Part Twenty Four
By Attorney Gordon Johnson
You said you had been on over 19 medications at the time of you were working at the group home?
Is that the most you ever got put on at one time?
For psychotropic meds, oh, yes. Now I’m down to three.
Are you taking any other medications?
I’m a diabetic. I have severe arthritis in my hands and my knees, so I take stuff for that. I have asthma.
What do you take for the arthritis?
Do you think your arthritis is completely independent of the injury you suffered or it has a relationship to it?
I think there is a relationship to it because before my accident I was very active. From being from Kentucky we played basketball, basically born with a basketball in your hand.
How tall are you, Mike?
You didn’t play in, in high school but did play quite a bit.
I played, yes. Only played in grade school and that was it.
So your first job – did you get fired at the time that you had the confrontation with the resident?
Let’s see how to explain this. I probably should’ve just quit and then it would have stopped. But I believed in my innocence and I should of kept going and, in other directions with it, but come to find out I was one of many people in this gentleman’s history. I recommended the place to a friend of mine. She got a job there and she ended up getting into a fight with him also. But she quit before they could go any further.
Is that the only incidence you’ve had of violence since you got hurt?
When I first got hurt and I first got back home after I had left E Town, because that’s where I did all my rehab, I basically stayed in my room upstairs from my parents. I beat up every piece of furniture I had because I couldn’t handle the urges or everything was making me upset and I think last time we were talking about my dog, Little Bit.
Well, he was the only one that would comfort me and my parents wouldn’t deal with me. They just wanted to wait and see what happened afterwards. But Little Bit would finally get me calmed down and it took about, that’s when I was on, they put me on a large dose of Tegretol and it worked.
That was primarily for your seizures?
That was primarily for seizures and also Tegretol is a mood stabilizer.
Did they ever postulate or come to a conclusion that your seizure disorder was contributing to your temper outbursts and your behavior issues?
They never said anything like that. Right now I’m on Lamictal which is like Tegretol, but the bad effects are very small. I’m not considered, seizure prone any more but they’re keeping me on the Lamictal for mood stabilizer and make sure I don’t have any more seizures.
Another significant problem I have with the psychiatric view of brain injury is that they don’t come to the defense of brain injured persons with neurobehavior problems that border on criminal conduct, as they should. While the definition of criminal intent is as flawed as the psychiatrist’s definition of Post Concussion Syndrome, prosecutors and judges are far more sympathetic, when the difficulty of controlling mood after brain injury is explained to them. The proper intervention would likely have kept Michael from a criminal conviction, especially considering the behavior issues of the individual with who he had the conflict. For more on my perspective on brain injury and the criminal law, see: http://www.subtlebraininjury.com/blog/2010/04/more-on-roethlisberger-tbi-and-the-criminal-law.html