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7 Concussions and Chronic Daily Headaches


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Old 01-06-2016, 09:45 PM   #1
bethanys22
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7 Concussions and Chronic Daily Headaches

Hi, my names Bethany, I'm 20 years old and a sophomore in college. During my freshman and sophomore years of high school I played basketball and lacrosse, and had 5 concussions, followed my a 6th concussion while watching a football game, the student fell on my head and I fell backwards between the bleachers, giving myself my 6th concussion and spraining my neck. I went to my primary care provider for these concussions, and a quick care hospital when I sprained my neck. The primary care provider told me to take 3 tylenol and 2 advil 3 times a day.. That was the last time I went back to that doctor. My symptoms never stopped - constant headaches, dizziness, etc. I saw a physical therapist after this who said that my heart rate was getting too high whenever I engaged in physical activity (tried running track), and that my brain could no longer regulate it, causing increased pressure and headaches. The physical therapy never helped this problem and I spent years having constant headaches and suffering.

This past September, 2015, I hit my head at school and got my 7th concussion. I tried to sleep for a while after getting it, but woke up in extreme pain, dizzy, and nauseous. I immediately went to the hospital, who let me sit in the ER for 3 hours alone and then criticized me for not taking tylenol.

I spoke to my anatomy professor who's concentration is in neuroscience, (I'm a medical laboratory science major with a pharmacology minor at the University of Vermont), who told me to get a Neurology referral from the student health center. After going to the health center, the doctor told me to stay off of my phone and computer for 2 weeks and then come back. After doing so, with no relief (shocking), she wrote me a neurology referral, however after weeks of trying to schedule a neurology appointment, I was told that the neurology department would not take me "because it was regarding a concussion". The neurology department blindly faxed my information to a rehab clinic, who said they couldn't take me until March of 2016, which wasn't going to work with the pain I was experiencing..

I then saw a different doctor at the health center, who ordered me an MRI, suggested Neuropsychological testing (which they won't accept my insurance for and I cannot afford otherwise), referred me to a new physical therapist, and ordered me medication for the headaches.

My symptoms at this point were unchanged - headache, dizziness, sensitivity to light and sound, sleeping all of the time, depression, anxiety. My memory and concentration are also awful due to all of the concussions, which have made school extremely challenging.

I was prescribed Indomethacin 25 mg and told to take 1 capsule by mouth twice a day if needed for headaches. I was taking them everyday, 1 time a day due to the nausea it caused, for 10 days when I was told to stop taking it everyday and to only take it if I absolutely need to because I will have withdrawal symptoms from them and worse headaches when I stop taking them. This was the only medication that helped the headaches to date.

After having the MRI, the results came back as "normal examination of the brain". "No evidence of prior parenchymal hemorrhage. No restricted diffusion present to suggest recent acute ischemia. No intracranial mass or mass effect is present and there is no midline shift. A single small focus of T2 prolongation is present in the white matter of the right frontal lobe within normal limits for age. Ventricular caliber is normal. The basal cisterns are patent. The orbits appear unremarkable. The paranasal sinuses and mastoid air cells are clear."

The new physical therapist has been doing neck and upper back massage, which hasn't stopped the headaches at all.

At the beginning of December 2015, the doctor prescribed Nortriptyline 25 mg, once a day for the first three weeks, twice a day after 3 weeks. He said that this should help my headaches, however it hasn't whatsoever, and has also caused me to have absolutely no appetite, nausea and vomiting, causes me to shake every day and causes my heart to race (100-120 beats/minute at rest). I have also been experiencing postural hypotension for over a month now every single time I stand from a sitting or laying position, making me extremely dizzy and falling a few times.

I've been home for winter break and was trying to see a neurologist here, however the neurologists here won't take the referral that I have from the Health center doctor, so I still haven't been to see a neurologist. The physical therapist and doctors at the health center have no idea what's causing my headaches and other symptoms. The only diagnoses I have received are "chronic daily headaches", as well as depression and anxiety.

I've dealt with these headaches everyday for the past 6 years, and no one has been able to figure out what the problem or cause is. Over the past year my depression has worsened significantly. And my memory and concentration are suffering, which makes college extremely difficult. Any help or suggestions would be so appreciated. Migraine headaches have been ruled out.

- Bethany

 
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