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Concussion - advice or stories?
Old 06-10-2014, 04:25 PM   #1
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Concussion - advice or stories?

Last Monday, I lost about two hours of my life. While driving home from work, on the freeway, my car was hit from behind and totaled. I was knocked unconscious, and have no memory of the accident. I was kept overnight in the hospital, then released, with instructions to stay home from work through the rest of the week.

So yesterday (Monday), I went back to work (commuting by train, and getting a ride from the station to work), lasted half a day, came home and went to sleep for about ninety minutes, and napped throughout the evening. Today I lasted a half day, came home, and did not fall asleep. I can tell that it was just too much, today--too overstimulating.

I am trying to figure out what to expect in my recovery, and am asking for you to share your own stories of concussions. Were you knocked unconscious? How long did your headache last? How long did you feel disconnected and spacey and distant? How long were you off of work? When did you feel "normal" again?

(Believe me, I understand how very lucky I was, and how lightly I came through this event. I could have been broken, or maimed, burned, or killed. I was bruised and concussed, but otherwise undamaged. I am in no way complaining--just trying to get a handle on this brain injury situation.)


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Old 06-10-2014, 05:53 PM   #2
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My uncle, who was a physician himself so should have known better, decided to sleep his off. He died in his sleep. This is not something to take lightly. Go back to the doc. Insist on imaging or other tests if necessary. The odds are very highly in your favor for recovery and you will most likely be fine, but the downside if something is wrong is just too terrible to take chances. Sorry my personal anecdote isn't more upbeat, but head injuries can be very dangerous. Don't underestimate the possibility of needing additional medical attention if you feel like something isn't right.

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Old 06-10-2014, 05:59 PM   #3
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Sorry, after reading your post more carefully, I see you are already a week into recovery. Please excuse the shouting and blunt advice. It is most applicable in the immediate aftermath of a head injury, and it looks like you did get proper care at the time. I wouldn't discount the possibility of long term effects or need for future care, but it seems like you are past the critical immediate early period where people fail to seek care and suffer terrible consequences. Good luck for your recovery.
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Old 06-10-2014, 06:11 PM   #4
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So sorry this happened to you. I do not see an airbag so you must have hit the steering wheel.

My wife hit a parked car last year driving no more than 25 miles/hr. Her Honda Fit totaled. The other car was a Toyota Tacoma, only suffered an ugly dent but still drive-able. I took her to ER. They did MRI and X-ray on her and all appeared good before they released her.

Her head and chest bumped into the airbag very hard. Thank goodness for airbag. She could have suffered a lot worse without it. I can visibly see the red bruises. Her seat belt burned her neck real bad also. We went to see her primary a couple of more times after. She complained about headache and chest pain for a good one month.

ER recommended to see primary right away. So if you still feeling the aftermath, you might want to see your primary doctor and see what he/she say.
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Old 06-10-2014, 06:19 PM   #5
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I'm sorry you had this nasty experience. Beyond the acute phase, recovering from concussion may be a slow process. A recent study in adolescents showed that those who tried to do higher level mental activity (homework) took longer to recover. So. Be kind to yourself for the next little while. If you have concerns that your PCP cannot advise on, ask to see a neurologist.

Concussion recovery delayed by mental activity, study shows - Health - CBC News
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Old 06-10-2014, 07:46 PM   #6
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Sorry this happened. I've had too many to remember, 25 -30 best guess. Foolishly I never had medical attention, or missed work. Luckily I'm alive, contrary to popular opionion my brain is normal.

The last log truck I helped unload in '82 I was releasing the binders when one 'trip stake' accidentally tripped, hitting me on the back of the head. I realize folks probably don't know what a trip stake is, so think of 80 lbs of steel falling 4 feet, striking my head. About a week later I realized who I was and had no memory of anything after the blow to my head. I think it was a good 4 weeks until the constant headaches stopped. I know after that, I had intermittent headaches for a couple more months. I'm very fortunate that I wasn't killed in this accident.

I hope you recover much faster.
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Old 06-10-2014, 08:28 PM   #7
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Limit time on the computer and watching TV. Try to focus on what your body is telling you-if you feel tired give in and get the rest you need. Godspeed in your recovery.
"A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do" --Bob Dylan.
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Old 06-11-2014, 09:53 AM   #8
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OW! It's going to take time.

I have had two concussions. The first was big. It was in the early 70s, when less was known, and the diagnostic tools were scant. I was driving along when suddenly a car in the oncoming lane on a 2-lane swerved into me. He was in a full-size car, I was in a compact. I was not wearing a shoulder belt, only a lap belt (never again!). There were two separate belts back then, they had just come out. I have no memory of slamming the steering wheel with my head. I remember being dazed, unreal, head down against my chest, bleeding profusely. Driver door was jammed, someone banging on the passenger door, which was locked. I tumbled out. Police and ambulance arrived, I went to hospital by ambulance. Arrived around shift change time, not a good time. I had no worries, I was totally calm, no brainpower to be apprehensive. Hemorrhaged severely into both eyes, totally red, no white. Broken nose, my head seemed not connected to me. Sewed up, released some hours later. Not a good hospital.

It was a week before I felt "normal", and my head still hurt. During that week, I was unable to do anything much. Just sat and stared into space. Watching TV seemed to hurt more, and trouble following it. Laid around a lot, and slept when I could. Got tired of sleeping, awake at wrong times.

So much more is known about head injuries now, and med technology vastly improved.

When I was in high school, there was a guy who without warning, would go into an epileptic fit. When he was about 10 years old, he climbed over a chain link fence, got caught on the top of the fence fabric, and flipped him onto the ground. His head slammed into a concrete sidewalk next to the fence. Concussion, then seemed to be OK. About five years later, he developed epilepsy.

Brain-wise, I have been OK, though I am sure there have been those who have questioned my mental state at one time or another
-- Telly, the D-I-Y guy --
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Old 06-11-2014, 11:11 AM   #9
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Had a minor but very real concussion with a bike accident last October. Heart rate monitor also showed I went into shock for a few minutes. Luckily it all passed without much recurring problems (other than broken collarbone). I was able to shake it off, walk out 2 miles and drive home. Hospital did a scan on my head and saw no evidence of injury.

Sorry for your issues with this. I think given proper medical care and time you'll recover but with as severe as it sounds yours was it may take time. I wouldn't push it, and if you have any problems I'd really go easy. One thing I learned is that my broken collarbone at 19 healed up no problem, easy peasy. The one at 62? Hmmm. Not so much. Still bothers me 8 months later.
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Old 06-16-2014, 07:10 AM   #10
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Two weeks of healing, and I am feeling less disconnected and within sight of "normal me". We will see how far into the work day I last. (Goal is noon--secret goal is 2:00.)

Thank you for your suggestions and sharing.
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Old 06-16-2014, 11:24 AM   #11
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So glad you are feeling better and less disconnected. Don't push yourself too hard; it may take more time before you are feeling normal once again.

I know what you mean by feeling disconnected; when I fainted, hit my head, and knocked myself out briefly last October I felt that way. My situation was not as serious as yours, I didn't lose time, and as far as I know, I was never diagnosed with a concussion. I didn't want to see a doctor at first, and didn't see one until the next day. My doctor had a cat scan done of my head and all was well. But, I felt weird for a while; hard to know how to describe it but disconnected sounds as reasonable as any other description I can think of.

I didn't realize until this happened, that one's head is so fragile and that head injuries are so serious. When I first regained my consciousness I couldn't understand why people were so concerned about the head injury when my fingers (that I landed on) hurt so much more! But later I understood. IIRC it took me at least a month before I felt back to normal, and I let my boyfriend F drive me everywhere during that time.
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Old 06-16-2014, 11:46 AM   #12
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You probably have postconcussion syndrome. This basic article may be helpful. Only the examining physician(s) should be relied upon for specific advice.

Best wishes for a full recovery.
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As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
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Old 06-17-2014, 12:19 PM   #13
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Glad you are OK in general and seeing positive progress! Back in the early 80's I was in an auto accident and "lost" about an hour or so - only have a recollection of awakening in the emergency medical unit for a minute or so and then waiting in the back of a sheriffs car while my wife came to pick me up. I turned down going to the emergency room - young and didn't want to get a big bill!, but did have my wife take me to our local physician who stitched up a big gash behind one ear. Went to work the next day and never remembered any more about the accident - remember driving on the way to work but don't remember the actual accident happening.

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