An afternoon stroll while on a downtown shopping trip took an unexpected turn. A distracted driver crashed into you while you were in the crosswalk. The collision knocked you – a pedestrian – into the air and down to the asphalt, where you struck your head with such force that it knocked you out.
You wake up in the hospital. Head trauma. This avoidable situation has led to one of the more serious injuries: traumatic brain injury (TBI). With moderate or severe traumatic brain injuries, expect a lengthy time for recovery and ongoing care to get you through it.
Changes in personality
You are lucky to survive a traumatic brain injury. Thousands of Americans do not. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 64,000 TBI-related deaths occurred in the U.S. in 2020. Among the most common causes of TBI are falls, motor vehicle crashes and assaults.
But as a survivor, you may expect some long-term effects; some of which you may have to live with for the rest of your life. They may include:
- Memory loss
- Frequent headaches
- Difficulties with verbal communication
- Changes in personality
Rest, medication and surgery – if necessary — are among the common ways to treat traumatic brain injury.
Focus on recovery
A traumatic brain injury is uncharted territory for any victim. Now, you must confront the situation, understand the challenges and health-related consequences. You likely will be unable to work for weeks, months or even permanently. Focus on recovery, follow your doctor’s directions and realize that you may have to cope with these symptoms for a long time.