“Drinking too much caffeine restricts blood flow to the brain and dehydrates it” – dr. amen
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I just had a severe concussion. It has been 5 weeks. I passed out and then fell and hit my head very hard. I was unconscious for a day and a half and stayed in the hospital for 3 days. After 4 weeks I tried to go to work but only made it for 2 days. I can not concentrate, I do not like noise and I have headaches and pressure in my head. I am frustrated and feel a lot of anxiety. I just read the articles about diet and rest. Am I rushing to get back to normal. I am 59 and not used to doing nothing but sleeping. What should I expect.
It sounds like you are trying to get back to normal way too fast, especially since you were knocked out! This can set you back.
I’m recovering from a mild TBI, 5 months in and have seen the best specialists in my area. I’m lucky to have one in particular who Dr. Mary Ann Keatley who’s been working to help rehab brain injury patients for over 20 years and runs the brain injury for hope foundation. She co-wrote two books called “Understanding Mild Traumatic Brain Injury” and “Recovering from MTBI” which you and your family might find helpful. In them she talks about the process, and how long it can take to recover, sometimes up to two years or more depending on severity and age.
There’s really good information on this blog about which supplements to start, but rest, going “dark” no screens, brain strain etc. will be helpful. Also put ice packs on the back of your neck. This will help slow down the blood flow to the base of your brain, potentially giving you some relief.
My eyes were also affected by my trauma, so I had to get special glasses. The symptoms of getting a headache after reading for 15 -20 mins pointed me in that direction, and then cognitive testing further indicated something happened to my eyes.
I got special ear filters (fitted ones ER 15/25) by an audiologist to dampen background sound and still enable me to hear conversations. A soft pair you can get at the store works well to block out most sound, especially with a pair of Bose noise cancelling headphones. I tried a cheaper alternative which didn’t work nearly as well. They’re worth it when you have an MTBI.
I can also say the one thing that has helped the MOST with alleviating the constant headaches and put me on the path to recovery is receiving hyperbaric oxygen treatments. It’s an “off label” therapy, as my Dr. described it. It’s legal for her to prescribe, it’s just that insurance companies usually don’t cover it, since the FDA hasn’t approved it to treat TBI yet, even though it’s the one thing that most TBI patients find gives them the most relief. You can visit http://www.HBOT.com for some research.
Apply for disability from your company if you haven’t already, because unfortunately this injury can take a long time to heal from. Social Security Disability may also be another option down the road.
Eventually, you may need to consider cognitive therapy, where the therapist can give you some test to see which parts of your cognition were affected, and develop a rehab plan for you to get back what you’ve lost. I’ve just started this therapy.
Hope the above helps!
Best wishes on your recovery & journey.
Great tips!! Thank you for responding & sharing your success!
Steve, I am so sorry your comments went unanswered for so long. I strive to respond as quick as possible but yours somehow slipped past.
I fainted on the 20/8/15 and hit my forehead badly on the bathroom floor, knocked myself out for about 1 1/2 hours. I went to the hospital and had a ct scan and tests which all came back normal. I was due to go overseas in five days for 3 week holiday and the doctor said I was fine to go. I should never have listened to him but this was a first concussion and I knew no better. Long story short, about seven weeks later the headaches nausea and vertigo hit. I had picked up a virus in South Africa which the doctor now says left me with Labrynthitis as well. At the same time I started getting terrible nerve pain like electric shocks in my left thigh – excruciating! So ended up at ER at hospital where they gave me Lyrica and strong painkillers. I had injections in my leg and after a couple of weeks I no longer have the neuropathy. I am off the Lyrica and all painkillers but now the Post Concussion Syndrome headache, full feeling in my ears with loud ringing and nausea have come back. So I continue to rest most of the time. I have very little energy. About a week ago I started taking Mega Omega 3 capsules, multi B vitamins, and Mega Magnesium tablets. Yesterday I started taking coQ10 as well. I have felt nauseas yesterday and today and not sure if I’m taking the wrong combinations of vitamins. I take the omega 3, and vitamin B in the morning after breakfast, then omega 3, magnesium, coQ10 and melatonin at night. Can’t tolerate the nausea so would love your advice on what to stop taking. It’s now more than 14 weeks since the concussion. I’d really like advice about Labrynthitis as well – surely this virus should have cleared by now? Thanks so much for all the great information on your site.
This quote by Dr. Amen doesn’t seem to make sense. I am currently working in Seattle as a brain surgeon, and after brain surgery, the first thing a patient is given to drink is coffee. If caffeine restricts blood flow to the brain, then why is it used in this purpose?
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