Posted on April 16, 2011 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 7 of 14 in the series Gina

Relearning After TBI: Gina Part Seven

Denial will only take a TBI survivor so far. Without cognitive relearning after TBI and accommodations, even a story as upbeat as this one would turn sour. Gina tells of the problems she had relearning after TBI at work:

Listening. It was getting on the phone with people and pulling their file and struggling with their coverage’s and okay, you’re changing vehicles.

I would forget to ask what other changes they wanted to make. Are they replacing a vehicle or just adding it? What deductibles do you want and then if they did call and ask a question about do I have towing? Do I have rental reimbursement, that type of thing or what specifically what does uninsured motorist or specific coverage’s, what exactly does it cover?

It was hard to apply that. Plus everything was changing, changing with the companies. You do everything online now but at the time, some of them were on online, some weren’t. We had a rating assistant where basically it put everything in the computer to get the rate and it would tell you each company what the rate was going to be. Now we no longer have the MIS assistant. It’s all each company, you go in there, you rate. To do the changes, I know from the time that I, when I had left to when I started coming back, five more companies had changed their web sites and how you do things and I was very, very frustrated with learning it.

So he had me write it down, every single thing, and get phone numbers. That was the big thing. Get the phone number of where the person can be contacted because if I forgot something or it didn’t seem right to him or he needed to – what did you forget, he would call them. He got to the point where then he would have me call them back and say, I’m sorry. I forgot to ask this or I just wanted to verify this or like I said, we worked into it. The first, the biggest thing was getting the phone numbers and getting them right which I was pretty good at that.

What does your workday consist of now?

Now I’m working Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8:00 to 5:00 with an hour to an hour and a half break; Tuesdays from noon to 5:00 and Fridays from 8:00 or 9:00 in the morning whatever till 4:00 in the afternoon.

What my boss does understand and still allows is I get tired and as the week goes on, I get more and more tired so he will let me either take longer breaks or come in a little bit later.

I get migraine headaches that are just really, really bad. I can call him and, in the morning, and say, I’ve got a migraine and he lets me come in. I’ll take the Imitrex or whatever I need to take and let’s me come in at 10:30, 11:00 whenever I’m feeling better and I, my pay is not docked.

From a life threatening skull fracture – to two hours a day – to nearly fulltime work. How much of a sense of gratitude does Gina have for the boss who gave her the opportunity to work again and helped with the relearning after TBI process?

It’s immense. I will never leave there. I will never, ever – I tell everybody that it is him, that made me come back to work, made me not quit. The support was just phenomenal compared to – and I should say and I’ve got a lot of comparisons.

Going to a support group and hearing what some people have gone through with their jobs and not having the understanding, not having the modifications, not – or having to deal with trying to file with, for Social Security or dealing with the work, I don’t even know, the work force development type thing. Trying to find something else they can do, it’s, I didn’t have that.

If anything else, I had somebody that just said, no you’re going to do this and he made up his mind that no, you’re going to do this and you’re going to try. I can’t see ever looking for another job or trying to find one.

Without the kind of boss Gina had, returning to work and relearning after TBI would have been a more painful and frustrating process than Gina experienced.  Most brain injury survivors begin the relearning after TBI while still in the hospital during therapy and relearning after TBI rehabilitation.  But with Gina’s insistence of going home so early, the relearning after TBI process took a much different scenario.

Next in Part VIII – Seizures and Driving

About the Author

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