Time taken to recover from serious head injury - Headway


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Time taken to recover from serious head injury

keeley24 profile image

Just a question out of interest whats the average time to recover from serious head injury and whats fastest you have heard of?

Briefly I had seious head injury in car accident last July recovery seemed to take for ever at time. I was 2 week in coma then another 5 week in hospital. I know it was quick compared to most. Ihad appointment to see adoctor who had looked after me in the first 2 week before I came round in mid September. He had told my mum I would walk in to the appointment. Well he was right and he looked shocked. He said if I'd been in wheel chair unable to speak he would of said that was completely normal at that stage.

rom the minute I woke up I wanted to get back to normal and I was told that is partly why I recovered so fast. I had physio 5 days a week would of done more if I could. ome days had 2 sessions as there wasn't many people on my ward and the physio knew I would have extra if I had chance..

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Generally in my experience and form what I have heard from others, recovery is less of a sprint and more of a marathon...but there is no average time and no two cases are exactly alike...

I think we all want to get back to normal and to suggest that desire to recover is the reason behind a speedy recovery is misleading and could be really discouraging to anyone whose recovery takes longer or less complete than that of another person.

Delighted to hear that you have done/are doing so well.

Just to reinforce the above, well done in getting so far so quick, I did something similar but have now hit a brick wall and if anything seem to be going backwards, but I'm not giving up, just hope it's a blip, just remember no two people are the same, and not everyone recovers, so try to be mindful of that and stay positive and open minded x

I had a serious car accident resulting in TBI nearly 18 months ago, I also spent 6 weeks in hospital. I had physio & OT everyday as I also had PTA! When I was discharged I had hydrotherapy and more physio! My physical injuries are all so much better if not completely healed! My worst physical injury is my double vision, it is corrected by a prism in my glasses but still makes me feel vulnerable! What I struggle with now is my psychological 'injuries', my personality has changed quite a bit and has affected my relationships! I have 2 young children, a first it was so so hard as I was exhausted all the time but I truly believe they have helped me get this far as I want to be as good a mum as u can be! (Sorry for the mushy bit)

TwoCakes profile image
TwoCakes in reply to zoegunning

I like the mushy bit!

Hello, sorry to hear you have encountered a serious head injury. I myself had one in January 2012 as a result of being beaten up and falling backwards and hitting my head on one of those cable boxes on a street corner, I also spent a few weeks in a coma followed by several weeks in hospital. Resulting in my skull left hand side having to be removed to drain a blood clot which was starving my brain of oxygen. I left hospital early March 2012 and remained off work until January this year (a full year) he main reason for so long off is in October 2012 I had to go back into hospital to have my skull rebuilt with titainium plates (called a cranioplasty) where I spent a further 2 weeks in hospital. I'm pleased to say I'm back to work now, full time, however I have some slight issues which I have been told probably won't remedy. I have real trouble with my short term memory, you tell me something now and ask me in 15 minutes what you told me I struggle to quickly recall, quite irritating. I also am now deaf in the injured side of my heads ear and have to have a hearing aid. But other than this generally a decent recovery, hope that you recover well and my best wishes are with you, take care x

From what i've seen and read there really isn't a typical recovery time, just huge variation. I sufferred a TBI in jan 2011 had about 3 weeks PTA which makes my injury 'very severe' However in 6 months i was back at work part time, able to drive after 14 months. Recovery in the first year was very rapid but the rate of improvement slows. My consultant tells me my recovery is 'phenomenal' but there are still very hard times, i still have enormous fatigue, struggle sometimes with double vision and get enormously frustrated at how hard stupid simple things can be.

I think with a brain injury (certainly my own) the word 'recovery' is possibly slightly misleading. As the effects of many a brain injury are permanent, I prefer to use the word 'adjustment'.

Yes, people recover to an extent in the truest sense of the word, in the eyes of their nearest and dearest. In my case I woke from a coma and then started communicating through the haze after about ten weeks, but that was far from recovery, that was simply the begininning of the adjustment. Almost twenty years later I adjusted as much as I possibly could years ago, but recovered? Probably not.

I hope that makes sense to you

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I had a TBI 50yrs ago you should recover well with treatment

(I was not offered any treatment and had alsorts of problems for the first 20 years I have improved gradually but still have occasional relapses)

I have at last been offered treatment)

Best wishes

How long is a piece of string? Not very scientific but, where the brain is concerned, you'll find, nothing and nobody, is ever certain.

You might think everything is OK, and it might be. Then snap. The string breaks...

I fixed up pretty well, i thought i was ready for work and getting back to normal.

Reality bit and it took me forever (years) to manage my new improved version of me.

I agree with barron c Its the adjusting and managing the most out of your new brain availability. I healed pretty quickly, although i do have weakness in the left arm and leg its not really noticable. Its my brain capacity that can be most noticable. Fatigue can hit like a wall at anytime of the day and you dont have a choice but to sleep!

We are all different, we were all different before the accident. Doctors have an idea as to the effects of an injury to a certain area and can tell you that you may have difficulty with XY or Z. but as we are all diferent the effects will not be the same for everyone.

I am happy for you that things are going so well but please dont be alarmed if it slows right down.

I didnt have the insight to fully appreciate the effects of the injury, people around me thought it was obvious. I think i kind of had a mini 'crash' when that reality became apparent.

It can be less of a problem if one relies more on own determination, and less on others' diagnoses or prognoses.

Well, my accident was almost 8 years ago. I spent 8 months in hospital, and 18 months off work. I most definitely continued to improve for a good few years. In fact, I hope I am still seeing some improvements, but it is likely that I am just over-hopeful. I have certainly improved quite a lot since I went back to work, 6 and a half years ago. I speak more clearly (and in fact many people say I speak 'fine' now, but it still sounds horrible to me); I walk happily down the middle of the wide stairs at the train station, when I used to cling to the bannister when I first went back, as my balance was so bad. But I still don't consider myself 'back to normal'. I have to keep thinking "Hey, Pam, you might be 'blind' and a bit wobbley, but you're really really lucky to have survived that day!"

I think there is no 'average' brain injury. Mine really irritates me, but I am lucky, as it could be *far* worse. Or I could have spent a day or two unconscious, but then woken up, and gone straight back to life 'as normal'. I think there is no real way of predicting how bad it will be. My family were told I would not recover anything like as much as I have.

Hey Keeley

As mentioned, I think adjustment or even acceptance is probably the correct term.

Short story but I suffered a freak TBI and amazingly survived with no physical side affects. I have all the non visible stuff like fatigue, confusion, anxiety etc.

Personally I don't think of it as recovery now as things will never be as they were but knowing when to stop, slow down or switch off is key.

Just take things slowly and easily, don't try and come back too quickly. Most of us have tried that one.

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