Posted on October 6, 2011 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 4 of 7 in the series Otto

Wife Concerns About Brain Injury: Otto Part Four

In Part Four I talked to Otto’s wife. No one would pay attention to his Wife concerns about brain injury  that he may had suffered.

At some point while he’s in the hospital for his initial injuries does anybody figure out that he’s had a head injury?

I had no idea if he was diagnosed with a head injury or if he had been looked at.  I had asked the therapy staff to go upstairs and talk to him and whether he – they had physician’s orders or not.  Some of them were really close friends of mine.  I wanted them to go up and talk to him because I said “I want to know if he’s okay”.

You said you’d called the nursing station

I called the nursing station on that third day because I wanted to know what was going on.  I said I can’t get him to talk to me on the phone and give me a decent answer to anything.  He had seen people in and out of the hospital; doesn’t remember ever seeing them.  He can’t carry on a conversation, and he was under pain meds that they realized were really causing problems with him.  I mean, it took him three days to come off of them where he wasn’t throwing up and it was morphine and it was not good for him.  And of course this isn’t like the first time he’s been in the hospital.

So are his memory problems related to the morphine or are they related to a head injury?

I think they’re related to the head injury because when he came off the morphine even it was like that.  It was a good two weeks before I could carry on a normal conversation with him where we could just talk and have a dialog where he remembered things.

He is off the morphine in what a week?

 Oh, two days, three days. They took him off of it once they figured out things were, you know, having a problem with it

Did he have a CT scan done?

I have no idea.

Not Until Later Did they Take His Wife Concerns About Brain Injury Seriously

Has he ever been diagnosed with a brain injury?

Yes. We did have study done later on, uh, down in Marshfield and he had been diagnosed with a  brain injury.

Has he been disabled by that at all?

Just his – he has to do things a little differently.  He has to constantly write things down.

This portion of the interview was included in the video we featured in Part Three at regarding his Wife concerns about brain injury.

Pain Medication Blamed While His Wife Concerns About Brain Injury

It’s frustrating with my husband, because he wasn’t diagnosed with a brain injury but he had the symptoms.  Every, everything was there.  The poor guy through his childhood had been doing – had the injuries where he’d been unconscious before and so that a concussion, you know, score is up to X amount.  Here he is with this accident and it knocked him for a loop but there wasn’t any diagnosing going on.  And as a person who sees it in a therapy department and it’s like why isn’t it going on.  But I was too far away to really, you know, say anything about it I think.


When you were talking to the nursing station what were they telling you back –  that he’s fine?

They were telling me that we changed his pain medications.  We think that he is starting to feel better, he is actually starting to eat and that they’ll transfer him.  Well okay you changed his pain meds.  Maybe that’ll help but even when I talked to him on the phone he doesn’t, doesn’t remember questions.

Next Part Five – Challenges in Identifying Amnesia in Otto

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