Posted on March 21, 2011 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 3 of 10 in the series Elizabeth

Severe TBI Treatment: Elizabeth Part Three

Before her severe TBI treatment,at  the time of her March of 2002 injury, Elizabeth was a happy, industrious woman, working and playing hard. She was 36.

I could play volleyball. I used to be able to drive up north with my husband and my families and visit my mom and dad and spend time with my nieces and nephews, spoil them rotten and send them back home, and just do normal, wonderful things.

Elizabeth states she was a fun person before her first TBI and severe TBI treatment. She gives these examples:

Playing volleyball. Volleyball can be a tough game and being able to dive for the ball and give it up and just spending time with family and friends and making people laugh. If somebody’s having a bad day and you can make them smile and laugh no matter what, that’s the best thing to do.

At the time of her injury before her severe TBI and severe TBI treatment, she worked for a cheese company, operating a dangerous piece of machinery.

I was a material handler, so I cut cheese in any different shapes, forms or size they wanted it in, and so then they could weigh them up close to perfectly and so they can box them up and they can send them to the companies that sold the cheese and –

It’s dangerous, but when you’re doing your job and you know you can do it and you have faith not only in yourself but the people that are working with you so no one would get hurt, that was one of the best things.

Elizabeth’s Severe TBI Treatment and Rehabilitation was Extensive

There is no doubting the severity of Elizabeth’s 2002 injury. She was hospitalized for 30 days and received severe TBI treatment and rehab.

After I left the hospital I could not stay alone, and my husband worked different shifts and somebody had to be with me 24 hours a day. So they took me to my mom and dad’s house in Wisconsin Rapids and I saw the speech therapist (severe TBI treatment) down there, and he was good for putting up with me. He was working really hard with me to try to help me understand, and because of my short-term memory, not being able to remember things, he’d have me write things down, you know, and try to figure out what he said and tried to repeat him, and so that took about two months it took to do that. And I was doing the best that I could, and when he said pretty much this is the best you’re going to get, then it was time to move, time to move back home.

Even though her coma injury required her to be hospitalized for a whole month, her severe TBI treatment was cut off two months after she left the hospital. In workers comp cases, the employer’s insurance company can deny care that would normally be considered reasonable and necessary.

I had to go for physical therapy too (severe TBI treatment)   to be able to walk up and down stairs, to be able to move my arms, move my legs, be able to walk without the dizziness hitting me too much and falling, slipping or falling or hitting again, hitting my head again. And that’s the wonderful thing with the TBI. Everybody’s is different, and with mine I was able to go to work and try to understand things.

I had to go see a therapist, a speech therapist so I could learn to talk better, so I could try to understand more things, and then when I got done seeing him then I went back to work in June.

Next in Part Four, Elizabeth returns to work after her severe brain injury.

About the Author

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