Communicating Post Tbi

What communication problem resulted from your TBI? How did you overcome this problem? After my TBI I had many difficulties…couldn’t comprehend written things, fast talkers left me confused and the phone was particularly difficult to deal with. Eventually I developed compensatory tools and used auxiliary communication equipment with the help of a couple of speech therapists, brain injury experts and a lot of hard work…yes…it took a blanking village! For the written word I used highlighters to identify the main points, for fast talkers I used the workaround of “can you run that by me again” etc., for the phone I bought a captel phone which allowed me to view what was being said and what I said on a screen in real time. (This was a HUGE improvement in my life)…I could actually carry on a long conversation without getting confused. Now I read for enjoyment, write letters,can talk with my fellow New York fast takers and use a regular phone to talk with. The point I guess of this is to
demonstrate that using tools and compensatory methods you can still communicate and for me I continually pushed myself to the point that I no longer need these things to help…BUT…I still have them for backup if needed!

I do not communicate with many people from my old life...I walked away from a wife and kids that refused to listen, understand, or even reach out and help...My little girl was 14 when my accident happened and she is the only one that was always there for me and still is. Sad, but it shows how in tune one person can be and other family members just clueless....My work calls ever 3 months or so, not sure if my superintendent will call again...caught me on a bad day when I was very upset and cried a lot on the phone.

I started a new life, one were people don't know who I was, so they treat me differently...Over time I let them into my world if I need to explain why I might not do something or go somewhere.....

For phone calls I have my "cheat sheet"...most times if I don't have it I will get side tracked and totally forget my questions, still not good at getting thrown a curve ball and speechless! or hanging up and I have even more questions from the answers I just got...

This subject I could go on and is hard and most don't understand, that's ok...What is sad is the ones who should understand or should of least tried to understand through reading or learning about my disability!

DavOD, thank you for sharing your challanges. It is unfortunate that relationships change after a TBI. Communication to one another is such an important need for eveyone, TBI or not.

Elisadrummer, thanks for your comments. Rowing sounds a great way to communcate as well especially when working as a team…All working towards the same goal. Communication can be done in so many ways, finding one that works for you is simply trying new things and ways. Your friend using thier hand is an excellent example of that! PS…I used to live in “OB” in San Diego…lucky you! Blane