Posted on August 4, 2011 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 6 of 22 in the series DJ

Early Rehabilitation: Dj Part Six

DJ doesn’t remember being an inpatient at Daytona.  He doesn’t remember the early rehabilitation. He woke up there, but his memory began later.

Events Leading Up to the Beginning of Early Rehabilitation

Where did you go after you left Daytona?

Daytona down to HealthSouth in Melbourne, Florida.  And then over to Tampa to the Center for Comprehensive Services, which is a mentor network brain injury rehab.

Do you remember anything about HealthSouth in Melbourne and the early rehabilitation they gave you?

All I remember about HealthSouth was I made cookies, I remember that.  I did Sudoku.  I did check writing.  I remember the physical therapist, she was a pretty girl. I remember her telling me something that was very important and I still use to this day.  I was still having some very extreme hard headaches.  I was taking a hydrocodone back then and, you know, some powerful drugs.  But again, I didn’t know they had shot up my neck, but I would fall asleep after doing almost nothing.

Fifteen to 20 minutes worth of mental stimulation and I was ready to go to sleep.  But she told me to lay down on one of the mats.  I remember that, at the HealthSouth.  And she said go to a place that’s comforting to you.  And I used to run up a mountain in Durham where when you get to the top you could Hammond Asset to the right, and you could see the skyline of Hartford to the left.  That’s about 80 to 100 miles of carpets and trees.  It’s probably 800 elevation, and I thought about that immediately and I don’t even know why, but I went there and I laid there. I used to sit up there sometimes and just look at it.

So I, I remembered that and I laid down and the next thing I know I’m getting tapped and it’s time to get up.  So I was still taking a lot of naps even after waking up from the coma.

Physical problems discovered in early rehabilitation

What physical problems were you having your early rehabilitation?

Just constantly tired.  I’m very dizzy.  I have ringing in the ears.  The shunt line headache, the occipital headache.  Vision is getting, my up-close vision is very dizzy and objects coming at me.  You know like a, a neurologist will do this and it always surprises me still, but then they go like this.  And it tells them, he’s not ready to drive.  I can’t take on like, something physically coming at me real fast.

Testing during early rehabilitation

Did you ever have any formal balance testing during your early rehabiltation?

Only my current neurologist I would say.  He’s had me stand up, hold my head up, you know, straight, do it with my hands out and try to walk and I, I can’t even believe, I mean this was only done in April.  But I can’t walk toe after toe after toe.

Further testing during early rehabilitation

You haven’t had any of these tests: the ENG test, the posture platform test, rotary chair test?  None of those type of testing?

Not E N G.  I’ve had EMG.

Have you seen a vestibular therapist or a physical therapist during your early rehabilitation who did an Epley maneuver or Dix Hallpike on you? Those words don’t mean anything to you?

I’ve never even heard those.

Do you get vertigo?

I call it just dizziness, but yes, there’s moments where my head just goes just totally dizzy.

Is that related to if you stand up too quickly, sitting up from bed, or rolling over in bed?

I don’t think so.  I think it just happens.  It could be anywhere.

Early rehabilitation

You had speech therapy, cognitive therapy, occupational therapy during the period of your early rehabiltation?

Physical speech and occupational therapy was done on a regular basis at HealthSouth in Melbourne, yes.

From Melbourne where did you go?

Center for Comprehensive Services, Subacute Brain Injury Rehab –  which is in North Tampa, Lutz, Florida.

At CCS they had people on campus.  My speech therapist did ascending and descending -,APT testing which is ascending and descending months, ascending and descending numbers, so, you know, she might say that the ascending months as in going forward, descending as in going backwards.  So if it’s descending they’ll say December and you’re supposed to say, November, if it is ascending, you say January.

And when did you get there?

Right around December 1.

So the time you get to North Tampa is just before this sort of light went on in terms of your memory kick in?

Kick in, yeah, yeah.  It was a week or two I was there and I’m literally laying sideways in bed at the rehab facility and I, I can still remember, I don’t remember exactly what opened up, what information came back, maybe parents, maybe family, I don’t really remember.  I just know that, that one day something opened up and I proved it to the staff.  I said, you know, my name, address, phone number, whatever.  I don’t remember exactly what I remembered but I do remember it was like a camera coming on and it was pretty amazing, and then from there it just got a little bit better over the course of the next six months but like I say after that I don’t think it’s really changed and my neuropsych evaluations say that my deficits are the same as December or January of ’06, so.

By Attorney Gordon Johnson


Next in Part Seven DJ and Neuropsychological Assessment After Severe Brain Injury

About the Author

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