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Third Month...is it still a concussion or PCS?

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Unread 01-22-2013, 02:42 AM   #1
Monica048
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Default Third Month...is it still a concussion or PCS?

About three months ago a friend and I bumped heads (I got hit on the side of the head with his forehead). At first, the symptoms were really bad; I had nausea, trouble sleeping, dizziness, fatigue, cloudiness, amnesia, headaches, slurred speech, and possibly more. Since then I have made tremendous progress, but I still have headaches every hour of the day, everyday! And I can't exactly read a scholarly article without wanting to throw it at the wall from pure frustration, but it's better than before!

I got "lucky" that I had no job when this occurred and that I had just graduated college two months prior. I decided to take a break from everything (looking for jobs/looking into grad schools). It sucks because my life is definitely on pause and has been for the past 3 months. I don't hang out with my friends as much, like most others on here, and I have nothing to talk about when we do hang out. I'm at home all day sleeping or watching tv so there really is nothing new to tell. Oh, that's another thing; I can watch tv now, unlike a month ago. I can also walk more, and move around the house without feeling completely drained. I used to lay in bed all day, so I know that it's getting better.

Regardless, I can't help but feel sad, angry, frustrated, alone, lazy, slow, and so much more. I have my good days and my bad days. I'm scared that it'll be this way for an entire year or more! Should I not apply for a job just yet? Even though my student loans want payments from me in about a month? Should I not look into grad schools for next year? I have no idea how to go about this.

Also, sometimes I just really want to be left alone, but I don't exactly know how to explain that to my friends. They understand I have an injury, but I don't think they 'get it' like us on here do. Therefore, because I appear fine they think all is ok, but it's not. I don't want to go out, I don't want to have conversations, I just want to heal. I want to do activities on my own because it's peaceful and there is no pressure to keep a conversation going.

But ok, I've vented enough, I actually had a question lol...after three months is it still called a concussion or is it considered PCS? I have been to the doctor a total of 3 times. Never had head scans because the doctors did not think it would help them figure anything out. They did other tests on me that checked my reflexes, etc. Those seemed to be ok, and so no head scans were needed (I guess). Everytime I went they just gave me narcotics, and was told to rest and do absolutely nothing. I also got "well, this is just the way it goes," ugh!

Best of luck with healing to everyone on here!
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Lightrail11 (01-22-2013)
Unread 01-22-2013, 10:45 AM   #2
Lightrail11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monica048 View Post
I actually had a question lol...after three months is it still called a concussion or is it considered PCS?
The Mayoclinic website defines PCS as symptoms occuring within 7-10 days of the concussion.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/pos...ndrome/DS01020

To me, that's really beside the point, it's how your symptoms are affecting your life. All brain injuries are different and they heal on thier own schedule. Believe me, I understand your frustration but 3 months isn't all that long as far as brain injuries go. Sorry I can't be of more help. Regarding others' lack of understanding here is an artile that I found useful.

http://www.brainline.org/content/201...u-to-know.html

Best to you as you recover.

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What Happened: On November 29, 2010, I was walking across the street and was hit by a light rail commuter train. Result was traumatic brain injury and multiple fractures (pelvis, ribs, skull). Total hospital stay was two months, one in ICU followed by an additional month in neuro-rehab. Upon hospital discharge, neurological testing revealed deficits in short term memory, executive functioning, and spatial recognition.

Today: Neuropsychological examination five months post-accident indicated a return to normal cognitive functioning, and I returned to work approximately 6 months after the accident. I am grateful to be alive and am looking forward to enjoying the rest of my life.
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Unread 01-23-2013, 03:38 PM   #3
Mark in Idaho
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If you read more of the concussion information on the Mayo Clinic web site, you will find a lot of it to be out of date. There is no uniform definition of PCS but most consider it to be when symptoms last more than a month or so. Studies show that the concussions that have symptoms beyond the first few days usually start to show improvement at 12-14 days.

As lightrail said, it does not matter what the time limit for PCS is. It does not change how one would get best recovery results. Statistics show that about 15% of diagnosed concussions will have prolonged symptoms that last 6 weeks to a year or longer. This does not take into account the many concussions that are never diagnosed by a doctor.
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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 01-24-2013, 08:56 AM   #4
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Do you have insurance? If so you may want to seek out a physiatrist. Seen several very positive post from people who have had them help manage their care.

Hope you feel better soon. Tell your friends to search out You look great on you tube, it will help them understand. Your really good friends will understand. All the rest will be posers who say they are but do not mean it. Being a true friend requires commitment and understanding when it is hard to do so.
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Unread 01-28-2013, 10:49 PM   #5
smi1ey
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First my story: While putting something away in the garage, I hit my forehead on a shelf that I didn't see because I was wearing a ball cap and the sun was in my eyes. This was the end of September, 2012. No, I didn't go to the ER. Have had constant headache, fatigue, brain fog, cognitive issues, slight emotional and depression. Sensitive to loud noise and bright light.

I have gone to many doctors, including a physiatrist who dropped me because I saw him every week for a month and neuro who tells me he will see me at my next appt., and am frustrated with all of them. It's like they don't get it. In addition to this I did go to the ER, had a normal CT and was told it was a migraine. I also had a MRI for above drs while was also normal. Oh, let's include the thousands - ok maybe not that many, but it seemed like it - of blood/lab tests.

I know I am not the same as before my head injury, but it's as if they are afraid to diagnose me with a head injury or post concussion. (And this could stem from not going to the ER on the same day.) Instead the diagnosis is headache.

I understand the need to allow my brain to heal. I have just returned to work at 20 hrs a week. At the end of my 4 hr shift I am done and just want out of there and can't handle anymore - both of the work and people.

Thank you for hearing me vent! Is there something else I should or should not be doing?

Am so glad to have found this site!
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Unread 02-01-2013, 07:56 AM   #6
Monica048
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Thank you all for your replies!
I do not have insurance which is why going to the ER/Regular Dr. so much worries me. They charge quite the penny, and all i'm told is that it takes time, or I get diagnosed with 'headaches' as the person with the most above this one states.

My advise to you, smiley, is to get as much rest as possible. I don't know how you manage to work, I get tired/stressed/angry so easily with the simplest of tasks. It's best you give your brain the proper care. Aside from that I really don't know what else you can do.

I recently went to the doctor and he said that vitamins, such as fish oil, are good to take as well as eating a lot of fruit. He also mentioned that working out (lightly) can help with my remaining headaches. I've literally been in bed for three months so I am very weak, and not in the shape I was before this happened. I am going to give his advice a shot and if it does not work, back to the doctor I go. Best of luck to you!

And thank you again to everyone who replied
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Unread 02-01-2013, 09:06 AM   #7
Mark in Idaho
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smi1ey,

Welcome to NeuroTalk. Your experience with doctors and imaging is not unusual. There is very little they can do to help you. Read my thread on Vitamins and Supplements. It will give you nutritional info including what to avoid.

You need quiet rest. That means minimal stimulation and cognitive stress. You do not need to be sleeping. Gentle walks will help keep blood flowing.

Please tell us more about yourself. Age, gender, normal daily activities, family life and responsibilities, etc. There are many daily activities that may be pushing your brain too much.

Have you tried icing your head and neck ? Many head aches are related to upper neck injuries that cause inflammation and muscle spasms. Icing can help.
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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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smi1ey (02-08-2013)
Unread 02-08-2013, 03:12 PM   #8
smi1ey
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If you haven't already checked with the billing office about reducing your bill do to no insurance, you might. I have insurance, but it isn't the greatest. After calling the billing dept. for my ER bill they lowered it. Just a thought and thank you for the reply!
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Unread 02-08-2013, 03:26 PM   #9
smi1ey
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I am 46 yrs old, married. Hit head in 9/12.

I usually work about 32 hrs a week at a retail job in the evenings (as it worked when attending college to finish working on my bachelor's degree). There is a lot of bending, lifting, reaching, walking, etc. Since I've returned, about 3 wks now, am glad to be back but some days it is all I can to to concentrate on my tasks. But make it through the shift.

Resting and quiet do help. My husband is still trying to grasp the quiet part, but has been a great asset to me since hitting my head.

I had already been taking fish oil and have added b12. I will try to find your vitamins and supplements to read. I believe you also suggested tumeric. Was wondering how that might help with the brain healing.

I do ice my neck and head since the chiropractor recommended it. He has helped too as my C1 was out and scull pushed back (now returned to proper place) as he practices acupressure.

Thanks again for the suggestions!
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