Posted on February 23, 2012 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 19 of 32 in the series Kelly

Restrictions After Brain Injury: Kelly Part Nineteen

In part nineteen Kelly and talk about what going out in the real world means and the her restrictions after brain injury.


You’ve had your graduation.  Now you get to go out in the real world but with restrictions after brain injury:

But there’s one problem with going out in the real world.  You normally have to have transportation to do that, and I didn’t have transportation.  Nobody would let me drive.  The doctors, the neurologists had told my mother that I would not be able to drive for quite a while and not, to not let me. I still had a balance issues that I was not to do anything that could, further impair or cause a further injury.  My balance, my mobility, things of that nature.

Well that year my mother and some friends of hers had planned to go skiing in Salt Lake, well near Salt Lake City, Winter Park, Utah.  No Winter Park is in Colorado. Anyway –  it’s, it’s near Salt Lake City.

Park City, Utah?

That was it.  Park City.  Thank you.   So we all went skiing up there, but I didn’t get to go ski.  I got to ride the trail lift up one day, but did I get to ski?  No.  Because the doctors had said do not let her ski.  Do not let her do this, anything (because of her restrictions after brain injury).

But then that spring my niece turned 10 and she wanted to have an ice skating party.  Well of course I’m going ice skating.  It was my niece’s 10th birthday party, so I go, we go skating at Centennial Skating, skating area here in Nashville.  I put on the skates, I lace ’em up, and they’re little bitty thin bars.  I don’t know if you’ve ever been on ice skates or not, but they’re little bitty thin rail things you got to walk on, and you get on the ice and you start sliding.

Well I truly appreciated my imbalance, my balance impairments at that time (her restrictions after brain injury) .  So as soon as I got on the ice, I turned around and walked right back out to the seat, took my skates, and I said I’m not doing this.

Had you ever, you’ve been an ice skater before you had restrictions after brain injury? 


Quite a bit? 

Yes and a skier too.

Have you ever gotten back to ice skating or skiing with your restrictions after brain injury? 

No.  Same as horseback riding.

How much horseback riding had you done before you got hurt? 

Quite a bit.  From the time I was 7 years old we, it was a family tradition on Labor Day to go horseback riding.  We would always go to Nashville to uh… I’ve lost the name of the, the facility we would go horseback riding, but, Percy Warner Park.  It, it all comes in spurts, but we’d go to Percy Warner Park’s Horseback Riding Academy, rent a horse and go ride for an hour or so and that was just a family tradition every Labor Day.

Why do you think you were in a situation that you got hurt with the horse? Did you not know enough about that horse?  Were you impulsive that day?

I was impulsive that day.  I wanted to get to know that horse, because it was my dream horse.  It was a Palomino stallion.  It was my favorite horse in the world.  It was my unicorn when I was younger.

Did you know that that horse had never been ridden? 

No.  Well I, I guess I did, but I, it just didn’t, miss autonomous here, miss independent, it just didn’t quite click.

Next in Part Twenty – Relearning to Drive 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