Sunday, March 4, 2012

Living with TBI

My husband is retired Army National Guard.  He was deployed to Iraq for 18 months and while there suffered a TBI due to a Humvee accident. TBI has become a very large part of our life. Emotions are different, thought process is different, tolerance is different, mobility is different…welcome to our world TBI.

As a caregiver for someone suffering from TBI, I see his frustration and struggles. The desire to recall words that use to come easily to him, the daily search for his keys, the headaches, the mood swings and balance problems, TBI has become the focus of our lives. It is there at 6am in the morning when we wake up, and it is there at 10pm when we go to bed.  It is an all-day struggle. It interferes with the small daily tasks, with job performance, and it interferes with hobbies and the things in life that use to be pleasurable. It is an invisible wound that most people are not aware of because on the outside a person who suffers from TBI may not show signs of an injury.

Despite all the differences, in many ways my husband is the same.  He is courageous, persistent, honorable, adaptable and determined. Many of the traits that made him an excellent soldier are the same traits that serve him in his struggles with TBI.
Although he relies on me to be his memory, to find his glasses, to bounce off of when he loses his balance and to handle most of the finances, he still finds something humorous in his daily struggles with TBI. 

For my husband, some days are better than others. On the good days we make small steps forward…..and we gladly take those small steps because you have to learn to walk before you can run.

Submitted by Karen

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