Posted on October 23, 2012 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 14 of 28 in the series Lori

 Severe Brain Injury Changes In Appearance: Lori Part Fourteen

Lori and I talk about the severe brain injury changes in appearance which often happens to anyone with traumatic brain injury.

Now you are still an attractive woman even with your severe brain injury changes in appearance. 

Thank you.

And I think everybody watching this can picture how cute you must have been at 24.  Can you give us a feel for what you looked like in that transition period, from the date of the accident until the next year or two with your severe brain injury changes in appearance? 


Did you experience severe brain injury changes in appearance ?  Did you have weight changes? 

Yes because when I was first in the hospital I was on IVs for a long time – I never had a G tube or stomach tube – I lost a lot of weight.  I was extremely skinny.

Do you remember what you weighed when you got hurt before your severe brain injury changes in appearance ? 

When I got hurt I was about 117, I’m 5 foot 5, and I’m sure that I was below, way below 100 pounds. I know that I very, very slowly gained weight back.  I know that probably towards the end of inpatient therapy, I started wearing makeup again.  I didn’t wear it for a long time.  And it wasn’t until I moved back into my apartment, where I had a roommate.

So that was late 1986 that I started grooming; that I started actually using a curling iron and blow drying my hair and doing things.  So I was 24 when this happened, and that was April.  I turned 25 in May of 1986, so I was, and I just told you that I didn’t start grooming until the fall of 1986.

So from April until the fall of 1986, I really don’t think I cared about what I wore and, you know, I probably wore sloppy clothes and didn’t do my hair.  I remember I didn’t pluck my eyebrows.  I remember my boyfriend saying come on, we’re going to go to the mall, I’ve got to get your eyebrows plucked.

I know I didn’t walk correctly so I didn’t sit up straight. I know, for a lot of years and even into today, I have to remind myself to walk like a girl.  So I walked with my feet wide apart and I wasn’t very girly, so that kind of thing changed.

So my appearance had to have changed.  You know, just like anyone that you would see that doesn’t comb their hair.


And you said your weight went down below 100 pounds, did it then go up above your, injury weight after that with your severe brain injury changes in appearance ? 

Well right now you can obviously tell I’m way over what I was.  But let me see, I was, like I said, like I was 117 pre injury.  Then shortly after the injury it went below 100 pounds.  I know, and I remember friends at every point of my recuperation, and my parents, trying to get me eat more and giving me cakes and cookies and ice cream and, and taking me out everywhere to eat.

And I remember when I started back at the Board of Realtors for a couple hours here and there, I remember that then it became important to me not to be so skinny, because I was ugly skinny.  I remember that I started weighing myself many, many, many times a day, to see if I could just even gain an ounce, so I remember that.

So it seems to me that it had to be a couple years before I got back to my regular weight.  And then I think I jumped from below 100 pounds to 130 for a long, long time.  And then now I’m well over that.  I’m bringing it back down, how’s that?


Next in Part Fifteen – Hard Road to Romance with Her Fiancé

About the Author

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