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PCS and cruise/flight

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Old 05-22-2018, 01:58 PM   #1
Wemadethislife
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Default PCS and cruise/flight

Hi!
I just found this board and plan on going through the stickies soon. I had a concussion in October 2016. I considered myself cured except from parosmia (lost sense of smell and now things don’t smell right) 4-5 months after concussion.
Lately I have noticed noise bothering me somewhat- I have 3 kids- so I went back to my concussion dr- she’s a sports medicine doctor that specializes in concussions.
She gave me some kind of memory/thinking test on the computer and I did terrible- as bad as 3 days after my concussion. I will admit I have trouble thinking of things quickly sometimes. For example- will have trouble remembering how to start a song my toddler wants to sing.
I am going back to vestibular therapy for an evaluation and see my dr again in 6 weeks.
I have driven 33 hours round trip to the beach and plan on doing that again in the fall with no problems.
My husband and I were going to book a cruise for my 40th bday in January. This will be 2 years after my concussion. We will fly. I’m kind of worried that the flight might be terrible or I will get seasick. I have never been on a cruise before. I have been on boats on the lake post concussion and no trouble, but that’s not the ocean.
I have 2 people tell me they are concerned about the cruise after my dr visit last week. One point is the cruise is we want to test out a shorter, cheaper cruise to see how we like it before spending a ton of money for a Disney Cruise with the kids.
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Old 05-22-2018, 02:47 PM   #2
Mark in Idaho
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Wemadethislife,

Welcome to NeuroTalk.

I don't think anybody can reliably counsel you about the cruise. Most cruise ship are stabilized to have minimal sea movement so sea sickness should not be a big issue. A trial cruise may be worthwhile, though.

It sounds like you have had some sort of trigger, a trauma, emotional stress, illness, hormone changes, etc. that has caused a sort of relapse. Understanding the cause would be valuable.

The Computerized Neurocognitive Testing (CNT) your doc did suggests you may want to get further testing with a Neuro Psychological Assessment to full assess your functioning. Sports concussion specialists are usually trained at ImPACT or Brain Minder conferences or seminars that focus on Return to Play. They often do not get into the long term aspects of concussions, especially for mid aged people since most athletes in contact sports are 20s and younger.

Your memory issues may have environmental factors. With young children, visual and auditory stimulation is often high and can cause mental fatigue. The CNT should have been in a quiet environment so being symptomatic suggests something more than over-stimulation fatigue. It leaves lots of questions.

But, planning ahead for the cruise is a valid concept.
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Old 05-22-2018, 03:46 PM   #3
Wemadethislife
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark in Idaho View Post
Wemadethislife,

Welcome to NeuroTalk.

I don't think anybody can reliably counsel you about the cruise. Most cruise ship are stabilized to have minimal sea movement so sea sickness should not be a big issue. A trial cruise may be worthwhile, though.

It sounds like you have had some sort of trigger, a trauma, emotional stress, illness, hormone changes, etc. that has caused a sort of relapse. Understanding the cause would be valuable.

The Computerized Neurocognitive Testing (CNT) your doc did suggests you may want to get further testing with a Neuro Psychological Assessment to full assess your functioning. Sports concussion specialists are usually trained at ImPACT or Brain Minder conferences or seminars that focus on Return to Play. They often do not get into the long term aspects of concussions, especially for mid aged people since most athletes in contact sports are 20s and younger.

Your memory issues may have environmental factors. With young children, visual and auditory stimulation is often high and can cause mental fatigue. The CNT should have been in a quiet environment so being symptomatic suggests something more than over-stimulation fatigue. It leaves lots of questions.

But, planning ahead for the cruise is a valid concept.
Thank you for the reply- a couple interesting things-
I did a whole 30 - Paleo eating- in Jan and it made me cry every day and almost suicideal at times. I am not usually an emotional person. Seemed to feel better after adding back oatmeal and crackers. I did a Whole 30 pre concussion and did well on it.
Also, I had a migraine due to accidentally having MSG the day before my last testing and had taken a medication that made me sleepy and just felt off.
Hoping that why the test scores were so bad.
I also have been drinking alcohol again- maybe 3-4 drinks in a sitting 3 times a month.
We have a high deductible plan and I bet the neuropsych testing would be so expensive!
Thanks for all of your help.
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Old 05-24-2018, 03:32 AM   #4
Carrico
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Hello, Wemadethislife.

First of all, apologies to all that I am popping up in the forum so abruptly. I have been meaning to give myself a proper introduction for a while now but haven't gotten around to it.

Now, about cruises: I have never been on a proper cruise ship, but I have sailed on board the Queen Mary 2 without any problems. The movement of the ship was almost always perceptible but did not aggravate my symptoms in the slightest. If you are concerned about seasickness, I recommend that you try (if it's not too late) to get a cabin near the middle of the ship on a lower deck.

Three caveats, however. First, I have never really had any vestibular issues (as far as I know). As Mark will remind us, no two concussions are the same. Second, the sea was relatively calm for most of the voyage. Third, the Queen Mary 2 is built differently from most cruise ships and is generally more stable--or so I was told by a number of passengers who had also been on cruises.

I will be flying for the first time next month, so I'm afraid I can't add anything to the already ample discussions of PCS and flying on this forum. I wish you luck in your travels.
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Old 05-27-2018, 09:34 PM   #5
Bud
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I went on a cruise for 3 days 2 years after my accident. I had no difficulties mentally once I adjusted to the barely perceptible motions. After I realized what was going on it was no big deal.

I do think at times some of us head injury folk are more sensitive and aware of our environment which I attribute to poorer filtering abilities (a layman’s guess). When I figured out I was quite attentive to the slight motions of the floor while walking and my body was compensating for it just dandy I gave it no further thought.

Sitting and laying down were no problem and again as I said walking never presented a problem I was just aware Of things my wife’s system handled with no thought.

I hope this makes sense and have fun!

Bud
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Old 05-30-2018, 01:01 PM   #6
Wemadethislife
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Thanks for the replies!
We booked a balcony room towards the middle of the ship on a lower deck.
I go for a vestibular therapy re eval today.
I also had recently started taking Claritin and feel so much clearer now that i stopped. I think it was giving me brain fog and am hopeful that’s what the problem is.
My dr already sent in a script for Zofran and the seasickness patch even though the cruise isn’t for over 6 months.
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