Posted on April 30, 2012 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 27 of 32 in the series Quinn

Decision Making After Severe TBI: Quinn Part Twenty-Seven

I turned to a discussion of Quinn’s frontal lobe issues with his wife.  Some frontal lobe issues such as decision making after severe TBI:

You said he had a child-like dependency when he came home.  Is that less than it was?

Less so than it was.  I mean, he’s getting more confident with certain things; more independent with certain things.

Occasionally, it backfires if he makes a decision that he probably shouldn’t have made, without consulting me; where before (early in his recovery), he would have consulted me for every single thing.

Now, he’s trying to, and I encourage him to be more independent.  But, of course, there are still some things that he should check with me, if he’s not sure, and other things that would be just a courtesy of a husband and wife to check with, before either of us went forth and did something.

He’s having some trouble with decision making after severe TBI?


Primarily in the area of more complex judgment issues in decision making after severe TBI ?


You told us a story about the contributions to the jamboree?

That is a good example, and that’s something that, you know, financially we had always agreed, even prior to his accident, if we were going to spend a substantial amount of money, something over $100.00/$150.00, we would always check with each other on that.  That surprised me that he didn’t check with me on the amount, before going forth with it, and, you know, I was thinking something more along the lines of $100.00.  He was thinking along the lines of $500.00, or more, right off the bat, and we just hadn’t discussed that.

Is there a higher level of functioning that hasn’t redeveloped yet, involved in the distinction between $100 and $500 that hasn’t come back yet?

Probably.  I mean, as it ended up we let that contribution go, as he did it, cause he felt it was worthwhile and understood that if money did get tight, he would have to make some sacrifices; and he agreed that that was worth it, and he wanted to continue with it.

Does he go grocery shopping which involves decision making after severe TBI?

Very rarely.

Had he ever done that with you?

We’ve tried.  When he first came out of the hospital, there was much too much stimulus.  It would bother him.  He’d be dizzy; he’d have headaches.  He just couldn’t handle it.  After we went down the very first aisle, he had to just go to the car and lay down.  He couldn’t do it.

So he never even got to the challenge of decision making after severe TBI which item to purchase?

He has come shopping much later, in the last year, and he in general isn’t that impulsive.  But when it comes to that he has a problem.  He just wants whatever’s on the shelf.  He doesn’t care if we have it at home.  He doesn’t care if it’s on sale.  He’ll just, so I, I, that’s one of the things I try to keep for myself as a chore, and I don’t usually have him go shopping alone.

Quinn shared his perspective on what happened relative to the contribution with decision making after severe TBI.

I made a mistake a couple weeks ago.  There was the jamboree for the brain injured in Florida, that I wanted to donate some money to help some people go, and my wife said yes we can donate some money.  We never communicated an exact dollar amount.  I called up, she said take care of it; call the person and take care of it.  I donated over $500.00, and I called her to ask her if I could donate more, and she didn’t answer the phone.

Well when she called me back and I told her that I was trying to get a hold of her because I wanted to donate more, she kind of freaked out, what do you mean you donated $500.00?  We’re not making an income. I can’t work, blah, blah, blah, and, you know, kind of freaked her out. You’re giving away money that could go to bills, you know, and I wanted to donate more and I just, I think it was, you know, I needed to double check with her, triple check with her.

Do you have difficulty connecting all the dots in the circle of decision making after severe TBI and judgments? 

Sometimes yes.  I don’t know what you’re asking, but I don’t have an example but I’m just pretty sure the answer is yes.

Well for example, you, she’d given you the authority to make the gift, but you hadn’t been able to reason through what you could afford. And that was a concern?


Do you have problems with decision making after severe TBI like making little decisions, such as things like going to the grocery store or what to do today? 

Sometimes, yeah.


Next in Part Twenty Eight – Time Management a Consistent TBI Deficit

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