I'd say the biggest thing that I had to deal with was
frustration, because I'm normally very
in control of myself.
And with my brain injury, I couldn't speak right, I
coudn't act right, and it was something I couldn't control.
I was having trouble seeing.
Everything was blurry.
I couldn't get measurements.
I was confused all the time.
The headaches were nonstop.
And all those were symptoms of a brain injury.
We just didn't know it.
I started to notice that I'm not able to focus on anything.
Once I recognized that I couldn't pay attention at any
time, for any longer than 10 seconds, I was scared.
Slowly but surely, the migraine headaches and
insomnia and changes in mood and pleasure, and things that
I used to enjoy, I didn't enjoy nearly as
much as I used to.
When that started to happen was when I realized, OK,
there's a bigger problem, and I need to get some help.
I knew something wasn't right, but I
didn't want to say anything.
There was a lady that came from the VA to talk to us, and
I guess I broke down to her, and just told her, I don't
know if I can handle this anymore.
And then she immediately got me into the VA system.
When I got to the VA, I got assigned a general physician,
and explained to them what I was going through.
And then they just started lining me up
with the right clinics.
They give me the right meds to deal with the problems. I
started speaking more clearly.
I became less frustrated and less angry.
When I was going through the individual therapy, my wife
was kind of getting educated on what to expect.
While she was getting educated, she would educate my
son and my daughter.
And they had certain things that they would expect.
OK, this why dad's doing this, or this is why dad's doing
that, even though I couldn't still get the concept of the
A lot of it was how could the VA help me in adjusting to get
at least back to sort of normal.
Talking the problems out probably helped more than
It took a lot of swallowing of my pride to go talk to
somebody, and I did.
And I'm better for it.