Sunday, July 25, 2010

Army Wives- Part 1

My dear sweet friend Kat called me to tell me about a show she's been watching, Army Wives. Kat told me that the people who put together the show decided to tackle Traumatic Brain Injury, and by what I've told her about my injury, she's been impressed by the depiction in the show. So, I hunted high and low for the episodes.

I found a few, Episode 12 and 13 of the fourth season. Sadly, I missed episode 10 and 11, in which the character, Joan, figures out what is going on. If anybody has a link for either of these two, I would surely like to see them, as they show the beginning of dealing with the problem.  I think the hardest part about brain injury is figuring out what is going on, and dealing with everyday life at the same time (you look normal, why are you being so weird/lazy/bitchy?).

Joan is a Lt. Colonel in the Army. I was in the Air Force, and got to the rank of Sergeant. She is used to being self sufficient, being independent. Like me, she has problems asking for help (asking for help is viewed as being weak). I think this was one of my biggest hurdles, after figuring out what was wrong with me. Note: I might have gotten some parts of the episodes confused.

A few of the moments that Joan experience that really hit home for me-
Episode 12 (change of station)
Joan is working on a jigsaw puzzle at a brain injury rehabilitation center. She is having problems. Another rehab patient talks to her and helps her out. There is a question of rank and responsibility (colonel vs sergeant), to which the sergeant replies "we're all on this leaky boat together" followed by "TBI is a great equalizer".  

They continue to discuss the effect on family, on not being able to drive (her husband won't let her after the doctor ordered it so).

Joan says "I commanded a battalion, now I can't even drive a car. I have to wait for Roland to take me everywhere and it's driving me crazy" I am a wandering kind of girl who likes to see new things, and not being able to drive sent me off the deep end, though I tried to control it as best I could considering I know why I can't drive (the thought if injuring others breaks my heart).
The sergeant responds with "you gotta let that go".

The sergeant goes on to say that he and his wife got into a lot of heated discussions,  and he was "blowin' up over nothing, making stupid mistakes... we had to adjust, she had to realize I wasn't doing it on purpose, and I had to realize it wasn't just about me-that was the tough part". There's nothing like being injured, not knowing it, and now your significant other is mad at you for forgetting to pay a bill/ do laundry/ pick up kids/ sleeping during the day. How thoughtless, how lazy of you.

to be continued tomorrow...

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