Tag Archives: facts on TBI

How to Spot the Emotional Stages of Recovery from a TBI

We all have different family situations, different jobs, different strengths, and different weaknesses. Despite all these differences, there are a number of very common emotional stages that people with a head injury go through. This is based upon my own experience treating patients, but many investigators note similar findings. Here are a view stages to spot when a loved one is recovering/suffering from a TBI.

Tough Decisions Ahead Road Sign

Confusion and Agitation

This can last minutes or it can last for months. In the hospital setting, this is very difficult for family members. Someone who is very meek and mild, for example, can be physically aggressive. They may punch the nurses, or swear and curse at family members. It’s very frightening for family members, and it feels like it is going to last forever. It may take a while, but people eventually come out of it.

Denial

The patient says, “There’s nothing wrong with me.” For example, they’re in a motor vehicle accident, they’re briefly seen in an emergency room, and they go home. Suddenly, they’re having difficulties. They’re forgetting things or burning food. Family members may say, “you seem different.” But the head-injured person says “No, there’s nothing wrong with me.

Anger and Depression

Denial is a very common problem, but eventually it breaks down. Head injury problems just don’t go away. The same problems happen over and over and over again. This leads to the next phase, in which the person has a limited awareness of the head injury, beginning what I call the depression/anger phase. When you realize you are different and can’t do things like you used to, you may become angry or depressed.

 

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How to Help Veterans with TBI

The holidays are coming and we have the ones we love on our minds more than ever. Veterans who have experienced TBI, including some who didn’t know they had a traumatic brain injury until later, talk about their experiences.

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Listen as they describe the signs and symptoms of TBI and its effects on their families. By reaching out for help, they were able to overcome these obstacles and live better lives. Check out this video that Make the Connection created –

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What Your Friends & Family Need to Know About Your TBI

Do you have a friend or a family member that has just been in an accident and is now suffering from a traumatic brain injury? Here are some key points about traumatic brain injury —

  • The effect of a TBI can vary depending on the severity of the injury and where it occurs
  • Around 1 in 3 injury-related deaths involve a TBI
  • Roughly 2% of Americans live with a TBI-related disability
  • The majority of TBIs are caused by falls
  • TBI symptoms may include confusion, persistent headaches and sleeping problems
  • If someone receives a head injury and experiences convulsions or slurred speech, they should seek urgent medical attention
  • A concussion is classed as a mild TBI
  • In America, TBI is the third most common injury to result from child abuse
  • Blood pressure can severely drop after a head injury.

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Mertes suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the accident. But she is more than a survivor. She has turned tragedy into triumph, helping others who have had their world shattered pick up the pieces.

Through Fulfill Your Destiny, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, Lt. Col. Mertes financially aids people in the Tampa Bay community whose careers have been altered by injury or unforeseen circumstances. Special consideration is given to those who have sustained a traumatic brain injury.

“Imagine if you could no longer do what you are trained and experienced to do today.  What if everything you have worked for educationally and professionally was gone in an instant? This is my story. Following my injury and treatment, it became apparent I could no longer perform the work required of a military officer with a Top Secret clearance.”


plaintiff-101-cover-audioGrab your copy of her Amazon Best Seller, Plaintiff 101, here!

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Over A Decade Has Passed Since Her Nearly Fatal Accident – A Look Into Karen Mertes’ Triumph Over Her TBI

Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Karen Mertes knows what it’s like to have your life suddenly altered. On Feb. 7, 2007, her life’s path was forever changed. Stationed at MacDill Air Force Base at the time, she was struck by a drunk driver who was traveling over 100 miles per hour on I-75. He had a blood alcohol level of .221, nearly three times the legal limit. During the crash, “I made a futile attempt to regain control of my vehicle as my car slid sideways down the interstate, with cars in the remaining lanes veering around my car to avoid hitting me. As my life hung in the balance, I made a bargain with God. I promised God that if I were blessed to live, I’d spend the rest of my life helping others. This promise was the genesis of my nonprofit Fulfill Your Destiny.”

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Mertes suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the accident. But she is more than a survivor. She has turned tragedy into triumph, helping others who have had their world shattered pick up the pieces.

Through Fulfill Your Destiny, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, Lt. Col. Mertes financially aids people in the Tampa Bay community whose careers have been altered by injury or unforeseen circumstances. Special consideration is given to those who have sustained a traumatic brain injury.

“Imagine if you could no longer do what you are trained and experienced to do today.  What if everything you have worked for educationally and professionally was gone in an instant? This is my story. Following my injury and treatment, it became apparent I could no longer perform the work required of a military officer with a Top Secret clearance.”


plaintiff-101-cover-audioGrab your copy of her Amazon Best Seller, Plaintiff 101, here!

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Kind Words for Karen Mertes from MADD

Recently, Karen received a hand-written thank you note from the point of contact at Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) that she has been working with —
“Thank you for sharing your story with us.  Your determination and drive are really inspiring.  You have touched many lives, including mine.  I know that your story changes people and will continue to help us fulfill our mission of working towards 0 victims.
Regards,
Viridiana Medellin, National Victim Services Specialist, Mothers Against Drunk Driving”
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Karen shares her story to inspire others that there is hope after tragedy. Check out Karen’s entire spotlight with MADD here.

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The Responsible Driving Campaign (RDC) – Karen Mertes Spotlight

The Responsible Driving Campaign (RDC) will continue to focus on informing/reinforcing El Paso Sector Employee’s responsibility while operating a vehicle.
Voices of Victims: Air Force Service Member Karen Mertes
By MADD July 5, 2017
 Victim Stories
Karen, a Lieutenant Colonel serving in the United States Air Force, was driving the speed limit on the interstate when she was struck from behind by a drunk driver traveling over 100 mph. The axle in Karen’s car snapped in half, and her vehicle’s undercarriage dragged creating sparks on the interstate for several hundreds of feet.Karen survived the crash but sustained multiple brain bleeds and was diagnosed with a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Her memory, cognitive functioning, and personality were all impacted. Karen remembers looking at herself in the mirror and no longer recognizing who she was.
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M. (n.d.). Voices of Victims: Air Force Service Member Karen Mertes.
A DUI is extremely costly. It is putting your life and the community we swore to protect at risk.
 
·       Every two minutes, a person is injured in a drunk driving crash
·       On average, two in three people will be involved in a drunk driving crash in their lifetime
·       Every day in America, another 27 people die as a result of drunk driving crashes
 
Call a ride, have a plan;  it is a mistake that cannot be undone.  

 

The RDC is for you, your family’s and community’s safety.

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MADD Spotlight – Voices of Victims: Air Force Service Member Karen Mertes

Last week, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), wrote a spotlight on drunk driver victim, Karen Mertes, and told her story of recovery and triumph after her accident.

Here is a snippet of the MAAD spotlight of Karen Mertes —

“February 7, 2007 was the day that forever changed Karen Mertes’ life path. Karen, a Lieutenant Colonel serving in the United States Air Force, was driving the speed limit on the interstate when she was struck from behind by a drunk driver traveling over 100 mph.

He had a blood alcohol level of nearly three times the legal limit and the crash resulted in both vehicles being totaled. The axle in Karen’s car snapped in half, and her vehicle’s undercarriage dragged creating sparks on the interstate for several hundreds of feet.”

Read the rest of Karen’s MADD spotlight here!

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