Stories of Family Issues after Brain Injury
The following are stories of real life survivors of brain injury. Clicking on the titles will take you to their actual story.
Chris and her mother talk about the 10-month transition from a nursing home to her family home after recovering from a coma. Concerns for Chris focus on difficulties such as managing stairs and friends whose names are hard to remember. Chris’s mom discusses the behavioral challenges related to weekend visits-having to set limits with a physically strong adult who refuses to return to the nursing home after the visit ends. From her mom’s perspective, the two key ingredients to making this transition successful were involving the entire family in the process, as well as having an understanding employer.
So talk to me about being a father and what you’ve been through as a father.: “I think being a father is what was the best thing for my rehab. I mean my kids taught me probably more than I taught them at that point. Right now my daughter’s 15 and I don’t know if you have kids but boy it’s a challenge right now. And I know that, she’s just 15, she’s a good kid. Started liking boys a year, a year and a half ago. She’s become independent and I think it’s more of the standard thing, I got to let go. We’ve been very, very close but now that she’s 15 and I know that’s just part of it but she’s grown up and that’s sad to see. Yeah, we’ve been close. My ex-wife hasn’t been involved except for the last six months, and so, that’s been the hardest thing. Now she’s like, doing like supermom for six months but.”
Because Gina could not be left alone once she returned home, her parents would stay with her a lot and it put a strain on their relationship. Gina explains: “I would argue with my mom a lot. One of the things I remember her saying more than once and it has kind of even put a damper today on our relationship is well, you have brain damage or how do you know, you’re brain damaged and she has even up to a couple of years ago, if I disagree with her about anything, she throws that in my face. It’s well, you’re brain damaged or how do you know, you’re brain damaged or yeah, if that’s the way you feel. She throws that brain damage in my face and like I said, I really, I guess it’s I don’t talk to her like a mother or some daughters talk to their mothers. I really, it has damaged our relationship and it hurts and I’ve never really told her and I, I guess she’s getting old. My dad’s getting old. I, I don’t want to hurt her. I don’t want to start a fight. I don’t, you know, she doesn’t, like I said, she doesn’t know how much it bothers me.” The result, a severely damaged, if not destroyed personal relationship. Fortunately, the risk of violence in such setting is not as severe with women as men. Men often end up
Gina’s doctor provided her with a test to see if she could drive again. Gina states; “I don’t remember the exact date. Like I said, I didn’t want to go. This was another fight I had with my mother. At the time, I know my doctor had me go through, like take a driving test and make sure that I could pass.”