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Living with traumatic brain injury

We read recently of a man who lives every day with not only his loving wife, but also the symptoms of traumatic brain injury.

Though he's far from us in Boston, his experiences are not far removed from those who suffer traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in a motor vehicle accident, a fall at work, a slip on some stairs, or elsewhere.

The Alabama man suffered his TBI as he worked with Alpha Company, part of the 91st Engineer Battalion, in Iraq for a 15-month stretch over 2004 and 2005.

He felt the impact of several improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in his tour. The blasts left him with difficulties he expects to be with him forever; symptoms including short-term memory loss, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, depression, mood swings and the like.

All difficult for him to deal with, and perhaps in some ways, just as challenging for his wife.

"I know it's something that'll be a permanent part of our life, and it'll be difficult on occasion, but it's workable," she recently told a media outlet. "You have to keep reminding yourself that it's not the person's fault they can't remember things."

A neuropsychologist said TBI affects far more than just the victim, impacting family members who sometimes struggle to understand why the person behaves as they do.

The doctor said that family members who strive to remember that it's the injury causing the memory lapses or mood swings, and not their loved one, can help to minimize conflicts.

No one who has suffered TBI due to someone else's negligence or wrongdoing should have to bear not only the symptoms and struggles of the injury, but the financial burdens as well. They should speak with a personal injury attorney experienced in holding accountable those responsible for the damage they do.

Source: Redstone Rocket, "Traumatic brain injury impacts victim's family, too," March 20, 2013

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