IAmA VBIED attack survivor. Ask me about coma, PTSD, pain, recovery and anything else. AMA
EDIT Thank you for the incredible amount of beers I have been offered all over America/Canada.
EDIT I should mention that I was born and raised in France, and moved to the United States in 2001. Many people have asked why I joined the military, so here goes. First and foremost, I wanted to earn my U.S. citizenship. I moved here under odd circumstances, and was an "illegal alien" for most of my teenage years in this country. I would have obtained it in one more year, whether I enlisted or not, but I needed to feel like it was earned. Also, I did not have any way of paying for college, and joining the military allowed me to remedy that. Last but not least, I felt like I needed some structure. My parents didn't raise me, and the military helped me realize a lot of right/wrong.
EDIT I have been ranting quite a bit about the VA system on this thread. I need to clarify that the issues I was talking about are not about me, they are about other soldiers who I personally know. I was lucky enough to receive a stellar level of care, both at Walter Reed (later Walter Reed Bethesda), and at the VA medical center. One name stands out in particular, Dr. Pai out of the Richmond VA Medical center. I showed up there in a wheel chair, and WALKED out 2-3 weeks later. Unfortunately, I want to say many veterans do not receive such amazing care. A damn shame
Everyone wants to see what I look like now, so here it is: http://imgur.com/2K22cAN,6xJ31Wy,0QeVlIA Pic in black was taken a couple of minutes ago.
VBIED = Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device. Mine was draped over, filled with around 500lbs of Home Made Explosive (HME), based on fertilizer, and anti-aircraft "Dishka" rounds for shrapnel.
(The red circle illustrates the wall i went through)
More proof: http://imgur.com/Kjmwmm4
(ID Card taken down because I can't have it up apparently)
On August 5th 2010, I was badly wounded in Southern Afghanistan during a foot patrol. I sustained a moderate Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), lost half of my jaw, among many other injuries. I spent a month in the crazy world of my imagination while under first an artificial coma, then a heavy painkiller-induced haze. I "woke up" in early September. Since then, I have received over 33 surgeries, not including dental stuff. I sport 43 scars according to VA standards, and will be disfigured for life. Ask about being in a coma, PTSD, pain, insomnia, panic, combat, losing close friends and the problems with the way we care for our veterans.
I'm doing this for therapeutic reasons, as talking about that kind of stuff can help dealing with it, but also because I want people to know what it's like to survive such trauma.
Ask me anything