Screenwriter Dustin Lance Is Taking a Break from Hollywood Due to a Brain Injury
Writer Dustin Lance, known for the television series “Under the Banner of Heaven,” suffered a brain injury in August, and now his entire career hangs in the balance. His doctors have not seen much improvement in his condition, and he must step back from his creative works.
The news came as a shock, and, per Hollywood Reporter, Lance posted a statement on his Instagram stating his injury was the reason no one had seen him lately and that there was a long road to recovery.
Head trauma, or brain injury, can change a person's life forever, and while Dustin Lance can take the time to heal, not everyone can. Imagine being a creative person and having to stop your creative endeavors so that you can heal. Creative minds usually have a lot of ideas floating around and shutting those off is daunting. Even so, Lance has a few projects completed and releasing soon, such as a documentary about his life titled Mama's Boy and the film Rustin.
What does brain injury rehabilitation involve?
After a brain injury, the road ahead is full of uncertainty, and your condition can change daily, making it a challenging process. You will begin brain injury rehabilitation, which consists of different treatments depending on individual needs. A physician must complete a physical, mental, and cognitive examination to determine where you are in each category and devise a treatment plan.
Brain injuries affect people differently, and you need a treatment plan that works for you, not a generic one-size-fits all routine. The first step involves complete cognitive and physical rest. The physical element is easy for most since it involves a lot of lounging around, but cognitive rest is challenging because you must avoid screens, limit reading, and take time off work or school. The most difficult element for many is resting.
When the brain suffers an injury, you must stay vigilant to ensure that a secondary injury does not result. You will need emergency medical treatment to determine the severity of your injury and ensure you do not have immediate complications. Rehab is an excellent option to get back on your feet, but not everyone has access to rehab, and some brain injuries are too severe. Doctors will prescribe various medications to reduce the chance of worsening symptoms. They can prescribe anti-seizure drugs, diuretics, or coma-inducing drugs, among others.
Some brain injuries require emergency surgery to reduce the pressure on the brain. CT scans and MRIs will help determine the severity of the injury and the best treatment method for your recovery; medical personnel will work diligently to find treatment options that work for you and give you the best chance of recovery. Many traumatic brain injury victims do not fully recover, while some regain some or all of their previous abilities. Always work with doctors who take an individual approach to your injury.
How soon can I get back to my “normal” life after a TBI?
After your mandatory rest period, you can slowly begin to resume some everyday activities. However, you must stay vigilant for symptoms that can become worse or anything that triggers your symptoms. If you notice a specific activity worsens your symptoms, you should take a break before trying again. While you want to return to your regular activities, you must remember your brain can only handle so much. You will need temporary accommodations like dimming lights, wearing sunglasses, limiting screen and reading time, and requiring extra time to complete assignments.
Do physical therapy and exercise help with brain injury recovery?
Another daily activity you may want to resume is exercise, but you cannot jump back into the gym; you need to start slowly and work towards more intense workouts. You can begin by taking a short walk outside, preferably with someone, for safety reasons. If you do not have any symptoms after a brief walk, you can then take a longer walk and continue to increase gradually from there. Always consult with your medical providers to prevent overexertion and have them document your progress and symptoms. Do not dismiss your symptoms, because brain injuries are severe.
Physical therapy is another way to stay active and have supervision. A physical therapist will monitor symptoms and work with you to get to a healthy space. They will monitor your heart rate and establish a threshold where symptoms commence. They will help you work below that threshold, so you do not aggravate your injury.
What if I cannot work after a brain injury?
Unfortunately, not everyone can recover enough to return to work. You might only recover enough to accomplish daily tasks. Some brain injuries leave victims with a permanent disability requiring in-home nursing care or needing to move into a long-term care facility. Individuals who cannot return to work need to speak to a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer to ensure the person who caused the injury compensates them for their losses.
The inability to work also affects where you live, the food you eat, the clothes you wear, and your lifestyle. Even if you have substantial savings, you should not be responsible for your medical care for the rest of your life. Luckily, you can recover compensation to supplement your income and benefits through a traumatic brain injury lawsuit.
A brain injury impacts the rest of your life and can leave you unable to do simple tasks. You want McNicholas & McNicholas LLP to find the liable party for your injury and recover compensation for your losses. We are a family-owned law firm and focus on each client. We serve the greater Los Angeles area and can help you start a claim with a free consultation. Call our office at 310-474-1582, or complete our contact form today.
Please note that this blog is not to be construed as legal advice. Because every case is fact-specific, you should consult directly with an attorney to obtain legal advice specific to your situation.
For more than three decades, McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP has built a reputation as one of California’s leading law firms. Founded by a family of attorneys spanning three generations, John McNicholas and sons, Patrick and Matthew, have tried hundreds of cases to jury verdict on behalf of clients. Learn More about McNicholas & McNicholas