Thoughts on Gabby Gifford’s recovery.

As I understand things, each brain is different, each brain injury is different. Recovery from TBI will also be different. In my particular case, I had a right frontal TBI, my speech was slowed, my left side was largely ignored, and I had some troubles with social processing. I suppose I am a pretty powerful testament to the power of perseverance. I was eleven when I got out of the coma, possibly during March of 1981, I was struck by an automobile.
I want to say that I was brilliant even before the accident. I cannot really know though. I have enjoyed using computer mediated communications, because it allows for communication on a more level playing field.
I got involved with the state department of Vocational Rehabilitation, and they were concerned with getting Marty the educational achievement that he wanted in order to get a job that would help him stay off of the state disability assistance, or whatever. I would venture to say that there are probably other federal programs, and executive departments involved at some level, but my interaction was largely with a few vocational rehabilitation counselors.
I graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies, with goals of getting a Master’s in Library Scence. I did get the Master’s Degree in Library Science, and got a job working at the library at the VA Hospital in Tampa, FL as a temporary employee. I was offered a permanent position working with computers.
I enlisted the assistance of my Mom in making me some introduction cards, and then one day I was down at the Florida Aquarium, when I handed out two cards. One of those cards called back four days later, and we’ve been married for 15 years.
Now, from limited knowledge of Gabby Giffords’ injury, it was a penetrating gun shot wound. From speaking with others who might have more general knowledge about TBI and recovery patterns, gun shot injuries tend to look similar to stroke recoveries. I’m not all too sure what that means, but I think that the need to allow Ms. Giffords recovery to progress should be honored.
In my experience, recovery was a long process. Things did eventually get better though. I am pleased that I can bouce a small ball on the floor and alternate between my right and left hand in the catching and releasing of the ball. Perhaps that is one of the more big things I’ve noticed lately.

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