Sheryl "shermol" Thomas

Update 09/04/99
hi, well after 7 yrs of being closed head injured, i just finished my court case against allstate ins. co. After 6 yrs of being misrepresented by an attorney, drs not always knowing what to do with me I found some drs that understood about brain injury. I then had to let go my old attorney and found an attorney that i wouldnt hestitate to represent me again, even though the jury decided to award me with $0. Its strange, but, this attorney fought for my rights more than anyone had ever fought. He understood why i was the way I was, why I dont always understand things anymore, why I feel the way I do, and I would need the care in the future. Jurys can be tricky, since I already know that my injury like they say is the most complicated kind of case. I knew this from experience. I had lived 7 yrs of trying to get people to understand something was wrong with me, that I am totally different since accident, my life is so frustrating and hard for even myself to understand at times. Life isnt easy to figure out at times but I figure there is a purpose for me, I hope if nothing else from having to go through this time it brought some people more aware of tbi. Allstate attorney as he was leaving the court room, i ask if I could speak to him, he stopped, I looked at him and said Im not lying and im not malingering, his answer was I didnt say you were in my closing statement, I said no just for the last two weeks, I told him i was telling him from the bottom of my heart that I wasnt, I had never lied before in my life, I had a brain injury, my husband and I was not out for personal gain, but only to have them pay what they were suppose to pay in their policy. Now I am stuck paying their legal fees, all my medical bills, and I still will have to live with this brain injury and my other injuries. I said we were ready to except my injury for that is our problem but because of them now we have to live with the rest. I told him ijust wanted him to know that i wasnt malingering. The man turned and walked away. Now I know they will get on with their life, one they live very active but I will from now on be disabled. They say my future life care will cost between 3-4 million dollars. Kinda scary but somehow i know we will make it. Im not bitter to the man that hit me, I know the Lord hasnt given up on me, but I do know there has been some malicious drs and insurance co. out there that did some lying about my condition. I dont know how they live with their selves but I know i wouldnt want their lives I will take the one I have with tbi than to lead a life of taking advantage of people I was never a person to take advantage of people before the accident and Im glad my brain injury didnt change that because i dont want to ever hurt people like they are hurting people. I hope one day my brain can function enough to get more people educated about brain injury, in hopes that no one else has to go through what I had to go through. I am thankful for my husband that loves me, has stood by me through this, my two wonderful children that are such a great help to me, the for the guidiance of finding some good drs through the long 7 yrs i finally found some that are helping me, I know i wont ever be the same person again, I know that just because Allstate drs they paid off said nothing wrong with me, that i could get off meds, start driving and get on with my life, I know thats not true. I know i wasnt lying but through all this I refuse to be bitter, I wouldnt wish brain injury on no one not even them. So i hope if anything this case, will have helped doctors and attorneys to have learned more about brain injury so maybe the next survivior of brain injury wont have such the battle that I am going through., I know so many of us exist so please take care, dont give up, this wont conquer me loosing this case in court I know the last 7 yrs was alot tougher battle of going through life than this so we can make it might not be easy but I think we can do it. We must stick together and educate people about brain injury even though they think were not to intelligent because of the injury I think we can understand more about it becuase we have personally been through it, the brain scares and confuses people because its something they cant actually see with their eyes, if people would use more than their eyes to see what is wrong people would notice alot more in this world of ours.

Original Story

hi my name is sheryl thomas i had an accident back in aug 1992 which left me with closed head injury. It was an auto accident which someone ran a red light and t-boned me in the drivers side of the car pushed me side ways at an angle to the side of the road. I guess i was in shock and thought i was ok until 2 or so hours later pains were shooting up into my arms, then as time went the head, neck and back was in so much pain. If felt like some one shoved a rod through my spine straight up through my skull this lasted for a very long time. I went to a walk in clinic which x-rayed my back and neck and said i was inflamed and put the normal drugs in me 2 wks later no improvement only worse so they sent me to a chiropractors office, i was very fortunate to find the one i picked since they have been the most help in relieveing some pain and helping me find drs who could maybe help me. I was sent to a university at about 2 yrs because i was only getting worse and my chiropractor knew something was wrong with me and he wasnt able to fix it all. The university was a joke, he ask me questions then stuck me with a wood stick, the little prick wheel, and had me bend over once, then said he would advise my dr what to do, i was so devastated i ask him if he would test me with test to find out what man cant see with his eye i knew something bad was wrong and i was in so much pain i wanted some answers. I had never had a eeg mri, or cat scan nothing but he refused he said in a firm voice he would advise my dr what to do, so went back home to my chiropractor and he sent me for mris, then sent me to a neurologist near by. The neurologist started treating me with pain management for my muscles in my back were damaged and the disc had been messed up in the accident, he then realized by what i was telling me that he should take an eeg and mri of me, then to find out it was abnormal i was having seizures, i would tell the drs my weird symptoms i was having, the weird moving throughout my body like an alien inside of me but no one ever picked up, told him about my black outs that seem to guide him i was then treated for seizure disorder depression, and for the pain in my back and neck. Years went by went to rehabs drs, etc still a major stuggle, i was sent to a neuro psychologist that only tested me for depression not the whole test you usually get to see if you had brain damage, i cried and pleaded to stop going to those sessions i knew i had more wrong with me than just depression so finally i was released from him later my chiropractor found a neuro chiropractor and he began treating me. What a difference my care was after that, i started to respond better, and he was explaining to me about my closed head injury and helping me to realize and understand my head injury. He recomended me to go for another neuropsychological exam and to check the internet about my injury. I started to check the internet and realized that i was staring at myself on the screen of the computor when i looked up closed head injury. It was a feeling that i will never forget to see that other people with this injury fit my discription so well, so i gave in to see another neuropsychologist. She gave me the full exam and then told me what had happened to me because of the injury to the brain, why i wasnt the same person, why things were so complicated, so unorganized, so different and out of control she explained why i couldnt comprehend things as well, why i couldnt concentrate, why my moods and behavior were so out of control, it was all starting to make more sense to me now. I had tried to cover up all my disabilities for so long so embarrassed, but now i was finally finding out some answers, she then sent me to a neuro pyschatrist to then further my testing, he diffenitly said i had brain damage seizure disorder, and he was going to get more test. I had a nerve test that showed nerve damage in lower extremity and some in the upper extremity,they did a brain spect test that showed up finally all the different areas in the brain that was damaged, both frontal lobes, left and right side of brain It was sorta a relief after 6 yrs of injury to finally see my injury on a test so people would believe i was a different person that i had a damage brain and i was dealing with a battle only people with brain injury could ever imagine. i went to a neuro optamologist that found out my brain wasnt telling my muscles to focus called convergence and gave me glasses to magnify with a prism in it what a difference. then i went to a neurosurgeon that said i had disc and muscle and nerve damage im finally finding drs who understand brain injury and when you tell them something they really know and understand what you are saying, they arent just treating one symptom with tunnel vision that so many drs seem to have. i still have lots of problems, my seizures are still not under control im still dealing with pain in the back and neck area , i have headaches and jaw problems along with the vision problems, i have incontence, and i depression and anxiety that i have to deal with. they give me meds to help some of the symptoms from depression and for my seizures, i go to my neuropsychologist which she is helping so much, i feel like now i have a better chance now since i have found drs who understand and know what they are doing, she gives me things to help get around my disabilites, like timers, message board, organizer, laundry baskets different colors dont use bleach, and i use oxygen at times to help me The one thing with closed head injury is that you look ok on the outside but you are so messed up in the inside i feel at least 40 yrs olders than i really am, i cant work, cant handle the home by myself or my kids, i try to function but cant seem to do it right, i am light sensitive and noise sensitive which i wear dark glasses all the time or most of the time use ear plugs when in stores or noisey places, dont listen to music, i burn lots of food, i black or zone out at times sometimes still moving around but i loose track of time of a little while, i walk in front of cars sometimes not even realizing im on the road or not realizing while at the beach had a seizure not even realizing it till i almost endangered my neices life. I have came to the conclusion that we are a different person after tbi but we just have the same old body, we have to learn to deal and try to cope in a world that seems way to much for us to handle but still realize that we use to not ever have a problem dealing with normal daily routines. I believe that we have to educate ourselves along with family and people out there to understand more about us tbi'ers so that we dont have to go down that long lonely road of a horrible battle trying to prove ourselves, trying to reach out and help and to get relief of some pain, ITs like being on a tall building hanging on to the edge of the roof reaching up for help to be pulled up out of this horrible thing were having to deal with but yet the drs, friends, and some family seem to be stepping on our fingers trying to push us away only finding ourselves falling so slowly back wards only to have to try to struggle back to the top in hopes someone will be up there to help us the next time It took me a total of 7 yrs to find a group that i think now i will get some of the car i need but all in the mean time an insurance co fights me tries to make me look crazy , that nothing is wrong follows me around doesnt leave me alone to deal with my injury they make me go to court to try and prove myself once again, only to make everything even worse for me because we all know people with tbi cant take stress and it only causes your problems to grow bigger. I am going to go to court to prove that i am injured, that i am not malingering, that they need to pay what they say they are going to pay not try to always get out of claims, i know that many other tbi victims have been pushed away from insurance co stuck with lots of bills and not able to get the care they need because of them If i dont win my case i will feel like i at least stood my grounds in hopes that one day another tbi victim will have a better chance and if i win it will also be a step farther for other tbi victims who seem to get pushed to the side by drs and insurance companies. We got to get more info out to people so one day we will be able to function better in the new world that we was given thanks for listening to my long story hopefully its made some sense because i seem to get off on other stuff alot of times before im done with the thing i was just on. so hang in there fellow tbi'ers its a hard battle but life is a good thing we just have to learn how to enjoy it again, i believe somehow theres got to be answers out there for us

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