Hypoxic brain injury

Hello everyone,

I'm jess and I'm new to this, my boyfriend has a hypoxic injury due to a cardiac arrest he had last year. He was only discharged last July from a brain injury unit. I am struggling as he is only 22 and he is mobile and has no problem with communication but he just doesn't get the reading and writing help he requires he only has two sessions a week but he lost all ability to read and write due to his injury, I also struggle to see a future together even though we have only been together for 9 months. I love him and he is my world and I want a family and to move in together in the future, it all just looks a bit foggy. He is always the sensible one that says take each day and I will be fine it will take time, but I do struggle with the whole waiting concept, any support or advice would be greatly appreciated :) thankyou!

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  • Hi Jess my name is Angie although I have a brain injury I also have a partner with a more severe brain injury. It is difficult and can be frustrating. Its good that he is saying take each day as they come, and he's not getting frustrated or angry. For you, your still getting your head around it all, and its only natural to feel confused and want it the way it was. It is just time and motivation, is he linked to any support eg headway?

  • Hi Angie thankyou for your reply, I can't imagine your situation but you must be such a strong couple to get through. It is frustrating but more for him not me I rung headway today but need to call the Somerset link tomorrow, I am also looking into getting him a private tutor who he is happy to fund, he is slowly loosing motivation and it's tough to keep him going at times but he's usually very positive but he's been let down by free transport to the gym a few times so he feels failed by the system in a way! But I am trying everything for him, I just feel as angry as he does at times and he tells me to stop worrying so much

  • Jess it is a constant battle, me and my partner have been through hell. I've had to be everything to him because he was in denial, but we hit rock bottom and he was severely affecting my health. So I pushed and got him in the system. Headway will give you some great information and support, as will we on here. I've done a lot of searching online for whats out there, what of the great bits of advice I got that might help his situation is if you contact his surgery and as to be linked up to their care coordinator. They have lots of info on groups, places available that could help him with his reading and writing. I can relate to the problem with transport. I had a horrendous time with the ambulance service taking me to trauma therapy (im disabled) out of six sessions they failed me on three. Don't take any rubbish if transport/organisations/drs etc let him down complain because its not on. If ever you need a chat I can see both sides so im always around

    Angie :-)

  • Welcome Jess. ' One day at a time' is definitely the wisest attitude to take in your boyfriend's situation. You've reached that uncertain time (for anyone recovering from a brain injury) because within the first couple of years (often more) there could be significant progress...................or not.

    It's frustrating having to put life on hold whilst watching and waiting, but best not to set your heart on a definite outcome, and to support and encourage your boyfriend in striving for the best level of recovery whilst respecting his limitations. For a while longer, he needs to be praised for any steps forward he achieves and forgiven for inevitable steps back.

    What a rotten turn of events this has been, for both of you. But it's certainly the case that youth is a great advantage in recovery, so stay hopeful and don't give up on the literacy.

    I feel for you Jess ; you're both so young. Please keep us updated.

    All best wishes, Cat x

  • Jess I am so sorry to hear this. My son suffered a cardiac arrest at age 18 (it will be 2 years ago in July). He was in hospital for 3 months and then rehab for 6 months. He also has a hypoxic brain injury. His memory is very bad and he also struggles with reading and writing. You need to be patient - (I know how difficult that is to accept) there is improvement but very slow and I am afraid any further support is just not there. I know how hard this is but we have tried to think about a 5 year recovery - altho I understand improvement can continue...... Keep positive we are all here for you. Big hug xxxxx

  • Go step by step. Ask headway for advice and which booklets are best for him and for you. There is one on caring for someone with a brain injury. In addition to his, how about looking at special diets to help? Tina M Sullivan, Nourish Your Noggin. Nice recipes and suggestions for ingredients which you can incorporate into smoothies, soups, etc. I've posted quite a bit on the forum about this. Avocados, eggs and coconut oil are brain food. Herbs like ginger, tumeric, cumin. You can even have 2 square of very dark chocolate. Nuts are also good. There are also some recipes for smoothies in it. Thai food fits the bill nicely.

    This book came about because the author's son had a brain injury. She took him to Dr Diane in the US (see drdiane.com) who gave advice on food. Sullivan is a nutritionist and decided to make a nice cookbook with the diet from Dr Diane. You could get Dr Diane's book as well about Post concussion syndrome. Might help you understand about how the brain works and the impact on injury.

    Maybe you and your boyfriend could cook together and plan some nice dinners or picnics?

    Hope he gets well soon.

  • Hi Jess

    Your both doing a grand job it all takes time My hubby was so much older then your partner when he had a hypoxic brain injury (68yrs) so recovery will be much slower for him He couldn't read .write or walk Reading started with my Grandkids first books for 4/5yr old We never read more then 5-10 mins a time It was just like teaching a child starting school However it was amazing when he read 2 or 3 words then 5 or 6 then so on 18 months down the line he can now read the newspaper It will happen My 5 yr old Grandson had just stated school so all his home learning they did it together it's a long road but you will get so excited by everything he achieves x

  • Hi Jess. I think the advice I would give you is to take things slowly and surely. I know you are finding waiting frustrating but unfortunately its the name of the game with this type of injury. It takes a lot of time to adjust to your new normal and I can see it must be difficult for friends and relatives too. I am glad you're not giving up on your boyfriend and I'm sure that in time you will grow to accept that he just needs your love and support to get better. Encourage him to try reading and writing exercises in his spare time. The more he does them the better he may get. Take care and best of luck.

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