Posted on August 17, 2011 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 15 of 22 in the series DJ

Frontal Lobe Deficits: DJ Part Fifteen

DJ explains how his frontal lobe deficits impact his planning for his day to day living. How brain injury survivors deal with their frontal lobe deficits when their routine is changed.


“When do I pack?  How much do I pack?  You know, how little do I pack?   I’m over thinking – meetings and doctor’s appointments.”


Example of Frontal Lobe Deficits

Merging the distinction between pure cognitive and frontal lobe deficits/executive functioning is the generic but descriptive term of “thinking.”  I asked DJ:

What about thinking?  Do you have problems with thinking with your frontal lobe deficits?

I think I think too much now, whereas I used to get up, take the shower or go running or everything used to just be this is what I got to do.  I got to make money and go to work now.

Now it’s like, okay, you know, Mr. Johnson’s coming.  How do I do this or this?  When do I pack?  How much do I pack?  You know, how little do I pack?   I’m over thinking – meetings and doctor’s appointments.

Let’s talk about that specifically because I did an interview about ten days ago.  The mother of the injured person with frontal lobe deficits explained to me that because our interview was a change in his routine, it completely consumed him for that day.  He has a fairly routine day-to-day and having the interview with me that day.  From the moment he got up from 7:00 in the morning, all he could do was sit and wait for the interview.  Did you find that to be true for you, as well?

Totally, but more than just today, though.

Since when?

Well, all weekend long.  You know, I know it’s a holiday weekend and I know I didn’t have a lot to do.  I knew there was certain records I wanted to bring and that always comes into play, like with new doctors, as well.  What records do I bring?  What don’t I bring?  When do I leave?  How do I get there?  Am I going to take the bus?  Am I going to ride my bike?  I mean it just gets to be a playlist of things and until you filtered that out.

And, the other thing is getting to the point where you get A done so you can get to B.  And that’s been a problem, too.  I didn’t pack last night until almost 10:00.  I had posted on Facebook, I said, “I better start packing.”

But you had been talking about it on Facebook for days.

Getting to A sometimes is very difficult because you go, “All right.  What do I do first?  Do I go get medical records?  Do I get my clothes?  Do I wash clothes?”  It just gets to be like, uh, uh, what do you first?

Moving in to more frontal lobe deficit issues, do you have an inability to have a sense, when enough is enough?  This is an interview.  You’re not going to be evaluated like you would formally forensically.  Did you have a hard time sorting out what really to do in this interview?

No, because I saw your first video on I’d say in somewhere around 2007. But,  I was very excited to meet you but I felt like I did on  When you come on there and you say, you know, the family is, going through an awful lot right now and, you know, what you’re thinking about and what you’ve got to settle and what’s your kid going to be like, or whatever, I, I’m not quoting you exactly, I know that.

But, I kind of knew that you were just somebody that really cares about the business of brain injury.  Would want to listen.  Will ask questions related to brain injury but all of it instead of being like a nurse case manager who as soon as they heard the word “drinking” would leave.

I think you’re going to take all of this in.  I think you understand my deficits.  What I can and can’t do and I was excited about getting that out.  And I know a lot of people on our Facebook page, too, that are pretty excited to, to hear about what’s going on here.  So, now it was very relaxing for me and.

Next in Part Sixteen – Mood Issues After Severe Brain Injury

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