Posted on April 15, 2011 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 6 of 14 in the series Gina

Brain Injury Accommodations in Workplace: Gina Part Six

As would be expected by an insurance company that forced a non-medical transfer during the acute stage of her recovery, outpatient therapy didn’t last long for Gina. Yet at a time her recovery might have resulted in major mood and behavioral detours, her boss at the insurance company asked her to come back to work. He made brain injury accommodations in workplace. With someone else, that request for brain injury accommodations in workplace,  might have resulted in catastrophic consequences, ruining the relationship with her employer and creating serious setbacks in her cognitive recovery. But the synergistic relationship that Gina and her boss had in a small office, made work the best therapy for her. Gina explains the brain injury accommodations in workplace:

My boss actually was amazing through this whole thing (brain injury accommodations in workplace).  I had said I needed to quit and apparently – now I don’t remember this either, apparently when I was in rehab at St. Vincent’s, I would, you were allowed an hour a day to go online and I started instant messaging him and we would apparently talk for 15, 20 minutes a day and then I was emailing back and forth.

He had said at first it: you couldn’t put two sentences, you couldn’t write a sentence that made sense. He said every couple of days, he saw improvement and then it got to the point where I wanted to go out. At least go to the office and talk a little bit and I kept telling him, my mom, I had told him, you know, my mom says that I need to quit, that I can’t go back and he had said, no you’re going to try.

Using IM chat to make Brain Injury Accommodations in Workplace

The instant messaging she describes began two weeks after her injury, while she was still in St. Vincent’s. She continues:

I had worked there since 1997 when we had moved to town. I had contacted him first and he, my husband had said that he had kept calling.

I remember a lot of it was when you learn to type, you’ve got the home keys, I would be off a little bit. That’s why a lot of it was probably not making sense or the words just weren’t there. I did have problems going back to using the calculator keys and I remember working on that a lot on my own because my insurance company wasn’t going to pay for a whole lot of rehab or therapy because they deemed me as not really having a problem.

When did brain injury accommodations in workplace begin?

You know I think it was probably the beginning of March (less than two months since her injury).

I was extremely tired. When I started back at work, my boss had said just come back for an hour and just see how you do and the first month I worked two hours a day, three days a week. That’s all I could handle.

He was perfectly fine with that and just said, you know, he retrained me, said you’re doing better every time. I basically, he’s, he listened in on every conversation I had, had me do absolutely no changes, no quoting. Before I did anything with anybody’s file, it’s sit down and tell me what they want, what you’re doing, how you’re going to do it and I did okay. Like I said, I think he probably had to correct me a couple of times but he kept me going and kept saying, you know you’re improving, you’re not going to give up because you’re going to lay on the couch and die. Obviously he knows me better than I thought.

I’d go in for those two hours. He had me come in between the hours of 1:00 and 3:00 because those are the slowest times of the day and if I wasn’t working, he was going through and re-teaching me everything. I did not get back to my hours that I’ve got now for a full two years. He just, we just kept working into it.

Sometimes denial can be a good thing after TBI. Gina’s denial made her try, her boss’s denial that he would have to live without his valuable agent, kept him trying. Out of efforts like her boss making brain injury accommodations in workplace , miracles can happen.

Next in Part Seven – Relearning to Do Her Job

About the Author

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