Posted on January 16, 2013 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 17 of 34 in the series Craig

 Brain Injury Headaches : Craig Part Seventeen 

Craig discusses the pain involved with brain injury headaches.  Brain injury headaches so bad that they interrupt his sleeping and his vision.


One of the things that often gets lost in the shuffle when we talk, teach and counsel about brain injury, is pain such as brain injury headaches.  How big of an issue was pain for you after the wreck?

It still is.  The physical pain went away in six months, but the headaches and the humming and the visual stuff I still have.  And it’s because I push myself, but I get headaches (brain injury headaches) so bad that they’ll keep me up all night.

The Severe Pain Caused by Brain Injury Headaches

Tell me about the brain injury headaches in the first few months.

This, I mean, I’ve never had a headache (brain injury headache). I guess the best way to describe it your brain is in a vice from the inside out, I mean, it’s like your brain’s pushing against your skull, and I could feel exactly where my injury happened.  I mean, and they say the brain doesn’t feel any pain and I keep hearing that from these doctors, and it would hurt so bad I was insane.

Now, much of brain injury headache pain is supposed to come from the scale.  You had some significant scalp injury as well.


When you say you could feel where you got hurt, are you feeling it in the scalp or in the brain?

It was here, but the injury part was here.  This was the part that was affecting my brain and this is the part when I felt it, it was numbing almost.  I mean, I could feel it running down my skull, the pain would shoot through my spine.  I mean, it would actually tingle my toes it would hurt so bad sometimes.

Were you getting auras, the classic migrainal auras with the brain injury headache?

Oh yeah.

Describe your symptoms, when they start, when you get the sense you might get a brain injury headache.  Tell me what happens.

Well, I remember the first, when they started, because they didn’t really start probably for about six, eight weeks.  I mean, they really got intense.  They never left for, to this day.   They have different levels but two years of intense headaches.  The only time that they felt any better was when I was so drugged up that I’d forget that they were there.  And of course, that don’t really take the pain away.

Do you think they may have been early on but you had so many other aches and pains you weren’t noticing the brain injury headache?

It’s possible or like I don’t remember  them.  That is very possible too.

You talk about a two-year time period.  Did the brain injury headaches get less intense after two years?

Yeah, without a doubt.  They, I would say, 3½ years the intensity, once I started sleeping they started getting a little better too.  I mean, naturally sleeping.  The  Cymbal-, not Cymbalta but the Lunesta I tried to – they had me on, stopped working.   But sleeping on my own is when I really started the best time.

Did they give you a series of different medicines in terms of treating the migraines (brain injury headaches)?

Oh yeah.    I had morphine. I had, Percocet.  They tried everything, but I was to the point where the drugs were doing more damage than the headaches were because I wasn’t functioning.  I even got the marijuana card, thought that would do it, but that was a mistake.  I mean, my memory had issues before?  I mean, I couldn’t remember anything.   I know people say that’s a great product for them, but it didn’t work for me.

Did they try these prophylactic medicines to prevent you from getting the migraines z(brain injury headaches) , things like, Depakote.

Now, one guy did, on what was it, high blood pressure, I can’t remember.  It’s a beta blocker, and that took some of the intensity away, but then my blood pressure got so low and so that wasn’t a good thing, a good mix for me.  If I would of had higher blood pressure it would have been a good thing, but I have fairly normal blood pressure.   So when it went down to like 90 over 60 they were starting getting a little worried that it might not be a good thing.  But that was the best thing because it like took some of the strain off of it.



Next In Part Eighteen – Abnormal Vision and Hearing Post TBI


About the Author

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