I am a 50 year old disabled US Marine living with Major Neurocognitive Disorder due to Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). In laymen’s terms this means I have what you might know as early-onset dementia.
My own diagnosis is a result of a 32 year journey through the medical system. I had a fall during urban combat training at 19 years old.
Over the years the troubles which began right away went unnoticed by most if not all around me, including myself. As many of you know, the subtle changes are easily attributed to the individuals personality or character.
The fall also resulted in physical damage and those changes would later lead to a surgery. A lumbar fusion that didn’t go as planned.
As a result of the failed surgery I was never able to return to work. I had to discontinue pursuing my degree with only a few classes remaining. There I was with no job and no purpose.
The amount of medications led me to lose all mechanisms for coping and the onslaught of symptoms began to surface. Now not only physical limitations were mine to adjust to, but my brain had begun its downward dissent.
The toll on my marriage and family life was immense. The realizations came slow and with diagnosis like PTSD, TBI, MCI among others. Together we learned much.