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Does anyone have experience with traumatic brain injury?

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Does anyone have experience with traumatic brain injury?

Old 01-10-12, 08:25 AM
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aquateen
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Does anyone have experience with traumatic brain injury?

...only loosely related to cycling, but I figured I would ask as many people here have had accidents or know others who have.

My mother was hit by a car Thursday night (not on a bike, but walking her dog) and is now in the ICU at a nearby hospital. Her injuries are severe but her vitals are strong and she is making progress. Right now we are currently waiting for the swelling period to end.

Anyone have/know any success stories from similar incidents? The doctors are hesitant to give any sort of predictions as so many factors/variables are involved. Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-10-12, 08:30 AM
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It is a wait and see thing.
Takes one full year to see what the lasting side effects remain.

My son had a no helmet crash when he was 17.
Totally paralyzed on his left side for 20 days.
Hospitalized for 30 days.
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Old 01-10-12, 08:33 AM
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I'm married to a Rehab Doctor, and have tried a number of TBI cases.

What the Doctors are telling you is true, there's a wide range in outcomes, and multiple factors involved, so it's difficult to make accurate projections, particularly on an internet forum, without medical records test results, Glasgow Coma Scores etc. One key fact is how long she was unconcious for.

People do recover from TBI's. Look at Gabby Gifford. How much they recover and how fast varies.

It would be helpful for her to be seen by a good PM&R doctor that specializes in TBI, if she isn't already.

PM if you'd like me to get a referral recommendation from my wife.
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Old 01-10-12, 08:33 AM
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Wow, I am sorry to hear that.

This may not the best place to get advice on that, despite several people having experience and I think at least one poster is actually a brain surgeon.

The stuff on WebMD and similar sites is solid. It is probably not possible to predict her long term outcome right now, especially over the internet. Good signs of progress will be when the swelling reduces, when she regains consciousness, and when she can talk normally.
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Old 01-10-12, 08:37 AM
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Yeah i've read the WebMD's and wikis. I'm pretty well educated on the statistics. Just looking for some positive personal stories
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Old 01-10-12, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by aquateen View Post
...only loosely related to cycling, but I figured I would ask as many people here have had accidents or know others who have.

My mother was hit by a car Thursday night (not on a bike, but walking her dog) and is now in the ICU at a nearby hospital. Her injuries are severe but her vitals are strong and she is making progress. Right now we are currently waiting for the swelling period to end.

Anyone have/know any success stories from similar incidents? The doctors are hesitant to give any sort of predictions as so many factors/variables are involved. Thanks in advance.
Without going into too many details here (to protect privacy) I sort of know someone who sustained a head injury in an athletics accident many years ago. She uses a wheelchair - although she can lift herself out of her wheelchair into a regular chair if needed she can't walk at all. Physically (as far as I can tell, I don't know her all that well) she seems fine aside from her legs not working. Mentally she's pretty sharp as well. Despite her physical disability she gets around more than I do and can still travel internationally. I didn't know her before the accident so can't say how she was in the weeks and months immediately afterwards.

I'm sure you know a traumatic brain injury is the kind of thing that has so many variables it's of limited value to offer a single data point, but suffice to say it's certainly possible that she'll come out of this with at least most of her faculties intact.
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Old 01-10-12, 09:18 AM
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OP: what Merlin said is completely accurate. Im the same kind of doc as his wife. Pm me if you need some names. Prediction of recovery is very difficult even when we can examine someone so it is impossible on the Internet.
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Old 01-10-12, 10:22 AM
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I don't have anything useful to say, but want to send my condolences and wish your mom a speedy recovery.
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Old 01-10-12, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I don't have anything useful to say, but want to send my condolences and wish your mom a speedy recovery.
Same. Best wishes to your Mother.
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Old 01-10-12, 10:27 AM
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Agree with Ruokie and Merlin.

I would be VERY careful about soliciting experience from others, you will hear wonderful stories of amazing recoveries, and also very sad stories of lives forever changed. And some in-between.

Sorry but it's a waiting game. Be strong and I hope she does ok.
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Old 01-10-12, 01:05 PM
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Having worked in inpatient rehab at times, I concur that there is wide variability in outcomes. At this point it is still too early to even attempt prognosis. I'm sure a rehab physician will be consulted as she continues to heal.

Good luck, and stay strong!
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Old 01-10-12, 02:56 PM
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thanks for the kind words. as i stated earlier though, i'm not looking for what my mom's outcome might be, just encouraging stories.
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Old 01-10-12, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by aquateen View Post
just encouraging stories.
Article in today's NY Times (registration may be required). Primary topic is coping with traumatic brain injury suffered by a loved one. One story, that hits close to home, is a cyclist who was hit by a car in 2002. He's made a remarkable recovery but it was a difficult process.
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Old 01-11-12, 08:18 AM
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No advice or anecdotes to offer but your mom and you are on my prayer board for a s long as necessary. Sorry to read of her mishap and your added stress in life. Being there for her will mean a whole lot in her recovery as she battles back. Please keep us posted on how she and you are doing.
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Old 01-11-12, 10:42 AM
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OP,

I read your post yesterday and by coincidence last night watched a documentary on the subject prepared by the University of Washington. You can see it here.

My take away from the film is that a patient's family and friends are key to a good outcome, but that patience and an understanding that you cannot 'do it all' are required of you.

Best wishes to you and your mom.
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Old 01-11-12, 12:48 PM
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Sorry to contribute to the chorus, but I shattered a brand-new, $600 Arai helmet back in '03 and had double-vision for 11 terrifying days afterward. The doctor's prognosis was infuriatingly vague:
"Well, it's either going to get better on its own or it's not; but there's nothing we can do one way or the other."
I couldn't drive a car, read a book, or work without closing one eye and focusing deeply.
But on the 12th day I woke up and there was one of everything again.
Good luck. Strong vitals and Making progress are something to be thankful for. The body is an amazing healing machine, and it sounds like she at least has a good beachhead from which to build her recovery campaign.
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Old 01-11-12, 02:29 PM
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You might want to check out the Raisin Hope Foundation started by Saul Raisin - https://www.saulraisin.com/sitemain/i...=320&Itemid=83

I went on his charity ride this summer. What an amazing guy with his own TBI story.
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