Fellow Service Members Helped Me in the Hospital After TBI

"Being in the hospital after a TBI — tubes and machines attached everywhere — is scary and frustrating. Only the Marines were able to calm me down." Navy veteran Derek McGinnis shares his experience.

See more videos with Derek McGinnis.

On multiple occasions I would be--just with the brain injury as the files would come back into my mind, as my faculties were coming back I wouldn't listen. I couldn't see, and there were a lot of things going on, and many times I would be irritable, as you can imagine with a traumatic brain injury, and aggressive and frustrated and all this stuff and medical equipment and anxious and anxiety. And people, civilians couldn't calm me down. I couldn't--the nurses and different people they really would try to restrain and calm me down. Not physically restrain but "Hey, Derek, calm down." "You've got tubes here and here and here." "You can't be pulling them out." And it wasn't before long where my wife discovered "Hey, listen, go get the Marine from downstairs." "Derek will listen." The Marines would come up and say "Relax, Devil Dog," or whatever they would say to calm me down, and those were the only people I'd be listening to under my mental state at that time.
Posted on BrainLine July 3, 2012.

Produced by Brian King and Vicky Youcha, BrainLine.

About the author: Derek McGinnis, MSW

Derek McGinnis is an Iraq War combat veteran serving in the Navy as a Hospital Corpsman. He currently serves combat veterans and their families at the Modesto Vet Center. He advocates for veterans coping with pain through the American Pain Foundation and is the author of a book on pain management.

Derek  McGinnis