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


advertisement
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-28-2013, 09:13 AM #1
Agent007tj Agent007tj is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 15
5 yr Member
Agent007tj Agent007tj is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 15
5 yr Member
Default Girlfriend with PCS

Background

On 10/23/13 around 8pm my gf and I bumped heads pretty hard while in bed. I pulled the blanket from under her, but pulled her along with it and the left back part of her head hit the left front part of my head. We were less than a feet apart. I am an RN and I work nights, so she complained of a headache, but hid the severity of the headache from me and she was mostly normal conversationally with me. After waking up I had to rush off to work, so I didn't notice much more. The next morning I came back tired from work and she seemed to be a bit strange to me and in my tired self, I ate and went to sleep. When I woke up she was about the same as the previous morning. I decided we had to take her to the ER. Went to a Stroger ER (Chicago) due to a lack of health insurance. Short story, terrible experience and came out with a diagnosis of headaches secondary to head injury, with possible concussion. At stroger they did a head CT and gave her benadryl and reglan (migraine coctail) and it helped slightly. I brought her back home exhaused from the near 6 hours of waiting at the ER.

She seemed to have gotten worse by the next day and when her mother came to see her she was shocked. I used this time to get in touch with my friend's friend, who happens to be a neurosurgeon and after my description of her symptoms he immedietly diagnosed it as post concussion syndrome. He recommended I get her to an ER and get a cervical spine CT and an MRI. This time I went to the best hospital in chicago (Northwestern) and they immedietly diagnosed her correctly. They gave her IV compazine, toradol, and decadron. They also did the c-spine CT and MRI like the neurosurgeon recommended. We spend about 9 hours here. During both visits she was telling me she wanted to go home.

A little about her
She is a 32 year old teacher that has taught in Korea for 3 years and speaks korean fairly well, speaks some spanish, but she is fluent in english. Very smart, very caring (almost altruistic), and a perfectionist. She recently started an online business for organic, made to order baked goods and body products. She makes scrubs, body butters, lip balms, cookies, granola....she is very creative and highly talented. She has had one know concussion at age 6 and then at age 13 or 14. She returned to the US in the first week of August to be with me and was done teaching in Korea.

Symptoms by days
Day 1 - Headache (only on left side, which went from back to front and tender to touch on the outside)(pain of 10/10) but almost conversationally normal, with photophobia and sensitivity to sound

Day 2 - Headache (pain 8/10), neck hurting on the injured side, same symptoms as above, but nausea, and not at all normal conversationallly. She would give simple delayed responses and very rarely start any conversation. She would tell me she needs to go to the washroon and wait for me to tell her lets go. She needed to be reminded to keep eating bite after bite. When she gets in bed she would complain of being cold, but won't pull the comforter up until I tell her. She had some long term memory losses. Also started crying because I jokingly said I won't get her boots from high up in the closet. She was also sleepy for most of the day.

Day 3 - Headache (pain 5/10) Same, but after the toradol, decadron, and compazine IV push she was a little less foggy, but still speaking very slowly and rarely starting conversations. At the ER at northwestern I saw her go from shivering to being really hot. (Vitals were stable during all visits)

Day 4 - Headache (mostly 1-3/10 with instances of 5-7/10)She made a sentence with her normal tone. All other symptoms exist. New symptom were numbness of legs and noticing being hot and cold more frequently. Around the afternoon time, she was conversing normally. Able to conversate for about 30 minutes before headaches became worse. She was beginning to make more decisions herself. Still very tired and sleepy, has dizziness at times, nauseous sometimes, photophobia (wearing sunglasses since day 3 to help), sensitivity to sound. We went for a 20 minute walk in the afternoon with sunglasses on. She did ok, but judgment and decision making was slightly delayed. She complained of having too many thoughts on her mind and started pacing around 8 or 9pm. Took benadryl and reglan around 11pm and has been asleep since.

Today is day 5 (10/28/13), so hopefully I see more progress in her. I been depressed for the first 3 days, but did my best to put on a strong appearance for her. Day 4 was better and I will keep you all updated on the upcoming days. Writing this really is helping me and is also a way for her and I look back at this period in time. One thing I know for sure from this experience so far is that she is the only one for me and she is everything for me. Please share your experience or make suggestions. I do plan on taking her to a neurologist and hopefully get her some concussion rehab. Due to her not having insurance this is going to be difficult.

Currently I am allowing her brain to rest as much as possible and I hope to fully get my girl back soon. I hate to see her in any type of pain. If you pray, your prayers are much appreciated.
Agent007tj is offline   Reply With QuoteReply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
MiaVita2012 (11-13-2013), poetrymom (10-29-2013)

advertisement
Old 10-28-2013, 10:09 AM #2
Lightrail11's Avatar
Lightrail11 Lightrail11 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Phoenix AZ
Posts: 531
8 yr Member
Lightrail11 Lightrail11 is offline
Member
Lightrail11's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Phoenix AZ
Posts: 531
My Mood: Girlfriend with PCS
8 yr Member
Default

Welcome to NT.

Sound like you are doing all the right things, and rest will be improtant as you mention. The injury was only a few days ago which is very recent as brain injuries go. Most concussions heal on thier own, best to you both.
__________________
What Happened: On November 29, 2010, I was walking across the street and was hit by a light rail commuter train. Result was a severe traumatic brain injury and multiple fractures (skull, pelvis, ribs). Total hospital stay was two months, one in ICU followed by an additional month in neuro-rehab. Upon hospital discharge, neurological testing revealed deficits in short term memory, executive functioning, and spatial recognition.

Today: Neuropsychological examination five months post-accident indicated a return to normal cognitive functioning, and I returned to work approximately 6 months after the accident. I am grateful to be alive and am looking forward to enjoying the rest of my life.
Lightrail11 is offline   Reply With QuoteReply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
Agent007tj (10-28-2013), poetrymom (10-29-2013)
Old 10-28-2013, 12:11 PM #3
Agent007tj Agent007tj is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 15
5 yr Member
Agent007tj Agent007tj is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 15
5 yr Member
Default

The questions I do have is how many hours per day should she be in a dark room sleeping? I have been waking her up for meals and having her go back to sleep. Anyone have some clear guidelines for this?

Also my research shows that I should only have her do light excercise starting at the two week mark. So I guess I made a mistake on that yesterday by going on a 20 minute walk with her.
Agent007tj is offline   Reply With QuoteReply With Quote
Old 10-28-2013, 04:10 PM #4
Vanilla Bean's Avatar
Vanilla Bean Vanilla Bean is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 59
5 yr Member
Vanilla Bean Vanilla Bean is offline
Junior Member
Vanilla Bean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 59
5 yr Member
Default

Agent,

I am so sorry to hear about your girlfriend's concussion. It can be so scary, especially when it changes someone you love so much. You sound like a good caretaker. You've come to the right place, and you've come early which is great. Read the sticky "Things you wish you had known when you first got a concussion" this will help you get a quick grasp on the overall picture. Browse the previous posts. You'll learn a lot.

What will be important is that your girlfriend knows not to consume caffeine or alcohol even when she starts to feel better. These things will bring on PCS or make PCS return. There are other things not to consume, but you will read about them if you browse the posts. Doctors will likely not tell you what you read on here, but the suggestions here are good recommendations that we have experience with.

With your girlfriend being a perfectionist, her biggest challenge is going to be not to overdo it and anxiety with her loss of control. Her greatest strength will be her ability to follow the advice here and self discipline. I am a perfectionist and I have learned to let go much more than ever in my life. She will have to learn the same. It's a tall order when she is starting a company. That might be on hold for a while, or she may be able to creatively think of a new solution that doesn't involve her working a lot.

Browse the posts; you will learn a lot and be able to help her a lot. I have also found that concussions - or PCS - has shed light on my life, just like it has allowed you to see your tremendous love for your girlfriend. That is a blessing so hold it and appreciate it while you go through this with her.
__________________
In July 2013 ran into a metal bar at a playground, remained conscious. CT normal. Headache subsided after a week. In August woke with thunderclap-type headache in right side of head, right eye was droopy. Ever since had electrical-type pulsating all over when falling asleep and during sleep. Strong muscle twitching occasionally. Chest pain in heart region, front left neck region, and left shoulder. Strong heartbeat noise in head and occasional weird noises in ears. Taking Gabapentin to control nighttime nerves. Other symptoms: anxiety attacks, goosebumps, fine motor coordination problems, sleep apnea, headaches/migraines, fatigue, unclear thinking.

Update as of Jan. 2015 - almost all symptoms gone except for some tinnitus. Taking good care of myself except sometimes when I overdo it.
Vanilla Bean is offline   Reply With QuoteReply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
Agent007tj (10-29-2013), poetrymom (10-29-2013)
Old 10-28-2013, 06:31 PM #5
dagma1 dagma1 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 66
5 yr Member
dagma1 dagma1 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 66
5 yr Member
Default

Hello,
I'm so very sorry to hear about your girlfriend. There are quite a few people on here who will be able to give you some really good advice.

I suffered a severe concussion in late March, a whole bunch of symptoms, terrible disorientation, slowed thinking, words not coming out correctly, depression, massive headaches, I'd be sitting in a chair and just "pass out" then wake up 15 mins later...on and on, it is very scary. I felt as though I was severely brain damaged, totally different. Every day I felt as though I was getting worse.

Read all you can on this forum, it will help you a lot.

I was an avid hiker and after the concussion couldn't even go for a walk, the brain has to heal, I paid dearly by trying to go for a small hike, set me back for days.

Other more experienced folks will answer your sleeping question, I was told to rest (I had physical injuries so in the end had to rest) but not to sleep all day.

I was in PT and Vestibular therapy which helped. I know various places have a sliding scale for fees.

My headaches were torture for days at a time, I can say they have improved, quite often I had to lie down in a dark room, just had to.

Your girlfriend must not try to do a lot right now, so hard I know but it has to be done.

You are definitely in the right place, it has really helped me, thank God your girlfriend has you, and I know this is very, very difficult for you too.

Please let us know how your girlfriend is doing? Take good care of yourself, my husband was/is going through so much with all this too.
dagma1 is offline   Reply With QuoteReply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
Agent007tj (10-29-2013), poetrymom (10-29-2013)
Old 10-29-2013, 09:31 AM #6
Agent007tj Agent007tj is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 15
5 yr Member
Agent007tj Agent007tj is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 15
5 yr Member
Default

@Vanilla Bean - Thank you for you reply. Luckily my girlfriend does not drink and is not a fan of anything caffeinated. Reading through the sticky things was very helpful. Its funny how things that once annoyed me are the things that I miss the most. Like she used to smack my hand when ever I start my annoying habit of biting my nail.

@Dagma1 - How long ago was your injury and how long did it take you to recover? Mainly to not be so disoriented and start being able to normal conversations?


A little update

Day 5-Headache (woke up with an 8/10, but some benadryl, reglan, ice, and food helped and throughout the day she remained at a 2-3/10). Around noon time she has normal conversations with me with a normal tone of voice. She gets tired afterwards and then goes into the same state of mind. She needs to be reminded to use the washroom and I have to ask her if she has pain. There was one instance in which her pain was at a 10/10. Basically the buzzer of the dryer went off. I stepped out for a moment at this time to run errands, while my friend stayed. When I came back she was calling my name and started speaking to me in korean and was describing the sound the dryer made. I was confused, by this and later found out it was the dryer. Day 5 seems like a setback when compared to day 4, but I am learning from here that its to be expected. She still has hot/cold flashes, but seems to be less frequently. Numbness/tingling in hands and feet still exist. She has brief moments in which she has no headaches. I am slowly weaning her off medicine and using the icepack more often which really seems to help.


Well today is day number 6 and I found her with a bad headache around 8am. She needed the reglan and benadryl combo, along with ice. It helped and she is back to sleep.
Agent007tj is offline   Reply With QuoteReply With Quote
Old 10-29-2013, 10:33 PM #7
poetrymom's Avatar
poetrymom poetrymom is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 398
8 yr Member
poetrymom poetrymom is offline
Member
poetrymom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 398
8 yr Member
Default Brain rest

Hi there

So sorry to hear about your gf and her concussion. It's very scary and you are so kind to help her and care for her.

Brain rest can be so boring, but if she sleeps, let her sleep.

Avoid screens, TV, driving in the car, (she shouldn't drive or be in a car) texting, movies,

What can you do for brain rest?

Audio books if she can follow the story or it's soothing.

Gentle music if it soothes her.

Petting a dog or a cat if you have one.

Doing something with the hands that doesn't strain the mind. Putting yarn in to a ball...

Warm bath or shower

Maybe look at pictures in a magazine, but no heavy reading

Use Advil or the active ingrediant instead of acetominaphin (can't spell it)

HOpefully the concussion will heal up and you won't need us for the PCS help. My prayers are with you.



poetrymom
__________________
[SIZE="1"]What happened. I was in a car accident 2-23-2013, and got a mild concussion from it. I had some time off for brain rest, got somewhat better, but slipped into PCS in March 2013.

Symptoms I had: dizziness, light and sound sensitivity, fatigue, tinitis, occasional headaches and migraines,

Symptoms as of 5--2013: poor sleep, tinitis, some confusion /short term memory blanks, balance. The other symptoms are mostly gone, but flare up if I OVERdo something.

Therapy I had: vestibular

3 months in: I could drive more and for longer distances. I felt like a younger, happier version of myself and I feel so blessed to have this feeling.

9 months in and I am working full time. I do get tired, and some sound and light sensitivity from time to time, but mostly I am over most of my symptoms.
I pray every day and I m praying for your recovery.

Over a year in: I can multi task (limited) and have humor in my life. But when I am tired, I am very tired.
poetrymom is offline   Reply With QuoteReply With Quote
Old 10-30-2013, 05:37 AM #8
Agent007tj Agent007tj is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 15
5 yr Member
Agent007tj Agent007tj is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 15
5 yr Member
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by poetrymom View Post

Use Advil or the active ingrediant instead of acetominaphin (can't spell it)

poetrymom
Hello poetrymom, thank you first of all for your prayers. Also thank you for all the tips. I think I will definitely use the audio books idea if she can tolerate it. She does complain of being bored often now.

About the use of Advil, I thought we are to avoid using it due to the risk of bleeding. Please explain why you are stating to use it over acetaminophen.
Agent007tj is offline   Reply With QuoteReply With Quote
Old 10-30-2013, 11:55 AM #9
Mark in Idaho Mark in Idaho is offline
Legendary
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Somewhere near here
Posts: 11,143
10 yr Member
Mark in Idaho Mark in Idaho is offline
Legendary
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Somewhere near here
Posts: 11,143
My Mood: Girlfriend with PCS
10 yr Member
Default

Acetaminophen has greater negative impact on the brain. It is also rough on the liver.
__________________
Mark in Idaho

"Be still and know that I am God" Psalm 46:10
Mark in Idaho is offline   Reply With QuoteReply With Quote
Old 10-30-2013, 09:00 PM #10
dagma1 dagma1 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 66
5 yr Member
dagma1 dagma1 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 66
5 yr Member
Default

Hi,

My concussion was in late March, the headaches were disabling, had to lie down in the dark, light, voices, actually any kind of noise sent me insane. I totally understand how your gf felt when the dryer made that noise, that darn buzzer can be torture. I was also exhausted from just a small conversation.

I have actually come a long way with mixing up words etc, still do it and my husband says I don't finish sentences sometimes but it is better. I will search and search for the right word and there's just nothing in my brain, it all takes time.

The disorientation is a lot better, I was in vestibular therapy which I know helped, probably got better a lot after about 5 months but I could feel improvement along the way.

You are such a wonderful person and I know this is so stressful for you, my husband said I was a completely different person, as you know your gf's brain is injured, I was told everything is misfiring and it takes time to heal.

I fought all this in the beginning but paid dearly so your gf must not do too much even if she feels she can, take it very slowly. I know when I did too much that terrible headache would be back for days.

You are both in my thoughts, please let us know how your gf is doing and take care.
dagma1 is offline   Reply With QuoteReply With Quote
Reply

Tags
post concusion syndrome, post concussion, post concussion recovery, post concussion symptoms

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Desperate girlfriend!! Trouble62 General Mental Health & Emotional Support 3 07-31-2014 07:30 AM
Desperate girlfriend!! Trouble62 Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Concussion Syndrome 3 07-22-2013 12:31 AM
How to help my girlfriend with her PD? linter Parkinson's Disease 37 04-03-2011 11:15 AM
Nuby needs some advice for girlfriend nubythedog Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD and CRPS) 3 04-10-2007 06:52 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:31 PM.

Powered by vBulletin • Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise v2.7.1 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2021 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
 

NeuroTalk Forums

Helping support those with neurological and related conditions.

 

The material on this site is for informational purposes only,
and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment
provided by a qualified health care provider.


Always consult your doctor before trying anything you read here.