Monday, May 8, 2017

Finding your place, when you don't really fit in anywhere

This is a subject we are really struggling with. My husband especially. When it comes to the Traumatic Brain Injury and PTSD world, he doesn't really fit anywhere. His injuries are 100% service connected, but he's not a combat injured veteran. He has PTSD from service related trauma, but it wasn't combat trauma... so he's kind of disregarded by the VA in that respect. He served in a combat zone, but was not injured then. He's a 100% disabled veteran, who is too disabled to work and requires me to be his full time caregiver, but he looks "normal", he has all of his limbs, he can walk, his head trauma was closed head. He requires help with regular things every. single. day. though. Looking outside of he whole disabled veteran thing, he doesn't fit into the civilian head injury population either, because of the vastly different experiences.

The VA here has a PCT clinic, which is specifically for veterans with combat PTS. They don't have a regular PTSD program that covers non combat PTSD. They have no TBI clinic or program at all. They just address combat TBI in the PCT clinic. So here, there is virtually no program for my husband's situation. What he really needs is a poly-trauma program like they had in CT, while he was still active duty. But that isn't available. The combat veterans absolutely need the programs they have for them, but how about the other veterans suffering from the same conditions that just aren't specifically caused by combat? Why are they forgotten about and thrown to the side? His 18 years in the Navy resulted in him medically retiring so disabled that he can't function normally, but now there are no programs for him? His TBI isn't important enough for proper treatment? His TBI isn't the "right kind", so he isn't worthy of the care that others are offered? Am I the only one that thinks this is a problem?

I know there have got to be other people in a similar situation as him. I just haven't found them yet. It's really hard for him. He's been through hell and I hate that it's diminished because it wasn't combat. The two of us are out here kind of just floating around, loosly connected in several directions, but not actually fitting into any one place. I'm still trying to find where we fit.

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