Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Concussion Syndrome For traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post concussion syndrome (PCS).

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Old 07-13-2010, 09:55 PM #1
mrsbigblupete mrsbigblupete is offline
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Default Looking for some info!

Hi all. Let me start by saying I'm new to the whole forum scene of any kind, but I need some help.

Let's start with the history...

My husband had a fall from his flatbed trailer back in Oct/09. We know in hindsight he blacked out, but can't be sure for how long. He suffered numerous injuries to the right side of his body, and a brain injury that wasn't diagnosed until a week after the fall. The hospital in the States never even considered a brain injury because he had told them he didn't think he hit his head. They blamed his vomitting, dizziness and vision problems to the cocktail of painkillers he was on.

So here we are 9 months later and some of the symptoms have disappeared. He still has balance problems, episodes of blurred vision, uncontrollable shaking in his legs and hands. He has great difficulty with word recall, remembering names, loses his place in conversations, and sometimes stutters. At times carrying on a conversation is nearly impossible, other times you'd hardly tell he had any problems. He has episodes of not recognizing people he's known for years, fatigues easily, and has great difficulty doing simple tasks. It's a challenge remembering where he's placed an item, or what he was looking for. For him a good day is being able to mow the lawn, a bad day involves him staying in bed in a dark room, because external stimuli is just too difficult to process.

Being a man that was self employed, always on the go, and always providing for his family, it's been extremely tough for him accepting he can't do that right now. The doctor put him on an antidepressant to help him deal with the anxiety because of it.

He just had an appontiment with the doctor today, that has totally upset him and irritated me. The doctor suggested that if the brain injury was causing these symptoms he wouldn't be having any good days. (I personally don't consider being able to maintain a simple conversation, or mow the lawn a truly good day. Yet I celebrate those victories with him, because that's what they are to him. ) The doctor then suggested that all his problems are caused by his anxiety/depression, and gave him a second antidepressant. This has only increased his anxiety, and now has him blaming himself.

So here's my question...Is it possible for someone who has has a brain injury to have good days and bad days, or to see the severity of symptoms vary?

And if you've read this far, I thank you!
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Old 07-14-2010, 12:19 AM #2
nancys nancys is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsbigblupete View Post

So here's my question...Is it possible for someone who has has a brain injury to have good days and bad days, or to see the severity of symptoms vary?
The answer to your question is YES! Symptoms can vary day to day as well as the severity of the symptoms. I think your doctor is way off base and you need to find a new one.

A really good book that you might want to take look at is "Brainlash" by Gail Denton. It does a great job explaining what is going on. I think ever doctor should read it. Then maybe we wouldn't get "it's all in your head" or the "suck lecture".

"Over My Head: A Doctor's Own Story of Head Injury from the Inside Looking Out" by Claudia L. Osborn is also very good.

Hang in there find a doctor a new doctor.

(BTW - My daughter is 15 and suffered a concussion back in October. While not 100%, she is significantly better during the first couple of months.)
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vini (07-14-2010)
Old 07-14-2010, 07:34 AM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsbigblupete View Post
Hi all. Let me start by saying I'm new to the whole forum scene of any kind, but I need some help.

Let's start with the history...

My husband had a fall from his flatbed trailer back in Oct/09. We know in hindsight he blacked out, but can't be sure for how long. He suffered numerous injuries to the right side of his body, and a brain injury that wasn't diagnosed until a week after the fall. The hospital in the States never even considered a brain injury because he had told them he didn't think he hit his head. They blamed his vomitting, dizziness and vision problems to the cocktail of painkillers he was on.

So here we are 9 months later and some of the symptoms have disappeared. He still has balance problems, episodes of blurred vision, uncontrollable shaking in his legs and hands. He has great difficulty with word recall, remembering names, loses his place in conversations, and sometimes stutters. At times carrying on a conversation is nearly impossible, other times you'd hardly tell he had any problems. He has episodes of not recognizing people he's known for years, fatigues easily, and has great difficulty doing simple tasks. It's a challenge remembering where he's placed an item, or what he was looking for. For him a good day is being able to mow the lawn, a bad day involves him staying in bed in a dark room, because external stimuli is just too difficult to process.

Being a man that was self employed, always on the go, and always providing for his family, it's been extremely tough for him accepting he can't do that right now. The doctor put him on an antidepressant to help him deal with the anxiety because of it.

He just had an appontiment with the doctor today, that has totally upset him and irritated me. The doctor suggested that if the brain injury was causing these symptoms he wouldn't be having any good days. (I personally don't consider being able to maintain a simple conversation, or mow the lawn a truly good day. Yet I celebrate those victories with him, because that's what they are to him. ) The doctor then suggested that all his problems are caused by his anxiety/depression, and gave him a second antidepressant. This has only increased his anxiety, and now has him blaming himself.

So here's my question...Is it possible for someone who has has a brain injury to have good days and bad days, or to see the severity of symptoms vary?

And if you've read this far, I thank you!
hi and welcome to NT

I know just how your husband is feeling, I was a high functioning fire engineer, pottering about in the shed or garden, is a good day for me now

and as any man, father or husband can understand waking up changed is devastating, and yes your gona feel depressed

I can honestly say I HAVE BEEN THERE DONE THAT with doctors family and people who know me, they just cant understand !!! that just thinking wear,s me out and hurts some days are better than others. like before my injury I would be able to glide through a day and be on the ball, another day I may struggle

but now every day is a struggle , but some days are less of a struggle

head injury,s take time to adapt to its a long haul . check out the stickys links at the top of the page for useful links

If you need any help let us know

see if your husband wants to join NT ,keep us posted, and you will find some good advice and folks with insight
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Old 07-14-2010, 08:35 AM #4
Mark in Idaho Mark in Idaho is offline
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Mrs..

Welcome to NT. Sorry for your husbands struggles. As others have said, YES you can have good and bad days. My belief is sleep has something to do with the bad days. PCS can cause all kinds of sleep problems.

Does he have any odd breathing issues when he sleeps? You might need to stay up and watch him sleep. My wife did and counted over 20 times in just one hour when I stopped breathing. She also notice that I would jerk my body during these times.

Being self-employed with disabling PCS is difficult. Been there, doing that.

And by the way, you do need a new doctor. It is hard to find doctors who understand PCS. You will likely find better knowledge here.

Which anti-depressant' did the doctor prescribe?

Anti-depressants can be brutal, even worse than PCS.

Has your husband been seen by a good chiropractor? His shaking can be related to a malfunctioning back/spinal cord. Some PTs can help but likely not. Some benefit from an Upper Cervical Chiropractor. You have to try different chiros until you find one who understands your husbands body and injuries.

Stay strong. Your husband needs you and is lucky to have you by his side.

You should try to find a brain injury support group. They can be very helpful for the injured and the spouse/caregiver. The BIA is your state may have a list. Otherwise, some rehab hospitals have a list of support groups.

Were here for both of you.

My best to you.
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Old 07-14-2010, 05:24 PM #5
Wanttobesurfing Wanttobesurfing is offline
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Sorry for your husbands struggles. I'm 16 mths PCS.

First of all the doctor is an idiot and doesn't know what he is talking about. Like Mark says you need a different doctor.

My life right now consists of good and bad days. In the beginning (first 1/2 year) a good day was being able to wash my car or walk around the block and see my computer properly. I couldn't mow the lawn at all last year. Couldn't see properly for a whole year. Thankfully now a good day is going to the gym, working out, playing with my kids and not noticing my head as much. But it is still always there.

My advice to you is have your husband read some of these posts so he can see others are going through what he is. And keep supporting him, especially with his small victories. PCS hammers your self confidence and you can feel very useless. Especially running the show and being the sole breadwinner - I can relate. There is no quick fix and his brain needs time to heal. The toughest part is you don't know how long it will take. Help him realize that the struggles he is going through will build character for later in life.

Best of luck.
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Old 07-15-2010, 10:17 AM #6
mrsbigblupete mrsbigblupete is offline
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Default Thanks!

Many thanks to all who have replied to my question. You've all confirmed what I believed.

I'm off to see the doctor today, will share with him what you all have shared with me. Hopefully he's willing to accept the info. Hoping we don't have to change doctors, he's been awesome with our family, this is the first screw up. But if we have to, we will.

Thanks again!

Enjoy your day!
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Old 07-20-2010, 04:49 AM #7
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Hello, Mrs., and Welcome to the absolutely Best Source, from the most-knowledgeable, experienced and finest persons , for the pertinent information and answers which you and your husband seek.

[Hello, again, to all here, Friends & Contacts, et al. I've been away from participating in this particular Forum on NT for awhile now. I'll post on that later in another thread.]

I have been researching for a proper MRI [see Mark's postings for important info on MRI and tesla] for a friend in need of an excellent followup MRI of her brain.

If you and your husband are located anywhere within reasonable travel distance to London, Ontario, you may want to look into possibilities for appropriately brain-knowledgeable care specialists at the University of Western Ontario. [ See quote below.]

I realize that in Canada's national healthcare system you may have to request such a referral from your present physician, general practitioner, family care doctor --- and that may require some sincere persistence to obtain. Go for it, Mrs.

If I were in your place, I would *insist* upon the referral and an MRI of no less than 3tesla, knowing what I know now, --- with all due thanks and appreciation to this Forum and its faithful contributing members --- versus what I knew then, i.e. my own onset of injury in 2008.

I'm learning that such 'imaging documentation' may be crucial for even further-down-the-road as we age and possibly have to contend with age-related aspects/complications.

Dementia, Alzheimer's and Parkinsonian Syndrome can be in fact *head injury related* in etiology and/or early onset. This is hugely ignored in our American healthcare, unless one happens to be a professional sports celebrity --- boxing, football, etc.
Alas, I digress here.

So, Mrs., know that we're here for you and Mr. too.
Check out the info quoted below. I hope that it may be of some help to you. - Sincerely, Theta Z.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
"The Robarts Research Institute at the University of Western Ontario, in London, Ontario is one of the household names in the global brain imaging community."

"MRI field strength is measured in Tesla units.
Clinical MRI scanners [typically] operate at 1.5-tesla.
In 1996, Robarts became the first and only facility in Canada (and one of very few in the world) to house a 4-tesla MRI scanner."

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
[Again, be sure to read Mark's postings on tesla and MRI. You can use the SEARCH feature. Just type in "Tesla + MRI" and click on "postings". It will show you the results of your search and Mark's postings. ]
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50s Babyboomer; 2008 high-impact rear-ended/totalled-MVC, closed-head injury->pcs ... "Still dealing with it."
1993, Fell on black ice; first closed-head injury; life-altering. // 2014 Now dealing with Peripheral Neuropathy, tremors, shakiness, vestibular disorder, akithesia, anhedonia, yada yada, likely thanks to rx meds // 2014: uprooted to the cold wet gray NW coast, trying to find a way back home ... where it's blue sky and warm!
.

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Each and every day I am better and better. I affirm and give thanks that it is so. // 2014-This was still true for me last year, I truly felt this a year ago. Unfortunately it holds no meaning for me now. Odd, it was the Theta mantra for years. Change change change.
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