Posted on January 9, 2012 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 17 of 24 in the series TJ

Brain Injury Communication: TJ Part Seventeen

For TJ’s parents, it is the neurobehavioral extremes that have been the biggest challenge.  TJ doesn’t share that insight.  For him it is a concrete problem of frustration stemming from brain injury communication failures.

Do you have problems with depression? 


So you never get sad?


What about getting angry?

A little bit.

TJ Talks about His Brain Injury Communication and Frustrations with It

What’ll make you angry?

If people don’t understand me, I get mad.

And when you say “your understanding,”  a brain injury communication issue, is it your voice?

My speech.

Now, you went through speech pathology?

I’m going through it again.

How many times have you been to speech pathology for brain injury communication?

One time and now I’m doing it again.When I first went,  I couldn’t really talk.

When did you start to be able to talk again?

I don’t know, a while after…

Did they explain to you why you were having trouble talking?

Just from the coma.

Is it a problem with the way you use the muscles in your mouth and your tongue, or injuries to your face?

To the muscles, the way they’re being used.

Tell me about your day to day therapy.

It’s one day a week.  I’ve been doing it every Wednesday, one day a week for eight weeks.  And I’ve done five already so I have three more left.

So you had it yesterday?


Tell me about your therapy yesterday.

It went all right. Get to the therapist, it’s over there on 54 behind Wendy’s. Sign in and go sit down and wait for her to call me in.

Then what happens?

Then we go over our exercises that she gave me for homework.

So what was your homework (for brain injury communication issues)?

To say certain syllables and stuff out loud into the mirror, so it comes out clearer.

So you’re talking into a mirror?

At home by myself.

Do you have certain words you’re supposed to say?

She made a list so I can go through  all my words and just say ’em.

How is your reading?

I don’t read.  I don’t like to read.

But you’re able to read?

I’m able to – I just don’t like to read.

Was that true before you got hurt?

I’ve never liked to read, never.

What kind of a student were you?

I was an average student.  B-C student.

What about the Internet?  Do you use the computer and, and the Internet?


Can you type?

I’m not a professional typer but I can type.

Could you type before you got hurt?

More or less the way I am now is what I always was.

Do you use all of your fingers to type or just one?

Touching the one. I tried it the other way but I tried it and I can’t.

Do you think you you would be able to use all your fingers if you learned how to do it?

I’m sure I could if I learned, but I don’t want, I don’t want to learn, I don’t want to do that.

Next in Part Eighteen – TJ a Man of Few Words

By 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