Posted on June 27, 2011 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 13 of 13 in the series Kevin

Staying Positive After Brain Injury: Kevin Part Thirteen

One of the most important things we learned from our interview with Kevin was the importance of Staying Positive After Brain Injury.  Our discussion of frontal lobe challenges with Kevin continued as we talked about changes in routine and writing things down to assist with memory and the importance of staying positive after brain injury.

Today’s a little different for you, you came here.


Did that disrupt your day or was that a good thing?

Probably both.  See the good thing is I tried to explain what happened to me, or what I go through.  But today, it’s one things I should have wrote this down, I had this appointment but I didn’t write it down.  and that’s one things that I got a little notebook I should have wrote it down.  That kind of frustrates me too.

I didn’t know I had to do it, and I have had this appointment (book).  If I’d wrote it down, it’d be different.  You know what I’m saying? See while I was in rehab like at Mercy of Lakeview they told me to write things down.  Like for appointments and all.  Like today’s an appointment. And I didn’t write it down.

Stuff like that, I don’t write down stuff like I should, to remind myself.

When you were in treatment they tried to teach you how to address those kind of things?

Yes they did. Like they told you to write things down on a separate, or on a pad of paper or something if you’ve got an appointment, write it down or anything you got to do for that day.  You should write things down.

And I thought, I thought I didn’t have to do that no more and I thought I ain’t going to forget and then today I was doing my normal chores and all and I was going to go for a walk to vote and then I forget, John Webber called and then I’m, told me I had an appointment and oh yeah, and then I should have, then I remembered.  See if I’d wrote it down on a pad of paper then I would have been prepared to go to the appointment.

Is it getting harder for you now, we’ve been doing this for an hour and 45 minutes?

See I was going to say something and then I, then I, then I can’t remember what I was going to say, that’s what irritates me the most.

And that’s gotten harder in the past half hour than it was an hour ago?

I think so.

Are you getting tired?

No, no, not tired, no.  Maybe fatigued, nah.  I think it’s part of the injury when you do something, try to talk about a topic then you forget what the topic is sometimes.  And that gets frustrating sometimes.   I always want to get my point across because I don’t know what the problem is right there is.

So what point do you want to make about staying positive after brain injury, we’re going to wind this up now.  What is it you want to say to people who are injured, who have loved ones who are injured, who have a spouse who’s coming home from rehab? What do you want to tell them about  what you’ve been through so that everybody can understand better and staying positive after brain injury?

I’m trying to understand.  Always think positive.  And try to concentrate on, try to concentrate and always think positive.  Try not to think about the past and what happened and all that.  Try not to think about that.  Just think, go one day at a time.

A lot of people say that.  How do you keep staying positive after brain injury?  There’s, there’s a lot of negative in the world. How do you keep staying positive after brain injury with a positive outlook? 

Like um…

It’s staying positive after brain injury if people don’t ask you tough questions at quarter to six at night?

It’s, always got to think of something that’s good.  Something good, good news, or songs can help, too.  Music, like for me, listening to Miranda Lambert or to Taylor Swift or John Mellencamp.

Just listening to words of songs, they can help, help a person through treatment or whatever.  Any kind of music that the person likes will help them through rehab and all that and because the, the person, always think positive, never think negative, it’s hard to say.  Not hard to say, easy to say then always have positive thoughts.

As I conclude the Kevin story, I reflect not just on staying positive after brain injury, but on the basis for optimism that the recreational activities of music and sports have made for TBI Voices people.  In this story I have strongly advocated for a new type of therapy, Spectating Based Cognitive Therapy or SBCT.  Constructing a research model to test that theory wouldn’t be difficult, but without a funding source, SBCT or other recreational therapies, will make little difference to improve the quality of survivor’s life.

What is a bit intriguing is that if the right model for SBCT is developed, it might be something that could be ultimately self-administered, for the sole reason that the interest in engaging in the activity is “high”. Where a “high interest” in music was a self motivator for Helena and Jeremiah, the right therapy design for SBCT might make it a great avenue to provide low cost therapy for many TBI survivors.

Conclusion, and the last thought we want to leave you with is how critical Staying Positive After Brain Injury can be.

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