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


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Old 02-20-2013, 12:43 PM #1
Ruidoso Ruidoso is offline
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My head was hit pretty bad on May 4th, 2012. I had a severe concussion with ALL of the symptoms (vertigo being the worst of them) until early July. Everything started to subside. My head get hit again on July 21st. 10 day later I was almost suicidal. I am still sick but the symptoms seem to come and go. I have seen every type of doctor and nothing is wrong with me except the concussion. I have 3 neurologists and they all say "time".
I run a hotel, I'm a Lobbyist, and I a kind of a "fixer" for 5 very powerful people. This concussion is ruining my life and work. Will it ever go away? I feel that everyone is giving up on me. They think I'm doing this to myself and that my cheese has slid off my cracker. Every time I start to feel better, my longest stretch being 3 weeks, I get sick again and I don't know why. I have a beautiful 6 year old daughter that I haven't been much of a mom to in the last 10 months and a husband that does just enough to get by. I wake up scared every day that the trees and mountains will still be moving if you know what I mean.
I feel that the vestibular problems are getting a little better but this past weekend, I was meeting with the Gov. and full blown vertigo set in! I cannot stop my life just because I'm sick! That has not happened in months. Usually when I feel bad it's just the brain tingles, brain fog, anxiety, and memory problems. As if they are not enough, now the vertigo is coming and going again.
Is there anyone out there that can explain to me the real stages of this? Some days I don't know if I am getting better or worse. Why does it come and go? And when can I expect to feel better without this creeping back?
I feel like collage was a waste. I am having to reteach myself everything!
Oh, and to add injury to insult.... I'm 34 and since this concussion I had a miscarriage, husband got a vasectomy, we bought a new house and MOVED, my dog of 17 years passed away, and all of my hormone levels are low due to the head injury so I feel like I have aged 10 years in the past 10 months!
Please! Someone tell me that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I feel defeated! Is there any tricks to combating the vertigo? the anxiety? the fog? confusion? the tired behind the eyes? The aging?
I have tried yoga, acupuncture, herbs, etc. I will not get on anti depressants because I need my brain to learn how to function on its own.
I really need some advice. Doctors don't seem to know a lot about concussions. Even the ones that wrote the books.
One last thing...Drinking? Is social drinking okay on occasion?
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:39 PM #2
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Welcome here.

How awful to go through so much all at once. I feel for you.

I'm 39 and a career-minded person too. It's a hard adjustment. The do-it-all multitasking may have even contributed to my delay in recovery (almost 4months now) because its not very good for brains.

I am not a long-timer with advice. But you'll get great advice here from others. Takes us a while sometimes to respond.
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About it: October 26, 2012 I fell backward on an icy parking lot at work. I was on Workers Comp for 9 months. My PCS : everyday headaches became once in a while headaches, and neck pain became manageable. Still have occasional mild dizziness, sometimes fullness in the ears, convergence insufficiency, sequencing struggles, short term memory struggles, verbal processing delays. CT neg, MRI neg. Therapies: prism glasses, acupuncture, icing neck, resting, supplementing, Elavil 20mg at bedtime.

NEW: Completed 12 weeks of physical therapy and returned to work full time.

About me: I'm a marketing manager, a mom with a blended family and wife to a heart attack survivor. I believe my brain injury taught me more than it cost me. I'm grateful to still be me!
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Ruidoso (02-21-2013)
Old 02-20-2013, 05:42 PM #3
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Ruidoso,

Welcome to NeuroTalk. You have found a good place.


Everything you describe sounds common to Post Concussion Syndrome.

Have you had a vestibular assessment and any vestibular therapy ? Have you had any diagnostics of your neck, specifrically your upper neck ? Upper neck injuries are commonly overlooked but can cause severe symptoms.

Have you been able to take any time off from your work ? The concussed brain need quiet rest to recover.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruidoso View Post
My head was hit pretty bad on May 4th, 2012. I had a severe concussion with ALL of the symptoms (vertigo being the worst of them) until early July. Everything started to subside. My head get hit again on July 21st. 10 day later I was almost suicidal. I am still sick but the symptoms seem to come and go. I have seen every type of doctor and nothing is wrong with me except the concussion. I have 3 neurologists and they all say "time".

I run a hotel, I'm a Lobbyist, and I a kind of a "fixer" for 5 very powerful people. This concussion is ruining my life and work. Will it ever go away? I feel that everyone is giving up on me. They think I'm doing this to myself and that my cheese has slid off my cracker. Every time I start to feel better, my longest stretch being 3 weeks, I get sick again and I don't know why. I have a beautiful 6 year old daughter that I haven't been much of a mom to in the last 10 months and a husband that does just enough to get by. I wake up scared every day that the trees and mountains will still be moving if you know what I mean.
You likely did something that was too intense, active or stressful that caused you to relapse. Or, you may aggravate your upper neck causing inflammation leading to more struggles. It is difficult to diagnose the very subtle neck injuries that can be problematic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruidoso View Post
I feel that the vestibular problems are getting a little better but this past weekend, I was meeting with the Gov. and full blown vertigo set in! I cannot stop my life just because I'm sick! That has not happened in months. Usually when I feel bad it's just the brain tingles, brain fog, anxiety, and memory problems. As if they are not enough, now the vertigo is coming and going again.

Is there anyone out there that can explain to me the real stages of this? Some days I don't know if I am getting better or worse. Why does it come and go? And when can I expect to feel better without this creeping back?
I feel like collage was a waste. I am having to reteach myself everything!

Oh, and to add injury to insult.... I'm 34 and since this concussion I had a miscarriage, husband got a vasectomy, we bought a new house and MOVED, my dog of 17 years passed away, and all of my hormone levels are low due to the head injury so I feel like I have aged 10 years in the past 10 months!
Are you doing anything to treat your hormone issues ? Here is a link to a referral to a specialist https://www.womensinternational.com/..._referral.html Most doctors use a shotgun approach when a more precise protocol is needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruidoso View Post
Please! Someone tell me that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I feel defeated! Is there any tricks to combating the vertigo? the anxiety? the fog? confusion? the tired behind the eyes? The aging?
There is light at the end of the tunnel. Some of us just need to find the right tunnel to head down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruidoso View Post
I have tried yoga, acupuncture, herbs, etc. I will not get on anti depressants because I need my brain to learn how to function on its own.
I really need some advice. Doctors don't seem to know a lot about concussions. Even the ones that wrote the books.
One last thing...Drinking? Is social drinking okay on occasion?
Read the thread Vitamins and Supplements and the thread NeuroEndocrine Disorder. The links at the end of Vitamins are very useful.
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:18 PM #4
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Please! Someone tell me that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I feel defeated! Is there any tricks to combating the vertigo? the anxiety? the fog? confusion? the tired behind the eyes? The aging?
I have tried yoga, acupuncture, herbs, etc. I will not get on anti depressants because I need my brain to learn how to function on its own.

First you are not alone. Everything you are feeling is real. We know we have and are there. Recovery from a concussion can take some time and unfortunately there is no set time table. Many things can impact that recovery. Your diet, physical, enviromental and emotional stress. Have you seen a neuro-psychologist?

A concussion can leave you with deficits. Cognitive deficits, memory deficits, mood swings, anger issues... A np can pinpoint those and give you recommendations to deal with them. The NP I saw recommended Cymbalta, I had tried it earlier in my recovery and did not do well with it. However 3 months later I am trying it again and this time I am tolerating it much better.

I have never liked taking any prescription meds, ever. But since my injury I do not think I could have coped without.
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:37 PM #5
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I am new to concussion, but I wanted to send you a hug. I am seeing a vestibular specialist tomorrow and will let you know if I get any input at all for the dizziness! I am taking Celexa for anxiety (was diagnosed 1 week prior to the concussion). I havent started back to work yet, but am scared to death I wont be able to perform. I am an Occupational therapist at a children's hospital.

One thing that I am definately going to try is Interactive Metronome to help slowly recover my brain into a more fluid thinking and improve coordination as well. THey have a great website!!
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:37 PM #6
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Thank you both for your reply.
Yes, I have had a vestibular assessment. Of course, the day I went in, my pupils were the same size and my one eye was not wandering THAT DAY! However, I do see my eye doc about every two months to check improvement on pupil reaction, etc. No therapy was given to me.
Neck - Yes, I have been to two chiropractors that have adjusted my upper neck. After my last trip to Scripp's Hospital in CA, my head neurologist there told me not to go back to the chiropractor, that I needed to let things heal... Was he wrong; because that's an easy fix and I can go back?
I did take one mandatory week off of work - My doctors and bosses made me! I stayed 10 days in Colorado in the most beautiful condo in Steamboat Springs. I hated it! I couldn't sleep! I was scared and I only felt good one day I was there! So, I opened my laptop and worked. Really, it was pointless and I should really go there again if I ever get well and enjoy it.
Hormone issues - They want my brain to recover as much as it can by itself first before any kind of hormone supplement. My Testosterone is very low and so is my Vit D. There is an implant they can put in my arm for testosterone, but they want to wait until the summer to see if my levels rise. So in the mean time, I'm just aging fast and I cant exactly get Microderm abrasions weekly to keep up. I take 5000 mg of Vit D per day.
I stopped having periods So, they put me on a nuva ring (birth control which I do not need) to start regulating my periods.
Where can I find your vitamin link? I would love to check that out.
Oh, I just got back from an "oxygen bar"! First time I've tried that to help with the vertigo.. Nothing yet, but we'll see what happens. If it helps, I will get myself an oxygen tank!
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:43 PM #7
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Thank you. Yes, I see a Neuro- psychologist weekly. How far along are you? Do you know of any tricks to feel better, even for a little bit?
I tried taking some kind of anti depressant or anti anxiety something and I threw up all over a parking lot 30 min after taking! Not okay! People are already starting to look at me like I'm crazy, I don't need to add anything to that. I'm really scared of pills. So this in and out is not normal?? When I start feeling good, that should continue? Because I feel good for a couple of weeks and then bad for a couple of weeks.
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:01 PM #8
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Sounds to me like you've never given your brain a true rest or chance to heal. Until you do you probably won't see much improvement. The rest isn't to enjoy a nice vacation, none of us are enjoying this, it's to try to allow healing so we can return to our lives and jobs.

The vitamin and supplement post is a thread that you can find if you look through the messages on the main page.

Good luck to you.

CC
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I'm a 39 year old, female, accountant. On July 2, 2012 I crashed my bike at the end of a 65KM road ride. I was fine that day but woke up the next morning to my current world.

Ongoing symptoms include: dizziness, blurred vision, light and noise sensitivities, cognitive problems, uncontrollable emotions/depression/anxiety, headaches (but they're getting better), mental and physical fatigue, difficulty communicating and sleep disturbances.

Currently seeing a fabulous Neuro Psychologist and vestibular physiotherapist and hoping to soon see a neuro ophthalmologist. I am currently doing 20 minute stationary bike rides daily, 20 minutes of meditating, 15 minutes of Lumosity and lots of resting. I have not been able to work or drive since the accident.

The things that have helped me the most since the accident are vestibular therapy, gel eye drops (for blurred vision, sensitivity and dryness), amitriptyline (10mg), and meditating. I am finally starting to see some slight improvements and am hopeful!

My brain WANTS to heal itself... I just have to let it and stop trying to get better!
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:33 PM #9
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Welcome. You are not alone. I have found the one thing that has helped me the most is meditation. You probably have sleeping problems and racing thoughts, this can help with that a lot. Also helps with anxiety. Even if you just concentrate on breathing or on a mantra (a phrase you say over and over to yourself that is positive).

I am having a neuropsychiatric evaluation on the 25th. I will let you all know what new coping skills or rehabilitation ideas they have.

I am so sorry you are going through this. Listen to mark in Idaho, he has much experience and great advise and is very good at remaining positive and calm in this freaking horrific new territory. Good luck to you. Try to take some time off and heal. It is crucial you do this.
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Had MVA in 2006 resulting in post concussive syndrome manifested by cognitive impairment, chronic pain/ fatigue. Chronic pain of head, neck, back, left leg.
Other problems include REM sleep behavior disorder, nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy, chronic migraines associated with nausea/vertigo, episodes of passing out, hypoglycemia, liver dysfunction (had accidental overdose of acetaminophen in 2009) had liver and kidney failure, hernia, degenerative disc disease with compression of nerve root, PTSD, and other problems associated with functioning problems from traumatic brain injury (light, sound sensitive, easily overloaded, easily distracted, cannot focus, anxiety problems etc.)
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:17 PM #10
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Ruidioso,

It sounds like you are have serious struggles with anxiety. Concussions only make anxiety worse.

The 7000 foot elevation at Steamboat can be a challenge on a concussed brain. Not surprising that you struggled. The oxygen bar is only a momentary effect. HBOT (Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy) is only shown to help at 1.5 atmospheres after 60 to 80 sessions. The value of an oxygen bottle will be momentary. It may help with dreams if you have very shallow breathing but it is unlikely.

The chiro is not a quick fix. Most are far too aggressive for the subtle neck injuries common to concussion. Many seek out NUCCA.org or atlasorthagonal.org chiros.

Here is a link to the vitamin thread. http://neurotalk.psychcentral.com/thread181974.html

Read the links at the bottom.

I disagree with the wait for the brain to heal before trying to balance the hormones. Here is a referral link for a hormone specialist https://www.womensinternational.com/..._referral.html

Here is another link to check out http://braininjuryselfrehabilitation...t-1/#more-5116

If you vit D is low, you need to get it up. Also, B-12 needs to be about 1000 pcgms/dL and Folate above 20. All three can be measured by blood test.

Testosterone is easily moderated with topical creams.

If you are worried about your facial skins, this is another sign of anxiety you need to resolve. You can recover skin condition once you get your brain working.

I am surprised they prescribed the Nuvaring but don't want to adjust your other hormones. You need to keep your progesterone up. It is a neuro-protectant.

Are your doctors communicating with each other ? It sure does not sound like it.

Please feel free to ask question and tell us anything.

Have you been checked out by a NeuroOphthalmologist ? They can be much better than a generic Ophtho. There is an organization that has a referral system. Hopefully, one of the others knows the name. It is NORA or something like that.

My best to you.
It sounds like you need more time off for quiet rest.
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