Posted on April 18, 2011 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 9 of 14 in the series Gina

TBI Headache: Gina Part Nine

Like most people with brain injury, she also has some physical manifestations of the injury she suffered along with her TBI headaches. Gina discusses those issues:

The hearing and this is a big thing with the hearing aid, and that wasn’t diagnosed for quite a while. I had to keep pushing the doctors that there’s something wrong and I need to get tested.

I was having issues with my arm, my arm, my right arm going dead a lot. One doctor had said I had carpal tunnel problems and wanted to schedule surgery to have that operated on. I didn’t agree with him and fought my neurologist that this guy was wrong and so he finally sent me to physical therapy and said well, it’s not going to help but if you insist, that’s where you’ll go.

Well, my physical therapy found that there was something wrong with my neck and cerebral spinal fluid wasn’t flowing quite right because a nerve was pinched off and he did something to my neck to readjust it and you could feel the relief just going through your body but and I still have times where my neck is, it’s like it goes back and it gets pinched again. But the physical therapist has – basically I lay on two tennis balls in a certain area and I can get it worked out myself. This same doctor that misdiagnosed the carpal tunnel had said well, with my neck he, the way he was doing it, he said you should probably look at some neck surgery and I will not go to that guy anymore.

Gina Talks About Her TBI Headaches and What Helps

Gina has ongoing migraine TBI headaches.

I have gotten them ( TBI headaches) already, they start, one of my fractures is right here. That’s where I get the majority of them (TBI headaches). They, I have gotten them where okay, I take a couple Imitrex, we have found that that works, and either it goes away or at least helps with the pain (for her TBI headaches). I have had them (TBI headaches) already so bad that I’ve gotten to the hospital to have an IV to have them taken away. I have gotten them, I have six different ice packs that I keep in my freezer at home. They’re all different sizes. They’re all different shapes. It depends on where the headache is and how bad it is as to which ice pack I’m going to use. I have a lot of – I go to bed. I have put blankets over the windows or at least the blinds down. It’s like no noise, pack me in ice. I don’t eat. I, I will do the Imitrex and if I really can’t sleep, then I’m popping Vicodin.

Getting doctors to listen to her is a big ongoing challenge including TBI headaches for Gina.

I feel like they’re, when I tell them certain drugs aren’t working or I don’t want to be on them or I feel like I’m – at one point I was taking 12 different pills and it’s like this, I’m all over the place. I’m not keeping this straight. There are things – one of them was well, I don’t know what to tell you and it’s like well, try different times or are you sure you’re taking this right? Are you – I don’t know what else to do.

I had one doctor, a neurologist, that sent me to a psychiatrist but it was basically for just the pills and the amount that I was on and he would tweak things out. Well then he left, he left the hospital, he left the whole clinic and went elsewhere and I really liked him and he had me settled and he had, he had me down to six pills a day and everything I felt was like evening out and he left and I got a letter that he was leaving and so I went back to the hospital and asked where he had ended up and they wouldn’t tell me. They said he just left.

Well I found out later that he’s not too far away but he’s no longer taking new patients so I’ve talked to my neurologist a couple different times and said, you know, you’re rushing me through. Now they have him where he’s not in the area more, he’s in the area two days a week instead of five. I don’t feel like he’s available. I don’t like his partner at all.

A common complaint about neurologists and psychiatrists is that they don’t listen to any complaints that they can’t prescribe medication to solve.

His big thing is all he asks is the headaches. I realize headache, my headaches are the major, major ordeal for me and preventing them and dealing with them, that type of thing is fine. I have told him about depression and he said are you suicidal? No, I’m not. Are you going to do anything at all to hurt yourself or others? No. It’s, I just don’t feel good.

Next in Part Ten – Mood and Emotional Problems

About the Author

Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice :: 800-992-9447