Anoxic Brain Damage: Anybody here have experienced... - ICUsteps

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Anoxic Brain Damage


Anybody here have experienced TBI? I know no one knows the outcome because every case is different. My husband has been through so much due to toxic Mega colon. He almost died and went into cardiac arrest on the surgery table before surgery started there fore he lost oxygen to the brain. He’s now struggling with memory loss and confusion. It’s only been 7 months but to me feels like a lifetime. Any advice or positive feedback would be great. Feel lost been a nightmare. He’s making progress just not sure if his memory will ever get better. Thanks

13 Replies

I had a massive heart-attack(2015)& died. Althou CPR& paddles were used my heart wouldn’t stay beating. I too was without oxygen ( time frame not clear ).. among other damages to my body - I have anoxic brain injury. Affecting my frontal lobe - executive function. There is a way to have you’re brain “remapped” .. after they do a verbal/ Nuro. tests/assessment to establish where the damage is.

I was unaware of my deficit. Only when I would get that “look” from someone- “ uh- u just said that or we have already talked about that..

I will tell u this- if I remembered about those conversations etc I wouldn’t ask again. I realize how frustrating it is for u to deal with this. But it is so very difficult for “us” to deal with the reality that our memory is damaged - our minds.. frustrating, depressing & sad! I make bad decisions, say inappropriate things( which has cost me friendships- hard to explain to ppl that I dont realize what I’m saying until I look back on it - then I’m mortified .. no filter..

I have learned how to help myself - I make sure I write important things down, take notes, purposely arrange things to help me remember-

My advice: be kind / gentle when u notice the repetition or memory loss.. nothing is done with the intent to make u frustrated .. believe me- help provide triggers to help him remember - I have learned to say “if I’ve told u this already let me know”..

be open & honest with what you’re observing - if you agree to honesty then he won’t be as embarrassed about what’s will take some time- but soon you both will find tools that will help you both get thru this


Thank you so much for responding back to me. I’m very supportive of my husband and have been by his side ever since the injury. I never make him feel embarrassed and I will help him anyway I can. Thanks for the advice just feel alone because no one really understands what we both are going through more so what he’s going through.

He’s lucky to have such a loving woman in his life. I know you are not doing anything to embarrass him-he just is ...

It can be a very lonely journey for the caregiver ( you) if you don’t have anyone to vent to..

and yes .. nobody really understands how difficult this is .. I hope u continue to reach out - perhaps u can find a support group, therapist or a great group of friends that are willing to be your shoulder to lean on.. take care of yourself as well.. give yourself a break.. go get a massage- pamper yourself - it’s ok..

My husband was doing the same thing as far as no filter , getting aggressive and saying things he wouldn’t normally say and now he’s at at Neuro rehab and he’s medicated. I just don’t know if that’s the right thing for him. I would love a support group if you know anything could you please share? Just feel like some medication is too much. Although he has calmed down since three months because of the meds. I just want him home so we can move on. Thank u for sharing your experience and hope you continue to make progress. ❤️

my husband too has anoxic brain injury due to cardiac arrest, all I can say is that it is a tough lonely journey. It does help to take time for yourself. It was non stop hospitals, doc appts, therapist appts, spacticity fighting, medication side effect watching, late night er visits, I just am burned out to be honest. I am ready to go back to work.... Its tough being a caregiver and as for brain injury it has turned my world upside down. My husband is now 100 percent dependent on me. I thought he would have some progress...

Sorry to hear. I’m dreading it as my husband is still in icu and don’t know what extent the damage is. If I may ask does he verbally communicate? And his memory is that any good? Also any physical mobility?

My husband was out for 20 mins so I’m hoping he has less damage . But just don’t know . At the moment he’s just looking around a lot and head turning as if to say no . Limited finger movements.

He did have some progress, good news every brain injury is different. His memory improved a little as far as short term he’s starting to remember things a week ago. His long term never left. He’s still in a wheelchair but the therapist say they see him walking in the future. He talks but with splurred speech. At the point you are in you just have to give it time because I have heard of some miraculous recoveries. The brain is a very complex organ. God Bless

in reply to tamtan24

How is he now ? Any progress? I’m scared as we are in week 4 and I haven’t experienced the aftermath of a partner being in a coma . And after research here I’m in for a tough road ahead I think. I hope yours has improved and would appreciate any advice so I can prepare myself .

How many weeks was it before you could communicate ( signals & then verbal) with anyone? From start of icu ? We have nothing it’s week 5 , on painkillers like morphine, epileptic drugs and dialysis etc occasionally. Just moans groans and head movements left right in confusion.

Wow.. didn’t even know there is a neuro rehab. Not a doctor so can’t comment on drug protocol - I’m on antidepressants and feel like that is more than enuff..

Seems like we have similar symptoms - helps me to know I’m not the only one doing this.I didn’t have any idea what was happening as nobody and I mean no Dr etc explained anything to me

I would ask the staff at the rehab clinic about support groups .. I bet you’re not the only one going thru this that needs help..

At least you are understanding & trying to make good decisions for him..

Well your not alone. Thanks for helping me understand. No doctor told me what was going on with him until three months ago. This is all new and I’m trying my best to help him anyway I can. In the future I hope you don’t mind if I chat with you about everyday challenges he may come across. I just feel relieved knowing someone else understands. Thanks again for the advice. I hope you don’t mind if I ask you questions here and there and you can vent to me if you ever feel the need.

Honey, you are one strong woman! Please reach out to me anytime ! I am more than happy to share my perspective with you- so sad doctors can’t take the time to explain to us/ caregivers what the hell-is happening!

Always here to listen ..

Please feel free to reach out, Ive been through it all and still is going through it all Prayers go out specifically to all the caregivers and our loved ones for I do not know how it feels to be in their shoes as well

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