Traumatic Brain Injury Talk

Big Ed

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The frustrating thing about a TBI is is can be more debilitating then losing a arm or a leg.

And much less understood.

I heard one TBI veteran call it wicked. We were in a first aid/cpr class, I doubt anyone other than me understood the depths of what he was saying.

The veterans 4WD organization I started (Mountain Warriors) did a camping trip in early October, one of the other veterans also has TBI. He was explaining the difficulties he has, then said the big contrast in how well he does makes it hard for people to understand. It's the same with me.

Thanks for sharing.
 
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I came home from Iraq in early 2005 with some pretty strong TBI symptoms, I went back to work and struggled to do what I used to be very good at. I was asking people I trained how to do stuff, they would remind me that "I" showed them that. I couldn't focus with distractions. I played the Radio all the time before deployment, and very rarely play it since. I made a lot of mistakes, and generally had a very hard time. In late 07 my VA counselor was going over my records with me, and told me I had been diagnosed with TBI in November 05. I went for the testing, but no one had gone over the results with me. So although I knew things were very wrong, I didn't know what was going on. When I got in to see a VA Psychiatrist, he put me on disability in November 09, I haven't worked since. My VA Disability rating is 90%, I also have Social Security Disability (for TBI and PTSD).

I've been in counseling at the Vet Center since 06, seeing a VA psychiatrist since 08, saw a VA Speech Pathologist from Aug 2012 thru March 2014 (she quit). I started seeing another VA Speech person about two months ago, she doesn't push at all compared to the other one though. I was in an OIF/OEF group for a few years, ending 2-3 years ago, they stopped the group. They started two more groups earlier this year, I went to one for the first time Friday.

Sometimes when I'm overwhelmed I can't think, or speak. I've had some people interpret this as me purposely ignoring them to be rude. I was taken aback by this the first time it happened. I've made efforts to help them understand what is really going on, including lengthy talks, info cards with symptom list, and sending them a video about TBI. Some of those people saw all those efforts as me making excuses, and treated me like I was being a jerk instead of like I had an injury. I am recently no longer in a 4wd club I've been in for nine years over this. Although there are good people in the club that are very understanding and easy to get along with, they are now in the minority. They weren't in the minority nine years ago, times change.

Danny described his wheeling as just him and his dogs, I used to be that way too, or maybe one or two good friends. I got in the club because I wanted to help on trails, and the club has an adopt a trail agreement with the Forest Service on six trails. After all the stress the club has put me through over the last few years it's a relief in a way to be out of it. I'm a glutton for punishment, and can't walk away like some people do.

I'd like this thread to be a place for people with TBI, and concerned others to help each other.
I am friends with other veterans putting some that have experienced TBI or visual traumatic experiences from the battlefield. I understand what you're going through. There been times where I couldn't speak or couldn't think call it brain lock I don't know. I've seen some pretty awful things at the VA Hospital Mental Health Department. Only if civilians could understand what we veterans have.
 
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Man... this thread has been therapeutic in it’s own way. So many others with the same symptoms, feelings, frustration and the day-to-day living with a TBI.
Although, my wife says I’m less of an a****** now.
The Lord works in mysterious ways.
👍🏻😎🇺🇸
 

Big Ed

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Man... this thread has been therapeutic in it’s own way. So many others with the same symptoms, feelings, frustration and the day-to-day living with a TBI.
Although, my wife says I’m less of an a****** now.
The Lord works in mysterious ways.
👍🏻😎🇺🇸

I hoped it would help others, but it has had little participation. Maybe some get something out of it and move on without replying.

Things are pretty routine now, that’s the best way to deal. But the most important thing has been staying away from people that aggravate my condition, and refuse to cooperate.
 
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I hoped it would help others, but it has had little participation. Maybe some get something out of it and move on without replying.

Things are pretty routine now, that’s the best way to deal. But the most important thing has been staying away from people that aggravate my condition, and refuse to cooperate.
If it gives one guy a feeling of support or hope, this thread has done it’s job imo.
3 years on now, and to me, the most frustrating fact of having a TBI is the lack of visual physical damage. I’ve learned that unless others see physical damage to one’s body, there is little to no understanding of what we experience. Shoot, I have to remind my wife and kids almost weekly that I ain’t the same guy as I was. Looks are deceiving.
Big Ed, I appreciate the effort you made and continue to make with this thread.
 

Big Ed

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I’ve learned that unless others see physical damage to one’s body, there is little to no understanding of what we experience.

This goes hand in hand with what I said here “staying away from people that aggravate my condition, and refuse to cooperate.”

I’m referring to those that insist there’s nothing wrong with me and I’m just a jerk that makes excuses. Because they can’t see what’s happening they make up their own version. I’ve actually got in trouble for what people did to me, because they insisted something else was happening. I’ve run into them a few times over the last 5 years, we all volunteer for the same National Forest, and have shown up to the same “all welcome” projects.

There have also been a few that see it without me saying anything. One of those died a year and a half ago, it was really hard for me.
 
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Man... this thread has been therapeutic in it’s own way. So many others with the same symptoms, feelings, frustration and the day-to-day living with a TBI.
Although, my wife says I’m less of an a****** now.
The Lord works in mysterious ways.
👍🏻😎🇺🇸
yes...knowning symptoms and possible solutions. As I said before, if a vetran knew a head of time the affects of ptsd he would rather loose a leg then have PTSD. The last visit the VA seeing that vetran loose his mind crying and yelling as he walked down the hallway with his short phycologist trying to keep up with him was pretty tramatising. I think she may have brought up some old memories from the battle field and it triggered a PTSD moment. I can only estimate his battle budies next to him were shot or blown up by RPGs. A Army friend of mine said he lost his mind in the VA as he saw another fellow soldier blown up by a RPG. He is a very kind frinedly INFJ personality. If anyone here has not taken care of their depression and pills do not work, take a look at Trans Cranial Megnetic Stimulation. It saves lives...
 
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This goes hand in hand with what I said here “staying away from people that aggravate my condition, and refuse to cooperate.”

I’m referring to those that insist there’s nothing wrong with me and I’m just a jerk that makes excuses. Because they can’t see what’s happening they make up their own version. I’ve actually got in trouble for what people did to me, because they insisted something else was happening. I’ve run into them a few times over the last 5 years, we all volunteer for the same National Forest, and have shown up to the same “all welcome” projects.

There have also been a few that see it without me saying anything. One of those died a year and a half ago, it was really hard for me.
Surround your self with really nice INFJ personalities :) Have them take the myers briggs test before you get to know them. 16personalities.com
 
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If it gives one guy a feeling of support or hope, this thread has done it’s job imo.
3 years on now, and to me, the most frustrating fact of having a TBI is the lack of visual physical damage. I’ve learned that unless others see physical damage to one’s body, there is little to no understanding of what we experience. Shoot, I have to remind my wife and kids almost weekly that I ain’t the same guy as I was. Looks are deceiving.
Big Ed, I appreciate the effort you made and continue to make with this thread.
ive seen vetrans who looked horrible!!! I get anxiety from the past hate it!!!
 

Franken470

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great reading the thread and knowing there are a few more of us out there with some of the same interests. I hope to see y’all on the trails. A little about me below.

I’m a fellow combat veteran that was deployed 03-04’ Iraq theatre QRF, we were in the Stryker brigade and were in country from Falajuh to Mosul, I suffered a TBI and PTSD from deployment and served out my contract and got out.
I have a few of the same symptoms mentioned and also an uncontrolled tears when overwhelmed by emotions, they don’t have to be sad and honestly more times than not are focused on emotions of unmeasurable kindness and charity.
I’m socially awkward due to this and people not understanding that it is how my brain has been “re-wired”.
I’ve found solace in a small group of friends that know me and accept all of my quirk
 

Franken470

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Does it reduce over time? A friend of mine was in the army and he witnessed another soldier blown up. He is on disability.
I haven't found a common answer, while my experiences were similar and our injuries the same (TBI) the research and my experiences is that none of us have the same symptoms or triggers, they vary for each person, just like our brains do. I live in MS and we have an amazing resource in the "Mind Center" which focuses research and treatment for these types of injuries. I own a restaurant and try to contribute to their efforts as possible. I have been very blessed to have adjusted back and some therapy and figuring out what works for me, which is controlling my environments (as well as possible), my family has been great along with the understanding of my girlfriend. I find there are easy days and hard days and still battle depression which I feel is related since it only occurred post deployment. I didn't find group therapy beneficial and was lucky to be able to afford private care with someone I trust (I will add this is really big, you need to be able to be 100% honest with your therapist). I also have a few friends local that are veterans and we lean on each other and are there at the drop of a hat when we need each other. It's been 15 yrs. since I got out and there are still challenges.
 
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"Understandable. I almost went to desert Storm. I could only imagine being assigned to Iraq. The middle east has the MOST oppresive heat anywhere on the planet. As for TBI ever look into Repetitive Trans Cranial Magnetic Stimulation?"

TMS therapy. Going for my first scan tomorrow. I'll post updates here if folks are interested. Couple of ex-SEAL types run the show here at Cardiff-By-The-Sea. Several US locations.

Check out :


San Diego Home - https://www.waveneuro.com
 

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