Project Downrange: Saving Lives And Marriages From Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
In December, 2011, Iraq veteran Trooper Jenkins told his wife that after Christmas, she would have to move out. The chain of events that followed would change their lives together forever. This is her story.
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My inner voice knew that something was wrong, but what did I not know.
God works in mysterious ways: we needed a medical document for an appointment with a civilian doctor that was in the safe. I was retrieving it for him, and on top of his medical records was the diagnosis from November 2007: Traumatic Brain Injury, Post-concussion syndrome.
Honestly, the world stopped for me. I understood everything.
Honestly, the world stopped for me. I understood everything. The inappropriate behaviors, the anger, the mood changes, the unexplained health issues. For example, sleeping: doesn’t every wife get kicked in the middle of night, or have to remake his side of the bed every day?
WOW, he actually did love me, TBI Husband just did not know how to communicate, and I did not know I had TBI Husband. This journey will not define us, but make our family stronger.
Changing the way I react has been one way of dealing with TBI. A marriage will always have arguments, but with TBI, you have to learn (by trial and error unfortunately) what adds fuel to the fire.
Learning about scanning was another life changing moment. I had thought for a couple of years and accused him of cheating. During his PTSD prolonged exposure therapy, we quickly learned the term. Scanning is the process of watching the room for potential threats. This is why when we were out to eat he could recall what someone was wearing but had no idea what he ate, I ate, or what we had talked about.
Communication is an area that we are working on to this date. I know that if I want something to be heard, I pause the T.V., sit in front of him, and say it quick. It is not perfect, but if you know what you are dealing with, it is half the battle.
Look for our story and other stories about recovering from TBI.
Check out Chicken Soup for the Soul: Recovering from Traumatic Brain Injuries, in stores June 24!
This post has been updated. Trooper Jenkins served in Iraq, not in Afghanistan.