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Going backwards

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Old 02-10-2018, 01:41 AM   #1
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Default Going backwards

First, I would like to say that I cannot imagine how difficult it must be suffering from PCS. I am merely trying to help and provide support and my heart is breaking to witness the suffering, both physical and emotional, this continues to cause.

I am trying to make this easier somehow, find answers, anything really to somehow help my dear friend. Any ideas, thoughts, suggestions, please feel free.

Ok, so, my friend had a bicycle accident in April 2017. He spent three days in the hospital diagnosed with a concussion. He has gone through months of vertigo, nausea, and horrible headaches.

Things seemed to be going in the right direction here recently. His vertigo finally stopped and the headaches have lessened. He still has some slight balance issues, his gait is just somehow off different. He also sometimes stutters a bit and cannot always find the words he wants to use. I have assumed that these are all symptoms of PCS and will too go away with time.

He has caught the flu and is now having some of the old symptoms return and a new one. Tonight he could not figure out how to use the phone through his computer, which he has done for at least a year. He just could not figure out how to do it. He knew that he should know but just could not do it. He has fallen a couple times because his balance has gotten worse. He appears to struggle with most movement. At this point I do not know if it is the flu, the PCS, both?

Getting him to go to the Dr. well, that's a whole other support group! I don't know how to help him. On top of being terribly ill with the flu, now these symptoms too! He is scared, frustrated, depressed, and just wants to be himself again.

Is this normal? Any advice? Anything I can do to make this easier for him?

Thank you so much for your time.

Last edited by Kitty; 02-10-2018 at 07:15 AM. Reason: spacing added for ease of reading
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Old 02-10-2018, 10:14 AM   #2
Mark in Idaho
Join Date: Feb 2009
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Welcome to NeuroTalk.

I'm sorry to hear about your friend. It sounds like he is having a rough time.

It appears he needs some continuing vestibular diagnosis and therapy. Many struggle with vestibular issues. One doctor has even termed some concussions as vestibular concussions because the major symptom is vestibular.

He would likely benefit from a thorough assessment by a Physiatrist, (Physical Medicine and Rehabilitiation MD) who specializes in NeuroRehab. They are usually affiliated with a NeuroRehab hospital.

His word finding struggles are not uncommon. The best thing he or you can do is to be patient. When he gets frustrated trying to find words, the stress makes the problem worse.

On of the problems with head injuries is the blood brain barrier gets damaged and needs to repair. Nutritional changes can help. An anti-inflammatory diet and vitamins can help. We have a brain focused vitamin regimen in the stickies at the top. The first post has a link to a later updated post. The Omega 3 fish oil, B-12, B-50 Complex, D-3, and magnesium are most important. All of the anti-oxidants are valuable.

How is his sleep? Many with PCS struggle with insomnia or irregular sleep. Proper night time sleep is extremely important. It is when the brain heals. Daytime naps are not advised because they disrupt the nigh time sleep rhythm.

Many suffer subtle upper neck injuries that cause symptoms to persist. Poor sleep posture can cause upper neck inflammation that can disrupt blood flow to the brain. Upper cervical chiro or PT can be very valuable. The subtle neck injury is not imageable in most cases. It can be the trigger for headaches. Icing the upper neck can help.

The flu will make his PCS symptoms much worse. Once he recovers from the flu, his symptoms can be better addressed.

What was the reason he was kept in the hospital for 3 days? Was he slurring his words or unable to balance or...?

He may have suffered a personality change. That change can be permanent. Learning to function as the new person can be a challenge and needs a lot of support. Where do you live? We could help you find a Brain Injury Support Group. They can be very valuable for both the injured and the caregiver/family.

My best to you as you try to help your friend.
Mark in Idaho

"Be still and know that I am God" Psalm 46:10
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Old 02-11-2018, 07:19 PM   #3
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Thank you so much for the information, I will look into some diet changes and vitamins immediately. I think you may be on to something regarding his sleep and sleep positions. I will talk to him about this.
They kept him in the hospital because the vertigo was so bad he could barely sit up for days. They wanted him to go into a in patient rehab program but he would not do it. He did do out patient rehab for a few weeks. This whole thing has left him very bitter. He was a victim of a hit and run. The way it happened and the loss of so much control has been hard for him. He is stubborn by nature and those personality changes you mentioned have made it worse. He was an avid bicyclist and not being able to ride as he once did is effecting him both physically and emotionally.
I do think there were some neck injuries. We believe he flipped over the bike and landed head down. He does have neck pain and somewhat limited mobility in his neck. We have done heat, ice and massage to try and address this.
We live in Lincoln, Ne. I don't know if he would go to a group, but I would.
Again, thank you so much for your time.
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Old 02-11-2018, 08:03 PM   #4
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Was his neck checked out very thoroughly at time of injury?
MRI or Xrays?
And was there any PT assessment/evaluation for neck strains /spasms if no bone or disk issues showed on imaging?
They often say whiplash might not appear right away, so could be some of that happening now..
and If you haven't seen posts about upper cervical chiropractic,, that might be worth looking into.. a site search will find that info for you.. or google...

Take care of the flu symptoms for now, as it is very bad this year..
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