After a brain injury, you may be in a coma. This means you’re unconsciousness (not aware of what’s going on around you) and don’t respond to things like sound, touch, and light. Your eyes will also stay closed.
As the brain starts to heal and work better, your eyes may open and you may be able to have a better sleep-awake cycle, follow what someone asks or says, answer others, and talk.
It’s common to be confused and disoriented (not sure where you are). You may have trouble paying attention and learning. You may also be restless or not sleep well.
Depending on your injury and how you’re doing, your recovery may start in an intensive care unit (ICU) or other part of a hospital.
During the early weeks after the brain injury, your treatment will focus on your physical condition, medical issues, and preventing complications like pneumonia (a type of lung infection) and blood clots.
When the healthcare team feels you’re ready, you’ll start rehabilitation.
Information for family and caregivers
Some days will be better than others. One day your loved one may be able to follow a task (like squeezing a finger), then not do it again for a while. There are ups and downs during recovery which are normal.
Keep their space calm and quiet by limiting the number of people in the room, turning off the TV, or turning down the lights.
Talk to the healthcare team if you have questions or concerns.