Posted on February 22, 2012 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 18 of 32 in the series Kelly

TBI Rehab Graduation: Kelly Part Eighteen

In Part eighteen Kelly discusses more breakthroughs she had with her rehabilitation and the progress she made up until TBI Rehab Graduation.

In our previous part, Kelly told us about her mobility savior, her physical therapist Christy, who got her hand to open through use of Istim. That breakthrough was quickly followed by another.

So when did you give up the cane? 

I gave up the cane the very next day.

Talk to me about that. 

Of course, here comes the occupational therapist.  Again we’re going down for a little neighborhood walk.  We called the four halls of the hospital the neighborhood- even though there was a neighborhood outside.  We would walk the halls of the neighborhood.

And so since I could now use my left hand, we were walking along and I’ve got my cane in my left hand and my right hand behind my back.  So it looked like I was using my left hand with the cane.  And then we got close to where the neurologist was up at the nurse’s station, I would put it behind my back with the other hand, whichever hand I wanted to, and make it appear as if I was walking without anything.

So you’ve got use of your left hand and you can walk? 


How was that?

It was great.  It was, it was really good.  And then they would go through a couple more little –  I would say minute – therapies, because I exceeded all of their training capabilities.

You said this was about Thanksgiving.  When they were able to open your hand up, when you were able to actually start walking, was this in your outpatient rehab period or, or before you got discharged from inpatient? 

It was right at the end of the inpatient rehab.

So it would have been towards the end of October, the beginning of November. 

Most likely.

So, when you’re back in for outpatient they continue to work on your balance. 


Working on your memory? 

We didn’t do a lot of work on my…I don’t remember working on my memory.

Was your memory function pretty high then? 

Yes, uh huh, yes.

So most of the problems, at least that they were treating after the first month, were primarily physical problems?

Yes, mostly physical.

Speech pathology was doing some of the role playing and, and that type of thing, but, your cognitive functioning was relatively higher than your physical functioning at the time? 

Most definitely.

Kelly’s Rehab Graduation Party

Once you’re done with your outpatient therapy, our TBI Rehab graduation, that would have been about the 1st of January of that year, then what happens? 

Well they told me at the end, toward the end of December that I had exceeded their training or their therapies so they were going to let me go back into the real world, and to do that, they were going to give me a graduation party, and I could invite whoever I wanted to invite.

I claim to be a Texan, I’m Tennessean by birth, but I’m a Texas by blood transfusion.  So, I called my party the moo-ving on party.  M-O-O for cow, moo‑ving on, and they purchased a cake for me.  We had it in the cafeteria.  A lot of the people that were in, I was in different therapies with, they were all survivors, they all came to the party (the TBI Rehab graduation party) and it was a really good time.  From what I recall.

What happened at your TBI Rehab Graduation Party?

I just remember talking to a couple of people and getting to know them a little bit better.  Jotting down their names and addresses so I could keep up with them after we all got out on our own again.

Your mother come to your TBI Rehab Graduation Party? 

Yes, mother was there.

What about your father, was he involved and did he come to your TBI Rehab graduation party? 

No.  My father is, only came, only came to me one time at the hospital.

Your mother and father still together? 


I didn’t ask this question.  Have you ever been married? 


No kids? 


Next in Part Nineteen – Real World Means Restrictions

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