Help... new to brain damage

HI My name is Mel and several months ago I 'aquired' a brain injury - sounds like a gift when you put it that way lol! My OT recommended this site so thought I would give it a go. be great to speak to people who share my frustrations. Fatigue is my main issue and my latest top bugbear is tying my shoe laces

29 Replies

  • Hi Mel. Welcome to this website, you have come to the right place for advice & support. We have all got the "T-Shirts" so you & your "Acquired Brain" have come to the right place !!!! Fatigue is very common with B/I Patients. You can get something for your laces let me know & I will sort out some info for you ?? Please let us know if there is anything else that you need.


  • Some info would be great want to tie them by the end of the month

  • Hi Mel. I have found some laces on Amozan that don't need tying. Would you like the full info on those ?? They around the £7.00 price. Please let me know if these will be ok ?? They will be much easyer for you. Please let me know what you think ??


  • Hi Steve,

    Do you mean these ?

    I had no idea these existed - at that price, definitely worth a try : ) x

  • Hi. Yes those are cheaper than the ones that I found on there. Defiantly worth a try at that price. You've go nothing to lose !!


  • Hi Mel and welcome.

    Coordination is still something I struggle with but sometimes I talk/squak(my version of singing) my way through the steps.

    Please don't attempt to bend over to tie laces yet. From personal experience I can tell you its not a great idea.

    You could try tying a lace around something like a bottle of water on a table in front of you or there are toddler toys with working zips and lace parts.

    If it is the process and not the coordination then if you can folow me

    Get a shoe with the lace in place but not tied.

    With the lace part facing you take one side of the lace and tuck it underneath the other.

    Pull on both ends and you should see the cross over in the middle.

    On one side (whichever is comfortable for you) bend the lace back towards the middle and hold the loop in one hand.

    Take the long single piece and bring it to the middle and over the loop you made.

    Push it through on the lower side and hey presto you have a second loop.

    Pull both sides gently and you have done a lace.

    On the other hand you could always buy those self tying laces and solve the problem that way.



  • Hi Mel, welcome to 'us' you'll get loads of support on here,and from the Telephone helpline, which I can't find just now. Also headway have downloadable information leaflets, just click on the help link above I think, Steve will put you right if I'm getting things wrong! Good luck with your rehab!

  • HI and welcome,lol it kinda does sound like a gift! ( a gift from a dodgy aunt!)

  • Hi Mel,

    It has been nearly 2 years since my TBI and I have to say this site is brilliant! Everyone is full of tonnes of advice waiting to help!

    Don't be afraid to ask for help!

    It's a long process as many will agree but it's worth all the hard work.

    I wish you all the best with your recovery.



  • Hi Mel

    welcome . You can ask anything on here and hopefully get an answer that helps.

    As to tying shoe laces , its also a problem I still seem to have now and again. Strange but true. A solution I have found is to replace the shoe laces with elastic ( try fabric shops ). Then get the laces tied and you know have a pair of slip on shoes.

    Theres always an answer to most problems.

    Once again welcome and remember to post when things are good as well as bad. Pax

  • Hi Mel if it becomes too much actually tiding laces then there are many products out there that can replace them.

    If you are like me and don't like giving in to an easier option try to modify the way you tie them.

    I get the smallest children at school to do it this way.

    Cross the laces over and put the bottom lace thru the top one making a knot.

    Make bunny ears by taking each laced and folding it in half.(this bit can be fiddly but it gets easier)

    Repeat first step using bunny ears.

    Tied laces!

  • Hi Mel.

    Welcome to the site I'm sure you will enjoy, and gets lots of help from it!

    Fatigue is a huge thing, and it's all about learning to 'Pace Your Life'. Imagine yourself like a cell phone, and keep charging your battery, so it stays green. Try not to ever let your battery go down to red, otherwise it takes days to recover!

    I don't have any tips for the shoelaces, but I think Randomphantom had a good idea about practicing round a bottle while sitting down!

    Good luck and all the best.

    Love Debs 😉😘

  • Hi Mel,

    I also suffer from chronic fatigue, so i know how debilitating it can be! I was referred to a physiotherapist for 'fatigue management' - I did not know something like this even existed but I must say I found it really helpful. I am sure you have already had something similar, but if not I would definitely recommend it and also just revisiting the information you are given regularly. Headway and other sites like the Parkinsons or MS web site have some really good information on this topic as well. Good luck and keep going with the shoe laces- you will get there!


  • I'm new to this group too only it's my husband who suffered a brain injury.

    I don't know what I'd do without the group now. They understand where others just don't. So as a newbie i know you'll get support on here. Everyone is wonderful xx

  • Mel, I too am relatively new to acquired brain injury. I had a SAH 3 yrs ago. It has been difficult I admit, but the fog is lifting and I am building a new life. I do have good support from family, friends and my carers have been invaluable. I would recommend u join ur local headway group if u haven't already. I have also joined enrych who has provided me with a really good volunteer. Keep in touch.

  • Welcome this site is a fantastic source of wisdom, guidance, support, laughter. After my accident, along with Headway helpline, it saved my sanity early days when everyone around me was telling me there was nothing wrong with me - diagnosing depression or dismissing all the cognitive problems as "just usual age related issues" (age theory dismissed by neurologist when I eventually got a consultation but still family and friends cling on to it).

    I have come a long way but still struggle with cognitive issues and my fingers does work so well (can't do up bracelets anymore, putting tops on tubes usually takes a couple of tries), and things still drop out of my hand cause my brain doesn't get the pressure right to hold things consistently. I am very clumsy indeed - covered in bumps and bruises. Still do daft things like yesterday I had an oven glove on and reached into the bowl of water to pick up a plate! Doh! So my brain went - "Plate, want, grab" and the usual bit of thinking take glove off first then reach into water gone walkabout! I do silly things like that all the time. I don't bother trying to tell to "normals" now because I can come here and be understood instead of dismissed.

    Good luck with your recovery glad you found your way here.

  • 'Plate, want, grab' - I love it !

    I came indoors from gardening and proceeded to recycle with gloves still on - soggy ! : )) x

  • Ah thanks Angelite - I knew I'd feel less alone with my soggy oven glove ;)

  • Sorry to hijack your thread Mel

  • Plate want grab is great but have to say soggy oven glove is better than 'plate, want, grab.... Oh xxxxx etc' when taking plates from hot oven WITHOUT gloves :-0 ;-)

    As with you fed up with telling the 'normals' as you describe the 'weak ones' and I think it's time the phrase 'Oh we all do that!' should be removed from any language you care to mention!

  • Yes Sporan soggy better than that ouch! done plenty of 'grab hot baking tray ouch drop plunge under cold tap grab lavender essential oil to prevent blisters'. I love my lavender oil use it so much now.

  • Every day a challenge and an adrenaline rush.

    Tired and relieved though once the day is succesfully completed, even better if can do it without damage.

    Cold tap or ice for me, loose my macho street cred walking around smelling of lavender ;-)

    Have to say though luckily for me it's been plates that were warming rather than oil coated pans.

    Other exiting events are stairs up, rush, steps not there its 2" higher, slow reflex = carpet burn on nose n knee ;-) Just glad it usually only happens on the climbe although have recieved sore buttock from reaward slip on decent with two rather scared looking labradors waiting to catch me at the bottom ;-0

  • Hi Mel,

    Regarding laces, not sure if it's a problem with fine motor control ( co ordination ) or sequencing ( being able to remember all the moves in the right order ) ?

    I often struggle with 'delicate' tasks - getting keys into locks, tip of screwdriver onto screw head, etc Can take a few attempts and a lot of tongue poking out concentration : ))

    Resting between short bursts of activity can help to pace with fatigue to begin with , lengthening the activity gradually - you will quickly get a feel for your own limits.

    I have bypassed the laces issue by only buying velcro or slip ons !

    Good to meet you,

    Angela x

  • Thanks for all the support guys means a lot ️xxx

  • Hi Mel,

    Think its been mentioned in several guises but elestic shoe laces are great (fortunately I don't have to use them) as my broth-in-law who has reynaurds disease has found and now never uses anything else.


  • Welcome aboard.

    I'm relatively new, just approaching 7 months since my SAH, waiting for word on surgery on the second aneurysm they found in there.

    I'm back at work full-time, and STILL have issues with the fatigue, case in point today, I couldn't figure out how to keep my balance whilst shaking some spider-webs out of the boots I'd left outside, so walked across the wet lawn in my socks to hang the washing out. It's like I have a brain-limp sometimes.

    I'm finding it frustrating having to adapt, as I was 90mph everywhere before, but I can't be that now, and just have to work around obstacles as they present themselves.

    This site is absolutely marvellous, people here 'get' the think-limp, and would never condescend or patronise, they also 'get' the frustrations of effectively being disabled but not 'looking' disabled.

    I'll stop wittering on now, I'm currently trying to warm up a half-dead chicken in my bra.

  • Hi Mel,

    Im new here too got my BI in May from a Moto Cross accident, I'm doing ok and learning to adapt to life stuff. As said above you will get loads of information here as I did and really learn about yourself.

    Love the "Plate want grab"

    I too get brain fatigue and it can come on quickly but I now know what to do...sleep.

    Have a fantastic evening. XX N

  • hi mel so if youve got an ot why isnt he/she suggesting or allowing you to try things?

  • I did it guys all by myself xx

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