Posted on May 16, 2012 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 5 of 36 in the series Michael

Recollections of Therapy: Michael Part Five

I discussed with Michael the recollections of therapy while he was in rehabilitation. He starts with the recollections of  therapy in the nursing home.

Micheal’s Recollections of Therapy in the Nursing Home

Let’s talk about your recollections of therapy.  You were getting therapy at the nursing home in Elizabethtown?


Do you have any recollections of therapy there?

            Bits and pieces.

What are your recollections of therapy there?

I remember I used to have to walk.  I guess they were the walking bars you had in between you to hold you up.  I remember being in occupational therapy.  My dad actually went on the Internet and checked out something for me.  The whole side, my whole left side was paralyzed and my dad found that it was a form of Bell’s Palsy.  So I had to recondition all that.

My speaking at first, there were problems with it, but I recovered that actually rather quite rather quick and so I didn’t have occupational therapy  or speech therapy for too long.

You have an injury in your brain that affects your cognition, effects memory, effects emotions.  But lets start with the more physical natures of the injury you suffered. You weren’t able to walk initially?

            No, I still have problems.

You had some left sided paralysis?


So let’s first talk about the paralysis and then we’ll talk about the walking. Do you have recollections of therapy of when you had profound problems in the left side?

All I can really remember was my arm was stuck like this and it took a long time for them to be able to get it down.

Do you have recollections of therapy with the physical therapy working with your left arm?

Working with my left arm, yes, because it was very tough for them to get it down.

Talk to me about the recollections of therapy in terms of your left arm.

Actually for me, that was very painful because for them they had to keep on pulling it down because I would sleep – I still sleep a little bit with this arm up but they had to keep pulling it down to stretch the muscles and that for me was very painful.

What do you understand to be the cause of  the spasticity you had in that left arm?

The only thing I could come up with and this is, like I said from what my dad told me, is how the angle of the vehicle hit and how hit my head.

Do you now have normal  use of your left side?

            I’d say it’s about 75 percent.

Show us what you’re range of motion looks like with your left arm.

Well my range of motion, I mean, it’s better than it was but I still… I’ve had my back operated on.  My left side still goes numb.

What kind of feeling do you have now.

When I had my back operated on, because I had one of my ribs pressing on – there’s a main thing that goes and they’re pressing on it and pressing on the nerve to where I couldn’t feel, so they go and fix that.  That, that was very dramatic for me because I could be sitting there watching TV or talking with somebody and all of sudden my whole left side go numb and I would freak.

Are the back problems, are those injuries you suffered in the accident?

They don’t know for sure.  The doctor said more than likely it is, but he can’t guarantee it.

How many years have you had problems with tingling in your lower part of your left side

I still have them, since the accident.

There could be a number of causes and one could be that, it could be this injury to one of your discs in your lower back?


Is that what they did surgery on?

Yeah. One of my discs was bulging out and that’s where it was and it was pressing the vein between it and the rib.

When you say vein, do mean the nerve root?

The nerve root.

After they did the surgery did that tingling stop or did it last?

It’s not as bad anymore.  It still happens but not as often, not as much.  I still have problems.

Establishing causation to conditions that require interventions decades is always complex, but there can be no doubt that a collision serious enough to do this much damage to Michael’s skull and brain, has the potential to injure or weaken any part of his body.  While he is old enough to have chronic problems, the vulnerability which he had as a result of the accident, in all likelihood put him in a spot to have these problems prematurely. It is also probable that because he had the partial paralysis, that symptoms of a bulging or herniated disk might have been missed or misattributed.

Next in Part Six – Partial Paralysis Related to 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