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Wife of a tbi survivor - Carers UK Forum

Wife of a tbi survivor

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hi, I have just stumbled across this forum and have decided to bite the bullet and post! On the 26th of June 2009 my husband had an accident at home and sustained a severe traumatic brain injury, it's been one hell of a ride I can tell you. I have avoided "caring" support groups like the plague, however I now feel ready to discuss life and would like to offer support to anyone who is on the same or similar path to myself! That being said, I hope your day is going well and on a plus note the sun is out! :D
Hello Lorinda and welcome to the forum :)

Sorry to hear about your husband's accident - that must have been a terrible shock for you both. I know we have other members caring for someone in a similar position and I'm sure they'll be along later to welcome you; in the meantime have a good look around and join in wherever you like (we don't bite, well not often :lol: :lol: ) or start a new topic of your own if you have any particular questions or concerns.
Hi Lorinda, this is a carers site run by carers for carers. No matter what the problem is with your caree, many things are common amongst carers. The loss of our "old life", difficulties having a life of our own, feeling shattered without enough respite, and financial issues, and of course, dealing with "professionals". Most non carers can't see how caring can be so difficult. I've been a carer for almost 40 years, son brain damaged at birth, disabled mum due to osteoporosis, dad with prostate cancer, father in law with bowel cancer and heart problems, and mum in law with dementia. I was also widowed, then disabled my self in a car accident (happily able to walk now I have two knee replacements). One of the big advantages of this site is that you can say "How do I do....?" and almost always, someone will reply who has already found a solution. I needed to learn about Skype in a hurry when my brother was diagnosed with terminal cancer in Uruguay. Within minutes I knew exactly what to do, thanks to members!!! So feel at home here, we understand.
Hello Lorinda, welcome to the forum
Im someone who is caring for my husband who had a TBI from a road accident 20 years ago.
The symptoms you get depend on where the injury is - hubby has temporal and frontal lobe injuries, so he has uncontrolled epilepsy and cognitive/memory problems. He also has hand tremor and is unsteady walking. What problems does your husband have?
Amended.

Hello Crocus,

Your husbands symptoms rang a bell with me, apart from the epilepsy.

In July 2012 my wife missed the bottom step of our stairs & crashed head-first into the edge of the door frame. It left a dent in the side of her temple area that was visible for months.

At first we thought it was a bad bump on the head & dismissed it but during Sept 2012 she started to have problems walking & collapsed onto the floor several times & each time it was more difficult for me to lift her up until one evening I couldn't lift her & I had to get an ambulance crew to lift her but they insisted she went ot hospital where she remained for 5 weeks.

She had all the classic symptoms of a stroke, her mouth dropped at one side, she couldn't write or sign her name, her speech was very poor & her balance & coordination were very poor.

The various scans didn't show any brain damage but she needed a lot of physiotherapy before they'd release her.

Therefore, I assume her medical records will show that she didn't sustain any brain damage but she still has the symptoms such as poor balance, poor short-term memory, inability to understand fairly simple matters etc.

I told the consultant it was like having a car with a rattle. If the garage can't find the cause of the rattle it doesn't mean the car doesn't rattle, it means the garage hasn't found out why it rattles.

She's aslo diagnosed with depression & anxiety which are both medicated & means she has to be motivated by me to get out of bed, take her meds, eat etc.

Today she has her home visit PIP assessment so I'll let the forum know what medical qualifications the assessor has, what form the assessment takes & what the outcome is.
Hi caravanj
Hubby doesnt show any problems on scans either. Im told thats quite common with TBI.
He also had depression after the accident too, but he has recovered from that bit. Have they found the problems with cognative ability and memory? Hubby passes all the memory tests because he remembers facts (what day it is, who is the prime minister etc), but he cant remember things he has done, conversations that he has had and stuff like that, so it has taken a long time for people to take me seriously.
crocus wrote:Hi caravanj
Hubby doesnt show any problems on scans either. Im told thats quite common with TBI.
He also had depression after the accident too, but he has recovered from that bit. Have they found the problems with cognative ability and memory? Hubby passes all the memory tests because he remembers facts (what day it is, who is the prime minister etc), but he cant remember things he has done, conversations that he has had and stuff like that, so it has taken a long time for people to take me seriously.
Hello Crocus,

Thanks for your reply. My wife still has depression & anxiety but these pre-dated her bang on the head so aren't related in her case.

She's not had a diagnosis for cognitive ability or memory but her short-term memory is pretty poor whilst her long-term memory, especially for things that have upset her or gone wrong in her, life is almost photographic.

Her reasoning powers & her ability to understand fairly simple tasks are not very good either.

But at a quick meeting with her she'd probably seem ok to a casual observer.
caravanj wrote:But at a quick meeting with her she'd probably seem ok to a casual observer.
Oh yes, it happens all the time. What you might call a mixed blessing. :dry:
crocus wrote:
caravanj wrote:But at a quick meeting with her she'd probably seem ok to a casual observer.
Oh yes, it happens all the time. What you might call a mixed blessing. :dry:
Hello Crocus,

Yes it is a mixed blessing.

The upside is she doesn't attract any strange stares when we go out but the downside is that people seem to have difficulty in accepting that she needs any care.

There seems to be a widely held view that care is only needed for those with obvious visible physical or mental problems.
When you say 'almost photographic memory', especially about things that have gone wrong in your wife's life, I am brought vividly to mind of my own mother, who was (probably!) bipolar and schizophrenic (never formally diagnosed, but she deeply believed she was being followed everywhere and spied on through the TV and constantly bugged, etc etc, so there was definitely something significantly impaired with her mental health!).

I say this because my mother could 'brood for England'.....she could recount, over and over, with that 'photographic memory', as if she were re-living it, all the 'things that had gone wrong in her life'......those 'bad memories' totally dominated her, and she went on and on about them.

For that reason, it could be that your own wife's 'almost photographic memory' about long-ago bad events is part of her depression/anxiety, rather than a physical brain injury?

Just a thought, and it may have no relevance to your wife's circumstances, but I lob it in just in case it resonates.