Month of the Military Child – TBI and Children

Childhood is the most beautiful of all life’s seasons.
~Author Unknown

April is Month of the Military Child. Since Huzzy and I don’t have children, I put out a call for guest bloggers to help out. I originally wanted to do a guest blogger every Monday, but I had so many fantastic responses that you’ll see a guest blogger every Monday and Thursday!

My next guest blogger is Amber from Random Rants of An Army Wife. Amber and her husband, Doc, were married after just four months of dating and six+ years later… they are still just as in love. But just like any love story, this one has its twists and turns. During his most recent deployment, Doc was injured and subsequently has TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury). Amber and Doc have two adorable girls.

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Earlier this month my husband, Doc, came home from work to see our 4 month old daughter in a Red Sox onsie, he asked me where I got it.  I reminded him that it had been our 2 year old daughter’s when she was a baby.

Sweet TC

Me:  Remember she wore it to one of the Red Sox games that we took her to when she was 5 months old?

Doc:  We took her to a Red Sox game?

Me: We took her to two.

Unfortunately this isn’t uncommon.  Doc has very little memory of our 2 year old’s first year.  TC was born 3 weeks after the accident that left him with a mild TBI.  He was deployed and his vehicle rolled over on the way to a target.  After coming to he had a few broken bones in his face and a concussion.

When he came home we had no idea how bad it would be, in fact Doc declined the midivac overseas and continued to run missions while injured.   He was a Ranger, that is what they do.  We didn’t know what we were in for, he came home early from deployment to be home while I had the baby.  While he was home the headaches wouldn’t go away, his memory was spotty, he would get disoriented and lost in places that he should have known, his temper was out of control, he couldn’t get his head and mouth on the same page.

Our oldest daughter TC turned 2 in February, she is a spitfire.  She looks just like her daddy and thinks he is just the coolest.  She was born just weeks after his accident, he knows he was in the delivery room but he doesn’t remember her birth.  He doesn’t remember her first steps, he doesn’t remember when he spooned her first solids into her mouth.  Luckily we have way too many pictures of all of these events but that doesn’t replace his memories.  She can now pick up on when he’s having a bad day, she can see it in his face like I can.  At two years old she knows when daddy is going to be in a bad day.

While some of his symptoms are better his temper is still horrible.  It breaks my heart because he’s just so short with her when she’s acting out.  He’s not always bad, they have their fun and I pray that those are the memories that stick with her.

Smiley A

Our youngest Little A was born this past December, she’s lucky that Doc will most likely remember her birth.  Hopefully by the time that she’s 2 Doc’s temper will have mellowed.  I think she will be more sheltered from Doc’s bad moments because her sister is so loving.  This damn TBI will force TC to grow up faster to protect her sister. I know many military children grow up fast I wish mine didn’t have to because (as Dr. Phil would say) daddy’s a monster.

I guess we are lucky that the girls didn’t know Doc before his injury, they don’t have the confusion of “why did Daddy change”.  As they grow we will have to decide what we want to tell them about what happened and how it changed him.

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One thought on “Month of the Military Child – TBI and Children

  1. I loved this piece, what a hard topic to think about. I have 3 young children at home myself so it is definitely something we have talked about and discussed but it is still something I can’t imagine happening. Thank you for introducing me to another great blog too!

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