He was incredibly lucky to not take any shrapnel damage, but he definitely had a TBI from the symptoms he had, unfortunately because he was not bleeding and looked fine his company did nothing to help him. He told him that he didn't feel right, but they told him to just suck it up and drive on. He could not hear well for 2 months, and had horrible headaches and was tired all of the time and struggled to remember the simplest of things. His company grew tired of him and his new found issues and the fact that he was "slow" so they sent him to be attached to another team into a much more dangerous area. These groups of people were much more sensitive to what happened and assigned someone to help him with things. He had to finish the nine months left in his tour and struggled that whole time to function. My husband returned home in late November of 2006 and was referred to a counselor for PTSD. While seeing her she thought it would be a good idea to screen him for TBI and it showed definite damage across his whole brain with severe damage to parts of his frontal lobe. He was also diagnosed with personality change due to his TBI.
The last four years have been very tough for our whole family. We are still fighting for good medical care and the Purple Heart that he should have been awarded but was not. I am dealing with my anger issues with the lack of care he was given. We struggle to navigate our way through this broken system, as I know we all do. While the road has been tough, there have also been many blessings along the way. Prior to Coban deploying he was randomly collapsing and we did not know why. He has now been diagnosed with Periodic Paralysis in addition to the TBI and PTSD. It is nice to finally know what is causing the paralysis even if we never know when it will cause him to collapse. I find encouragement in the small things, and I am glad that the DOD is now enforcing concussion screens if someone displays any symptoms at all. He was recently finally diagnosed with severe PTSD as well so I am glad someone is finally trying to address the whole picture. Through it all I have been thankful for the support of the many WW friends that I have. I have limited family support as they struggle with believing anything is wrong because he looks fine.
In the near future I am hoping that we can move to another state with the resources we need medically for Coban. We are hoping to be moved in time for our daughter to start kindergarten. Our kids definitely keep us smiling on the tough days. Our son is 10 months old and is the sweetest baby. He is so curious about everything and loves his Daddy time. I feel like he has helped in my husband's emotional healing since he was deployed during our daughters first year of life. I am constantly looking for new treatment opportunities and spend a lot of time advocating for my husband and other veteran's we have had the honor of meeting. To all the caregivers out there, thank you for all that you do and for your tireless service to your veteran. We are often the forgotten ones, but know that you are appreciated and loved. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read our story.
Please take a look at Sara's blog.