If your spouse has a physically demanding job, then it is likely that you see the impact of that job’s wear and tear on their body and mind firsthand. You may also be one of the few people with the insight to understand when your spouse is just having a rough week at work and when they may have a serious injury.
This is particularly true when it comes to head injuries. Any significant blow to the head can leave a victim with a mild traumatic brain injury, or TBI. While these injuries could be worse, they are a very real threat to the victim’s long-term health, employment and close relationships. Without proper medical treatment, your spouse may lose their job and destroy their relationship with you or other members of their family and community.
Depending on the severity of the injury, a mild TBI may leave a victim with many symptoms, ranging from physical symptoms like headaches and seizures, to mental symptoms such as difficulty focusing and loud, emotional outbursts of frustration.
To the outside observer, mental symptoms often look like the victim is just behaving badly and reacting to frustrations in a childish way. However, inability to focus on simple or familiar tasks is common among TBI victims, as are outbursts of frustration. These are not conscious reactions on the part of the victim, even though they may seem like they are. In many cases, the victim even think that they are responsible for this behavior, even though it is the fault of the injury.
It doesn’t take long for the employer or coworkers of a TBI victim to get tired of dealing with these outbursts, and if they do not understand the injury and its symptoms, the victim may lose their job very quickly.
Another common symptom of a mild TBI is the victim’s loss of ability to understand conversations or comprehend what they read. Typically, the victim still understands the individual meanings of words, but struggles to understand the contextual meaning of full sentences. This often leads to repeated miscommunication, both at work and at home.
If your spouse suffers from a mild TBI, it is almost certainly causing problems at the workplace as well as in your home. You should not feel like you are doing something to deserve difficult behavior, but there may be more that you can do about it.
First, it is important to make sure that your spouse receives a complete professional medical examination to help identify any brain injuries. Once you identify an injury, you can file a personal injury claim, or workers’ compensation claim if the injury occurred at work.
Workers’ compensation claims often offer much less than a worker deserves, so be sure that you fully understand how to get the most out of your claim and keep your rights protected while you work to bring the spouse you love back to health.