Posted on February 15, 2012 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 13 of 32 in the series Kelly

Returning Home After TBI Complicated by Hormonal Problems: Kelly Part Thirteen

Kelly and I talked about her returning home after TBI.  She tells about how her mother became over protective because of the TBI.  Kelly was a very independent person before the accident and it took some adjustment of her returning home after TBI.

Now, you’re at Vanderbilt. I know on your web page you refer to yourself as having graduated. Tell me about leaving Vanderbilt and returning home after TBI. 

 Well they put you first of all in and inpatient program which is about three weeks.  It’s a three-week inpatient program, because insurance will only cover up to 21 days. And then you would leave that program to be on your own for a period of time to see how you would acclimate to being in a non-structured environment.  So I came here to home with my mother.

So that would have been what?  Towards the end of October? 

No that was November 2.

Then you had left the inpatient unit at Vanderbilt November 2 and you were returning home after TBI and is that to the home that we’re in now (where our interview was conducted)? 

Yes it is.   And I was here until December the 10th.

Talk to me about returning home after TBI.  What’s it like to return home as a, a woman in her mid 30s, with some disability living with her mother, but at least out of the hospital setting. 

Well it was hard at first because your parent, your family.  I mean you’ve just undergone a very horrible traumatic incident which involved them.  So they become a little bit more over protective.  Well when you’re a very autonomous person which is an independent person, it like, it like stifles your motivation.  And I was going, I was beginning to go into that, hormonal change that most women in their mid 30s go through, when they hit their early 40s.  I was just starting it so my, my hormones I say were off kilter just a little bit.  Well of course that makes a person kind of moody.  And I’m not going to  say the acronym that a lot of people attribute that to so, but anyway I was accused of being that all the time.  And I wasn’t.

Kelly’s explanation of her hormonal issues as being a result of her age, is probably not the entire story.  One of the most significant, yet often poorly diagnosed and treated aspects of TBI, is disruption of the bodies normal hormones. Such problems may be technically described as Neuroendocrine Dysfunctions.  See: Ripley, The Impact of Female Reproductive Function on Outcomes After Traumatic Brain Injury at where it was said:

“Endocrine disorders are present in a significant percentage of both men and women after TBI. Numerous hormonal disturbances have been documented after TBI,  and the incidence of endocrine dysfunction in patients with a moderate to severe TBI has been reported to be as high as 50% 1 year postinjury.

While an indepth treatment of this topic is outside the scope of Kelly’s story, it is one which we hope to devote substantial treatment at some time.  The footnotes in the Ripley article are quite extensive and could be a good roadmap for learning more for those who want to explore these issues.

Next in Part Fourteen – Uncharacteristically Flat Mood 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