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

Could I possibly have Post concussion sydrome?

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Unread 10-18-2012, 10:44 AM   #1
mattdelm
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Default Could I possibly have Post concussion sydrome?

Hello everyone,

This is my 1st post, I am Matthew, 18, and am from the UK but have lived in France for 5 years.

I will try and keep my story as simple as possible, just over 3 months ago I went to my best friends house as he was having a party, we was all drinking alcohol, I had 1 beer, then a few shots of vodka and a couple of shots of Tequila, we all had roughly the same amount of alcohol, this was probably my 5th time drinking alcohol.

Anyway after the Tequila I became quite agressive so someone came running up to me and rugby tackled me. I am pretty sure I hit my head.

But after that I can't remember anything, apparently I got back up then passed out and my friends but me on the sofa.

A few hours later I woke up, and was sick the following day all day long. But then by the evening I didn't feel sick anymore and drove back home. I still felt hungover but I knew that I wasn't my normal 100% self.

2 days later I started having panic attacks, didn't know what was happening to me, stomach pains, and felt like passing out.

At first I thought this was the alcohol because I know in some people alcohol can trigger off anxiety and depression for the next few days.

The panic attacks continued for the 1st month and I had a non stop fast heart beat.

The second month and 3rd month, I have just not felt myself at all, I feel very detached from the outside world like it's not the same as before, something has changed, When I'm with my friends, it's like I'm there but I'm not there.

I know this is called depersonalization which is a symptom of anxiety. Now I have seen 2 doctors which both say I am having a crisis and am a Hypochondriac.

Well who wouldn't be anxious with these symptoms everyday. I can never focus on anything or enjoy anything like before because I constantly have a headache or other symptoms.

At the moment 3 months down the line, I have had a non stop headache for 2 months, blurry vision, like my vision isn't as detailed as before, and just generally don't feel like myself anymore, can't concentrate, can't go out to work, my short term memory is non existent at the moment, I just want to get back to life like before.

I have never suffered from anxiety or depression in my life, apart from OCD which has never bothered me.

I keep forcing myself to live like before but it just isn't like before. It's like there is the party 3 months ago, then a 3 month gap which is all messed up, then the present.

I can't keep tract of time, I can't remember what I've eaten or when I last saw a friend, I know it wasn't long ago but I can't say how many days ago.

I'm 18 and before this was so happy, just started working, was going to pass my car license and buy a car.

Now my life just feels messed up.

The only thing that was different about this party from any other time I have drank alcohol is that I'm pretty sure I bashed my head pretty hard. Because just after the rugby tackle I can't remember anything apart from waking up the next day.

Thank you for taking the time to read this
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Theta Z (10-18-2012)
Unread 10-18-2012, 01:15 PM   #2
rmschaver
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Default Pcs?

First I am no Dr. Second you don't necessarily have to hit your head to cause a concussion. That is old out dated thinking. If the body check was violent enough the brain will crash around inside your head. This is often referred as coup, counter coup injury. It just means your brain hit the front of your skull and then the back.

From your description of symptoms it sounds like PCS to me. I would have a more direct talk with your Dr. and see why he/she may feel otherwise. Did anyone at the party remember the event? Could they describe it well enough to assist the Dr. in understanding that this may be the origin of your injury?

What are you doing to help you recover?

What meds has the Dr. prescribed?

What kind of rest are you getting.
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Theta Z (10-18-2012)
Unread 10-18-2012, 01:38 PM   #3
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matt,

As rmschaver has said above, please do promptly see your physician.
You must stress when making the appointment, that you are experiencing "problems with concussion".
I don't know where you are located in France, however the dr's office might even refer you immediately then (on the phone) to a specialist.

Keep us posted, Matt.
We do know how horrible this all can be, to not feel like ourselves. You're still there, I assure you.
You just need some direct care of physician, and to follow the protocols.
And, keep us posted.

Sincerely,
Theta Z.
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Unread 10-18-2012, 05:46 PM   #4
Mark in Idaho
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Matt,

Your best complaint to a doctor is to tell of your falling down with witness accounts if possible. Then, relate all of your symptoms. Avoid telling the doctor you have Post Concussion Syndrome. Leave room for the doctor to make his diagnosis. In today's internet world, doctors are quite familiar with cyber-chondriacs. They are hypochondriacs who self-diagnose from information they have found online.

There is very little the doctor can offer you. Some will offer anti-anxiety meds because the patients presentation often shows a level of anxiety. Pain meds for head aches are common.

The gold standard for recovery is quiet rest. I can explain more later after you answer rmschaver's questions.
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59 years old, retired due to disability, married 34 years, father of three, grandfather of four, Suffered a serious concussion at 10 years old (1965) stopped most driving after concussion at 46 years old (2001), Post Concussion Syndrome/Multiple Concussion/Impact Syndrome with PTSD, immediate/short term visual and auditory memory problems, slowed processing speed, visual/auditory processing difficulties, insomnia, absence seizures, OCD, 14 concussions since first concussion at 8 years old, Taking paroxetine for 14 years and gabapentin for 12 years. Added L-Tryptophan and stopped paroxetine after 3 months of tapering. I currently take 500 mgs of L-Tryptophan AM, 500 mgs noon, and 500 mgs PM.


As of Nov 15th, Due to high stress issues resulting in PTSD, docs put me on 3 meds. Clonazepam but only for 30 days ) .125 mgs twice daily (Doc presc. .25 mgs 2x daily but half a tablet is good) , citalopram (Celexa), an SSRI , and olanzapine (Zyprexa), an atypical anti-psychotic that usually causes weight gain before bed. I lost over 30 pounds since mid July. It just stopped the weight loss. Took me off the gabapentin. I am feeling better than I have in years.

This great feeling only lasted a month. Back to the same old PCS doldrums.

May 2014, I am off the olanzapine due to a 6 fold price increase. Back on 600 mgs of gabapentin before bed.

I am also taking L-Theanine to help with GABA regulation


"Be Still and Know That I am God" Psalm 46:10
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Unread 10-19-2012, 04:08 AM   #5
mattdelm
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Thank you so much for your replies, currently I am taking anti anxiety medication and an anti depressant.

For the constant headaches, paracetamol, aspirin and Ibuprofen hardly seem to touch the headaches.

My doctor hasn't actually diagnosed me with anything, he just says the medication will take several months before I see a change. He seems to think its anxiety and depression but they can also be symptoms of PCS.

Nobody remembers if I hit my head but they all say I got rugby tackled hard.

When I mentioned PCS to the doctor, he said, I have had a CT scan which was negative so it can't be that, well most people who have had a concussion will have a negative CT scan.

The medication I am on is:

Valpromide 300mg (morning and evening)
Oxazepam 5mg (morning and evening)
Chlorpromazine (12.5mg morning and 25mg evening)
Escitalopram 10mg in the morning

Thanks for everyones help.
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Unread 10-19-2012, 04:21 AM   #6
mattdelm
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Thank you so much for your replies, currently I am taking anti anxiety medication and an anti depressant.

For the constant headaches, paracetamol, aspirin and Ibuprofen hardly seem to touch the headaches.

My doctor hasn't actually diagnosed me with anything, he just says the medication will take several months before I see a change. He seems to think its anxiety and depression but they can also be symptoms of PCS.

Nobody remembers if I hit my head but they all say I got rugby tackled hard.

When I mentioned PCS to the doctor, he said, I have had a CT scan which was negative so it can't be that, well most people who have had a concussion will have a negative CT scan.

The medication I am on is:

Valpromide 300mg (morning and evening)
Oxazepam 5mg (morning and evening)
Chlorpromazine (12.5mg morning and 25mg evening)
Escitalopram 10mg in the morning

Thanks for everyones help.
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Unread 10-19-2012, 07:18 PM   #7
rmschaver
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Default Pcs?

Meds are out of my league but Mark can weigh in there. Your Dr. sounds like he is not very helpful. Is it possible to get a second opinion? As my GP said a second opinion is always a good thing. He also said that most Dr.s will not mind a second opinion at all.

What about rest. A very common mistake most of us have made is trying to do to much. Insomnia is common for us as well. Trying to get enough sleep and then avoiding over-stimulation is a learned strategy. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, tv, video games, computer.

Try to not over stress mentally or physically. One of my triggers is heat. If I get over heated can bring on a terrible headache and other symptoms. I keep a health journal that has helped me recognize my triggers. It has also helped me see the ssssllllooooooowwww process of healing.
__________________
49, Male Married, PCS since June 2012, headaches, Back pain, neck pain, attention deficit, concentration deficit, processing speed deficit, verbal memory deficit, PTSD, fatigue, tinutitus, tremors.

To see the divine in the moment.
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Unread 10-19-2012, 09:37 PM   #8
Mark in Idaho
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Matt,

I agree with rmschaver. Your doctor is not taking care of you. He is trying to dope you up. I would never let a doctor use a shotgun approach of throwing so many meds at a condition that he has yet to properly diagnose. As you said, a CT will always come up negative for a simple concussion. If it was positive, you would have had a stay in the hospital.

Can you get a second opinion? You need it.

If it was my choice, I would stop all of the meds except maybe the escitalopram. It overlaps with all the others.
I would also get started on a brain nutrition regimen. Your brain is injured and needs help to get its chemistry corrected.

I have a post of my recommended supplements in Patty's thread "Hello, New Here." Scroll down a bit.

As rmschaver said, avoid caffeine, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, etc. You also need quiet rest. Limit cognitive effort and sensory stimulation such as loud music, multiple voices, flashing lights, visual clutter, etc.

You want just enough cognitive stimulation to keep your blood flowing through your brain, no more.

Let us know what the doctors say when you ask for a 2nd opinion.

My best to you.
__________________
Mark in Idaho
.


59 years old, retired due to disability, married 34 years, father of three, grandfather of four, Suffered a serious concussion at 10 years old (1965) stopped most driving after concussion at 46 years old (2001), Post Concussion Syndrome/Multiple Concussion/Impact Syndrome with PTSD, immediate/short term visual and auditory memory problems, slowed processing speed, visual/auditory processing difficulties, insomnia, absence seizures, OCD, 14 concussions since first concussion at 8 years old, Taking paroxetine for 14 years and gabapentin for 12 years. Added L-Tryptophan and stopped paroxetine after 3 months of tapering. I currently take 500 mgs of L-Tryptophan AM, 500 mgs noon, and 500 mgs PM.


As of Nov 15th, Due to high stress issues resulting in PTSD, docs put me on 3 meds. Clonazepam but only for 30 days ) .125 mgs twice daily (Doc presc. .25 mgs 2x daily but half a tablet is good) , citalopram (Celexa), an SSRI , and olanzapine (Zyprexa), an atypical anti-psychotic that usually causes weight gain before bed. I lost over 30 pounds since mid July. It just stopped the weight loss. Took me off the gabapentin. I am feeling better than I have in years.

This great feeling only lasted a month. Back to the same old PCS doldrums.

May 2014, I am off the olanzapine due to a 6 fold price increase. Back on 600 mgs of gabapentin before bed.

I am also taking L-Theanine to help with GABA regulation


"Be Still and Know That I am God" Psalm 46:10
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Unread 10-20-2012, 11:43 AM   #9
mattdelm
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Thanks Mark and rmschaver for your replies. I have seen my family doctor who is of no use at all. He said just to stay on the same medication and see how it goes.

Even my parents don't believe me when I say I still have a headache, they seem to think I am making it up.

The headache has been non stop for about 2 months and is unbearable. Normal painkillers don't touch it at all.

How long do PCS headaches normally last? It's to the extent where I have stopped taking care of myself and just stay in the house all day.
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Unread 10-20-2012, 01:33 PM   #10
Mark in Idaho
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Matt,

Maybe you need to see a migraine specialist. I have had head aches that were not constant but were chronic for 6 months. I have learned to relax and get the head aches to reduce in intensity.

What kind of activity and environment is your daily normal? Mental stimulation can cause head aches as the brain needs blood flow but cannot control the blood pressure. Do you have a way to check your blood pressure? It can be connected to head aches. A blood pressure lowering med can sometimes be helpful.

I wish I could help you more. Head aches can be a pain.

My best to you.
__________________
Mark in Idaho
.


59 years old, retired due to disability, married 34 years, father of three, grandfather of four, Suffered a serious concussion at 10 years old (1965) stopped most driving after concussion at 46 years old (2001), Post Concussion Syndrome/Multiple Concussion/Impact Syndrome with PTSD, immediate/short term visual and auditory memory problems, slowed processing speed, visual/auditory processing difficulties, insomnia, absence seizures, OCD, 14 concussions since first concussion at 8 years old, Taking paroxetine for 14 years and gabapentin for 12 years. Added L-Tryptophan and stopped paroxetine after 3 months of tapering. I currently take 500 mgs of L-Tryptophan AM, 500 mgs noon, and 500 mgs PM.


As of Nov 15th, Due to high stress issues resulting in PTSD, docs put me on 3 meds. Clonazepam but only for 30 days ) .125 mgs twice daily (Doc presc. .25 mgs 2x daily but half a tablet is good) , citalopram (Celexa), an SSRI , and olanzapine (Zyprexa), an atypical anti-psychotic that usually causes weight gain before bed. I lost over 30 pounds since mid July. It just stopped the weight loss. Took me off the gabapentin. I am feeling better than I have in years.

This great feeling only lasted a month. Back to the same old PCS doldrums.

May 2014, I am off the olanzapine due to a 6 fold price increase. Back on 600 mgs of gabapentin before bed.

I am also taking L-Theanine to help with GABA regulation


"Be Still and Know That I am God" Psalm 46:10
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