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


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Old 03-08-2012, 03:06 AM #1
jamiesgirl jamiesgirl is offline
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Default Terrified about my fiance

Hi, I thought I'd come and introduce myself in this section, because I might need some support here.

My partner had a fall and hit his head on Saturday. He's in hospital with a fractured skull, an acute subdural haematoma and 2 brain contusions. They haven't operated; the bleed is small enough that they're happy to observe him for the time being.

I'm terrified. He seemed to be making a bit of improvement but if anything, has gone backwards. He's conscious but so confused, not eating, and didn't talk to me at all yesterday. They've scanned him again but there's no change. A neurosurgeon told me that one of the contusions is in the area of the brain that controls speech and understanding, but they don't think there will be any lasting damage.

I'm still terrified though. We're due to get married in 6 months, we have a young baby, and I just don't know what the future holds for us now. Praying that he's going to be okay. I understand that with TBI, age is a big factor - he's only 33 so hopefully this will go in his favour with recovery.
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:45 AM #2
ginnie ginnie is offline
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ginnie ginnie is offline
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Default Hello jamies girl

Welcome to Neuro Talk. You found a great place to go for support. There are lots of folks here who can help you through the time of healing for your partner. It sounds like he took a heck of a wallop. TBI can take some time to heal. I have looked at this site for along time reading about it. Keep coming back here for answers to some of the questions you may have. I sincerely hope that his recovery goes well. take care of him....ginnie
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Old 03-08-2012, 01:26 PM #3
Mark in Idaho Mark in Idaho is offline
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Mark in Idaho Mark in Idaho is offline
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jamiesgirl,

Welcome, I am so sorry to hear of your fiance's injury. I can't imagine how scary your life is right now.

it sounds like he is where he needs to be as they watch and wait. A TBI like he suffered can be a roller coaster ride as the brain tries to heal.

Unfortunately, nobody can predict how he is going to be in 6 months. Every brain injury heals differently. There is a great resource available online. It is the TBI Survival Guide at www.tbiguide.com

It will explain some of the symptoms your are noticing. Becoming knowledgeable about TBI will be very important as you prepare to support him in his recovery. Something that is important during his recovery is to keep stress levels low. As much as you are anxious to know about the future, it will be best if you can act like you are just patiently waiting for him.

When he is not communicative, maybe you can read to him is a soft tone. It will give you something to do and he will benefit from your voice in a pleasant tone. This helps his brain to relax and have a soft focus.

My heart goes out to you both in this time of wondering about the future. The brain is an amazing thing and can accomplish unexpected things.

My best to you.
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"Be still and know that I am God" Psalm 46:10
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EsthersDoll (03-08-2012)
Old 03-08-2012, 01:34 PM #4
EsthersDoll EsthersDoll is offline
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Hi! I understand your fear. I am so sorry that you and your fiance are going through this right now.

Here's a link to a great tbi guide that has helped me, and many of us here, get some information about what is happening through this: http://www.tbiguide.com/

I sustained a mild traumatic brain injury in July 2010 and I am still recovering. I believe I would not be doing half as well as I am now if it weren't for the support of my amazing boyfriend. He has really done a lot for me during this whole process. I think that only relationships that are meant to last a lifetime can withstand the stress created from recovering from a brain injury. Just be as supportive as you can.

It takes some time for the brain to adjust after a brain injury. One of the biggest theories is that brain doesn't like pathways that aren't working perfectly. So, for the first couple of months, the brain might "delete" neurons in pathways that have "been corrupted". (I'm using computer terms here, but I'm hoping you understand what I'm trying to say.) So, it might seem like he degrades, or gets worse, during that time - but that is because the brain is re-adjusting to the damage that's been done. After it's done with that process it will start re-routing and re-connecting the pathways so they can work as perfectly as possible.

It's really hard to tell what's going on inside the skull because there is no way to see the brain microscopically. And neurons are itty-bitty, too small to be seen on an MRI or CT scan.

Your fiance might exhibit noticeable changes now when compared to the way he was before the fall as he progresses and he might also overcome those changes and return to a man very close to who he was before the fall; so close in fact that you won't notice a difference but he might. There is really no way to predict that and only time will tell.

My boyfriend and I have called many snafus that we have encountered "adventures in brain injuries". It's been really good for me during my recovery process to be as light-hearted as possible.

Your fiance's "adventure" is just beginning. Try to be patient and calm and just wait and see what happens.

I'm sure many of us here will be more than happy to give advice about nutrition, which is very important on the road to wellness, and exercise and making sure he doesn't overdo it, etc., during his healing process.

You might also want to look into a brain injury support group in your area. Find the BIAA in your state and they should have a list available for you: http://www.biausa.org/state-affiliates.htm

It's still very early for you both, but you may want to consider postponing the wedding until he has shown significant improvement. Stress tends to makes people recovering from brain injuries worse. Think about it like this: there was once an 8 lane highway in his head and now there's a 3 land highway with just as much traffic and throwing stress into the mix is like adding more traffic.

I see a therapist once a week to talk about how frustrating this process is and has been and that's been very helpful for me emotionally. You both might want to consider doing something like that too when the time comes.

Also, make sure he gets on FMLA at his work ASAP. FMLA is a federal law that protects a person's job for up to 12 weeks. Call his boss, or his HR department, and make sure he has that protection because they will have to contact his Dr. who will have to fill out some paperwork in order to make it official.

Just take it easy, and watch and see what happens. You never know - he might be absolutely fine in three months and he might not be well enough to work again for two years. But it sounds like he has good doctors and an amazingly supportive fiance, so I'm sure he'll do great.

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Old 03-08-2012, 04:14 PM #5
jamiesgirl jamiesgirl is offline
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Thanks so much for the replies, I'll have a look at the TBIguide link in a minute.

Mark, I hadn't thought of reading to him. He was actually a lot better today than yesterday, and the most communicative he's been since the accident. He's also managing to sit up out of his bed and eat now, which is a huge improvement. I know we've got a long journey ahead but it feels like he's moving in the right direction again.

I'm really worried though about some other aspects of his health and how they might be affected by his accident. Firstly, he's a type 1 diabetic and his sugar levels are quite erratic at the moment which obviously they're keeping in check with insulin - but I'm concerned about what effect this could have on his recovery. The levels are too high rather than too low.

Secondly, he is an existing sufferer of OCD. He manages it quite well with an anti-depressant (citalopram) but I've read that OCD can often develop following a TBI. What about somebody who's already got it though? Am I to assume that it could get worse? I know I'm wanting answers that can't be given.

esthersdoll, we're in the UK, luckily his job will be held open for him and he'll receive full pay whilst he's off, up to 6 months I believe.
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EsthersDoll (03-08-2012)
Old 03-08-2012, 05:44 PM #6
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Good news all around!

Try not to worry about what may happen or what he may be like - just try to deal with stuff as it comes. TBI teaches all of us to try not to look into the future or past too much and to try to stay in the moment.

Oh, how I wish we had the same laws, protections and benefits in the states that you guys have across the pond!
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