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Old 03-15-2006, 08:29 AM   #1
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Is anyone living with a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury?

Hello all, to make a long story short as possible, I fell and landed on my head and neck Oct. 05 and have had the following problems: memory loss, confusion, extreme fatigue, neck, shoulder, head, arm, hip, side, and knee pain, numbness and tingling in both arms, partial loss of peripheral vision, feelings of a humming wave feel in my brain at times, loss of concentration (I could read a novel in one sitting before, now I am good if I can read a magazine article.), unexplained panic attacks, diagnosed with sleep apnea, fibromyalgia and cervical strain. I could go on, but you get the idea. I have been out of work since this accident, been in the hospital and vascular symptom checks out, MRI, bone scan, was told I should be thankful to be so healthy.....OK. I have asked my neuro why I keep having the above symptoms if I am so healthy, and what is wrong with my brain. I used to be a vibrant, mentally active woman. I now don't want to be around anyone other than my close family and best friends. I do not want to appear "stupid" to others for not being able to find the right word, or babble along and realize I have no idea what we were talking about. His response was perhaps if I go back to work and get back to my routine my memory would improve and I would overall feel better. I am still in physical therapy 3 days a week, and the job I have is working with 30+ teenagers at a time that are not on grade level (by at least2 years, but some 5 years behind) and trying to get them up to grade level in science and social studies. It takes a lot of energy, control, and attention to do this from 7:10 am to 3:45 each day. I cannot manage my own home and family like I was before, the thought of caring for 120 kids at that level blows my mind! Can anyone suggest what I can do to find out exactly what damage is in my head? Shouldn't something have shown up on the xrays, MRI, or bone scan? I was knocked silly, not out when I fell in October, but I have a really patchy memory of the whole day of and day after. I also slipped while running in my house last summer (yeah, I know, no running in the house!), and slid on papers and hit my head on a wooden trashcan. I was knocked out and don't remember much of that either. My son found me when he came home that afternoon sitting in a corner. I got checked out, and only had a really severe headache after that accident. When I fell on the back of my head and neck in October has seemed to cause permanent problems. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, any feedback, suggestions, or your own story would be appreciated!
~Mim

 
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Old 03-16-2006, 06:34 AM   #2
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Re: Is anyone living with a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury?

are you seeing a neurologist or neurosurgeon?Having delt with both types of docs over the years,i would always take the NS hands down,honestly,they just actually go into the brain and the spine and know things by just 'having been there",that neurologists just do not seem to have a clue about.I have always gotten much better treatment and answers to my pretty involved questions from my NSs.You definitely DO need at least a second opinion here as obviously,something is not right by just the symptoms you mentioned.

where exactly did you have the MRI done,on the brain?C spine?I would think,given your symptoms,the c spine could possibly be where your problems are stemming from.But at any rate,you DO deserve to have some sort of answers here that you are never going to get from whoever you are seeing now.whether it is a neurologist or even an neurosurgeon,this guy appears clueless.not all NSs are created equal either as I found out while trying to find out what to do about a glob of blood vessels that were intermittantly bleeding inside my spinal cord right at the c 7 t 1 levels.

I ended up actually seeing three seperate NSs as I got two totally different opinions from the first two and needed that tie breaker.but for this last opinion,I went to the local university teaching hospital that was pretty close by.this was the best move I ever made.I was actually seen and had my surgery done by the head of neurosurgery at the university of minnnesota.this guy knew tons about cavernomas,much much more than the other two combined.

if you happen to live fairly close to(even within a few hours drive of)any sort of university teaching hosp,this would be where you should go,really.teaching hospitals are very different than any other types of hospitals and are also really up on all the latest info.But at any rate,getting a second opinion or however many it takes to actually Dx your problem,just do it.you cannot possibly be expected to live this way forever and deserve a doc who is willing to work for you to try and find the reason for your symptoms.

i wish you luck and please let me know how things go.Marcia
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3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

 
Old 03-16-2006, 11:27 AM   #3
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Re: Is anyone living with a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury?

Thank you so much for your encouragement and advice. It sounds like you have had a terrible time! I am close to the Medical University in Charleston, SC (about 2 hours away). I saw the neurologist this morning, and he said he could do no more for me, that this was as good as it gets!!!! I thought I would cry. I showed him a highlighted TBI checklist of the problems I still have, and he is setting up an appt. with a neuropsychologist or neuropsychiatrist (I can't remember which). He said she will be able to tell if I am just depressed, still having sleep problems, or actually have brain injury. Somehow in the 6 months, multiple tests, hospital stays etc..... he seemed to have forgotten that I knocked myself silly when all this happened.....SIGH. I am going to give this other doctor a chance to help, then I will head towards a teaching medical university per your advice. I am a single parent fighting workmans comp (no pay since Oct. they think this all stems from a car accident 5 years ago that affected a totally diff. pt of my body, go figure!) and I need some resolution. My 13 year old son is so upset over the "loss" of his mom, and it is so exhausting to "fake normal" as much as I can around him. Thank you again, and I hope we can all get some relief and peace!
~Mim

PS, the MRI was on my brain and Cspine. I DO have a brain...lol they confirmed it, unfortunately my eggs are scrambled even though it does not show on the tests. I was not treated by a neurologist until over 2 weeks after the October fall, and never for the July fall.

Last edited by mim; 03-16-2006 at 11:29 AM.

 
Old 04-29-2006, 05:14 PM   #4
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Re: Is anyone living with a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury?

I also am suffering from a "mild" (not to me!) brain injury. My symptoms didn't appear until about 40 years after. I developed a violent head tremor and memory and concentration difficulties. I can so relate to your reference of "faking normal" because this memory thing is so bad, I ask a question and when I get the answer I'm totally befuddled because I don't remember asking the question. I too used to be vibrant and intelligent and now I feel like an idiot most of the time. My neuro is reducing my primidone by 1/2 and I'm so afraid the tremor will return. He said I might have to decide which I want most, my brain power or no tremor. Great choices, either way I don't want to be around people at all.

I just found this forum and I see that your question was posed back in Nov. of 05. I'd like to know how you're doing.

 
Old 04-29-2006, 06:28 PM   #5
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Re: Is anyone living with a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury?

Hi HappyValleyShar, so sorry to hear you too are suffering. My neurologist basically dropped me after he sent me to a neuropsychologist for testing. He said this was as good as I get and if I cannot work, then I probably never would. Well now. The tests show a major slowness in processing and altered memory ability, but they also show depression and anxiety. Well duh......I am still out of work, still in pt, and now may have to see an orthopedist for my nonhealing shoulder, a dental specialist for my jaw, and I start psycho therapy in May to try and "help" me learn to deal with all of this. But no, they will not go on record as claiming brain damage even though my IQ is well over 26 points lower than before. I am trying to track down my old records from child hood to prove this. It is quite frustrating to be told the majority of my problems are from depression. I have been dxed as depressed for well over 10 years now and have functioned quite well until I had this bad fall. It is so frustrating and yes debilitating to have the problems we have and yet as someone mentioned "look so good". Well if I looked as bad as I felt they would keep a bag over my head....lol. ANyway, still not a whole lot of improvement, but I have seen some. I can read more than a few sentences now and retain most of the information if I concentrate really hard. The worst part of this is the headaches that are progressively lasting longer and hurting more. I guess this is just the depression as they say, but the only thing I feel bad about is that justice has not been served yet, and I am really ready to quit living on equity and loans! I hope you are able to get the help you need. I have not stopped looking, just at a pause right now! Hang in there!
~Mim

 
Old 04-30-2006, 07:28 AM   #6
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Re: Is anyone living with a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury?

mim,ask the neurologist where you were seeing him for a referral to the neurosurgery dept,they may have much better ideas for you and possibilitys of a more clear Dx of your condition,really.I just don't hold alot for any neurologists that i have seen in the past.all the NSs that I have seen ,even the bad ones,have a much better understanding of brain injury and possible complications of than any neurologist.

when my son had his brain injury,he was treated by two physical medicine docs AND a really great ped neurosurgeon,not a neurologist.this would be at least another option for you.

if your current neuro wont refer you,go to your primary and discuss the referral with him/her.they can do the referral too.or even seeing an NS out of that university practice just for another opinion wouldn't hurt either.ya know?you do deserve answers and you don't appear to be getting those at this point.so you move onto someone who can possibly do that for you.believe me,I have been there wayyy too many times myself.not every doc sees things in the same light or has the exact same type of knowledge and experience as any other.they are different,trust me on that one.keep pushing til you hit on the right doc.good luck and keep me posted,marcia
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3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

 
Old 04-30-2006, 08:22 PM   #7
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Re: Is anyone living with a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury?

Marcia, excellent idea. I will bring it up Tuesday. I am asking for an emergency appt. since their suggestion of ibuprofen is not cutting it in the headache and flare up in the body I am experiencing. I have a wonderful ns do my back surgery 4 years ago, very good bedside manner: listens well, multiple options, willing to hear suggestions, so I will try to see him and at least get a 2nd opinion. Thanks! I appreciate the inp ut~
Mim

 
Old 05-01-2006, 07:32 AM   #8
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Re: Is anyone living with a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury?

hello mimgregg, nice to hear from you. I also KNOW I'm depressed, and wonder how much of my trouble could be related to that. Your reference to people saying "but you look so good" also hit home. My neuro said "you don't looked depressed". Some of us are very good cameleons! I can't make people, even my husband understand what this is like. He thinks I'm over exaggerating. I feel frustrated and extremely stupid. I have been taking online Tickle Tests to confirm my IQ and so far there's not been alot of change, thank God. Are you taking antidepressants? I don't like having to take meds, but am considering asking the neuro if we could try that. At this point I'm getting pretty desperate, even most of the time wish I would just pass on. (I would never do anything to promote that though), just wishing God would open the door so I can get some relief. (Maybe I should have some cheese with that whine!) Sorry for complaining, I don't have anyone to talk to about this and need a place to vent.

I hope you get relief from your physical pain soon; could you have hurt your shoulder when you fell? I know they say physical pain is often associated with depression, so whichever route you have to go, I hope you soon feel better.

 
Old 05-01-2006, 08:53 AM   #9
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Re: Is anyone living with a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury?

Four years ago I was in a horrid accident. Numerous injuries. My head "sloshed for months after the addident. Sever concussion/dizziness/inner ear damage/recessed eye/limited peripheral vision on the right/constant "fullness" on the right side of the head/C2 to L2 bulging or herniated discs/shoulder impingements/ribcage dysfunction/numbeness to the head shoulders, arms, hands, back and right leg/short blackouts/floaters, colors - you name it. I could go on and on -

CAT scan, MRI's, MRA, nothing shows - VER showed damage to the right eye area - causing recessed eye. Possible severed artieries but since it was a comp case - most medical was denied. Vestibular and PT were only allowed for a few weeks. The comp carrier denied tests, docs, meds, etc.

I am still suffering today (100% disabled) with all the head problems. I fumble at times for words as well. Concentration - shot to (you know where). Light/sound sensitive. I don't want to be around people - and I don't want anyone to see me. I am a prisoner in my own home. I cannot remember (4.0 in accounting and 4.0 in computers) many things.

My pain doc and my neuro are the only ones I see anymore - and all they do is push pills.

It's not easy - not having a life. Everything I did before - I can no longer do. This is not the life I want and there is nothing I can do about it. After 4 years I thought that something would improve - but no. I still have the fullness to the head - and the numbness to the head and body. Still suffering with intermittent hearing loss/vision loss from migraines as well. My right leg goes out from under me for no reason - sometimes it drags - I trip now - it's embarassing trying to walk. I have constant chest pains from the one disc herniation that shoots thru the breastbone - not to mention the constant pain from the right rib that is jabbing through my right breast/chest area.

When will I ever find any relief?

 
Old 05-01-2006, 12:50 PM   #10
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Re: Is anyone living with a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury?

Bless your heart, that is terrible! Mine is a workmans comp case and they now won't pay so I got a good lawyer and am getting medical care through my insurance carrier. I am going to let them fight wc to get their money back. Sweetie, if you can, get a lawyer, get new docs, and fight for your self. I have learned one thing through all of this, I only get the treatment I deserve and need if I seek it out and get my insurance to pay. I hope you can get some help, it sounds like you have been left hanging!!! Every day I feel hope, and even when I have bad days, weeks, months, etc...somehow I find something to keep me going. Hang in there!
~Mim

 
Old 05-01-2006, 12:58 PM   #11
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Re: Is anyone living with a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury?

HAppyvalleyshar, yes, I have been on antidepressants for over 10 years, but my depression gets worse when pain is added, income zeroed out,and having to fight to get medical treatment. I did hurt my shoulder, neck, hip etc when I fell and have daily headaches in varying degrees of pain. When I was married, I never received support, so now if I get any I am actually surprised. That was an absolutely idiotic thing for your neuro to say. Doctors of all people should never assume a patient's physical or mental health based on appearance. It amazes me that there are SO MANY PEOPLE that just don't get it. I guess we need to dress like street people and lay in the floor to expect help. THey did switch my antidepressants to Cymbalta b/c it is shown that it helps pain as well as depression. Something to do with serotonin I believe. I also take Lyrica for nerve pain, Lortab for pain, and Flexeril. Lately it seems like they may as well be peanuts for the help it has given me. Just a painful flare I'm afraid. Hope you are doing better!
~Mim

 
Old 05-01-2006, 05:07 PM   #12
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Re: Is anyone living with a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury?

Thank you Mim -

I fought comp (with an attorney) the whole time I was on comp. They just did not want to cooperate with my docs and they knew that I had suffered multiple injuries in the accident.

They (comp) were not going to budge - their low-life maggot attorneys did so much to me - then they offered a settlement just to get rid of me and not to pay my future medical. Because I was waiting for SSD - my attorney said to settle and get rid of them - this way - I would receive full SSD and not an adjusted figure because of comp payments.

Now I have a new attorney handling my accident (the first got paid off to drop my case) and he has informed me that I was not properly counseled with that decision - of accepting a Section 32 from comp.

It's all over with now with comp and I do not have all their game-playing crap to go through and I don't have to fight with them anymore. Less stress for me. Also - I am now on SSD without having my monthly checks adjusted due to payments from comp.

The pain will always be there - in my heart there is no love or like for what comp's doctors and attorneys did to me - they will get theirs - what goes around comes around.

Now I can concentrate on my case with my new attorney - and that insurance company is no better than the comp carrier. My attorney is strong and keeps me strong - I won't cave in.

My doctors fought for me to have what I needed - and they did take care of me even when comp refused to pay them.

Life is completely different now - adjusting is the hardest thing for me - and the depression - well - I sometimes wonder just how low I can go. I hope someday to move out into the country where it is peaceful and quiet - and I can just live out the rest of my days peacefully. I have my plot - and one of these days I will make my arrangements. Then I won't have to worry about who will do it. As soon as my case is over - I will take care of all that. And I will then make out my will as well.

 
Old 05-04-2006, 09:44 PM   #13
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Re: Is anyone living with a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury?

I never got around to even talking with my dr. about getting a referral to go to the ns, after I told him how I was and the headaches, I was being sent to my dentist. Apparently I have TMJ, so I guess in 2 weeks I will bring it up then!
Hope everyone is doing well.
~Mim

 
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