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Headaches and fatigue

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Unread 12-08-2012, 05:04 PM   #1
wakey
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Default Headaches and fatigue

Hi all,

Looking for some collective wisdom on these two topics.

1. Headaches. Does anyone know more about vascular headaches? My headache pulsates when I go from supine/sitting to standing. And when it gets worse with triggers it also pulsates (and does other things too). Has anyone had an MRA? Under what circumstances? Also wondering about an EMG and non-vascular headaches.

2. Fatigue. Someone else started a thread about stimulants like ritalin. I was curious if anyone had any success with these for fatigue. I have this dragging feeling--sometimes just feel "awful" (like I can't move because I feel so terrible) but don't know if this is part of my fatigue or something else.

Thanks!

Last edited by wakey; 12-08-2012 at 07:48 PM.
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Unread 12-08-2012, 09:39 PM   #2
Theta Z
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Last year (my year #3) I was Rxd Provigil (modafinil) for daytime sleepiness and enduring daytime fatigue, even without exertion.
It worked well for me.

However I have to add a footnote to that: in the end result, I 'overdid' my genuine capacity, and ended up in a terrible relapse ... a very long 9 months. I was over-doing it, without being aware of it, until the final end result: a total collapse.

However as always, your experience/results may vary.

Good luck with your course of recovery, wakey.
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50s Babyboomer; 2008 high-impact rear-ended/totalled-MVC, closed-head injury->pcs ... "Still dealing with it."
1993, Fell on black ice; first closed-head injury; life-altering. // 2014 Now dealing with Peripheral Neuropathy, tremors, shakiness, vestibular disorder, akithesia, anhedonia, yada yada, likely thanks to rx meds // 2014: uprooted to the cold wet gray NW coast, trying to find a way back home ... where it's blue sky and warm!
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Each and every day I am better and better. I affirm and give thanks that it is so. // 2014-This was still true for me last year, I truly felt this a year ago. Unfortunately it holds no meaning for me now. Odd, it was the Theta mantra for years. Change change change.
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Unread 12-09-2012, 12:08 AM   #3
Mark in Idaho
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wakey,

I have had an MRA. It is basically a double MRI. During the MRI, they set up the sensors to only recognize the non-blood tissues in the brain. They then subtract the MRI image without the blood showing from the complete MRI image. The result is the blood vasculature. The images are quite interesting. Mine shows a 'slight out pouching' in the top of my brain stem that would be considered an aneurism if it was larger. The small size is not a concern. Lucky because brain stem aneurisms are all but impossible to treat.

There are ultra-sound images they can do to look at the vasculature in the brain. It is called Dopler Ultra Sound.

Have you had a tilt table test? This evaluate how your body reacts to changes in postural position. Some times, a therapist will prescribe exercises where you slowly change positions to stimulate the vaso-constrictors to operate better. Injury to cerebral vaso-constriction function is common with head injuries.
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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 12-09-2012, 01:21 AM   #4
Mokey
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I have both problems, like you. I had good success with amantadine for fatigue but with only 100 mg I also got insomnia, and figured I needed to sleep more. Stopped it but am contemplating giving it another go!

Best of luck with healing. (it does seem like luck, doesn't it?!)
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Unread 12-09-2012, 11:29 AM   #5
wakey
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Thanks Theta Z, Mark, and Mokey.

Mark, I know someone that had a tilt table test. My sense is that passing out is common. Did you have that experience? Does it give the same information as an MRA, or slightly different info?

Mokey,

I'd stay with Amantadine for a little while if it's helping fatigue--that's a good sign. I know it's bad to overmedicate, but perhaps you could try a natural substance for sleep like melatonin or valarian?

Last edited by wakey; 12-09-2012 at 01:09 PM.
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Unread 12-09-2012, 05:46 PM   #6
peacheysncream
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For fatigue I recommend a high protein diet and trying to cut down on bad carbs. Building up your strength gradually through walking. I hear a lot of people talk about lethargy but without knowing your personal, typical life course and position it's hard to assess what can change.

Obviously being the right weight helps, drinking lots of water (8 glasses/day), good vit n min regime, sleeping well at night. Sometimes we forget the obvious things and only focus on our PCS or TBI. Go over my list and see if there are things that are positive that you can do to aid yourself without meds.
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I am a 34 yr old female who has played football, as a hobby, for 13 yrs. In July 2012, during a game I was slammed to the floor by two angry guys who hit into me so hard that one of them broke their ribs.

This knocked me back onto hard ground leaving me unconscious. I awoke to chronic head and neck pain, sickness and the inability to see or balance.

The paramedics made me walk to the ambulance, instead of placing me on a spinal board, where I was taken to the ER. I was hospitalised with suspected brain hemorrhage for 1 week, then on complete bed rest for 1 month, in a wheelchair for 2 months.

I have been left with PCS, moderate constant head pain, little short term memory, no memory of the accident, balance and sight problems, depression and exhaustion.

The worst problem is collapsing regularly. This has finally been diagnosed as Hemiplegic Migraines , these cause my brain to regularly shut down when I am tired and I then feel the full effects of a stroke (without the bleed on the brain!!) of which the symptoms last 2-4 days.


I have had 6 CT's, 2 MRI's and am under 3 specialists.

I believe everyday is one more towards improvement. Mainly I believe in the power of acceptance not the weakness of complacency or resignation.
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Unread 12-10-2012, 08:32 AM   #7
wakey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peacheysncream View Post
For fatigue I recommend a high protein diet and trying to cut down on bad carbs. Building up your strength gradually through walking. I hear a lot of people talk about lethargy but without knowing your personal, typical life course and position it's hard to assess what can change.

Obviously being the right weight helps, drinking lots of water (8 glasses/day), good vit n min regime, sleeping well at night. Sometimes we forget the obvious things and only focus on our PCS or TBI. Go over my list and see if there are things that are positive that you can do to aid yourself without meds.
Yes, this is good advice. I do all of these things. I may start some B vitamins but my body has rejected vitamins in the past. I took them for a few months and noticed no diff (multivitamin and fish oil).
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Unread 12-10-2012, 11:34 AM   #8
thedude58
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Re: Fatigue
I know those feelings all too well. My family physician suggested a sleep study and I was diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome. The sleep device I use is doing wonders for me, I look more alert and i am more alert, and my short term memory seems to be improving some as well. However, mental exertion still tires me. All in all, the benefits of the device far out-way the risks of untreated sleep apnea.
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