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


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Old 01-02-2015, 06:06 AM #1
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Question Am I the only one agonized by pillows?

Ever since my first concussion (also had a second very mild TBI 10 days later), I had been having a lot of trouble with pillows.

Every time I put my head on a pillow now, I start getting a moderate physical pain in the head which feels like uncomfortable pressure. It's even worse if I put my head quickly on the pillow - I have to slowly put my head on the pillow and sink inside. If I hit my head into the pillow (just lie down with the head very quickly on the pillow) I'll just get nauseous and feel really sick (before the mTBI I would just drop my head quickly on the pillow without even thinking of it every night and never had problems when I did that). It's even worse if I mpve my head to the sides while on the pillow because it increases the feelings of pressure! It's just unbelievable how sensitive my head is right now...

Also, when I wake up from sleep and lift my head from the pillow, I feel extreme pressure on the side of the head I slept on. This is very uncomfortable and lasts for at least 30 seconds.

Again, this gets much worse if I don't put my head very slowly on the pillow and sink in. It's highly irritating to do that (lying my head down very slowly on the pillow) but when I don't I just feel sick shortly after.

Does anyone here suffer from it too? Do you have any recommendation on what I can do to solve this problem?

Sorry if there are any typos, I wrote this from my phone.

Thanks,
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Old 01-02-2015, 09:04 AM #2
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Sounds like sinus congestion (and ear congestion) to me.
Teeth can also cause this.

Did you go to the ENT yet?

Did you know that if your Eustachian tubes are blocked, fluid to the middle ear cannot circulate and will push on the ear drum and make you dizzy. There are nerves in the ear drum which detect pressure.

http://www.emedicinehealth.com/perfo...m/page3_em.htm

When my sinuses (there are some behind your nose in the center of your head besides the common maxillary ones) are congested, I get a really clogged headache feeling.
http://www.sinuses.com/ctscan.htm
The sphenoid sinuses can really cause nasty pressure and headaches.

Guaifenesin is helpful to drain excess fluid from the ears and sinuses. You need to drink lots of water when using it.
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Old 01-02-2015, 12:52 PM #3
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I sleep with a hot water bottle under my neck.

It is just the last couple of months I could again sleep on my back and still have days where I have to accommodate my head when laying down.

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Old 01-02-2015, 04:07 PM #4
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MrsD's thoughts are good, you have had the snuffles recently and head colds like that can cause tenderness.

However....yeah even pillows hurt. I get an awful lot of pain at my impact site (from where a car door was slammed with a persons fullforce into my head: from jaw, across cheekbone, locking mechanism just above temple and extending over my ear and into the top of my skull.)

In the early days it was agony to lay on that side, but worse on the other as I felt my brain was too heavey and pressure would build. Now I have to remember to move very carefully, though it is improving.

Is your pain general or localised and what sensations?
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Old 01-02-2015, 05:25 PM #5
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mrsD,

Thank you for your reply. This might be an ear-nose-throat issue, since I have been sick for weeks already. I haven't went to the ENT doctor yet, but my GP gave me a referral to one, so I'll go this week.

Sadly, though, I think it is related to my Post-Concussion Syndrome. It has begun after my mTBI on 27 October 2014 and I have this problem with pillows since.

I notice that NSAIDs like Advil help a lot almost all the time, but I just can't allow myself to take them daily.

Bud,

Thank you, I'll try this tonight!

_Ash_,

If I sleep with my left side of the head on a pillow, I'll wake up and get terrible pain at the left side of the head when I lift my head from the pillow.

If I sleep on the right side, it'll happen on the right side. Same with on the back of the head. It just hurts on the side I slept even if it's not the area of the injury (I ran into a concrete wall at a speed of about 3m/s late October 2014 and got injured in the right side of my head, but my head hurts also on the left side if I'm sleeping on it long enough).

The sensations are usually a lot of pressure - imagine a very heavy weight, tens of kilograms, placed on your head. This is about what it feels like.

And yes, like you said, moving my head on the pillow is hell. It makes the pain much worse and messes me up. I now have to carefully consider everything I do to prevent from pain to happen. Also, if the pain returns, it is usually accompanied by most of the PCS symptoms - together with the pain, I sometimes get blurry vision, confusion, derealization and just a bad feeling.
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Old 01-02-2015, 07:30 PM #6
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I've found naproxin, a NSAID, very helpful.May be worth chatting to your Dr/parents about. Not sure how it would mix with the other drugs your on.

That does sound similar to me except that my pain starts on sharply contact and continues throughout the night. In the early days even a light touch of the hand or hair grip was too much (why I couldnt take the noise cancelling headphones advice.) I resorted to buying new pilows all cheap and fluffy.

I'd have two laying next to one another as you normally would, then placing a third over the centre. I would lay on the central pillow and pull the outer corners of the bottom two down and around my head. This provided all round cushioning, spreading my weight evenly and supporting a slightly elevated position. It helped a bit. I also had to make myself stop turning over in the night or waiting to the last moment to get out of bed and starting the day with all systmes go. Slow wakening, and easing my head into an upright position so that the brain is joslted less and your proprioception receptors are given time to adjust in increments- lessening the vertigo.

And yeah that sounds a bit like a pillow fort, but hey.

Personally (not a dr) I think it is due to brain swelling limiting the buoyancy/cushioning effects of CSF plus a level positioning effecting blood flow/intercranial pressure. Though, in my case, I was also concerned about fractures.

Its only been a short while for you, you're still in that 3 month window when many people do notice a significant improvement. Its been 5 months for me and I've noticed a definate gradual improvement in this over that time. Of late I've even been turning over in my sleep almost like I normally would, then waking because I'm reminding myself not to do that...to realise that actual the pain, though a bit stabby, is a lot less than what it was. (Before naproxin)

Do you think this is related to some of your earlier posts where you were concerned with dancing/shaking/gently bumping your head? This pain is similar to that of a migraine, so rather than further concussions you are triggering a similar pain to that which you feel when laying down.
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Old 01-03-2015, 12:14 AM #7
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Yes! I am super agonized by pillows since my accident 32 months ago. I've searched for different pillows and nothing quite works. I also get the pain and pressure when I lay my head down.

I found sleeping flat with no pillows has been the best. I think it has to do with my neck being torqued by the pillows. I am getting PT on my neck due to undiagnosed whiplash which is helping with the pillow situation!

Until recently I had to sleep on my couch with no pillows, an eye mask, and ear plugs to sleep as any stimulation caused irritability and insomnia due to pain.

Try going sans pillow and see what happens! If it feels better it could be a neck thing.

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Old 01-03-2015, 12:44 AM #8
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Welcome back polkadots.

I think you have a few errors in your signature. You have mgs when you likely should have had mcgs for B-12 and I think another supplement. I can't see your signature in the Reply mode to double check what I read. How do you tolerate so much niacin? I take 500 mgs and my skin flushes like it is on fire. And, I've been taking it for decades.

btw, Support group meets at 6:00 on January 22 at the Elks building 4th floor by the cafeteria.

I use a pillow that is flat under my head and curled up on the sides to support my head from rolling to the side. I can not tolerate any lift to my head.
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Old 01-03-2015, 11:22 AM #9
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Default pillows are an issue for me...

I have tried several pillow situations and the only thing thats helps some is a trave u shaped pillow I got a cracker barrel a few yrs ago that was filled with buck wheat hulls. I am searching for buck wheat hull bed pillows but they are quite pricey.

if anyone know a good source for wholesale hulls at a good price I may try to make my own
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Old 01-03-2015, 11:24 AM #10
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Try this...
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Premium-Buck...item1c3ae08459

Ebay has lots of entries with varying prices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jinga View Post
I have tried several pillow situations and the only thing thats helps some is a trave u shaped pillow I got a cracker barrel a few yrs ago that was filled with buck wheat hulls. I am searching for buck wheat hull bed pillows but they are quite pricey.

if anyone know a good source for wholesale hulls at a good price I may try to make my own
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