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Adam Shares the Story of His Brain Injury and Recovery

Adam Shares the Story of His Brain Injury and Recovery

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Hey guys. It's Adam. I, like many of you, suffer from traumatic brain injury. I was in the Army. I was a sergeant in the Army from 2002 to 2007. When I was in Iraq in 2005 and 2006, a mortar exploded on base where I was. I was standing on top of one of the big metal shipping containers-- the ones that go on the back of the ships and the trucks and the trains and get shipped overseas on those giant ocean liners. I was up on the top working, and there was a malfunction, so I was elevated about 20 feet at the time. Then all of a sudden--boom--a mortar hit near our position off to the right about 50 feet or so--50 yards. The blast either blew me off or the driver jerk the steering wheel to look over, and that caused the entire crane that I was up on the top of to just jerk and--splat--hit the ground. I kind of fell on the entire front left side. Bashed up my knee. Bashed up my wrist, shoulder, head. Kind of took the full force of falling to the ground. Next thing I kind of realize is I've got some of my soldier buddies running over. "Hey, Sergeant! Sergeant! You okay?" I'm just kind of dazed. I don't really know if I was unconscious, if I was just blurry-headed. The entire situation was really hard to kind of cognitively track--if you will. I remember getting loaded up onto the back of a Humvee. Got rushed over to the on-base hospital. That's pretty much where I spent the next 24-48 hours as I was kind of stabilizing. Got like an air splint for my wrist. Did the bandage for my knee--kind of the compression wrap. And the Army sent me packing with some ibuprofen and a can-do attitude. So, moving forward after I was back from Iraq, you definitely started to notice a slowdown. You started to notice the headaches, the sleep problems, and kind of being removed from that combat environment really gives you a little bit of clairvoyance in self analyzing. So, I started to not be able to accomplish some of the same things that I was used to doing with ease. That's everything from work and your fine motor skills to schoolwork and to relationships and personal interactions. Essentially, it culminated with me getting into the VA system and into their polytrauma program, which really kind of helped me utilize some strategies, utilize some of the different techniques to kind of manage my problems with memory, my problems with attention, and some of the fine motor skills. There was also the physical therapy side that really helped. It's definitely been a long journey. I've essentially reached what I believe to be a plateau, and now I'm really interested in helping other people, other veterans with traumatic brain injury or mild traumatic brain injury kind of realize how to recognize the symptoms as well as how to get personally engaged in their own care and make improvements in their own life. I'm here to tell you that you can definitely have a wonderful, exciting life. Suffering a TBI or an MTBI is not the end of the world. With the proper support from your family, friends, your caregivers as well as the proper medical support it's no problem to recover and live a really prosperous life. I hope these series of blogs are helpful to you, and I look forward to talking with you here over the next couples months and years. Take care.

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Adam didn't realize the ramifications of his TBI until he returned home, away from the combat environment. Here he shares how he got injured and the steps he continues to take for success in recovery.

 
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Hi, I’m Adam Anicich

I’m a former Army Sergeant, a Department of Veterans Affairs employee, a service-disabled vet, and someone with a brain injury. I’m here to share my story with you — along with some practical tips — and I hope that I can help you in your own journey of recovery.

Learn more about Adam >

 

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