"Fighting TBI & PTS"
My dad rarely talked about his combat experiences, telling me "I put those in a box and moved on." I did the same thing the first few years back. But, my box was about to explode so I chose to "Open my Box" and write this Book and begin this Blog. I survived multiple explosions in Iraq and wrote this story to share my lessons and bring continued awareness of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) and what I call the next "Concussion Crisis." I have a unique perspective on this, as my father, a Marine, survived four explosions during the siege of Khe Sanh, in Vietnam. We both live on with TBI & PTS.
I began this project as a cathartic journey and to share my lessons from years of fighting my "Brain Pain." That's how I described the headaches and anxiety to my doctors since first being hit. This pain was the seed that grew into my "Chaos," overtaking and almost ending my life. This memoir isn't a combat story; it's a back here story.
I calls my nemesis "Chaos;" the sum results of TBI and PTS, i.e. headaches, anxiety, lethargy, irritability, anger, memory loss, frustration, depression, alcohol and drug abuse; which can lead to bad choices, dissolution of family and friends, bad financial decisions, personal destitution, which can then lead to ones perceived last choice, often suicide. Chaos assaults these weakening links in what I call our mental health "Chain," or ones newly damaged mind. My story relates how I "Do The Work" to strengthen this "Chain." Since being hit in 2007, I have navigated all of these challenges and share my insights and lessons of what has been called the signature "Invisible Wounds" of these wars.
My shrapnel wounds have long healed and to look at me, I look normal. I discovered it was impossible for my family, friends and advocates to understand. I wrote this for all advocates to understand the damaged mind of combat concussed veterans. There are over 300,000 combat veterans who have traumatic brain injuries, over 75,000 of those are blast induced, and even more with diagnosed post-traumatic stress. The next concussion crisis will come from the aging Vietnam veterans who were not diagnosed and forgotten, and the Iraq / Afghanistan combat blast-induced veterans.
"Brain Pain" reviews dozens of topics such as Medications and Drug Abuse, Suicide, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, Neurological Botox, Equine Therapy, Service dogs, Medical Marijuana, Meditation, Acupuncture, Exercise and the Outdoors, Brain Games and Music Therapy, and this BLOG will continue to look into new methodologies and protocols to spread awareness.
“Brain Pain is an absolutely fantastic book and needs to be read by all especially medical and mental health personnel.” Rear Admiral Joan M. Engel, 18th Director of the United States Navy Nurse Corps
Backstory: I had several concussions in my youth and then survived multiple explosions during combat operations in Iraq. I call my nemesis “Chaos.” Chaos is the sum results of traumatic brain injury / TBI and Post Traumatic Stress / PTS, i.e. headaches, anxiety, lethargy, irritability, anger, memory loss, frustration, depression, alcohol and drug abuse and …
Backstory: I had several concussions in my youth and then survived multiple explosions during combat operations in Iraq. I call my nemesis “Chaos.” Chaos is the sum results of my Traumatic Brain Injury / TBI and Post Traumatic Stress / PTS, i.e. headaches, anxiety, lethargy, irritability, anger, memory loss, frustration, depression, alcohol and drug abuse …