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

3 years after a TBI

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Unread 11-30-2012, 12:03 AM   #1
wolfocean
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Confused 3 years after a TBI

In April of 2010 I was hit in the back of my head with Tungsten Steel by my ex husband. I was knocked unconscious for a length of time and I only know this because when I woke up he and his family weren't there anymore. I did not receive medical care for 4 months after due to having to hide from him. I saw a doctor who gave me pills for the headaches I was getting and she said they will disappear over time. They lessened in frequency over the years but I still get them at least once a week. It starts out the same with feeling like I was just hit in the same spot again with the same object. The duration could be as short as 15 minutes to as long as 24 hrs. Its not only painful but makes focusing hard and sometimes blurry vision. Is it normal to have headaches this long after or should I get it checked out again?
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Unread 11-30-2012, 02:26 AM   #2
Mark in Idaho
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wolfocean,

Welcome to NeuroTalk. Sorry to hear of the abuse you suffered.

Next time you get this pain, try icing it. Ice at the back of your head and upper neck. You may have a upper neck/whiplash injury that is acting up. If the icing helps, it tells you a bit about the problem. The upper neck/whiplash injury is very difficult to resolve medically. Sometimes, an upper cervical chiropractor can help. If you need to find a chiro, just ask and we can post a link or two.

If you suffer a future head injury, please make every effort to be checked out. Your previous head injury means you should be cautious with another head injury. You might even want to put a note in your wallet telling of your past head injury.

I know how at the time of your assault, your only thought was to escape and hide. Most ER's and such will make serious efforts to protect you and can connect you to authorities who can help in protecting you.

Please let us know if the icing helps. There are lots of good people here who can provide support and advice.

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 11-30-2012, 04:34 PM   #3
peacheysncream
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My dear Wolfocean,

I am so sorry. To be traumatized by such unethical hideous abuse is just dreadful. I cannot even begin to imagine how you feel. My poor love.

Anyway after reading your post I would say you are suffering from post traumatic shock syndrome. Yes you are having real pain and yes it is affecting you in many physical ways. The brain is an amazing piece of equipment. It can trick us and hide things from us. I am wondering if your mind is reliving that terrible day over and over because you are not coping with it?

If we do not dissect traumatic events fully and under the guidance of a councillor in a safe place, deliberately relive the incident, then the brain can take over and do it for us.

I believe this is what maybe happening to you. I knew of a woman who was petrified of her father when she was young, she didn't deal with things that happened to her and suffered hallucinations of her father through all her married life. When she was a lot older she dealt with her issues and memories and they stopped.

I am not saying to you that your pain and physical symptoms are not real, but I am saying there maybe more than a neurological/medical reason for them.
Please take Mark's advice, he knows so much about these conditions, but also take note of what I have said. Book in with a good councillor and see if I am right.

Take care and stay in touch. Once again, I am so sorry you are suffering.
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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 11-30-2012, 06:34 PM   #4
andromeda
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I read your post this morning and I've been thinking about you throughout the day. What happened to you was horrific and I am so sorry you went through that.

I do not know enough about these things to comment on the pain you are feeling but I relive the moment of my injury every time I see a car cross my path. I wince and come over with panic before my mind has even had a chance to register what's happened. Regardless of the nature of your pain, I do think you should consider seeing a therapist if you haven't already. Nobody should have to go through what you have.

Wishing you the best.
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Unread 12-02-2012, 12:32 AM   #5
wolfocean
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Thank you all for your responses and kind words. It's not often people that were in my situation hear them.

Mark, I will try icing it since I haven't iced it since the first 2 weeks after my injury. I was 20 when this happened and didn't know that they had to keep patients names confidential in those types of situations. But I do now and thank you for that

Peachysncream, I do suffer from PTSD from that experience. I did see a counselor for a few months and talked about it and relived it but maybe there is still something I'm not getting past or something I haven't let go. I know from time to time I will have nightmares and relive the experience waking up as scared as I was the day it happened. And I will stay in touch

Andromeda, I do the same thing you do with a car when someone is quietly walking and I didn't see them or if anything comes at my face fast so I can relate. I will consider going back for therapy at some point
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Unread 12-06-2012, 11:51 PM   #6
Theta Z
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wolfocean,

An online acquaintance from another TBI forum in which was offered this recently, and is shared here with permission by the OP:

"I went to a seminar a couple years ago and listened to a speaker who was contracted by both the U.S. Department of Labour and the Veterans Administration about the correlation between TBI and PTSD. His comments had an impact to remain with me all this time."

" Statistically speaking, about 75% of TBI survivors also have some form of PTSD, primarily because they have survived a traumatic event. PTSD does not require one to survive a battle situation or live fire situation. It simply requires that a person survive a traumatic event. Survivors of rape, incest, abuse, car accident, fire, etc also suffer similar occurences of PTSD. Any form of physical or emotional injury with long lasting effects incurs PTSD in the vast majority of people."

"One of the major implications, often translated by survivors of TBI, is something referred to as 'overwhelm'. Disinhibition, apathy, emotional lability can also be results of PTSD and not just the TBI. Overwhelm is more commonly associated because of the shared factors. Over-stimulation of cognition, emotion, behaviors, in an enclosed space causing either improper over-reaction or complete shut down to the stimuli (we either freak out or shut everything out)."

"The combination of both TBI and PTSD place you at a higher risk for clinical depression. (Each one raises the risk for depression by 33%; every chronic medical problem raises the chance of depression by one third, basically). My chances of being clinically depressed are statistically 166.5%, which makes me wonder why I'm not dangling from my shoestrings when I look at that figure, then I realize it's probably because I never allowed statistics to determine my life before. Seriously, one of the best best ways to assist with depression, PTSD, TBI, and most other chronic illnesses is humour. I use it and abuse it, freely. It keeps me sane, and probably assists me in more than I realize. I have apathy, emotional lability, and overwhelm, the disinhibition I've gotten under some control."

"If you have something to keep you focused during the day, it will help, and avoiding certain triggers will definitely help. PTSD is often set by triggers, events that simulate the occurence of the initial event."



My best to you,

Theta Z.
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_____________________________
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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!
.

__________________________________________________ _________
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 12-07-2012, 01:15 AM   #7
Mark in Idaho
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Wow, the definition of PTSD is sure widening. 12 years ago, Traumatic Stress meant the subject of the stress endured ongoing stress during an ongoing traumatic event with the key factor being that the subject was prevented from relieving the stress or responding in a positive way against the trauma. Sort of a "I know what I should be doing to relieve this problem but circumstances prevent me from doing that."

With PCS, if this takes place, I believe a lot of it is caused by the failure of the health care system to adequately diagnose and treat the injury. If they can not treat the symptoms, they should at least offer positive support. Neither level of care is frequently offered to the PCS sufferer.

I wish humor was an adequate treatment for depression. It may help with temporary depression but not likely with clinical depression since clinical depression is a physiological disorder that requires a more intensive approach. The emotional factors need to be overcome consistently for long enough for the stress load to be reduced allowing the brain to heal and begin proper functioning.

Many fail to understand that depression can be caused by an overload of positive events that prevent the brain from resting. It is not just negative or stinkin' thinkin'
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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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