Are you okay?  Have you hurt your back?”  And I say, “No, I have a gait impairment.”

You also mentioned that you have issues with your balance as a post TBI disability.  Are your balance issues related to the left sided weakness or is it an additional impairment?

It’s related to the left side, my ability issue.

Did you get any therapy for the post TBI disability balance itself?


Tell us about the therapy for your post TBI disability, balance.

Well of course the initial balancing training came in Austin on those big red balls and then in Tennessee it came with a balancing board.  I had to roll it around my left foot, put my left foot in and make it move.  It was basically a rolling lid.  It was a big lid that was on, it didn’t balance itself so the PT would tell me to make it move to the left or make it move to the right, invert my foot, evert my foot, something to actually make that lid roll and that’s what I was able to do.

Did you ever have any vertigo, room spinning kind of feeling or anything like that?


And you don’t have any of that today?

I do on occasion.

Tell me about that.

Well, I think it has to do with my diet.  But here lately it’s got to where when I get up in the morning I’m just so dizzy.  I feel like I’ve been drunk and I know that hadn’t happened.  And I would just, just rebalance my entire being and it tends to substantiate that vertigo.

Did you have that shortly after your injury?

I don’t recall.

No one ever did a diagnostic test to determine whether or not you had actual vestibular problems versus just the left side weakness?

No, no.

Next in Part Twelve – Speech Therapy At Wrong Pace after TBI

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