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

Is there any success stories out there for PCS?

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Unread 12-05-2012, 07:31 PM   #11
Ariellasings
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Default Pcs success

Hi Brief background: 19 year old college female at UC Berkeley in California.
On Nov 30, 2011, I was drunk and fell off a ladder, 4 foot drop onto concrete. Hit the back of my head and luckily didn't get knocked unconscious but had an awful concussion nonetheless. 3 weeks later, I hit my head on a bedpost while cleaning my room. I developed awful PCS for the next 9 months. I could no longer exercise, focus on studying, do simple tasks, etc. All the typical symptoms of PCS. it was a nightmare. I also developed severe depression and anxiety. Honestly, I don't want to sound weak, but in March I considered suicide on a serious scale.

Long story short, after much rest, a year later, I am not 95% back to normal! The only thing I still have is floaters in my vision when looking at something in bright daylight, as well as headaches from vigorous exercise. But anyway, don't give up hope, it gets better!
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Unread 12-05-2012, 08:11 PM   #12
claritan
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Originally Posted by Mark in Idaho View Post
The problem with PCS and hoping for a cure is the complexity of the brain. There are more than 4000 different classes of neurons, each with a specific function. Each neuron can have up to 10,000 axons connected to it. Each axon is covered with myelin. The damaged myelin is the hardest part to heal. It needs proper nutrition to repair itself. Each axon connects to a dendrite that connects to other parts of the neural network.

When the brain is young, these axons are growing like crazy and connecting to the neural network. Unfortunately, there is not a road map for these connections. They are a hit and miss connection. This is the learning process that infants undergo as they respond to their environment. It takes 20 years for these networks to mature. The myelin sheath is not fully mature for 14 years.

They are still discovering structures within the brain. They only recently discovered how the brain drains toxins. They call it the glymph system. It was unknown until they had a way to image live tissue at a cellular level. The stem cell work being done only works with nerve fibers like those found in the spinal cord. Even that narrow focus on a single nerve class is taking decades to advance small amounts.

It is only recently that any consensus has been reached about concussion. The Veterans Administration and NIH has only recently awarded a contract to the Brain Trauma Foundation to develop a diagnostic definition of concussion. Otherwise, concussion is a subjective diagnosis based on a loose cluster of symptoms.

The Sports Legacy Institute has finally started the ball rolling toward taking concussion seriously. If it was not for law suits filled by NFL players, concussion would still be stuck in the dark ages.

Hopefully, improvements in diagnostics can cause legitimate research toward treatment of the various symptoms.

when you hit your head and it looses connections it has to go to others obviously....but do those ORIGINAL connections in your brain ever get made agian?
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Unread 12-07-2012, 12:47 PM   #13
postconcussion
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Thank you ariella! It is so nice to hear that you are better! I love to read those posts, Thanks again! Please write back and say that you are 100% better soon!
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Unread 04-06-2013, 09:30 PM   #14
SlateCity4
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Heart Yes you can recover!

I just want to encourage everyone who is suffering and losing hope to hold on, you can and will get better! I was severely hurt in a car accident and had traumatic brain injury, memory loss, pain and multiple surgeries. It took me eleven years to totally heal, but it did happen. We are all different with different injuries, we will all heal differently and at different speeds. The key is to not give up because you are closer than you think to your healing! Yes, you have to baby yourself for a while and adjust your lifestyle. I know that you are depressed right now, but your present is NOT your future!...... In time you will heal and get most if not all of your life back. Don't listen to negative people, listen to positive, uplifting messages. Pray, eat healthy. If you don't like your Doctor, fire them and find someone who believes that you can heal. I went to thirteen different doctors until I found a degree of health and wellness that satisfied me. I want you to know that you will get better, it may not happen as quickly as you would like but you have to decide right now that this thing is going to have a happy ending. Anything else is unacceptable! Praying for you!
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Unread 04-07-2013, 05:10 AM   #15
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SlateCity4,

Thanks very much for this post, it is very encouraging to read a positive post like this, and I agree with you - you have to believe you are going to get better and you will. The journey is full of ups and downs, pushing yourself too soon, but in the end and with time we will eventually get there. Yours is a positive, uplifting message!
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Unread 04-23-2013, 03:54 PM   #16
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My name is Dave and this is my first post. I suffered a concussion at the end of November 2012. I've had an MRI and seen a neurologist who said I was fine. I suffered depression and anxiety from this concussion, two things that I never had to deal with and I am 49 years old. I am seeing a psychiatrist now who has put me on 10 mg of Lexapro. Before the concussion I was extremely active working out with weights and aerobic exercises nearly daily. After three months I tried to work out again and suffered a relapse. The depression came back and the anxiety. I also have blurred vision in my right eye that the eye dr says will go away soon. It is very frustrating not being able to exercise and when I think about that it makes my symptoms worse. Today has been an especially bad day as I am also very dizzy. Reading everyone's posts and realizing I am not alone with these symptoms is reassuring I just cant wait to get back to feeling normal again. I hope it is soon because these feelings are so frustrating.
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Unread 04-23-2013, 07:49 PM   #17
Mark in Idaho
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Dave,

Welcome to NeuroTalk. What have you done to try to help with recovery ? The sticky thread at the top about Vitamins will help you help your brain. For those of us for whom recovery does not happen spontaneously, a more holistic approach is helpful.

Please tell us more about yourself, your daily activities, etc. Finding ways to reduce stress is very helpful.

My best to you.
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Mark in Idaho
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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 04-24-2013, 08:22 AM   #18
Tpont21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark in Idaho View Post
Everybody will improve if they take proper steps to help their brains heal. The most important step is to get quiet rest and avoid anxiety, especially anxiety about when they will get better.
I can personally attest to this issue. When I first started having symptoms I was worrying like CRAZY about my symptoms. I was stuck in this mindset that I would never get better and I permanently damaged my brain. It was causing me severe anxiety to the point I was having panic attacks.

As time went on I learned to accept the fact that what I was feeling is NORMAL for a concussed individual. And I had faith that with time, I will get better. When I simply changed my mindset I reduced a lot of my anxiety. I still get anxiety from time to time but it is much more under control. I know in my experience with PCS, I had much more control over my anxiety than I realized.

The trick is to stay positive! Know that you WILL get better with time and you need to be patient. Switching your mindset to this will relieve a great amount of anxiety.
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I was in a snowboarding accident on January 19, 2013. I caught an edge on my snowboard while carving down the mountain without a helmet. I smacked the back of my head hard on the ground. I was not knocked out and it took about a week for symptoms to come into full effect.

Since my accident I have been in a cycle of feeling better and then relapsing. It has happened many times. Although I think the overall trend is slowly traveling up. My symptoms included headaches, anxiety, sensitivity to light and noise, dizziness, fatigue, confusion, trouble concentrating, brain fog, loss of social interest, irritability, and mood swings.

Many symptoms have since resolved and I am left with slight dizziness, sensitivity to large crowds and busy environments, small amounts of anxiety, and brain fog off and on.

I am currently under the care of a neuropsychologist at the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Clinic. I am also undergoing balance/vestibular physical therapy to help with my remaining symptoms.
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Unread 04-24-2013, 09:48 AM   #19
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I would consider myself to be a PCS success story now, but only just this week. Hopefully I am out of the woods.

I initially had dizzyness after my mTBI in early November 2012 and took two weeks off. However after nine days in work I had to go off again because of dizzyness and headache. As time passed the headaches came when I woke up and I started to get fuzzyness around the same time as the kids came home at 3.

The fuzzyness went and was transformed into light and noise sensitivity, with this came chronic fatigue and insomnia. The headaches and facial pain got so bad I was awake for virtually 3 days and had a collapse in January. After examination by my GP I was sent to hospital for a scan as he felt there was a bleed on the brain. Thankfully not, but at this point the children went to a childminder, rather than me look after them. Looking after three noisy children under 10 was a big mistake! Whilst trying to build stamina by swimming or walking was futile, as it did nothing but caused head pressure and subsequent migraines with dreadful noise/light sensivity, insomnia and fatigue.

I researched post concussion headaches and discovered they should be treated as migraines. I was then prescribed Imigran which I took at night and this helped greatly. I then had neurosychological input and from this realised that a lot of the physiological symptoms are heightened by anxiety and worry about symptoms.

To help me I was prescribed Cymbalta which immediately lifted mood, helped headaches, fatigue and within days my sleep was back to normal. I then agreed a plan with my boss to go back to work part time. I have built myself upto three 8-5 days and am about to go to four. My only symptoms now are mild headaches and fatigue if I do too much work or exercise.

Also, alternative therapy is very helpful. Going for a massage is relaxing and helps tension and headaches. I genuinely believe that reflexology does aid healing. A hot bubble bath can go a long way in helping fatigued legs, and adding epson salts is a good way of helping as well, it is full of magnesium.
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PCS following head injury November 2012. Experienced dizzyness, light and noise sensitivity, hypercusis, fatigue, insomnia, migraines, facial pain, problems concentrating, irritability, sensory overload, exercise intolerance.

Symptoms mostly resolved, working full time and I am now better. Was experiencing daily Neuralgia but now controlled with Cymbalta 30mg Topomax 25mg am ; Topomax 50mg pm

Last edited by mouse1; 04-24-2013 at 12:41 PM.
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Unread 04-24-2013, 09:52 AM   #20
SlateCity4
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Default Your healing is closer than you think....

Stress, anxiety and depression are real when you are dealing with a brain injury that is slow to heal. After my injury I was told everything under the sun by Doctors and well meaning friends who couldn't understand why my healing was not happening on their timetable.
I found the following to be the most helpful during my recovery.
1. Trust God that He has a plan and He will not leave you nor has He forgotten you during this struggle. You will grow deep during this time and develop a deep compassion and desire to help others who are suffering after you are healed. Like it or not you will have earned a Phd in this thing and now belong to a club that none of us wanted to join.
2. There are ( No charmed lives) everyone is going through something, cancer, divorce, bankruptcy, you fill in the blank. Life happens to everyone and no one gets out with out struggling. The enemy can be in your own mind if you start believing that your present is your future. In other words if this is chapter 7 in your story, everything can and will change in Chapter 11.
3. Suicide is not an option.... You have to have support during this time and it is up to you to get what you need. Fight depression with counciling, Dr. Prescribed meds if you need them, prayer, music, hotline calls if you need. Your destiny is to help other people who are suffering and tell them that life will get better and they will smile again, play and laugh again! Joel Osteen has a wonderful video on miracles on YouTube. It will give you some fight back! Get mentally Tough through reading scripture and practicing positive self talk. You have a choice to turn this thing into a crutch or a rod of power! Become a weapon of hope, love and overcoming! If someone ask you how you are tell them that day by day you are getting better and better. believe it! Remember that in Winter we can't see leaves on the trees but the root system is growing deep and getting ready to burst forth with new life ! THAT'S YOU!!
4. Find a good Dr. That listens and has something to offer besides give it time.
Practice deep breathing, massage, listen to healing music, stretch, acupuncture,
All these things can help deal with stress. Please share anything else positive that you have found that works.

If you are suffering from light sensitivity try glasses from Axonoptic a company from Utah that will take 90% of the pain away almost immediately! Find it on the Internet A blessing for those who can't stand fluorescent lights, computer, cell phone ETC.

Found a doctor in Cincinnati, Dr. Howard Shertzinger Advanced Pain Solutions who was triple board certified and a genius! He was like seeing three doctors at once and After seeing thirteen other specialists who had misdiagnosed or under treated me, he used medicine, therapy, surgery and I begin to get well right away. He gave me my life back and the ability to live again. If I had accepted the words of the other idiots I would have still been suffering.

Now remember, healing is not like a microwave! It sometimes is more like a crockpot! We have set backs as well as leaps forward! You also might have a fantastic doctor and its you need to just hang in there!

Sorry this is so long. I want you to know that you are a part of a community that loves and cares for you, you are not alone. And you will not stay in the place that you have found yourself today! You are precious, you are a treasure and of value, you are irreplaceable ! You are on a journey but you are not alone!
Blessings,
Becky
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