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Brain injury

(99 Posts)
babybarrister Mon 12-Nov-12 11:08:52

Just to say James Cracknell who suffered from a brain injury after a cycling crash is doing a webchat today about his new book written with his wife - I am sure that I cannot be the only spouse living with a brain injured partner, so please come on down and contribute!

TheWombat Mon 12-Nov-12 16:06:34

Aha! Found you! Hello BB. I thought James and Beverley's book was fantastic - struck so many chords for me and DH. Was great to meet them on the webchat, I hadn't seen it advertised so am very glad I logged on at lunchtime today!

Are we the only MN-ers with TBI affected partners? Surely not..

madwomanintheattic Mon 12-Nov-12 16:19:58

Nah, there are a few around.

Dh got blown up in June 2001 <small wave to wombat>. Training accident though (he was safety staff <sigh>).

Fortunately, these days, life goes (mostly) on as normal, but it's left me with some dubious mental scars to do with coping etc - we were overseas. I was pg with ds1 at the time (only 10 wks, so he was pretty much bathed in cortisol from the get go) and he has ADHD type ishoos which neurologically could be traced to gestational stress. Dd2 was born later and suffered birth injury and brain damage, so has cerebral palsy. We're all about the brains here.... <sigh>

So, I fell into 'coping' by default and essentially ended up with a partial breakdown in 2008/9, with massive PTSD type flashbacks to both dh's accident and dd2's birth. You do have to make sure you look after yourselves as well - I've always been a coper, but it turned out there was a limit! (My mum had also been dx with breast cancer and I was supposed to be writing up my msc - and we had just received a posting order back to where the accident happened... Oh, and then they told us dd2 wouldn't be able to come as no sn kids).

Honestly, it's no wonder I chose this username wink.

All good now though. grin

babybarrister Mon 12-Nov-12 16:39:11

prettybird also has been affected by TBI

my DH had cycling accident in 2011, not as bad as James Cracknell re physical injuries but similar brain damage sadly ...

wine to life's copers hmm grin

TheWombat Mon 12-Nov-12 17:02:30

Hello madwoman welcome to our quiche!
Sorry to hear about your DH. His TBI must have happened within a year of my DH's. So many questions..Has he been medically discharged? Did you end up in Selly Oak? My DH was there but after that there was no real follow up care, and he just fell through a lot of the gaps between military and NHS. Meh. We've really picked up the pieces ourselves - but on baby barrister's suggestion I'm going to try Headway again. My DH is on the Headway forum - anyone else?

What a time of it you have had - must have been immensely difficult. It does sound a lot like your family has a lot on its plate 'brain wise'. One of the things I've realised about the TBI effect on families is that it leaves less 'leeway' when other things go wrong.

Babybarrister Like your DH, my DH's TBI symptoms sound very similar to James Cracknell's - but with less severe physical injury. I read the book and felt relieved in a way, that someone was putting into words the things that we are experiencing. I think that the damage is so hidden, it's hard for others to see sometimes - and even in our family unit, it has taken a while to link things like mood swings and irritability to the TBI, and to work out how that might mean we can approach or contain them.

TheWombat Mon 12-Nov-12 17:06:23

<drinks wine gratefully>

prettybird Mon 12-Nov-12 17:11:21

My mum fell off her bike and suffered fronto-temporal damage 5 and a half years ago.

Although she was wearing a helmet (which was badly compacted), the thing that probably saved her life even more was that she broke her pelvis first, before landing on her head.

She actually did make about an 80% recovery - the thing that is probably most difficult, in hindsight, is that we didn't appreciate enough the recovery that she did make in the first couple of years, before she started to deteriorate again, with a form of dementia triggered by the head injury sad It was a rapid-onset form, so that within 3 years of the diagnosis, she had died.

Headway were brilliant, both my mum and even more so with my dad. In mum's obituary notice, we put "Rather than flowers, we would appreciate a donation to Headway".

TheWombat Mon 12-Nov-12 17:24:15

Oh prettybird sorry to hear about your mum sad It must have been such a shock. This is the first time I've heard that dementia can be triggered by a head injury. It really is such a pernicious thing.

What a lovely idea to donate to Headway instead of flowers for your mum. I am really impressed to hear so many good things about Headway. I think DH was put off when we investigated our local branch a couple of years ago, but perhaps it's time to try again.

ParsingFancy Mon 12-Nov-12 17:36:49

Can I come in and lurk?

I didn't like to post on the Cracknell webchat as I don't have a TBI, but probable neuro problems from illness. The chat was ringing a lot of bells though <stuffs ear plugs back in> and on a practical level I've had a lot of the same issues.

prettybird Mon 12-Nov-12 17:39:30

It doesn't trigger in everyone - plus I think the fact that mum was 66 when the accident happened also made her more susceptible.

They think they are starting to understand why it does trigger in some people (the healing process within the brain doesn't stop, so therefore become a destructive process sad) and more importantly may be able to develop a way to stop it happening smile

My mum's death may do a little bit to help in that, as her's was a well-documented brain, with CT scans and MRI scans from the initial injury onwards.

TheWombat Mon 12-Nov-12 17:59:17

Welcome parsingfancy please do stay and 'plurk'. The ear plugs definitely strike a chord with the wombat household. My DH uses a hearing aid for his tinnitus when it's bad - have to say the audiologist was very helpful. Loud noises set him on edge - not easy as he's a fan of loud rock music - not a good combo! grin

prettybird That is an interesting theory about the healing process going into overdrive. There are some autoimmune disorders that work like that, aren't there?
There will be many TBI sufferers who owe a lot to your mum's well documented brain in the future thanks.

madwomanintheattic Mon 12-Nov-12 18:13:58

Prettybird, so sorry. It must be small consolation to know that ultimately your loss might help others x

Wombat, no. As we were o'seas, all care was received (or not, lol) locally. I can't even remember if we were offered the chance to return to the UK - I suppose we must have been at some point! They flew dh's nok out comp A (he was originally only given 20% chance of survival) and his mum stayed with us for a long time. I had an 18mo toddler as well as being pg, so I think I spent the next year on autopilot! It was all a bit bizarre, as in a previous life I was the one that used to deal with comp As transport and on move, and shipped many critical aeromed passengers... To be on the receiving end was a bit like finding yourself in a very odd dream. My toddler ended up moving in with my childminder (I had left her there 'for a couple of hours' when I had received a message about dh having had 'a bit of a bump on the head' and needing picking up from the hospital in the city. I ended up on dh's second aeromed flight of the day to the neuro hospital on a completely different city, and had to call the cm and say 'ummmmmm, can you keep her? I don't know when I'll be back.'..) ya gotta love the army.

In dh's case, the fact that he wasn't wearing his helmet probably saved his life. (It was on the ground next to him whilst he was chatting to a VIP). The weight and force of the debris that caused his injury would have snapped his neck if his Kevlar had taken the force of impact.

I totally agree about the leeway aspect.

I also know nothing about Headway. shock When dh left the military and received his medical file, he was faintly amused to find pretty much nothing about his accident or subsequent treatment on his file. It looks to have all been removed (presumably by the BOI etc) or possibly didn't even make it onto his med notes at all, presumably because all of his treatment was through civilian agencies. Bizarre. Absolutely right about the gaps between the NHS and mil. <sigh>

I haven't read James Cracknell's book. I read Richard Hammonds, which made me cry, half in relief, half in flashback terror. Might have to get hold of a copy.

babybarrister Mon 12-Nov-12 21:34:20

Earplugs here toogrin and I love music sad - cross between living with the Taliban and Oliver Cromwell due to ban on music and dancing!!

Please do try Headway - they are a v professional outfit IMO and stuffed full of booker blokes who would never normally be seen dead in a self help group grin. I had to drag encourage my DH to go first time but after that he goes by himself and very much enjoys it and gets great support from it. Prettybird - sorry to hear about your mum and I am sure your family's generosity in relation to medical research will come to bear fruit in the futuresmile

babybarrister Mon 12-Nov-12 21:35:26

That should have said blokey blokes ie many accidents are sports, drinking or fighting related grin

madwomanintheattic Mon 12-Nov-12 21:44:25

grin mmmmmm, most of our arguments subsequently were of the 'wtaf do you think you are doing, you aren't supposed to be x,y,z yet' routine. He appeared to be veering between believing he was clearly immortal, or couldn't give a stuff if he wasn't. Most wearing! I even ended up having a furious row with mil, who had let him drive. Not that I imagine she had much say, tbh, but I was livid.

Fortunately these days he's got a bit of a sounding board with dd2 - having to think about safe ways she can accomplish as much as poss I think means he's had to accept his own acquired limitations...

Will look them up, though.

prettybird Tue 13-Nov-12 09:56:27

Headway is also good for campaigning to sort out the gaps in provision. Dad got quite involved with that.

My mum "fell" through a hole because, although she was eventually admitted to the rehab unit (at 66, she was one year too "old" hmm - but I think the fact that a) dad was a doctor and b) the newspaper article comparing her treatment unfavourably with the treatment she got in India meant that suddently a place was found could have been a coincidence ), once she was discharged, all the community services were geared up to old people and as far as they were concerned, a "fit" 66 year old who could walk was better than most of the people on their books. (it was even called COPS - Community Old People's Service)

The fact that she had been fit enough to be cycling on holiday in India, the previous year had been Uruguay, year before that in Vietnam was so far out their ken..... Recovering from a broken hip, dealing with Alzheimer patients was what they were used to, not a strong woman who was trying to get back to cycling, who had a wide circle of friends and travelled the world.

Dad ended up paying for private physio and speech therapy.

This of course was before the dementia set in. In fact, it was the speech therapist who picked up that something "new" was happening and that not only was she no longer progressing, she was beginning to deteriorate. For a former English teacher (and I am still being contacted via Facebook by former pupils as she was an inspiring teacher - my surname is an easy one to search) that was particularly distressing and frustrating.

Not sure how the NHS is going to cope with the increased retirement age if they continue to have 65 as the cut-off date for active rehabilitation hmm

babybarrister Tue 13-Nov-12 10:06:57

I have in fact just copied and pasted this thread to Headway as it seems to me that they need to do a great deal more to ensure that everyone gets to know about their services as they are a very good organisation indeed. Not sure what info the MoD have about Headway? I only knew about them as I am a lawyer - ironically we were sent to a specialist trauma unit in London who discharged DH with no info at all...hmm. If I had not been a pushy bitch he too would have clearly fallen through the gaps too. I wrote politely to the hospital about that and suggested that they should at least hand out Headway leaflets to anyone who had clearly had a knock to the head - let's hope they now do so smile

babybarrister Tue 13-Nov-12 11:02:39

There is also another charity - the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust which works particualrly closely with ex armed forces ....

VinoEsmeralda Tue 13-Nov-12 11:49:29

Another one here with a DH with TBI who had a serious accident in 2005.
Didn't know about the web forum but came across it last night. Ordered book for DH as Christmas present.

DH had CBT and it has been v helpful in many ways. It has given him good strategies to cope with day to day routines and give some of the anger a place.

He also can't deal with loud noises or wild movement ( 'luckily' for him he also lost hearing on one side so he just turns an ear;), still needs to rest frequently but due to other physical issues he has, he is in constant pain and can't sleep for long so that might mask some of the recovery.

Do your DH work again in any shape or form?

VinoEsmeralda Tue 13-Nov-12 11:50:50

That should read: Do your DH's work again not DH

babybarrister Tue 13-Nov-12 12:25:14

mine works but part time and I do wonder how long he will be able to go on ....

VinoEsmeralda Tue 13-Nov-12 12:36:58

Thanks BB. My DH went back to work briefly but was unable to cope with the pressure ( senior management job) and became more and more aggressive. He used to be a well balanced person who dealt with anything thrown at him in a calm matter.

However I must say I am immensely proud of him for not becoming depressed, keeping himself busy and being persistent in doing certain task albeit taking longer.

madwomanintheattic Tue 13-Nov-12 14:13:56

It's shocking, prettybird.

Dh does work. It was an interesting few years when he went back. The mod were very good a lawsuit does that so they were keen to establish a 'light duties' programme etc etc, and he was posted to a desk job next. He had to work out some mean coping strategies, and was taking way too many drugs, but he was pretty determined, and, I guess lucky. after about 6 years the headaches and tinnitus reduced - he used to comment frequently on it, but I haven't heard him do so in a couple of years, now. He wasn't in a position to go on any further op tours (I can't imagine what would have happened in a PTSD type scenario, to be honest, let alone from a physical pov). He 'retired' from the mod a couple of years ago, and has a civilian job.

He was very lucky. Through dd2 we are involved with an adaptive sports organization, and we frequently host brain injury survivors groups for kayaking, skiing etc. (if anyone is holidaying in the Canadian Rockies and needs an understanding instructor for just about any mountain sport, I know a whole raft, lol). It gives us a chance to get some perspective, too. We're doing pretty well.

TheWombat Tue 13-Nov-12 16:04:41

Welcome to the thread VinoEsmerelda. Sorry to hear your DH has had a TBI too sad. Interesting that he is also sensitive to loud noises and wild movements - definitely no more head banging for my DH! We went to an Ash concert not long ago and my DH did suffer for it afterwards despite earplugs (as did I wink) .

TheWombat Tue 13-Nov-12 16:05:24

madwoman your experience of MOD 'aftercare' seems rather similar! DH has very little record of his treatment - although I suspect that's because the severity of his injuries were not recognised for a long time. He was flying tornado F3s for another 18 months after his injury until a dr realised something was very wrong. It makes me shudder...

TheWombat Tue 13-Nov-12 16:07:25

My DH was medically discharged due to epilepsy / severe post traumatic migraine and memory loss, and no longer works because of these issues. However I frequently come home to find him up a ladder / fiddling with the electrics. Gah! I think it's a hard line to tread - if I tell him off, I'm mollycoddling, and if I don't, I'm being careless with his safety.

I sympathise with everyone who has to try and stop their OH overdoing it! I think it's hard for anyone who's been used to an active, challenging lifestyle to suddenly feel less capable. Even harder when these symptoms are hidden or put down to depression or 'stress' (and when those are also typical elements of TBI).

TheWombat Tue 13-Nov-12 16:11:28

Thank you babybarrister for telling me about the Brain Injury Rehabililtation Trust. I can't believe we hadn't heard of that before!

By the way, I laughed when I got your message about my 'canine partners' suggestion! Not surprised you aren't investigating that avenue! grin

VinoEsmeralda Tue 13-Nov-12 17:13:05

Thank you the wombat

How do you all cope with views of other people? dH is very keen not to talk about his condition to new people and prefer it to be forgotten about....

babybarrister Tue 13-Nov-12 17:54:49

please, please all of you with macho partners have a go at Headway as it is full of blokes! for my DH it was really a revelation - probably particularly as he could identify with other people. IME it is very helpful to be able to realise that they are not alone. although now my dh drinks herbal tea and has been known to meditate, he is in fact a beer swilling rugger bugger lout grin

WhoAmIAgain Tue 13-Nov-12 18:07:58

Hello ladies. How I feel for you all. I know how tough it must have been for you and your DP's. You are amazing to have coped so well with it all.

I've been directly affectd by brain injury too, albeit no so severely as your DP's, DM.

WhoAmIAgain Tue 13-Nov-12 18:08:29

And I too can only give total praise for Headway.

WhoAmIAgain Tue 13-Nov-12 18:24:26

I had a "mild" head injury after falling from a bike (I had a helmet on) 3 years ago. It's been a really difficult time culminating in me losing my job (being made redundant at Christmas because of my poor performance). I'm now undergoing neuro rehabilitation. And I'm really struggling sad.

TheWombat Tue 13-Nov-12 19:39:27

Hello WhoAmIAgain and welcome to the thread smile
I'm so sorry to hear about your head injury and to hear you were made redundant at Christmas - un-MNetty hugs to you.

I know (secondhand) that the brain rehabilitation process is very tough and frustrating. sad. It must also be mentally and physically exhausting for you. I hope the rehab therapists are sympathetic - I think if you get on with them it makes a big difference. Can i ask, are there any specific things that you struggle with?

From our experience, I can say that rehab is an ongoing process - even 10 years on, we are still learning new things about DH's head and how he can mitigate symptoms. Please don't lose faith in yourself..

I'm also really glad to hear that you also found Headway helpful. I have shown this thread to DH and he reckons it's definitely time to give our local branch another go smile

prettybird Wed 14-Nov-12 10:07:12

Was it Sheena Macdonald (who was knocked down by a police car) who said that there is no tiredness that can compare to the brain tiredness you get following a brain injury?

babybarrister Wed 14-Nov-12 10:15:07

I am really pleased that we know have a thread of our own for brain injury as although I have used MN for support in relation to other specialist health issues, I never found anything on here for brain injury ...

WhoAmIAgain Wed 14-Nov-12 11:03:53

Wombat there is so much that I am struggling with. Mostly cognitive and psychological. I know how lucky I am compared to most people and I think unfortunately that is why I have struggled on for so long and not got any help. That's also why it has taken my employers so long to realise I am not myself any more sad.

Specifically: anger, irritability, memory problems, attention deficit, damage to my higher executive processing, visual recognition disorder. I am also very stressed anxious and down. I've just started neuro rehab and they are trying to assess my needs and define all my areas of deficit. I've just started on anti depressents too, although I don't feel I am really "depressed". I am not the outgoing fun loving person that I was though. And I am so, so tired. It's as if I need every ounce of my IQ to do anything. My DP bears the brunt of it all sad
The job loss and admitting I have these problems has been so hard, and I've strugglesd with the neuro rehab. I have an MRI booked for tomorrow.

I can manage in my day to day life. No one would know anything was wrong sad.

TheWombat Wed 14-Nov-12 17:46:41

Oh WhoAmIAgain sad. I recognise so many of your symptoms from my DH...and fully agree that if you can still be a functioning adult in day-to-day activities, the impact of the brain injury can be overlooked and yet still have a huge effect on your life. And yes, the tiredness is awful and I think must be hard for anyone to understand if they have no experience of TBI or other exhausting-making conditions like ME or lupus for example. And it seems like TBIs happen to people who like to 'get out there and do things' (that's how they get injured!), so it means getting used to a whole new range of limits..and it's hard to admit to yourself and to others that things have changed.

For those reasons my DH's brain injury wasn't picked up for a long time, and we too missed out on vital support and rehab. I'm glad you are getting help now - hang in there, you aren't alone. I will be calling Headway tomorrow too to see what we've missed out on!

{{{{WhoAmIAgain}}}}

TheWombat Wed 14-Nov-12 17:54:10

Can I ask everyone if they have DC? And how their family is generally coping with the situation?

I have 2 DSDs, who don't live with us but spend as much time here as we can all manage. We are very close and they are old enough now to know that Daddy needs sleeps, forgets things, and gets nasty headaches that make him crotchety. They are very accepting and love him to bits, but it's not always easy for them when DH runs out of patience. I have ended up feeling stuck in the middle in the past, because i want to stick up for the girls and comfort them, but i cant overrule DH for fear of 'over-stepping'...And of course DH feels awful if he gets irritated with them - even though this is very rare nowadays.

WhoAmIAgain Wed 14-Nov-12 19:08:29

I have a DC. He was 9 months old when I had my HI and I was also working full time. I went back to full time work 1 month after my HI. Far too soon I know now, but I wanted to get back to normal, it was my way of coping (or not as it has turned out). The worst bit was in the first 12 months when I had severe anger - extreme bouts of uncontrollable rage about the most ridiculous things. It scared me. My DP was close to leaving. I tried to keep it away from DC but once I took out my anger on him and he was so, so scared. I was and am so very very ashamed and guilty. I willl never forget the look in his eyes sad. That magd me go to my GP who, despite my saying it was as a result of my HI and I wasn't myself, diagnosed post natal depression amd gave me antidepressants. However the AD's did help and took the edge off my uncontrollable rages.
Now I would say I am irritable and yes I do sometimes fly off the handle but not with the venom and hate that I used to display. And it's not so often and sadly, always at my DP's expense (OK sometimes at work too but to be fair I was dealing with idiots and I'd have got cross with them anyway - just not quite so badly!).

WhoAmIAgain Wed 14-Nov-12 19:11:48

Can I ask what happened to everyones loved ones? How long they were in hospital and what the injuries were? Treatment they had?
I was found sometime after my fall, estimates are about 20 minutes. I regained conciousness about 4 hours later. CT scan was normal. I was in hospital for a week and then at home in bed for 2 weeks (I remember very little of this period). So very trivial compared to many, yet I have been left with these deficits that are making life hard.

madwomanintheattic Wed 14-Nov-12 20:06:11

Loads of people around when the explosion happened, so immediate first aid given to dh. He regained consciousness before the helicopter arrived, and was transferred to the regional hospital by air, probably about 30 - 35 minutes? Tests etc. obviously fractures etc from site of impact. Identified ongoing bleed and his levels of consciousness were dropping - I got to the hospital maybe an hour and a half after the accident, and he recognized me but was v hazy on quite what had happened/ was going on - he was just lying on a trolley with his eyes closed. Air ambulance to neuro unit 3 hours away for surgery etc, by which point he didn't know who he was, and was really hard/ occasionally impossible to rouse as they were doing their GCS, which was steadily dropping due to the internal bleeding. Surgery took five hours. He was discharged after 8days to bed rest for 6 weeks, and had ongoing tests over the next 2 years. I remember we were all stunned that he was discharged, but I guess you may as well sleep at home as anywhere else!

Dh was really similar, whoami - even now he can remember virtually nothing. We don't know if it's from the injury itself, or a psych 'protection' mechanism. The only thing he can remember about the entire period is the removal of the catheter... His memory from 'before' the accident stops about 15 minutes before it happened. During the period he was in hospital he was giving completely plausible (but frankly bollocks) answers to the questions of the many and varied medical staff who kept popping by and asking him questions to gauge where he was at... He told them he was playing baseball and got hit on the head (he has never played baseball in his life), that he was barbecuing and the gas bottle exploded (nah), that he was helping coordinate a rescue effort on a school bus that had been involved in an explosion... All sorts. And he was sooooo plausible that the medical staff would turn to me as if to say 'yes?', and I'd go 'nooooooo'.

This dh is the only one the dcs have ever known tbh. Dd1 was so little when he had the accident. We were so worried that she would be terrified when he came out of hospital - he looked like Frankenstein's monster - staples all over his head and swollen shaved scalp. It didn't bother her though - I guess because she was too young to realize the implications - it was just daddy but he looked a bit weird and kept going to sleep.

He had an air pocket from the surgery, which I gather is entirely normal, so he had to keep going back to the hospital and they kept scanning to make sure it was diminishing, which eventually it did... We were v happy with that, as it meant we could book a holiday - whilst it was still there he couldn't fly... And to monitor the reduction of the swelling/ centre line stuff.

Fortunately the dc I was pg with at the time wasn't a girl, else we would have had to call her Zelda, after the neuro surgeon that saved his life. grin

Whoami, I think it takes a long time to come to terms with the impact. At three years dh was still noticeably affected, and still taking painkillers for debilitating headaches etc. His accident was over ten years ago now, and you'd be hard pushed as an outsider to recognize his occasional symptoms, now. And they are occasional, tbh. H's more prone to headaches if he is tired (but then aren't we all) ditto with the tetchiness etc. and bull headedness does tend to run in the family. <sigh>. It's only it context that it makes complete sense.

Be kind to yourself x

TheWombat Wed 14-Nov-12 21:39:51

I wasn't with my DH at the time of his HI - we got married 3 years ago and at the time of his accident, he was married to his now exW. So I am a tad sketchy on the details- because DH can't remember much at all.

He was on ops but the HI wasn't strictly combat related - he was on a US airbase and hit the back of his head against concrete. Remembers nothing about the deployment he was on. He received first aid via US first response and then to an acute field clinic. He was evacuated by helicopter to a hospital in Saudi Arabia but for some reason the Saudis took a while before they let them get airborne. Glasgow coma scale was 4, he was out for 4 hours.

He was aeromedded home and 'dumped at A&E' in Selly Oak with all his kit, still in flying suit, exhausted and with no memory of what happened. Drs said 'yes, what can we do for you?' And basically shrugged their shoulders. Got a taxi back to BHam New St, discovered there was a bomb scare...and sat down on the kerb and cried sad

So with no info about TBI or checks whatsoever he got home, went back to work and was given clearance to fly again after a grand total of 6 WEEKS suspect DH may have bluffed the MOD neurologist a bit

After about 1.5 yrs someone at work saw him have a complex partial (petit mal) seizure - and that put pay to the flying permanently. He has seizures fairly regularly now - but always knows at least a day or so in advance that it's coming, so can hibernate and keep himself safe quite well. But they are exhausting, and the full on tonic clonic (grand mal) seizures cause bruises, dislocated limbs, and of course further concussions if he falls and knocks his head.

DH has worked really hard by himself at learning and recognising his TBI symptoms and finding ways around them / coping strategies. He is a big fan of lists and would be lost without his phone! It has taken years though. He is good at hiding his symptoms from other people and tends to play it down - but that is exhausting in itself as I'm sure you know! And when he's tired, all the other symptoms - irritability, verbosity, awful migraines, tinnitus, hypersensitivity, etc are exacerbated. It's hard because I'm sure that not everyone (really thinking here of DH's family) is always able to make the link between those symptoms and the HI.

lunar1 Wed 14-Nov-12 21:50:46

I hope you don't mind me posting. I just wanted to say what amazing people you all are. I'm a neuro rehab nurse and know some of the challenges you face. You really are incredible to cope with such difficulties at home and for so long after the accidents.

TheWombat Wed 14-Nov-12 22:11:44

You are very welcome lunar1 smile
Thank you for your lovely words of encouragement. You have a challenging job - I hope it's rewarding. I so wish my DH had been able to access professional neuro rehab care years ago. If you have any pearls of wisdom to share please let us know!

babybarrister Wed 14-Nov-12 22:18:22

I have a DS aged 6 and DH was also talking bollocks at the start. When found on a pavement at 6 am by a passerbysad who called ambulance he told them when asked that he had been cycling since the night before grin errrr no! He was going to work not doing the fkg tour de France! They also believed him and gave him the highest score on the Glasgow coma scorehmm. His head was immediately checked out with CT scan as he cannot have MRI as still has metal pellet in eye socket when by an air gun at 15hmm- described by some doctors as a bulletgrin. Anyway the impression I get is that if there is nothing to operate on head wise, effectively they just hope for the best ... It was me that got DH to see neurologist after a month as it was obvious there was a problem. DH had simply been discharged after operations re physical injuries - no information or advice given re TBI despite fact St Marys is specialist trauma centrehmm. I am v aware that if DH had not had insurance and a hobby wife who already knew about headway ( I was reading website when DH under the knife ...) things would have been v different as there is lack of proactive advice re tbi. DH working part time but any stress spills into personal and work life immediately - we are now on the third time which DH is having to pull back at work....
Love to all bb

babybarrister Wed 14-Nov-12 22:20:43

Thanks lunar and good luck to everyone on here - DH does see a neuropsychologist which certainly helps but sometimes he forgets to implement his coping strategies ...!

madwomanintheattic Wed 14-Nov-12 23:29:52

did dh have pax insurance, wombat? We did and they refused to pay out, as skull fracture and whatnot wasn't on the list of specified injuries... There was one other guy injured in the same explosion (some of the debris landed on the roof of the land rover he was standing next door and it popped the door open, which broke his nose) who Pax paid out for immediately (broken nose being on the list...) but dh got not a single penny... Suffice to say I am not a fan of Pax.

Who did his aeromed transfer to selly oak? shock that's horrifying. The fact that they let him fly again pretty much straight away is sadly unsurprising. We had one jet jockey who literally slurred with the amount of medication he was taking (he'd banged out and was being treated for subsequent back pain) but was still flying - I even had the security guys trying to stop him boarding an aircraft as a passenger because they thought he was drunk... But still fit to pilot a damn fighter. Go figure.

Touch wood we have not had szs. It is of course a background possibility, but so far, so lucky. That must be really tough, wombat.

Lol at Tour de France, bb. (And, sorry, but lol at 'forgets to implement coping strategies' grin)

If you didn't laugh, you'd cry, eh?

<waves to lunar - huge kudos to our nursing staff and trauma care - they were brilliant. 'twas only once we got discharged to the mod it all went downhill...>

babybarrister Thu 15-Nov-12 09:39:53

I agree - if you didn't laugh, you'd cry ....
Shortly after the accident DH was sitting in front of the PC at home and seemed to be sitting there with a glazed look for about 30 minutes - after a while I asked him what he was doing and he said he was "working" ie trying to log on to the work intranet in order to participate in some teleconference - just a shame he could not even remember the password grin - I am sure his "contributions" at the juncture would have been most appreciated

I feel a bit weird posting here actually, but, here goes.....dh suffered a brain injury nearly 8years ago, in a car crash. We were all in the car - me and our 2 dcs as well, but dh was injured most seriously.
He doesn't live at home, is in care home about 20 miles away (we are lucky that there is somewhere suitable so close tbh), but has little understanding, suffers seizures, only has a few words, so cannot communicate effectively - although a high % of the words he does have are sweary, so he can express his frustration, and does, often aggressively.
He was also badly injured in other ways, his right arm is non functional, and he is largely incontinent. He can walk a little with a frame, but needs to be in wheelchair if going any further than the care home. He still has a major skull defect as they had to remove part during surgery. The neurosurgeons now think the risk of further damage is too high to do anything to repair defect. So he has a huge "dent" in the side of his head. His jaw and cheekbone were shattered, and he lost several teeth.
He is in pain nearly all the time. I wish he had died in the crash.

ParsingFancy Thu 15-Nov-12 11:00:59

Oh 2blessed. sad

babybarrister Thu 15-Nov-12 11:05:21

2blessed - I don't know what to say save that I am so so sorry for the situation you and your family is in and I hope that you are getting some professional support for yourselves as well as your DH. Life can be really shit. BB

prettybird Thu 15-Nov-12 11:09:33

2blessed - don't feel weird.

I know where you are coming from. When mum finally died, there was a sense of relief and we could start to grieve for the woman she had been.

She was profoundly miserable - and that is not 'cos of poor quality care, it was 'cos the part of her brain that made her care about things had been damaged. Nothing could give her pleasure, she was just existing sad

I ended up asking my dad why we were forcing encouraging her to eat extra every time we visited, when she didn't want to (she didn't really eat at meal times either).

In the end, we stopped trying to push food on her and just encouraged her to have the semi-solid fluid stuff to keep her mouth moist (she found swallowing liquids almost impossible).

I do feel guilty about not appreciating the progress she made in the first couple of years, when we almost got her back (as much as we ever were) before the deterioration set in. sad

It's ok. I don't get professional support, but tbh, I don't think I need it. There was a massive change in all our lives after the accident, but the dcs were very young (6 and 3 at the time), and don't remember much about it all. They've both lived with it just being me and them for over half their lives now, and they're fine. My older ds is asd, and actually was also injured v badly (he had fractured skull and shattered bones in his leg - so badly that at one stage amputation was considered - but they managed to patch him up, and bar a few scars, you'd never guess! Younger ds escaped completely unscathed, and says now he remembers being in the ambulance with me, and then granny and grandad coming to the hospital to pick him up...but after that, nothing else really struck him as unusual, so he has no great recollections of that time.
We all feel ambivalent about visiting dh - older ds gets quite anxious and a bit distressed sometimes, but other times is fine...younger ds is ok, but doesn't like it if his dad tries to touch him, or hold onto him. In fairness, dh does have a tendency to grab your hand and then squeeze as hard as he can, and won't let go, so I understand where ds2 is coming from. He likes a particular board game, and will play it for hours, both boys indulge him in this, but he gets very narked if he doesn't win, then it all gets a bit shouty and we leave.
I absolutely hate going, and tend to have a cry after, and I can't eat before - I get this kind of knot in my stomach.
I met somebody a while ago, a lovely man, who I had known through a friend for a while, so he knew what had happened to us. We got together 3 years ago, and he's great.
I laid it on the line quite brutally though - I won't divorce dh so I can't marry you....you can't move in with me and ds's...and I will always be responsible for and look after dh...are you sure you still want to go out for this dinner?
Anyway,I suppose my point here is that we feel that our lives are normal again, it's a different kind of normal, but still. Lots of people are separated, both ds's are at secondary school now (ds1 in specialist unit attached to mainstream) and have friends that don't even know what happened, I assume they just think that dh and I are divorced. I too, have some new acquaintance/friends that I haven't yet felt the need to tell - and since they've never probed as to "am I alright?" I guess I don't come across as woman with tragic backstory - and lots of people have those anyway, I'm nothing special, and I have no desire to be the object of anyone's pity.

Just read my last post back....jeez I can go on a bit, sorry blush

prettybird Thu 15-Nov-12 11:51:14

Dh could always tell when mum was "better" when I visited her, as I would come home more distressed. It somehow made it more difficult when you could see the glimpses of the "old" her. sad

She did not "go peacefully into the night".

Ds was 7 when she had the accident. He's quite upset that he can't remember what she was like before the accident. I suppose the more difficult woman she became was a stronger memory and overwhelmed the previous ones.

insancerre Thu 15-Nov-12 12:03:36

hi everyone
glad I've found this thread. My DB is recovering from a TBI sustained in a violent assualt when he tried to help a friend who was being attacked. It has been difficult for me as I live several hundreds of miles away and can't visit as often as I would like.
I read his fb updates and feel like crying most days when I read them
especially this one
"had a letter from the hospital outlining my medical problems from the assault. I'm Romberg's positive (had me worried til I looked it up, means my sense of balance doesnt work correctly), have memory loss, problems with speech, hearing loss, pain in lower limbs, poor attention, constant headache, problems with mobility.
Also my diagnosis on reaching hospital:
a GCS of 7 (means I was in a coma, a
GCS of 3 is braindead, so 7 isn't good at all)
Traumatic left extradural haematoma (means I had internal bleeding in the skull, which puts pressure on the brain and causes brain damage)
Traumatic subarachnoid haemorrhage (means bleeding into the brain, real nasty this one, usually means death, so lucky to survive, but there's a chance of it happening again).
That cheered me up, I was much much worse than I thought, and I already knew I was close to dying. But really really lucky to survive and come out of it so well"

The very worst part is the man who did it has not been charged because my db can't remember any of it and the police don't have enough evidence although they would like to charge him with gbh.

madwomanintheattic Thu 15-Nov-12 16:17:14

Oh, blessed, that sounds very tough. It's good that you feel you have coped with such a huge change in your lives though, and have negotiated a new way of managing an ongoing relationship and commitment to dh. I'm sure you have ups and downs. I'm pleased you have been able to form new understanding relationships, too x

Insancerre - does dbro have access to headway? He sounds just the type that would benefit enormously smile and he sounds as though he is doing really well.

TheWombat Thu 15-Nov-12 16:20:39

Madwoman - DH didn't have Pax insurance but I can't believe you didn't get anything. How can a TBI not be on the list? Grrrr.

Sadly I have no idea who did the transfer to Selly Oak - and of course DH can't remember. At the time when DH was injured the military hospitals had been shut down and yet nothing had really been put into place at Selly Oak. I think there's been a huge learning curve stemming from the increases in casualties in the last 10 years, and in the increasing media attention. Not saying they get it right all the time now, but slightly better than dumping someone just invalided out from a war zone straight into a bomb-scare train station (doh).

I think there is a weird 'don't ask, don't tell' thing going on with fighter pilots / navs. It seems like (un)fitness to fly is a bit of a taboo subject as nobody wants to be grounded. So people who suspect something's up don't want to raise it. In the case of my DH, it was really only when someone realised his impulsiveness /aggression was putting his crewie at risk that things came to a head (I wouldn't have liked to have been in on that little conversation!).

Yes, the seizures are a bit crap - but we are used to it. I have never known DH any other way. The bit I hate is coming home from work and wondering whether I'll find him unconscious. Once I came into the living room and saw him laid out on the floor, where he'd banged his head on our brick hearth. His forehead was two inches from our hot wood burner - makes me shudder.

Interestingly we have a pet cat that recognises when DH is having a seizure. However he never actually does anything helpful - just waits until DH is still, then curls up on top of him, wherever he is lying, and does his best to prevent anyone (paramedics, me, anyone at all) from getting to him and administering any kind of medication or first aid. Nice! hmm

TheWombat Thu 15-Nov-12 16:29:25

Hello 2blessed and welcome to the quiche. I am so sorry to hear about what happened to your family. I agree with prettybird - nothing weird about not wanting your DH to be in pain any more, or to want some kind of release for you all. You must feel so very torn sometimes but must be so proud of your DC. I'm glad you've found an understanding new chap and that things are mostly back to normal. You must be an immensely strong woman, I am a little bit in awe blush. Puts my experiences into sharp perspective..

madwomanintheattic Thu 15-Nov-12 16:50:36

Dogs are increasingly used as seizure assist companions - never heard of a cat though!

TheWombat Thu 15-Nov-12 17:08:20

Insancerre (great nickname by the way) your poor DB - I live hundreds of miles away from my DB too and would also feel so helpless not being able to do much practically. Can I ask how long it has been since his HI? It sounds like he was very poorly but that the specialists are doing a thorough job of working out the impact of his injuries.

Must be so frustrating that they can't find out who is responsible for the assault - and very traumatic for your DB too. My DH's memories do change over time, it may be that the memory of what happened will return at some point, so don't give up entirely on the thought that the police will have more to 'go on' one day.

I agree that Headway might be a great option for your DB - if he's able to use social media like FB then tell him about the Headway forum. It's quite a lively forum and he might benefit from being in touch with other HI sufferers as he goes through rehab. My DH has found it useful and sometimes posts/lurks/plurks there.

I think the Headway forum is also open to family members of people with TBI too, in case any of you are interested..(I'm not a member myself).

TheWombat Thu 15-Nov-12 17:17:33

We would love to get a seizure assist dog and have looked into the options. The sticking point for us is that the residential dog training programmes only take people who get frequent seizures - so that in a space of two weeks, the dog can be repeatedly exposed to the TBI sufferer's seizures and trained to respond to them. With DH, his seizures are usually once every one or two weeks - sometimes less, if he's been good with sleep.

However, we are looking into getting a support / assistance dog to help boost DH's morale, feel more confident about going out in busy places, and importantly, carry his meds and notify someone if he needs to take them. We've found these two charities who do great work in this regard - might be worth looking at for others too?

Hounds for Heroes - injured service people only

Canine Partners

If anyone wants to read about a dog that transformed the lives of a family of a brain-injured person, have a look at Endal. He has his own website here and you can buy a book written by his brain-injured owner here

Maybe not quite the thing for you and your family BB, sorry

insancerre Thu 15-Nov-12 19:12:25

thank you madwoman and wombat. I will tell him about headway- he is a bit of a computer geek so may know about them already. We communicate just through facebook at the moment as he can't use the phone as he can't really hear and he finds texting too hard at the moment.
The attack happened at the end of september, so yes he is doing really well, but gets frustrated at how badly he has been affected and at how much his life has changed.
I really hope that he does remember something soon. I t was awful having to tell him n the hospital what had happened to him- his attacker was a friend of his.

babybarrister Thu 15-Nov-12 21:44:47

Insancerre - brain injury is sadly a marathon not a sprint. Headway really is very good though for giving support on that path. As I have said up thread it really is v male friendlysmile
We are just struggling with trying to understand DH work disability insurancehmm - they do not exactly make it easy
Anyway wishing everyone on this thread a lot of hope and positive thoughtssmile

TheWombat Sat 17-Nov-12 12:41:47

Hi everyone, how are your weekends going?
Just to let you all know there was a v interesting interview with James Cracknell on BBC's Hard Talk. Will be on iPlayer if you want to see it. smile

babybarrister Sat 17-Nov-12 14:23:52

Thanks - will have a listensmile

WonderWomanwasmyheroine Tue 20-Nov-12 21:12:31

My dh had a traumatic brain injury in 2004 as a result on a hit and run...van v man..I think we can all see how that one ended!

He was in a coma for 2 weeks and then utterly bonkers for 2 weeks. We had been told he may not survive and if he did he would probably need care for life. He then made an astonishing recovery so when he was discharged the professionals who were expecting a vegetable wished us well and we went on our way. The only specialist he saw until we made an insurance claim nearly 2 years later was an opthalmologist! He subsequently attended a centre in Birmingham run by Rehab UK who were amazing but limited in their funding, it made a massive difference but he hasn't worked since 2004 apart from a brief and disastrous return for a few weeks.

Every so often...every couple of years or...he forgets what it was like when he went back to work and thinks he could cope, he couldn't. He struggles with stress, being 'told' to do something, prioritising and not expressing every opinion no matter how rude from time to time, he also has completely lost his sense of smell which can be a mixed blessing.

My ds was 5 months old when he had his accident and 18 months later we had twin ds, I do sometimes wonder how dh/dc will cope with each other as they get older...he can be extremely inflexible at times...but we are where we are and you get on with it.

I have no choice but to work full time which I probably wouldn't have done otherwise and I have a strangely independent/dependent dh which can be wearing.

What I struggle with is peoples reactions, they either can't see anything wrong at all and think you are making it up/exaggerating or watch him like a hawk waiting for him to do something dreadful because he has brain damage - which he doesn't do. I am sure it is why he is viewed with even more suspicion than even house husbands normally attract.

Anyway didn't mean to write so much but reading the thread made me want to...a selfish response if ever there was one grin

babybarrister Wed 21-Nov-12 09:27:04

thanks for writing - I really have to say I think we all have balls of steel - I too have been through various "life events" hmm and can rate brain injury as a real bastard!!!!

Do you ever still use Headway? they really are very good indeed - DH attends meetings and finds it very helpful to speak to other people as did I.... I will never forget the first session we went to - the feeling of relief for me was frankly overwhelming - I can still remember the warmth in all senses of the word as 3 months after the accident I finally managed to get DH there, the doors opened - it was snowing outside - I stumbled into a big armchair and a mug of tea was put into my hand. It is very difficult to put into words how important it was for both of us to be with people who actually understood what we were going through...

anyway onwards and upwards! smile

madwomanintheattic Wed 21-Nov-12 23:02:59

Danny Nightingale. There's a chap that could do with Headway.

I am unremittingly cross with the MOD now. I don't give a fig that they've locked him up for being in possession of a stupid war trophy, but why did no one realize what a state he was in? Why did they let him carry on working? His wife must be beside herself. This is exactly what happens when you let dudes with brain injury carry on regardless in the MOD.

Aaa argh. Fecking testosterone has a lot to answer for.

<cross>

<but waves to Wonder Woman>

babybarrister Thu 22-Nov-12 14:37:35

www.crimeline.info/uploads/cases/nightingale.pdf - this is the transcript of his sentencing hearing - includes evidence about Brain injury from Headway - he is now going to the Court of Appeal

TheWombat Thu 22-Nov-12 18:28:23

Waves to wonderwoman. Hello and welcome. Not a selfish post at all, in fact have a brew.

I agree that people's reactions are a challenge. It's hard for me not to interject sometimes when I hear MIL or similar saying something which makes me realise they just don't know how to handle this.
I'm working FT too.. But am lucky that DH loves to cook and is very house proud with perhaps a touch of TBI-induced OCD so he takes great care of the housework side of things.

I agree with babybarrister that we need balls of steel - and will raise you a thick skin into the bargain wink.

Please keep posting and letting us know how you're getting on. It's nice to know that we are all undergoing similar challenges.

Yeah, when I heard about Danny Nightingale I immediately thought of all of you on this thread. I do hope that the appeal goes ok for him and his family.

WonderWomanwasmyheroine Sat 24-Nov-12 15:52:11

flowers babybarrister and TheWombat . Ditto the house proud cooking husband...there is an upside to everything and a touch of OCD with zero sense of smell probably makes for the perfect househusband.

IL's are probably the worst culprits with the misunderstandings, my Dad DH's FIL still asks every time we see him when he will be getting back to work....it's been 8 years! Needless to say we see them less than we used to hmm.

As for Headway we did give them a try but now we live in the least populated county in the UK they are a bit harder to access. I might try to get him online though as I do think the need for support is probably going to be lifelong in the same way as the impact of his accident is.

VinoEsmeralda Tue 27-Nov-12 15:21:46

My DH has just worn out our Miele washing machine! He is in charge if washing and does at least 1.5 loads a day! OCD re cleaning and cooking is a military operation, don't try and help or he will boil your head for stock.

My DC were 11 weeks and just 2 when DH then his accident. I was told he was unlikely to survive ( major trauma to other internal organs although brain was most threatening plus massive blood loss - needed 28 or 29 units of blood, can't remember exactly). He made a through the 1st 72 hrs and then was woken up after 2 weeks and made an amazing progress from then on. Amazing sheer determination.

He is the same - can't work but sometimes he thinks he can, pops up every so often. I work full-time now and can honestly say he makes a better house husband then I ever would be a housewife!

babybarrister Tue 27-Nov-12 20:53:44

Does anyone have a DH on here who does work as mine works part time and does not seem to realise he is not in fact superman ... He thinks he is a failure as he is not working full timesad

TheWombat Tue 27-Nov-12 21:02:10

Ha ha vino my DH is the same - far more house proud than I am. In fact, he once told me off for placing forks the 'wrong side up' on the draining board whilst I dried up hmm. I try very hard not to get in the way during meal preparation times smile. Other triggers are: towels folded the 'wrong' way, and when I lie in bed in a way that scrunches the duvet up untidily grin (we both laugh at that one). At first glance I'm sure many MN-ers would shout 'red flag!', but its not that simple and in fact, more than worth it: I can't remember when I last did the vacuuming, and his Thai green curry was what got me into bed in the first place!

Wonderwoman YY to DH's family being less understanding. They don't really seem to 'see' any symptoms apart from the seizures (ditto neurologists) when actually on a day-to-day basis, that has the least impact of all the challenges we face as a family. When they visit, they don't seem to get that their presence (throughno fault of theirs) is tiring for DH and makes it harder for him to relax in his own home. They don't understand why he disappears off to bed at 7.30. It seems to me like DH feels he has to justify what he does with himself all day. sad

My family are used to neuro symptoms - my DGrandfather was injured in ww2 and had PTSD symptoms that were similar in presentation, if not origin. They understand that tiredness, irritability, OCD etc are all part of the package and are quite accepting. They desperately want to help - but of course the only things that really help are sleep, rest, and time out from concerned family members! grin

madwomanintheattic Wed 28-Nov-12 04:40:17

Lol at the Thai green curry grin

There has to be an upside. Can I swop mine for a house proud model, pretty please? grin

babybarrister Wed 28-Nov-12 16:05:04

I am in shock and feel like we have won the lottery - much to my surprise the critical illness policy has paid out over a year later - despite them initially having said no and me wading through pages of conditions on conditions on conditions. If anyone else has one of these policies they have not dared claim under, do have a gosmile and yes we certainly will be making a donation to Headway!

TheWombat Wed 28-Nov-12 18:40:31

Woot woot! <<does a little dance for bb and family>>. That's fantastic news! So glad to hear your hard work paid off - must have taken a lot of determination. I hope you've opened a bottle of something fizzy smile

madwomanintheattic Wed 28-Nov-12 19:41:47

Aw, that's great news. Never give up hope, and keep fighting, and very occasionally it will work out x

babybarrister Thu 29-Nov-12 08:46:24

thanks - DH cannot really drink grin!!!! seriously if anyone wants any advice on claiming I am happy to help ....--self appointed expert--
so that is one policy down, 3 to go grin [all with different insurers .......]. I think a part of it is being an organised girly but also having a great neurologist who I felt sure these insurers could not "trump".
To be honest I already have 3 lever arch files full of stuff which we have accumulated in 13 months and I am also a lawyer - it is a hell of a lot to ask of people to sort out and I bet that there are a lot of people that simply gave up as brian injury is so difficult to pidgeon hole

prettybird Thu 29-Nov-12 09:06:12

Great news - and a big pay on the back for your perseverance.

Mum didn't have critical injury insurance and although the travel insurance would have paid out if she'd died or lost a limb (and to be fair, did pay out a whack in hospital costs and for medivac back from India), because she survived (and even though the accident ultimately killed her), there was no further payment.

But thems the breaks. Dad would far rather still have had her around. At the time, he was just grateful she seemed to be recovering.

madwomanintheattic Thu 29-Nov-12 14:30:27

bb, I'm still in the middle of a medical negligence claim over dd2's brain injury <sigh> so I totally understand. I think we are four or five years in, not sure. It all takes so long. We're on our second independent expert.

Yy, pb. Dh got not a single penny from the specialist insurance provider, whereas the dude who sustained a broken nose in the same explosion got a few thousand (up to ten, can't remember) with exactly the same policy. How's your dad, now?

I am not a fan of insurance providers.

prettybird Thu 29-Nov-12 15:33:32

My dad's great - the best of the lot of us smile.

He's got himself a new girlfriend. Actually an old one - she was his best friend's girl friend at Uni shock

But because they live on different continents, it's a long distance affair wink. I'm really happy for him.

As I said to my best friend a wee while ago, maybe if she was some bimbo close to my age or younger , I might feel a bit threatened different. But as it is, I'm really glad he's got company with someone who knows him from way back (and who knows that mum and dad were "the hottest thing on campus" grin) and who can make him happy.

madwomanintheattic Thu 29-Nov-12 17:07:46

Aw, that's lovely. I'm sure she's no replacement, but it does help to know that he has some good things going on too x

babybarrister Fri 30-Nov-12 09:19:11

what a lot there is to deal with in the way of fall out - I am sorry that insurance policies did not pay out

prettybird - good to hear about your Dad's new gf
madwomanintheattic - good luck with med neg claim - I know that these things can be v drawn out ... many times financially though it actually works out for the best as the true consequences are then known smile

babybarrister Fri 30-Nov-12 11:41:25

Also good news re release of Danny nightingale - I hope that this news story can be used in some way to further a better understanding of brain injury smile

TheWombat Fri 30-Nov-12 14:41:04

PB What a lovely story re your Dad and his 'new' GF - and I can see why it makes a difference to you, to know that she knew your mum and dad as a couple.

I was also really relieved to hear about Danny Nightingale and agree with bb that perhaps his case could help raise awareness about the impact of brain injury. Although (slightly off-topic) I did hear on the grapevine that in his SAS troop there was a weapons amnesty following his conviction, and they managed to collect a skipfull! shock Could all be Chinese whispers of course smile

madwomanintheattic Fri 30-Nov-12 14:52:47

On, not Chinese whispers. I had a huge barney on a thread about it. grin I actually wondered if he was quite deliberately prosecuted on the war trophy account, knowing his brain injury would result in a much shorter sentence on appeal, and the MOD would still have managed to put the wind up all the guys sitting at home with war trophies.

It's yuk for him, but tbh honest the brain injury was two years after he was presented the gift by the Iraqis, and the dude had a ridiculous amount of ammo at home too. These boys spend their entire lives making an oath that they aren't removing any ammunition from ranges, so he would absolutely have know for two whole years that he was law breaking. Mostly they don't care - so the amnesty called after his arrest proves that his arrest did actually make at least some of the 'trophy' holders fess up and ditch the stuff safely.

So, I'm kind of in two minds - I don't like that that they chose to go after him, what with the brain injury and all - there are literally thousands of others with this shit at home. But I do wonder if somewhere along the line they went for the 'example' thing knowing he wouldn't end up doing too much jail time because of his history.

I am glad he is out. I am curious what is going to happen now though - if the MOD are saying he is not culpable on the grounds of his TBI, then they have to discharge him. He can't go back to work. So it means renewed attention on brain injury in the military, which can only be a good thing. They are effectively saying that he shouldn't have had access to this stuff since his BI. I doubt that anyone will accept they were ignoring the signs though - and unfortunately (like dh etc etc) Danny himself has to face up to the fact that the success of this appeal means he is essentially accepting some responsibility for continuing to work and not highlighting to the MOD that he was struggling.

Bit grim all round, but I'm glad he's out. I didn't for one minute believe he'd serve 18mos.

madwomanintheattic Fri 30-Nov-12 14:54:13

<should add, it isn't just the SAS that brings this stuff home. There are completely defined regulations about decommission and certifying war trophies etc, but the boys choose to ignore it, and just bring it all with them. There are rocket launchers and all sorts. grin>

TheWombat Fri 30-Nov-12 15:33:08

<I agree, having once opened a kitchen drawer in a MQ house and discovered it was full of bayonet gizzits>

babybarrister Fri 30-Nov-12 16:57:17

DS would love itgrin all we get from DH work is the odd pack of postitsgringrin

babybarrister Mon 03-Dec-12 21:06:57

There is a charity called the brian injury group which some of you may find interestingsmile

TheWombat Tue 11-Dec-12 15:25:41

Hi everyone, how are you all doing?
Am just feeling rather smug because I have had a telephone conversation with a lovely man from Headway called Dave, and have arranged for him to come and visit us next week to chat to DH. I will let you all know how it goes.

DH has been away last week on a jaunt with his ex-RAF pals - v good for him (sounds patronising, I don't mean it to be) but oh dear, I do suffer a little bit when he returns exhausted and slightly hungover wink. Worth it though, I have to say his friends are awesome and very supportive. We are both lucky that way.

BB if I ever spot any interesting 'gizzits' from DH's ex-job, I will keep your DS in mind smile

babybarrister Tue 11-Dec-12 15:59:04

so pleased Headway of some help - we have found them of great support

TheWombat Fri 21-Dec-12 15:21:31

Headway update: had a lovely home visit from the Headway outreach man today, who was so kind and helpful. I think DH felt properly listened to, and that there really might be some benefit for him in this. Headway man is going to apply for funding from local authority, and depending on what the award is, DH can attend our local Headway centre for rehab / get CBT / have in-home help, or a combo of the above. I think DH was reassured to find someone who understands and who has seen this before in many other people. He was with us about 2 hours.

It's mainly due to showing DH this thread that I was able to persuade him to try it - so I owe all of you a big Christmas thank you thanks.

Hope you all have a lovely Christmas (whilst staying away from loud noises, crowded family gatherings, over excitement, any kind of music, stress, change in routine, late nights, etc hmm )

babybarrister Fri 21-Dec-12 19:29:43

Very pleased for you smile happy Xmas to you too

babybarrister Tue 01-Jan-13 22:23:02

Anyone eve had any involvement with the Oliver Zangwell centre in Ely? I am wondering whether it might be suitable for DH. Thanks and happy new year to you all smile

midoriway Tue 14-May-13 23:42:11

I have just found this thread for spouses of TBI. Still reading though all the posts, but am up late doing more paperwork for the solicitors. Does this ever end??

DH been at CBT all afternoon, now he is an exhausted wreck.

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