Even though you may not be the victim of a brain injury, you’re a crucial part of the recovery. Whether your family member has suffered a traumatic or non-traumatic brain injury, there’s a lot you can do to help support the patient.
Type of Head Injury
Traumatic brain injuries are usually caused by an outside physical force, resulting in the brain hitting the skull at high impact or something penetrating the skull and entering the brain tissue. Non-traumatic brain injuries usually involve a stroke, an aneurysm, a tumour, anoxia, or an infection. The former injury can cause bleeding, bruising, and cuts on the brain.
A mild traumatic injury normally includes a brief loss of consciousness. Symptoms include sleep disturbance, headaches, fatigue, sensitivity to noise or light, irritability, balance problems, poor concentration, and memory issues.
Moderate to severe brain trauma can change your loved one’s behaviour, thinking, and personality. Severe comas can lead to comas or even death. It will take a while to identify the extent of the damage. Amnesia may even occur – it may take some time for your relative to regain his or her memories.
How Does the Brain Heal?
Your brain is a huge network of neurons, which send messages through the brain. When damaged, these neurons sometimes recover on their own, die (which means you could lose certain abilities), or make new connections and take over the functions of the damaged neurons. Once the swelling has gone down, the brain can start to heal, but some abilities may never be regained.
Recovery is at its most rapid within the first few months, but can continue for years after the accident, at a much slower rate.
You may want to seek legal advice regarding a brain injury by visiting this site.
As a member of the family, you can support a victim of TBI, as well as the rehabilitation team that is overseeing their recovery.
There might be physical changes – low levels of endurance, difficulty moving, poor balance, poor concentration, paralysis, weakness, and muscle stiffness/tension/trembling are all side effects of brain injury. It’s hard to guess how an accident will physically affect your relative. They might be in constant pain or their senses might be warped. They could also suffer from speech problems or seizures and weight loss/weight gain.
Basic bodily functions may now be an issue, such as bladder control and swallowing. If your relative has suffered from severe brain damage, their access to drugs and alcohol should be rigorously moderated and managed.
Constant fatigue is also a common side effect of a serious head injury. You will have to be supportive and understanding of this state, even if it can be frustrating – remember that your relative can’t help it.
You may notice that your loved one acting extremely unusually after a serious head injury. Their personality might change drastically. With the help of a therapist, or maybe even medication, you can mitigate any negative behaviour. Do your best to react coolly and calmly to any challenging behaviour, and know that they can’t help themselves because of the head injury.
Disclosure: This is a guest post