Friday, December 3, 2010

My Traumatic Brain Injury

On January 26th 1989 I was on my way home from work and I pulled out in front of a semi-truck and that was my accident. I had only one serious injury, a traumatic brain injury. No broken bones or massive tissue damage, but my TBI was serious. It was ten days before I started drifting out of my coma and eight weeks before I was able to leave the hospital. Six months later I got married and returned to work. Like most people with a brain injury as serious as mine I had to relearn how to walk and talk, read and write, tie my shoes, everything. My recovery, like all brain injury recoveries, was slow, hard, and at times, all but hopeless.

If you are thinking that for a writer I'm not being very colorful, that's because no matter what I write about my hospitalization and early recovery, it is not going to be that different from what anyone who has been through it would say. There are many accounts that are published about one person or another's brain injury accident and recovery. Some of these are very good, but few are sustantially different from my own experience.

About ten years after my accident I submitted a little essay on what brain injury was like for me to the Brain Injury Association of Minnesota to put in their newsletter. It was so well received that they asked for another and soon they gave me a column of my own in the paper and that was how it all began. At first I thought that after my first couple of articles I would have nothing more to write about. eventually I found that I could always find something to write about and I have written over a hundred essays about all aspects of brain injury.

I published my first book, a collection of my most popular essays, in 2003. I will put a link up for it to as soon as I figure out how to do that. Sometime in 2011 I intend to publish another book of essays, but these will be accompanied by notes for clinicians as well as guidelines for people with a brain injury as to how to use the essays in their own recovery. I am very lucky to have Dr. Robert Karol, a prominent Neuropsychologist and author co-writing this book with me.

I am new to this blogging thing and I want to try it out. My intention at this point is to post some of my essays and then we will see how it goes from there.


  1. First off, congratulations to your booming career as a writer, Mike! Surely, no one can write better about going through brain injury than someone who has been there and is on his way to owning and winning his situation. I commend you for that, by the way. So, how did things go with your book? I just hope it's as smooth a ride as your recovery.
    Javier @ US Health Works

  2. Thanks for the supportive words, Javier. Things are going well, thank you for asking. I have just delivered a keynote address at the Brain Injury Association Annual Conference. It went very well, and now I am a national speaker!