Brain Injury Recovery: What You Need to Know
Were you recently diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury? If so, it'll be very important for you to work your way through the entire brain injury recovery process so that you're able to get back to being yourself again.
The traumatic brain injury recovery process isn't always going to be easy. Recovery from a brain injury can take a lot of time and patience on the part of both those who suffered one and those caring for them.
But with some hard work, you should be able to overcome a traumatic brain injury. Here's a brain injury guide that lays out the steps you'll need to take.
Brain Injury Recovery May Begin With a Coma
There are plenty of people who will suffer from mild brain injuries that won't end up in comas as a result of them. But at least some people who go through traumatic brain injuries will either fall into comas or be put into comas following these injuries.
If you're ever in a coma, it might seem like a bad thing. You will, after all, be completely unresponsive to everything that surrounds you. But being in a coma might be the best thing for your brain and your body as a whole.
When you're in a coma, it'll provide your brain with an opportunity to begin the healing process without you having to do anything else. All of your brain's attention will be on healing, which will improve your chances of being able to make a traumatic brain injury recovery.
It Will Move to a Minimally Conscious State
If you fall into a coma or are put into a coma following a traumatic brain injury, you might remain in this coma for days, weeks, or even months at a time. You'll be monitored by doctors throughout your coma to see how much brain function you have.
From there, your brain should start to move into a vegetative state. Some people are under the impression that this is worse than a coma. But when your brain is in a vegetative state, you'll begin to regain some of your reflexes.
As long as things continue to go well, you should then move into what's called a minimally conscious state. Once in this state, you should be conscious at times, and you should also be able to communicate with others in verbal and/or non-verbal ways.
It May Involve Amnesia
When you reach this point in the brain injury recovery process, you should be a whole lot more lucid than you were before. But you still might not feel like yourself, and this is often due in large part to amnesia.
Amnesia is a form of memory loss that many people experience following brain injuries. They won't always be able to remember things that have happened to them in the past. They also won't always be able to create new memories.
In addition to struggling with memory loss, amnesia can also take a toll on a person's mood. It's not all that uncommon for those suffering from amnesia to act erratically or even become aggressive with those around them.
If you suffered frontal lobe damage during your brain injury, you might be especially susceptible to these kinds of behavioral problems. At least some people who suffer from amnesia caused by a brain injury will need to spend time in a rehabilitation facility to continue to heal in a safe space.
It Can Lead to Confusion and the Need for Assistance
More often than not, it's going to take most people at least a few months to work their way through the first few steps listed here. Some people might even end up spending their entire lives trying to navigate their way through them.
You'll need to remain patient throughout the early stages of the brain injury recovery process. You'll also need to keep practicing patience once you've been discharged from the hospital and sent either to a rehab facility or even home. You'll need to have a caretaker by your side in most instances to provide you with assistance.
You're most likely going to suffer from some confusion as your brain continues to heal from its injury. It can make it difficult, if not impossible, for you to carry out tasks like eating, using the bathroom, showering, etc.
You might also struggle to communicate your thoughts clearly at times. This can lead to even more confusion and result in both you and your caretaker getting frustrated with one another.
It Should Progress to a Much Better State Over Time
While it might feel like recovering from a traumatic brain injury is taking forever, you should start to see yourself making progress almost every day when you keep on working on it. It won't be long before you're doing things like:
Carrying on short conversations with others
Expressing your needs to your caretaker
Tackling certain tasks yourself with minimal assistance
You won't be out of the woods yet by any stretch of the imagination. Memory issues can linger for a long time after a traumatic brain injury. Both short-term and long-term memory can be impacted.
But you should see slight improvements on a regular basis. They'll indicate that your brain is healing and starting to work in the way that it's supposed to again.
It Will Lead to Needing Less Assistance
One of the hardest parts about the brain injury recovery process is that it's going to force you to give up most of your independence. You should be able to reclaim this independence a little bit at a time. But you'll still need to rely on a caretaker to assist you at times.
You will, however, find that you'll be able to regain more of your independence as time goes on. You'll be able to stick to a schedule when someone else sets it for you, and you'll also be able to do things like eat and bathe without someone always looking over your shoulder. This should provide you with some much-needed hope.
It Will Result in Being More Independent
Your ultimate goal throughout the brain injury recovery process will be to live independently again. And that's exactly what you'll be able to do if your brain continues to cooperate.
After several months of brain injury recovery, you should notice that your memory will start to get sharper. You'll also have a much easier time communicating with others without tripping over your words.
It'll be at this point that you can begin to look into living alone again or living with your family like you were before without needing a full-time caretaker. Regaining your independence will be one of the biggest hurdles that you'll face, but it'll also be one of the most rewarding ones if you're able to clear it.
It Should Lead to a Near Complete Recovery
You'll be able to feel it when you're nearing the end of the brain injury recovery process. You'll be able to do things like:
Tackle several different tasks at the same time
Plan ahead for things you're anticipating
Make adjustments on the fly when unexpected situations arise
But the road to recovery will not ever be 100% complete. It might still take you a little extra time to remember something that happened 20 years ago. You might also find yourself struggling to find the right words to say when you're having a conversation with someone.
But generally speaking, most people who suffer a traumatic brain injury should be able to get themselves back to a good place. It'll allow you to live independently again and help you put your brain injury in the past without having it affect you too much in the future.
Recovery From a Brain Injury Is Possible
At Power of Patients®, we aim to help speed up the brain injury recovery process for those going through it. But you will need to work through this process at your own pace. We can, however, help you do it with our groundbreaking online tool that can assist you in monitoring your traumatic brain injury symptoms.
The Power of Patients' customized symptom tracker will make it possible for you to get a better understanding of your symptoms. It'll also help Power of Patients find the best possible treatments for those who have suffered TBIs. It's an important tool for both patients and their caretakers as well as clinicians and medical researchers.
Take a closer look at how the Power of Patients' symptom tracker works to see how it can help you.