Posted on February 12, 2013 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 2 of 36 in the series Zachary

Retrograde Amnesia from TBI: Zach Part Two 

As there is almost always a period of retrograde amnesia from TBI that precedes a coma brain injury, one would by definition, expect someone who emerges from a coma, to be confused as to his or her whereabouts. But of course the confusion is usually much greater than that (retrograde amnesia from TBI) , as it is not only the knowledge as to how the survivor got to the ICU that is compromised, but also the brain’s ability to take in radically new information and surroundings.

Zach Suffers Retrograde Amnesia from TBI after Accident

With your retrograde amnesia from TBI the next thing you remember would be how long later?

The next thing I remember – Well, I remember images from the coma, like afterwards.   But the first thing I remember is waking up, after my coma.  So this has been a month I’ve been laying in a bed, but I think it’s the next day.  I’m getting ready to go to the gym and go to school, do my normal routine.

And I start looking around, but everyone’s crying. I see everyone crying, and I have no idea why.  I see my mom in a corner crying, and then the doctor comes to prepare me to leave to go to rehab, and, I thought it was my friend Gonzo.  So I’m trying to yell, “Gonzo, Gonzo,” but my jaw’s broken, and I can’t even talk at this point anyways.  Plus my jaw is like wired shut so I couldn’t even open my mouth for the words so.

So let me back up.  What I think you are telling us is that when you woke up, you thought you were somewhere else where you would be doing your normal morning things.


And you were confused that you weren’t in fact at home doing your normal morning stuff because of your retrograde amnesia from TBI?


Can you amplify that?

Well, when I first woke up, like immediately when I opened my eyes, I was like why am I in Maine?  I really thought I was at my friend’s beach house in Maine instantly.  But then I started seeing everyone.  I’m like “oh, this is kind of weird,” and like, I thought I was going to get up and like go to the gym, do whatever I do.  But then I lifted up my hands, and my left hand didn’t move.  (Just my right hand moved) and I looked at my hand, I’m like why can’t I move my left hand?  This is not a good situation.  Something’s wrong.

The specific description you’re telling me now, is this something that happens the day you wake up or is this something that’s been two, three, four weeks after you’re already woken up from the coma?

No, this is right when I wake up.  Well, they weaned me off morphine.  They gave me a ton of morphine to knock me out and sleep the whole month so it was a drug induced coma, and started like seeing images as I was waking up, but this is like the day they came to get me to go to rehab.  They put me in an ambulance to Spaulding in Boston.



Next in Part Three:  Amnesia End With Transfer To Rehab


About the Author

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