Posted on April 12, 2012 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 16 of 32 in the series Quinn

TBI Obstacles: Quinn Part Sixteen

I continued with Quinn relative to his seizure concerns and then touched another one of his TBI obstacles, pressure waves and the problems he has with them.

Have you had seizures?

I have not had a seizure yet.

Did you have one when you were in the hospital?


Why did they put you on seizure medicine?

I was told any brain injury is automatically on seizure watch and they put on you on anti-seizure medication for 12 months regardless.


Even though both he and his wife denied any seizure diagnosis, it was clear that he was experiencing some TBI obstacles one being non-traditional type pressure phenomenon different from most headaches, so I continued to probe for more information regarding these TBI obstacles:

Let’s talk about a range of symptoms that might point to some TBI obstacles including some type of seizure disorder short of a grand mal seizure.  You’re saying there’s times when your wife is sort of like trying to get through to you and you’re surfing.  Are you in pain or are they times when you’re basically blank, you’re not really there?

Yes to the second question.

So talk to me about what you know about those incidents.

It, sometimes I’ll be in pressure but no pain.  I’ll have head pressure and I’ll have waves of pressure in the head and it will slow down my thought process even more.  She’ll ask me a simple question. You know:  Would you like coffee or would you like water and I can’t process the two questions and so the, just, the, I guess the pressure is just, it kind of confuses me.

If I could eliminate headache and other TBI obstacles  from your life. How would that change your return to normal?

The headaches I’m used to so I consider it normal.  The pressure, I guess I consider it all normal for now.  But as far as eliminating it, I think the, I think the pressure is more of an issue.

What do you mean by pressure?

When I do have (the pressure) that thought process slows down enough that I can’t think right.  I can’t act, you know, if I want to, if I need to go run an errand or something, then I say I can’t because I’m on that wave cycle, that my head is under too much pressure.  I can’t, I don’t  want to  put myself or someone else in danger.  You know that, I think that’s, that would be more of an issue that I wish I could resolve.

How do you define the difference between that pressure and a headache?

I don’t know.  The headache I can take Advil and the Advil sometimes works whereas the pressure is a, just a sit and wait type of thing.

See if you can explain exactly what you mean when you say pressure.


Point to the part of your head.  Explain how it starts.  Explain how it the pressure waves as one of the  TBI obstacles affects you.

I think when you go to like the Museum of Science and you see the wave machine and it just, you know, you see the waves coming and, and going by you.  I mean, sometimes I’ll have a little bit of pain that will start right in the forehead and it’ll just shoot right across the right side of my head.  Sometimes it’ll go over the whole top of my head.  Sometimes it’ll left side and as far as, I think it feels like a pressure of, of an ocean wave or that wave machine just, you know, going across the back or it, it.  I don’t know how to.  It’s a strange sensation.

Next in  Seventeen: Cognitive Challenges Trigger Emotions after Traumatic 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