Posted on January 28, 2011 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 3 of 12 in the series Betty

Rehabilitation After Coma Begins: Betty Part Three

While Betty was receiving some type of rehabilitation after coma, at each point of her recovery journey, even while still in a coma, her recollection of that begins towards the end of her three months of inpatient stay. After discharge, she went to outpatient therapy at Curative Rehabilitation, in Wauwatosa. Her therapy was in four basic areas, physical, occupational, speech pathology and psychology.

Therapy Rehabilitation after Coma

She says the therapy was:

Quite intense some of the work that I had to do there especially in speech.  The speech pathologist would say cut a newspaper from – cut out an article from the newspaper and then write a summary and one of the problems I have is I am, I am known to confabulate and add on a lot and I would try to write a synopsis of a story and it would be a whole page long and that’s not exactly what she wanted so I had a problem following directions and speech pathology was one of the difficult sessions that I was in when I was at Curative.

Her problem with confabulation is an extremely common problem in severe brain injury survivors.  So much of rehabilitation after coma therapy, life, is a puzzle in those early months and the brain doesn’t like a puzzle with missing pieces.  The solution is to cram pieces into the puzzle, but they rarely fit.  Yet the incongruity of the pattern is often missed by the brain injured person.

As Betty says:

Somebody tells me a story; next thing I do is I like to add things on and make it more exciting and they’re not true facts.

Lethan’s first memory was of an elaborate series of adding things on to the concert in his room with the rock band Fish. At least now,  he realizes he was “making up” a story.

For Part Four, click here.

About the Author

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