Thursday, April 30, 2009

Part 2 of 2 Part Blog PTSD & TBI, TBI Section

Traumatic Brain Injury(TBI), Like PTSD, is another unseen wound of this war. Because it is unseen, The Army has found many ways to discredit many returning OIF & OEF Veterans suffering from TBI. As I did with PTSD I will now give Wikipedia's definition of TBI.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI also called Intracranial Injury) occurs when an outside force traumatically injures the brain. TBI can be classified based on severity, mechanism (closed or penetrating head injury), or other features (e.g. occuring in a specific location or over a widespread area). Head injury usually refers to TBI, but is a broader category because it can involve damage to structures other than the brain, such as the scalp and skull.

TBI is a major cause of death & disability worldwide, especially in young people. Causes include falls, vehicle accidents, sports, & violence. Prevention measures include use of technology to protect those who are in accidents, such as seatbelts & sports or motorcycle helmets, as well as safety education programs & enforcement of traffic laws.

Brain trauma can be caused by a direct impact or by acceleration alone. In addition to the damage caused at the moment of injury, brain trauma causes secondary injury, a variety of events that take place in the minutes & days following the injury. These processes, which include alterations in cerebral blood flow & the pressure within the skull, contribute substantially to the damage from the initial injury.

TBI can cause a host of physical, cognitive, emotional, & behavioral effects, and outcome can range from complete recovery to permanent disability or death. The 20th century has seen critical developments in diagnosis & treatment which have decreased death rates and improved outcome. These include imaging techniques such as computed tomography & magnetic resonance imaging. Depending on the injury, treatment required may be minimal or may include interventions such as medications & emergency surgery. Physical therapy, speech therapy, & occupational therapy may be employed for rehabilitation.

That was the Wikipedia definition, I am not a doctor, so I thought it was important to put a correct definition, for those not familiar with TBI. Unfortunately TBI along with PTSD, is often a hidden war wound, so the Army, in it's infinate wisdom, feels that most soldiers, who claim to have PTSD & TBI are "faking it", so the Army can save it's money for more important needs, like "Beans & Bullets". It is criminal what returning Army OIF & OEF Veterans go through at Walter Reed Army Medical Center & other army hospitals, Fort Bragg, Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Benning, Fort Lewis, the list goes on, it is Army wide, which means there must be an Army wide policy, denying soldiers, PTSD & TBI diagnoses and preventing compensation from corrupt and inept Army Medical Evaluation Board(MEB) & Physical Evaluation Board (PEB).

While at Walter Reed I was friends with an E-7 SFC w/ over 26 years service, along with his other injuries, he suffered from PTSD & TBI, being alot of symptoms are the same, The Army doctors & pshrinks determined that because he suffered from TBI & PTSD, that one cancelled out the other, so he was diagnosed with neither. Another doctored claimed that he was just faking to get compensation. The E-7 served 26 years, I think if he wanted to scam, he would have done it a long time ago, but because he is also a National Guard soldier, which we are still being looked down upon by active duty doctors & soldiers, even though we are doing the same job in Iraq & Afghanistan, & put our lives on the line, there is the stigmatism that we are inferior soldiers & must me faking when we get PTSD & TBI and other injuries.

I have testified at a Senate caucus on mental health led by Senator Edward Kennedy(D-MA) & Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM), I also broughts these facts up to both Senators before my testimony. I have brought it up to President George W. Bush, Former Senator Hillary Clinton(D-NY), Senator Snowe (R-ME), Senator Webb (D-VA), Tried to bring it up to Rep Steve Isreal (D-NY ) but his people blew me off, Numerous other Congressmen, Governors & Senators that visited during the Building 18 scandal at Walter Reed, but as typical politicians, they smile, shake your hand take a picture with you & you never hear from them again. We tried to bring it up to the Commanding General at Walter Reed during "townhall meetings", but we were forbidden to talk about it during townhall meetings, so much for hearing our problems & the truth of what was happening under his command.

These atrocities are still going on, I got a phone call from a friend of mine. a senior officer that was at Walter Reed with me. He told me about a soldier who had come back & tried to get help for PTSD at Fort Benning Ga, he was accused of "faking it". His condition became so bad when he left Fort Benning, that he had to commit himself to get the help he needed. There are thousands of returning war vets, who have been misdiagnosed, ignored, humiliated & treated like fakers and goldbrickers, because they have sought help from the Army. We need to stop this travesty and get these brave men & women the help, treatment & compensation, they have earned, by putting their lives on the line for this great nation. What will it take to get the changes made in the way the Army treats our Veterans. I urge everyone who reads this blog to start calling their Senators, Congressmen, Governors, & even the President & urge them to investigate the corrupt & inept Army Medical Evaluation Board(MEB) & Physical Evaluation Board(PEB) & to overhaul the Army Mental Health System.

Suffering from PTSD & TBI, makes it difficult for Veterans to reintergrate with society, Vets often have trouble with personal relations, work relations, dealing with rage, dealing with crowds or crowded places, loss of concentration & short term memory loss, depression, insomnia, having trouble getting to sleep & staying asleep, sexual problems, & easily frustrated. A lot of Veterans can not maintain a job, or relationship, which is why many are ending up on the street & homeless. I just read an article on NBC NEWS dated 4/13/2009, "Female Vets struggling to get treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder", where they say that female Vets suffering from PTSD, are the largest growing homeless group. It is criminal in this day & age to allow our Veterans, who have put their lives on the line for this counry, to be living on the street. We spend billions & trillions on countries who bad mouth us and never support us, but when it comes to our Veterans, the checkbook is closed. We spend billions bailing out corporations who mismanaged their money, and who are still mismanaging the taxpayers money, yet again the checkbook is closed for our brave men and women Vets. We the people need to elect a new breed of Congressmen, Senators & President in 2010 & 2012, forget the politicians, get real people elected, people who kn ow what it is like to work for a living, who care about The Flag, our Nation & our Veterans, we need more Vets elected to office, they know what it means to fight for freedom and their beliefs. Ok, I will get off my soapbox now.

I will have more info on TBI to follow, I do not suffer from TBI, so alot of my info is second hand info, but I am still researching it. I will also ask some of my fellow Vets, to post their stories about TBI on this blog. I am also research, some potential traetments for PTSD posted on my Twitter account, as I get this info and if treatment helps me, I will post in the hope that it helps my fellow Vets. Has to do with adrenal glands, and an adrenal complex of herbs & vitamins. You can check it out on go to reference library, & enter adrenal complex. Thank you all again for reading & feel free to comment here or u can reach me on my twitter account Enjoy The Day!