Sister suffered a brain injury and struggles with anger

Nearly eight years ago my sister suffered an anoxic brain injury. She was pregnant and nearly ready to deliver when her OBGYN put her in the hospital because of high blood pressure. Her doctor took her regular three day weekend off and put my sister's care in the hands of her partners, also board certified OBGYNs. Over the course of my sisters stay in the hospital, nearly four days, none of those doctors saw my sister and the nurses never relayed just how sick my sister was. Of course, at the time, we figured my sister would be cared for properly...doctors always know best, right? They finally tried to induce my sister on Monday, but it didn't work. They could have performed a C-Section at any point up to 6pm that evening. Ultimately, late Monday night my sister suffered a SCA. It's my understanding that nearly the doctor nor the nurse in the room administered CPR, instead waited for the crash unit to show up, that was 12 minutes later.

Nearly eight years later I have a nephew that is okay and doing as well as he can, but I have a sister who struggles to remember things from day to day or even hour to hour. She can't work or drive. But, most strangers wouldn't know she was brain injured, but those of us close to her know all to well. As nearly all of you know even minor brain injuries change the lives of everyone close to the injured. She is not really the same person she before and her life is limited. Because of those reasons and, maybe others, her friends have disappeared and I know, on those occasions when that thought pops into her head, it makes her sad. It breaks my heart. If I could trade places with her I would in an instant.

The biggest issue facing those of us that care for her is her anger. In a second she can become angry and hysterical. The best way to describe it is this...it's very similar to Doctor Banner's transformation to the Hulk. It goes from 0 to 100 in minutes. She says things that cut deep and sometimes take awhile to forget. I know it's not her, but it creates a very helpless feeling inside the ones who have to listen to her.

She takes Seroquel at night and has a 1 mg dose per pill of Lorazepam to calm her outburst. She is aware of her anger building up, but she can't control it once it gets too strong. If you try to help her calm down it often makes things worse.

Obviously, troubles are compounded because she has a son. He is very loved and looked after by his dad and my mom...and my sister to the extent she can. She loves him and he is everything to her.

I am wondering if there is anyone out there that has dealt with the anger of a brain injured person and if they have any thoughts or suggestions that might help.

thanks
Chad

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Chad,

My name is Bob. I had an SCA on April 6, 2008. It was a vicious one, too, and I was without a heartbeat for
12 - 15 minutes. I have lived with a minimally useful short-term memory for 4 years, now. Most of my long-term
memory is still intact, I suppose, but only if it is prompted. So, most of my 57 years, prior to the SCA, are
pretty much gone. I tell myself that my life was really crappy and there isn't too much I'd want to recall, anyway!
That sorta works.

Well, about your sister. Honestly, I don't know if her memory will ever improve. If I find a way, I'll let you know.
But there is something I can tell you and it is true but hardly anyone ever listens.

If she hasn't already, then she needs to be talking with others who personally understand her anoxic brain injury.
Chances are, if you've tried to get real help from her doctors, that you've failed. I don't know why, but that's really
the way it is for most of us. Loss of friends, family support, and hope, is VERY common. Some of it, she may have
caused herself, without meaning to. The rest seems to be a common reaction of others to her condition. There's
something about the brain that scares people.

So, she needs some conversation with SCA survivors, especially those with brain injuries. Trouble is, most of
them did not survive, or are in different states of coma to the present day. There aren't many to talk with, Chad.

I'm here, and talking with others with an ABI is one of my special interests. I have a few friends with whom I can
communicate and it is ALWAYS a happy relief, afterward, to have spoken with them. My PROFILE has my info if you'd
like to talk more about this.

Finally, let me kindly remind everyone concerned, that your sister has A LOT OF GOOD REASON TO BE ANGRY!!!!!
But, she is so fortunate to have her son with her, and to able to interact with him. Also, she is fortunate to have a brother like
you, who is willing and trying to help her. On the part of all of us, or I should say, the few of us, THANK YOU!

Remember also that your sister really and truly died that day. She knows things within herself that few others can
relate to. Not being able to share that is a cause for a lot of frustration, and therefor, anger. It is something she needs to talk about.

I would very much like to talk with your sister and I know another woman who would, also. Her name is Lisa and she
is a member, here. In the 'Sudden Cardiac Arrest' group, you may find more help than in this group.

Please, Chad, feel very free to contact me ANYTIME. I will do my best to help out.

Bob

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Thanks Bob,

I am sorry for what happened to you also. An injury or illness to the brain is a very cruel thing and I my heart goes out to you. Thanks for replying to my note. I really appreciate it.

I would love for my sister to talk with others who have experienced similar things, but, although she loves her Facebook, she might not be apt to check in with this site. I will try to get her set up somehow and maybe she will make some friends, including you and Lisa.

I hope today is a good one for you and I will be in touch.

Chad

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Chad,

In case you missed my profile, I am on Facebook as "Bob Turri".
I also started a Facebook group named, "Surviving Cardiac Arrest".
The url is: http://www.facebook.com/groups/surCarr/
To me, "Survivors" includes the caregivers, family members/loved ones, etc.
Most of all, I welcome anyone who has lost someone close, due to an SCA or
a resulting brain injury.

I hope your sister will feel comfortable there, as well as here. You, too, are
most welcome in our group. Most members are also members of Inspire.com.
Just wanted to let you know.

Bob

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