Posted on April 1, 2013 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 29 of 36 in the series Zachary

Traumatic Brain Injury Recovery: Zach Part Twenty-Nine

Zach and I discussed his remarkable traumatic brain injury recovery and how he was able to finish high school and even hold down a job.

Now, you mentioned work.  Are you working?

I am working, but I am kind of out of work right now.

What was the first job you had after the wreck?

Well, the very first job was working with my uncles landscaping and doing masonry work.

When would that have been during your traumatic brain injury recovery?

2007 summer.

So a year into your traumatic brain injury recovery, brain injury the year before you started college?

No.  The year after that, 2008 summer.

That would have been after your freshman year in college?


Were you able to work a normal workday with your traumatic brain injury recovery?


By then you had enough traumatic brain injury recovery enough physical strength that you could do that work?

Yeah, I still wasn’t able to do it as well as someone who didn’t get tired.

Was it mostly fatigue?

A little bit, yeah.

Did you have problems with chronic pain with your traumatic brain injury recovery from the manual labor?


So you weren’t stiff or more pain?  Any increase in headaches?


That was outside in warm weather?

Yes.   Exactly.

Would you have more trouble doing that in the cold weather?

Yes.  I can’t because my body really doesn’t cooperate with cold.  I can’t do it.

Do you have any idea why that is?

I have no idea why that is.  I don’t.

Have you been assessed for abnormal stiffness. You do stretch?

Yeah, I do.

Have you had any other jobs other than the landscaping job?

Yeah.  My first other job besides family was I worked in the dining common as a dishwasher for two, three years.

Any problems with that job?

No, none.

Oh, well there was one.  I couldn’t get the dishes off the dishwasher because they would come out so hot.  But, everyone else could.   But my brain was telling my fingers that it was the hottest thing it had felt in its life.  Like, I overreact to things that are hot and cold.

So you had almost an abnormal sensitivity to heat?

Yep.  Heat and cold.

Did anybody give you any explanation for that?

I interviewed my doctor and she said that it’s probably nothing to do with me but it’s just my perception is, lots of sensitivity is just off.

The injury that you suffered was that, do you know if it was occipital or parietal?

You probably suffered injure to several areas, specific areas of the brain.   But, when you’re talking about the accumulation of blood back here, do you know if it was occipital or parietal lobe?

Uh, no.

Can you show us again, just turn your head and show us.

Well. (Showing his scar above his left ear.

That would be the cut, correct?


And the blood accumulation was opposite of that?

On this side.

Okay.  So, a little bit behind your ear?

The area of his brain that Zach pointed to is likely the right parietal lobe.  This abnormal perception of head and cold could be explained by damage to the parietal lobe. The parietal lobe plays is involved in integrating sensory information.  Damage to the parietal lobe might also explain why Zach has problems with math and numbers as the parietal lobe assists with numbers and understanding the relationship between numbers.

Next in Part Thirty –

Cognitive Recovery after Brain Injury Sufficient for White Collar Work


About the Author

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