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Thinking about the lasting effects of a traumatic brain injury?

Whether the injury occurred in a car accident, a work accident or some other circumstances in which you or a loved one suffered a blow to the head, you may wonder what lasting effects could occur. When the pain fades away, any surface wounds heal and you attempt to get back to your life, what will it look like?

Many people who suffer from moderate to severe TBI go home with cognitive issues. Because the brain remains somewhat of an enigma to modern medicine and science, there may be no way to provide you with a definitive answer regarding how long you may experience such issues.

What does the word "cognitive" encompass?

Your thought processes and knowledge are your cognitive abilities. They include the following:

  • Memory
  • Attention
  • Concentration
  • Reasoning
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Judgment
  • Decision-making
  • Organization
  • Planning
  • Understanding information
  • Processing information
  • Controlling desires and impulses
  • Patience

Issues regarding any of the above could affect your ability to work and participate in activities that you enjoyed prior to your accident.

A TBI could affect your ability to communicate  

You may have trouble getting your point across because you are unable to find the words needed to do so. You may also be unable to remember conversations, sometimes even when you are still involved in one. You may find yourself getting off topic and failing to understand what others are saying.

This could lead to you having issues understanding and following directions. You may eventually get it, but it may take you longer than those who do not suffer from TBI. Even written instructions could still cause you to experience issues understanding them.

A TBI could affect your ability to drive  

Your injury could make it nearly impossible for you to drive since you react more slowly to circumstances around you. Even though you may see that a traffic light is red, you may not be able to react in time to stop before you end up in the intersection. The same goes for traffic signs, stopped traffic and other hazards that can come up without warning while driving.

A TBI could affect your ability to perform daily tasks  

Being unable to following instructions, stick to a schedule and perform tasks with multiple steps could put a damper on your daily activities. Even doing laundry or making a sandwich could seem like a monumental task. Your frustration and stress levels could make it more difficult to concentrate on the task at hand.

Your abilities could improve

It could take some time, but you may be able to fully recover some, if not all, of your cognitive abilities through time and other medical and non-medical measures. In the meantime, you may not be able to work and may wonder how to support yourself and your family. You probably also have substantial medical expenses associated with your injury.

If someone else caused your injury, you may be able to pursue compensation for it. A legal advocate could review your case, advise you of your rights and help relieve at least some of your stress so that you can focus on your recovery.

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