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How to Help After Traumatic Brain Injury

Editor’s note: This post is sponsored by Patino Law Firm. If your life has been affected by Traumatic Brain Injury, Patino Law Firm can help you through your claims process.

When you marry a service member, you often get a slew of reactions. Even more reactions come when your beloved deploys or goes TDY. Perhaps the most common is, “You knew what you were getting into.”

No.

No, you didn’t.

You knew you loved a person in uniform and would do just about anything for them.

That’s it.

It’s for that reason, that you didn’t know everything that could happen during your military marriage, that there are resources to guide you through the good times, as well as the scary, challenging, and life-altering.

But, what about when your service member leaves the service or retires?

That time seems so far off when your loved one first commissions or enlists. It can be easy to put it on the back burner. 

If your spouse’s retirement comes on the heels of an injury, there’s an extra layer of the unknown.

Few injuries have the potential to upend the lives of veterans and their families quite so much as a traumatic brain injury. The cognitive, physical, and emotional impairments that often accompany a TBI can get in the way of every aspect of a person’s day-to-day life. They can be equally as hard for loved ones to process, too. After all, you never want to see someone you love in pain while feeling powerless to help.

What can you do?

Here are a few actionable items to get you started:

1. Learn and understand the effects and challenges of a TBI.

A traumatic brain injury can affect people in different ways. Some people experience severe mood swings and become irritable, while others develop depression or chronic fatigue. Understanding how your loved one’s injury affects them can help you develop methods to deal with it and alert you to when their symptoms might be getting worse.

2. Keep a journal.

Noting mental and physical changes can help you keep track of progress and the results of any treatment. It can also be helpful to note any questions you might have as they arise so that you can pose them to a doctor.

3. Lean on your support system.

Having friends and family around can make a big difference, whether it’s having a listening ear or someone to help you with tasks so that you don’t become overwhelmed. It’s okay to ask for help!

4. Let your loved one rest… but make sure you do, too!

Life with a brain injury can be tiring, and you might need to take on more responsibilities to support your loved one’s recovery. However, brain injuries often require long-term care, so it’s important you pace yourself and get the rest you need, too.

5. Find a support group.

Support groups can be an invaluable resource for both your loved one and yourself, where you can connect with other families who can empathize with what you’re going through.

6. Explore a VA disability claim.

Veterans’ disability compensation provides a monthly tax-free payment to veterans who get sick or injured while serving in the military. These benefits are available for a wide range of injuries and conditions, including traumatic brain injury. This compensation can go a long way toward helping you fund treatment and provide for your family, especially when medical bills mount quickly. Unfortunately, it can be a long and frustrating process, requiring you to gather extensive evidence and documentation. When making a claim, you might want to seek advice from a dedicated brain injury lawyer. If you’ve previously filed a claim and had it rejected, an attorney can also help you make an appeal.

Author

  • M:M Command Team

    With over 159 years of military spouse experience and 68 PCSes under their belts, the M:M Command team is the ultimate Battle Buddy to help navigate Milspouse life. Powered by volunteer spirit and optimism the M:M Command Team could run a small country, but instead are dedicated entirely to the global empowerment of military spouses to help them conquer adversity, foster confidence, and thrive in this military life.

1 Comment

  1. Sharita Knobloch

    Thank you SO much for this info– I have a family friend who just separated from the military a little over a year ago and they are having difficulty with VA disability claims… I will be referring them to you all at Patino Law Firm.

    Reply

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