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

Recent concussion

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Unread 12-11-2012, 07:18 AM   #1
Zinnia326
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Default Recent concussion

I am a 54 year old female and mid October (2 months ago) I fell backwards off our 5' high truck and hit my head on a solid bar on a metal corn elevator. I was dazed but got right up and after checking all my parts, finished cutting the firewood up. I felt my head swelling so after about an hour, got some ice on it. A few hours later, my son insisted that I go to the ER. By that time the swelling was about the size of a baseball and I felt a lot of internal pressure. At the ER, they checked my cognitive ability and were ready to send me home when I questioned if they should do a CT scan to see if there was head injury. They agreed, read the test and said that all was okay. They gave me a couple pain pills and that was that. Nothing at all was mentioned about a concussion in the ER and no instructions as to what to do. The next day was Monday and I went to work. I got an appointment with my chiropractor and that's when I first heard the word concussion. She has been treating me every couple of weeks and suggesting nutritional supplements.

I am normally an upbeat, positive person with a lot of energy and motivation. Lately, I am feeling depressed (that has never been a word in my vocabulary before) and exhausted. Making myself get something done now takes effort and many evenings, I sit the whole time and read or watch TV.

At work, I am feeling overwhelmed and frustrated, making mistakes and forgetting to do things. I am the lone secretary in a busy church with things going on all day. I used to be able to ignore the distractions and keep working but lately, they keep me from concentrating. I am also a caregiver 5 nights a week for an elderly Alzheimer's gentleman. I am only there to be available for when he gets up in the night and so I can sleep while there. I often have a small headache, not even enough to take a pain pill, just enough to be annoying.

So, my question is, are all the symptoms described relating to the head injury? Is there something I should do to help myself get over it? I am a natural healing fanatic and do very little "doctor medicine" if I can avoid it. Any ideas and suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Unread 12-11-2012, 06:53 PM   #2
Mark in Idaho
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Zinnia,

Welcome to NeuroTalk. You have found a good place.

Everything you are experiencing sounds like normal Post Concussion Syndrome. There are a few things to help you recover and minimize symptom intensity. The first thing you need is quiet rest. This means a low cognitive load in a quiet low stimulation environment. You likely have this at your night job.

You day time job will need some accommodations. Maybe you can make a desk sign that says, Please be quiet, I am recovering from a concussion injury. My signature verse explains this issue.

You can also enhance your brain's ability to recover with good nutrition. The injured brain needs additional nutrition to a healthy brain and body. There is a thread called Vitamin Supplements that explains a regimen I was prescribed by a doctor long ago. It may be a few pages back already. Post a reply and it will top post for quicker reference.

Regarding your chiropractor. The common twist the head and pop the neck is often too aggressive for people like us. Gentler treatments with traction and icing can be more beneficial.

Tell us more about your symptoms. There are lots of tip and techniques for dealing with the many symptoms.

My best to you.
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Mark in Idaho
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59 years old, retired due to disability, married 33 years, father of three, grandfather of four, Suffered a serious concussion at 10 years old (1965) stopped most driving after last concussion at 46 years old (2001), Post Concussion Syndrome/Multiple Concussion/Impact Syndrome with PTSD, immediate and short term visual and auditory memory problems, slowed processing speed, visual and 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 successfully stopped all paroxetine after 3 months of tapering down. I currently take 500 mgs of L-Tryptophan when I wake up, 500 mgs after breakfast with my vitamin regimen and 500 mgs late in the evening.


As of Nov 15th, Due to high stress issues resulting in PTSD, my docs put me on three meds. Clonazepam (Klonopin, a dreaded benzo but only for 30 days ) .125 mgs twice daily (Doc prescribed .25 mgs twice daily but half a tablet is doing good) , citalopram (Celexa), an SSRI , and olanzapine (Zyprexa), an atypical anti-psychotic before bed. I have lost over 30 pounds since mid July. The olanzapine is supposed to help me gain some of it back but it has just stopped the weight loss. They took me off the gabapentin. I am feeling better than I have in years.

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 12-11-2012, 11:08 PM   #3
Zinnia326
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Mark, thanks for the response. After I posted my question, I found several very helpful posts from several of you, assuring me that my symptoms are as a result of the injury. My husband is reading those posts right now so he can understand better, too. I might print them off and show to a few coworkers who would be open and understanding.


"Regarding your chiropractor. The common twist the head and pop the neck is often too aggressive for people like us. Gentler treatments with traction and icing can be more beneficial. ".

My chiropractor uses kinesiology and never the twisting or cracking. She has been very gentle and only working with my head as the external injury has gotten less painful. I think she has helped me get through this easier. She is also big on nutrition and supplements. I'll check out your previous post.

Your idea of the sign at at my desk sounds good and I might try it. Usually when I ask to be left alone for one reason or another (a lot to do, etc.) that only applies to the other person, not the guy who is reading it!!

I have been relating my symptoms to all that is happening in my life right now and just in the last couple of days realized it was probably just as much or more connected to the injury.

Mine are not big neon sign symptoms, just subtle things. The tiredness, the desire to either lash out at the board meeting last night or run out and slam the door behind me, ( fortunately I did neither and sat like a good little girl, biting my tongue!) , all the mistakes I have been making lately, being forgetful, headache, waking in the night in a fight or flight mode, unexplained feeling of sadness and despair, lack of motivation. No outward signs and when at work I can fake my way through it and fool everyone into thinking I'm just fine. Getting home, I can crash!

I thank God for my husband who is concerned and trying to help.

So I will continue to read other posts and glean what I can and rest as much as possible! Thanks for the great info!

Kathy
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Unread 12-12-2012, 01:17 AM   #4
Mark in Idaho
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kathy,

You and you husband need to watch the YouTube video series, "You Look Great" at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9Xso...ature=youtu.be

You can also check out and print out the information at http://www.brainline.org/content/201...u-to-know.html

Both will put your condition into the context of real life. Internalizing your struggles is unnecessary. Explaining to others how much you are struggling with a "grateful to be able to continue working attitude" rather than a woe is me complaint can make a big difference. It will be a one person at a time kind of work-place conversion process.

A comment like "I never realized how much a concussion can mess up ones life until this happened to me. Now I know why football and hockey players commit suicide from the despair of trying to live with prolonged concussion symptoms." Then ask them to help you because you need their help to get through this healing process. Empower them with understanding. Take the "What brain injury survivors want you to know" information print outs to hand to them.

Most people will respond well when they have good information and a plan of how they can help.

My best to you.
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Mark in Idaho
.


59 years old, retired due to disability, married 33 years, father of three, grandfather of four, Suffered a serious concussion at 10 years old (1965) stopped most driving after last concussion at 46 years old (2001), Post Concussion Syndrome/Multiple Concussion/Impact Syndrome with PTSD, immediate and short term visual and auditory memory problems, slowed processing speed, visual and 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 successfully stopped all paroxetine after 3 months of tapering down. I currently take 500 mgs of L-Tryptophan when I wake up, 500 mgs after breakfast with my vitamin regimen and 500 mgs late in the evening.


As of Nov 15th, Due to high stress issues resulting in PTSD, my docs put me on three meds. Clonazepam (Klonopin, a dreaded benzo but only for 30 days ) .125 mgs twice daily (Doc prescribed .25 mgs twice daily but half a tablet is doing good) , citalopram (Celexa), an SSRI , and olanzapine (Zyprexa), an atypical anti-psychotic before bed. I have lost over 30 pounds since mid July. The olanzapine is supposed to help me gain some of it back but it has just stopped the weight loss. They took me off the gabapentin. I am feeling better than I have in years.

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 12-12-2012, 12:52 PM   #5
peacheysncream
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Dear Kathy,

It is very hard to adjust, isn't it, but you will find a way. Keep in touch with everyone here. Any questions, start a new thread and you will get answers.

Your symptoms as Mark states are normal experience related to PCS.

Just take note of yourself carefully, not in an o.t.t. way, but there can be delayed reactions that need urgent treatment. Most post concussion reactions, even severe ones are normal.

Take care and keep in touch.
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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 12-12-2012, 02:11 PM   #6
thedude58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark in Idaho View Post
kathy,

You and you husband need to watch the YouTube video series, "You Look Great" at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9Xso...ature=youtu.be

You can also check out and print out the information at http://www.brainline.org/content/201...u-to-know.html
Thanks for this!!!! Printing...
Jamie
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