First overnight visit home from hospital - how did it go?

Hi everyone,

My son (18 yrs old TBI from being hit by a car 12 weeks ago) is coming out of the rehab hospital for an overnight stay - not at home but with me at his nans house. He has terrible trouble with his short term memory and I have to remind him of everything every day. Both his nan and I are worried about how he will cope overnight. Does anyone have any experience of this or any advice? Thank you.

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  • When I first went home overnight, 6 months after the accident, my short-term memory was awful. I couldn't remember that I'd recently been home a few times for short visits. I also didn't remember moving house, so we would have an extra bedroom, for our second baby. She was very sweet, but I didn't believe she was mine. My husband didn't dare leave me alone with the kids.

    We survived. I wasn't 'great', but I was OK.

    I came home again the next weekend. Then the next. Then I was able to stay at home every night, and go into the rehab hospital each day. Then I only had to go in occasional days.

    After 18 months, I was able to go back to work. OK, I was very lucky that they were prepared to let me back in - legally, they didn't have to hold the job for so long.

    I used to have a little whiteboard in the hospital. My husband used to write: "Rob will be back, on Thursday morning" (or even "... after lunch", because my memory was so bad!). I now have it on the wall in the kitchen, for shopping lists. I love knowing that I used to NEED it, for everyday stuff.

    We don't know how much better your son will get, or how long it will take - it could be a very long time, but that doesn't mean he won't get there.

  • Hello ladyberd70, I am sorry to read about your sons accident, but pleased to hear that the re-hab hospital finds him well enough to have his first night out of there, and he is going to be in a familiar place for that, with family who love and will care for him while he is at his Nans'. That is another good step on his road to recovery.

    You may find that he tires quickly, not want to talk alot or not stop talking - suddenly adjusting to not being in hospital, he may possibly sleep for a long time that night. For his short-term memory loss, if you read the posts on the Headway Forums, you will see that a lot of us also have short-term memory loss and one of the best recommendations I had here on HW, was to always keep a notebook and biro for jotting stuff down, some even take them to bed so if they wake up thinking of something, they can write it down immediately. then it 's always in writing, if the memory is not there. I had my BI (Brain Injury) last March with a sudden aneurysm and haemorrhage, then in November was involved in a car accident and - no physical injury but was hit hard on the head by the airbag - my after-effects are worse from that than what happened in March.

    I wish you and your son and the family well for future. Any queries you have just keep coming back asking your questions. We are not exexperts or professionals on here, but we do live with the experiences of our own Brain Injuris.

    Such a simple but effective aid for memory loss. I'm sure many others will be replying to you also with their own tips ans tricks that help them. Long term memory loss is probably less likely, unless he has amnesia.

    What are your basic concerns for his short-term memory on that 1st night and betond even, when he is out of hospital?

    best wishes to you all for his hopefully speedy recovery. xxx

  • Hi Ladyberd70

    I'm also a mum, my son has a TBI, he's was 23yrs old at the time of his accident coming on 4yrs in July this year. You will all be undoubtably nerves about his first overnight stay, but I'm sure things will be fine. I could describe it like bringing them home from hospital as a baby, when I reflected on this I new we his family would be fine, not unlike you we were a little anxious . I found my son was more relaxed in familiar surroundings, we were fortunate in that he could remember the family home. He made more progress when spending time at home. It's a long recovery road but I'm sure with his mum & nan behind him he'll have that support.

    Warmest Regards Anne X

  • Thank you so much for your replies, I'm very touched and reassured to hear your stories.

    My main worries for that night are that he will be at nans house not his own (we have had a minor flood at home so he can't go there) and he has not stayed at nans before as she only moved there in the summer. He did visit for the day last weekend but doesn't really remember it without looking at photos we took and a lot of prompting. I guess I'm worried he will wake in the night and not know where he is. I've thought of putting labels on all the doors so he knows where I'm sleeping.

    We are using a whiteboard in the hospital and a note pad, with some success.

    My other worry is that we have his beloved x-box ready for him but I think he will find it a lot more difficult to use than before and may get frustrated. I do keep telling him he may find such things harder now. He does realise his memory is bad. His long term pre-accident memory is very good.

    Anne, its good to hear from another mom, how is your son now? did he need a carer or support worker when he came home?

    Thanks again xx

  • Hi Ladyberd70. When my daughter came home for her first weekend visit from rehab We were terrified. She wasn't quite as badly affected as your son but she was very unsteady on her feet etc and we worried ourselves sick that if she needed the bathroom in the night maybe she would fall etc. I think as parents we are bound to worry but I am sure your son and you and Nan will be just fine. With regard to his computer game, Victoria was the same with her iPhone but remarkably, after sending a few mumbled messages to people within a few hours she seemed to have remembered how it worked! Photos are a great memory jogger too, we spent hours going through old pictures. I hope all goes well for you and will certainly be thinking about you all let us know how you get on. Love Jo xx

  • Only my own first night which I was so glad of, having said that I was happy to go back too, it is a bit daunting, I was frightened I might fall downstairs, we were supposed to put a bed downstairs but I was having none of that!!!!

    It was so good waking up in familiar surroundings but it did bring it home to me how my life had changed.

    Just tackle things as they present themselves, he'll be very tired, don't have too many visitors and don't fuss, just be there for him.

    I found it very difficult to even use my phone and couldn't remember how to use the remote control on the tv, I've relearnt them now but it was frustrating at first. Patience will be needed, and allow him to be cross with himself at times, the frustration does that.

    After each of my weekend visits the physios used to say I improved a lot faster and I did

    Exciting times for you all, I wish you well xxxx Janet

  • Hi my son loved his xbox before his accident, he's since bought several games, some still in the packaging. It all seems a little more complicated I've tried to play them with him but even I struggle lol. We have used the Wii together but have kept to the easier games, not as complexed, his concentrations ok for short spells on the Wii. Whilst in the brain injury unit they recommended the Wii as it was a good way to train the brain. Again same here his long term memory from before his accident is really good. But his injury has effected his short term memory, retaining new information.

    My son was in hospital from July 2010 - April 2011 (he did start to come home at the weekend & holidays from the Nov 2010) when discharged from hospital he continued as a day patient in BIRT (Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust) He now lives at home we've had an independent living area built onto our home, I gave up work & am now his full time Carer. Both his dad & I had to apply for guardianship to support him in his everyday living. If you ever want to talk email me & I'll give you my number annef68@hotmail.com I do use Facebook like the instant chat which is great.

    We used the 'whiteboard' really handy. Not sure if your son is able to use a mobile, or a set of walkie talkies can be useful. So if he does wake up during the night he could ring you. Probably sounds daft but we found it really useful.

    Take Care Anne xx

  • Hi when my 20 year old daughter who has same memory issues first came home we kept it very quiet and simple. She found the whole visit quite traumatic so be prepared this might happen. She felt relief at familiar surroundings as her longer term memory is fine but that relief in itself made her very emotional. I would put a note on the door of his bedroom at least..my daughter still does things like leave her shoes outside her room if in somewhere new. Going back was very hard too for her after the visit and we had many tears. Everyone is different though so just take it slowly and try to enjoy the visit but in knowledge that it will not be necessarily easy. Good luck.

  • Thank you all again for your replies and well wishes. I've had a bit of a bad day today with my son, he had a bit of a meltdown , crying, saying he wanted to kill himself and getting very angry about having to stay in the hospital, it was very horrible to witness and I got really upset. The psychologist chatted to him and said he didn't really want to harm himself and he calmed down. They also said it would be against their advice to take him home at this point and to wait for his pre-arranged weekend visit. I feel so anxious all the time.

    He can use his mobile and phoned me a few times last night. He seems to have a new awareness of things this week and maybe that is causing the upset :-(

  • Really sorry to hear this, it's so upsetting you feel so helpless. I can't imagine how he must be feeling. We went through a similar experience with our son at the time it was devastating, but stay positive he knows your there oft him :-)

    My son spends hours on the phone, he phones around all the family, gets on really well with my sister & is always on the phone joking about with them. We FaceTime as well. That visit will come baby steps, it's hard as it can sometimes be 1 step forward 2 steps back. Thinking of your. :-)

    Take Care Anne x

  • Thank you Anne x

  • Thank you Anne x

  • Thinking of You, hope today was better :-) x

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