Ask Kathy M. Archives
A Collection of Questions and Answers from TBI Advice Expert - Kathy Moeller

Topic: Therapy - Recovery Time

Question:

Dear Kathy M.,

It has been 20 months since my injury. How long does it usually take to be fully recovered? I have become such a dependent person, since at present I can not drive anymore. I am also having difficulties with my right leg. Is there hope?


Kathy's Response:

Recovery period
"How long does it usually take to be fully recovered?"
It depends on what you do about it. I got lots of cognitive therapy and am grateful for it (about 14 months worth). Insurance companies don't tend to fund that kind of therapy for that length of time these days. The focus was on teaching me what are called "compensatory skills and strategies." In my experience, focusing on learning compensations produces the most dramatic results. Do you have access to cognitive therapy where you can learn compensation skills? If not, you can also learn these skills from your peers. And there are resources on the Internet. Are you a client of your state's Vocational Rehabilitation Division? They can sometimes help you get the skills training you need -- particularly if you want to go back to work someday. Twenty months is not a long time in "BI-time." I'm nine years post-injury now, and always tell people who are "early on" that it takes a while to get better. A "while" can be years.

Independence
Does your community have alternative transportation for people with disabilities? Here where I live, the transportation district makes cabs available to people with disabilities for 50 cents a ride. Have you investigated this sort of thing?

Physical difficulties
Have you talked to your doctor about your leg? Do you have a physiatrist (pronounced FIZ-I-A-TRIST) you could ask? A physiatrist is a physical rehabilitation MD and they have experience treating physical effects from brain injury (partial paralysis, tone problems, parts of the body not working right due to brain injury -- other things). This is where I would start.

I hope my message has given you some hope, because there is hope. I'd like to suggest that you join one or more e-mail support lists where you can meet and network with others with brain injury who are in the process of recovery (some old-timers like me too, who have successfully battled back). Take a look at the list on this site and sign up for the one or two that appeal to you (the one I facilitate is called TBI- WORKING).

Hope this helps, and yes there is hope! You need to start researching your options!

Kathy M.

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