Posted on March 18, 2013 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 25 of 36 in the series Zachary

Walking after Severe Brain Injury: Zach Part Twenty Five

Zach and I talked about his walking after severe brain injury and how to this day he has an abnormal gait to his walking after severe brain injury.


I’d like to try to cover a series of issues or symptoms with each interview, so we have some consistency.  One of the goals in doing this is to create a database of how people are in the real world, not just a bunch of statistics but how their life experiences are.  

We covered a number of these things; we talked about amnesia and rehab and walking after severe brain injury.  But as you are today, there are a number of potential symptoms that you might have and let’s talk about some of those.  You’re still having some difficulties with the way you are walking after severe brain injury , is that right?

I mean, to some people.

You have what medical people might call an abnormal gait when you are walking after severe brain injury? 


Is your left side a little out of sync?

I think so.

Tell me about that. 

I think maybe subconsciously I don’t know it but it might drag, my left leg drags a little bit.

You need to get up and walk around from time to time, as you have demonstrated today during this interview?

I like to, yeah.

Talk to me about that stiffness that happens when you are walking after severe brain injury.

It’s so cold up here. And it’s just like my muscles tighten, it almost hurts when I move them.

The left-sided weakness, have they given it a formal label – do they call that a paresis?


Did they ever use a label when you were in rehab?

They just called it left-side neglect.

Has that gotten any better in the last year or two?


What have you done to try to improve that?

Well, I still go to the gym as much as I can.  When I was in college what I would do was run sprints. I would run for like two minutes on the treadmill – walk for a minute – run two, you know, it was like that.

Did you ever do any timed running again?

I have myself, like I’ll run a mile and see how fast I can run it.

Did you ever run a 40 again? 

No, because my brain starts thinking faster like than my legs can go. That’s what happens like a lot of times.  When I start sprinting, I can feel myself get ahead of myself, literally, like I’m like, oh, oh, whoa, my feet ain’t going that fast.

Is it because the left side isn’t keeping up with the right?

Yeah, actually I think so.

Have you had any follow-up rounds of physical therapy where you might start to fine tune some of that left sided neglect?

Not really.

Do you have a doctor who still in theory is your doctor for your brain injury?

I don’t have a brain injury doctor. But my physician is still my physician.

You could go and ask him for a physical therapy assessment?

Yeah, I could.  Yeah.

And you don’t think you’ve had a neuropsychological assessment either?

No, I’m pretty sure I haven’t.

To view:

Next in Part Twenty Six –

Headaches Different than Before Severe TBI


About the Author

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