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March 19th, 2009
05:39 PM ET

Head trauma is nothing to be taken lightly

By Val Willingham
CNN Medical Producer

The death of actress Natasha Richardson is tragic. A beautiful, vital 45-year-old goes for a ski lesson and falls. She gets up, declines medical care and goes back to her hotel. From there, the story takes a terrible turn. She becomes ill, and is transported to one hospital, then another and then finally to a third hospital near her home, where she dies two days later from brain injuries caused by an epidural hematoma. Her family, friends and fans are shocked. How can something as innocent as a ski fall  kill you? Because, neurologists say, the brain, although complex, is a delicate organ. It's very vulnerable and it needs to be taken seriously. And even a bump on the head can take its toll. Unfortunately, I know this all too well.

Thirteen years ago, my husband, daughter and I were in a terrible car accident on the Florida Turnpike. On our way to Orlando, our vehicle was hit by a driver who had fallen asleep at the wheel. Although we all had our seat belts on, our car swerved and hit a bridge embankment. My husband's head went out the side window, hitting the windshield and the concrete. When EMS workers got to us, it looked as if a battle had taken place: burning cars, debris. And because my husband had a major slice to his head, blood was everywhere. I was not hurt, and my daughter had a minor cut from flying glass. They loaded us into ambulances and took us to two different hospitals, my husband headed for the local trauma unit. He stayed two days in the hospital. They stitched up his forehead and sent him home, mentioning that he may want to see his doctor once he got back to Washington, D.C. And although the whole thing was terribly traumatic, we left Florida three days later, with my husband behind the wheel of a rental car.

Because he felt fine and there seemed to be no urgency to his injuries, my husband went back to work and made an appointment with his doctor to have a CT scan two months later. When he got off the table, the radiologist asked him to sit down and immediately called a neurologist. As the doctor viewed the images, his face turned pale and he asked my husband how long had it been since he was in the accident. My hubby shrugged and said, "A couple of months." The physician then told him not to move - he was going to schedule surgery immediately. It seemed my husband had developed a subdural hematoma that covered his entire brain. According to MayoClinic.com it's usually formed from head trauma that causes the brain to be shaken severely. Many children who suffer from shaken baby syndrome have these type of injuries. And unlike epidural hematomas, which bleed in the brain fairly quickly, my husband's injury developed slowly, causing a massive bruise to form. One false move could have given him a stroke, or caused permanent brain damage.

Although my husband made it through brain surgery without incident, there is a lesson here. Never take a head injury for granted. When doctors looked at his scans in the ER in Florida, they obviously did not see the bruising that later formed over his brain. Because the brain is loaded with large and small blood vessels, head injuries can cause all sorts of serious problems. Studies have shown that athletes who suffer even minor concussions can develop neurological problems later in life. The brain is nothing to be messed with.

Ironically, March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. And although brain injuries are not as common as, say, broken bones, they do happen and many have serious consequences. They need to be treated immediately. In this story, my husband got treated, before suffering brain damage. He was fortunate. God bless her, but Ms. Richardson was not.

Have you ever faced head trauma? Know someone who has? What happened? We'd like to hear about it.

Editor's Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.


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soundoff (348 Responses)
  1. E Chapman

    My daughter suffered what seemed to be a terrible head injury when she was 12 in 1965. It was a horrendous horse accident and I still think about it all the time. I rode in the ambulance to the hospital with her and will never forget that night. She was seeing double but talking a little, coherently and calmly. She lost a lot of weight following the accident but miraculously she fully recovered. She is now 56, still rides horses every day, is a registered nurse, a mother of three, and a grandmother of two. I am forever thankful to God for being there, for sending His angels to care for her, or whatever it was that He did to rescue her from terrible consequences. I know this is not the type comment you were expecting but I wanted to post this nevertheless. I am so very grateful.

    March 19, 2009 at 23:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Karen

    2 years ago I slipped and fell on some ice and hit my head and was knocked out. When I came around I fell several times getting up. I was soaking wet from my body heat melting the snow I was lying on. I made my way into the house, but don't remember doing so. My husband and son thought I had been drinking (I had not been). I was acting crazy they told me the next day. Talking crazy and having slurred speach, and not able to control all of my movements such as stumbling and fallingwhich they told me about later. They changed my clothes and put me in bed, where I woke up the next morning with very little memory of what had happened. I realize now just how lucky I was to have had no lasting problems from the incident. I guess I must have a hard head. After the Natassia Richardson accident, I realize just how lucky I was on that winter night, that I went out to feed the dog in the snow and ice. I was so very lucky, because instead of taking me to the hospital, they just put me to bed.

    March 19, 2009 at 23:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Valerie

      Why did you have to "go outside to feed the dog in the snow and ice?"

      April 24, 2014 at 03:42 | Report abuse |
  3. chris canfield

    Fourteen years ago, while on a business flight, I was struck in my temporal lobe by luggage that had been stowed in a defective overhead compartment. My neurologist, who checked for a subdural hematoma and found none, prescribed drugs for pain, and after about two years experiencing headaches and short term memory loss, the pain at the injury site subsided.
    A little over a year ago, after experiencing stability issues, I was checked out for vertigo. Tests failed to re-create my symptoms, and further tests were not done.
    Within the last few weeks, CT scans of my head revealed a brain tumor (Meningioma) in the same location I was struck originally.
    If there is a lession here – head trauma must be followed-up over time – and thorough tests preformed to insure minor head injuries have not lead to serious brain issues later in life.
    I am in the fight of my life now with newly diagnosed malignant melanoma, and the brain tumor was only found while looking for the source of the melanoma.
    I suggest further research must be done to establish a clear link between head trauma and subsequent brain tumors.

    March 19, 2009 at 23:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. S.Lee Miller

    When my Father was in his 80's he fainted and fell while living alone. We did not think too much about it, but as time passed ( several months) my Father began to show symptoms of not being himself.
    He was lethargic and not his happy -go- lucky self. It got even worse to the point of an unsteady gait, and forgetfulness.
    We finally convinced him to see his General Practitioner who, just by his symtoms, determined that he probably had suffered a stroke. Well, my Sister was not satisfied with this diagnosis, and saw to it that he was seen by a Neurologist.
    The Neurologist ordered a cat scan which showed that my Father had a large hemotoma which was covering a large part of his brain. They preformed surgery and after a long hospital stay and therapy, thanks to the Lord, my Father regained his full brain function, and with time could walk well again.
    The Neurologist explained to our family that sometimes a fall like my father had, in a elderly person ,can cause a hematoma, and can even be mistaken for a stroke or dementia. He also explained that with the elderly it is much like a child, in that the brain doesn't need much of a jolt to cause a blood clot.

    Hope this info. helps someone.

    S. Lee Miller

    March 20, 2009 at 00:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Barb Olson

    I got knocked out on a ski hill when I was 28. I was fine until age 43, when I began having seizures. The doctors say the concussion did not cause the seizures, but who knows? Sounds like it could.

    March 20, 2009 at 08:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Deborah Friedson

    I suffered a TBI ten years ago, when I slipped on black ice outside of my house in early spring. I hit the back of my skull with my full body weight when I landed on cement injuring my neck as well. I did not go to the hospital although they suggested I come in immediately. My son’s bar mitzvah was just four days later. I said I was too busy to go to the hospital. ~ I was one of the lucky ones.
    In the days that followed, I had severe pain in the back and top of my head. Noise was disturbing and I was becoming increasingly fatigued. Within two weeks, I could barely lift my head and struggled to walk. My center of balance was skewed and I walked like Groucho Marx unable to assess where my body was in the space around me. Identified with suffering a TBI, I spent two months in physical therapy and worked with a neuropsychologist. I needed help organizing my daily life, pain management, depression and support with severe panic attacks. I subsequently had surgery on my neck to replace two discs. I started treatment for cervical dystonia with Botox shots to lessen the pain of spasms in the muscles in my neck.
    Today I still suffer with pain on a daily basis including pain in the back and top of my head when I am tired. Every day I view as an opportunity and a challenge. I use a tens unit, lidocaine patches and daily swimming for pain control in my neck, head and arms. I am a poor sleeper and use relaxation tapes and meditation to keep my body as calm as possible. I work part-time as an art teacher, however I fatigue easily. Despite my physical challenges, I credit my family, great doctors, a supportive employer, a positive mental attitude, tenacity, love and faith for my joy in living.

    March 20, 2009 at 09:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Deborah Friedson

    Today I still suffer with pain on a daily basis including pain in the back and top of my head when I am tired. Every day I view as an opportunity and a challenge. I receive Botox shots every eleven weeks,use a tens unit, lidocaine patches and daily swimming for pain control in my neck, head and arms. I am a poor sleeper and use relaxation tapes and meditation to keep my body as calm as possible. I work part-time as an art teacher, however I fatigue easily. Despite my physical challenges, I credit my family, great doctors, a supportive employer, a positive mental attitude, tenacity, love and faith for my joy in living.

    kindly replace this edit of my current Botox treatment if you keep my submission thank you....deb

    March 20, 2009 at 09:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. ResilientHeart

    Beautiful article, thank you for bringing awareness to Brain Injury. As a Brain Injury survivor, I follwed the story of Ms. Richardson from the very beginning and started praying for her immediately.

    To share my story is something that cannot be done quickly, it is more of a pandora's box really. I do have a blog if you're interested, please email me. (I do not wish to do the 'blatant self-promotion that seems popular these days!)

    There are millions of us living in the shadows of the life we once lived, more as shut-ins than the once thriving social beings we once were.

    God bless Natash's family and every family touched by Traumatic Brain Injury. I've said it often, the trauma does not begin and end with the injury itself, it is an ongoing rippling affect that touches everyone.

    Thank you – God bless you for your work.

    Blessings,
    RH

    March 20, 2009 at 09:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • zoe khan

      ResilientHeart,
      I would love to read your story and your blog. If possible, contact me.

      June 7, 2014 at 17:39 | Report abuse |
  9. Nicole Ellis

    My 9 yr old step-son had a very serious head injury last June. He fell while playing in a half-empty pool, smashing his head on the concrete. He suffered a fractured skull, split his head open, and required several stitiches. The CAT scan apparently showed no sign of bleeding, but he screamed for days because his head hurt so badly. My husband took him to the ER two more times after the initial injury, but they didn't find anything. He seems normal now, but your article makes we wonder if we should take him in for a follow up scan? I'd hate to think he could be a walking time-bomb...

    March 20, 2009 at 09:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. quanna

    This recent article about head trama really hit home. I recently just suffered an accident in which i hit my head.I was snowbording a little bit over a mouth ago, and was trying to stop but ended up slamming the back of my head against a small sheet of ice. I temperarely black out. An EMT worker came to help me on the slopeshe had asked my the day but i had forgotten what day it was and was sent to the emergency room. Although i head an killer head ache and my neck was stiff e-rays came out negative of any serious head trama. Two weeks later i suffered from extreme head and ear aches starting from the back of my head for a week. Its been a month now and although ive had these head aches two weeks after the accident i have yet to follow up with my doctor. But after reading this article and the story of the women and her husband, ive mad an appointment to see my doctor. I never really thought i could have an serious head injury and not know it until now.

    March 20, 2009 at 11:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Brian Milstead

    My company sponsors a blog related to Brain Science at http://qeegsupport.com/ . The blog discusses Traumatic Brain Injury and tools that can be used to identify and treat such injuries. Recently the The Brain Injury Task Force offered its recommendations to Congress from a conference last fall, sponsored by the congressional task force on brain injuries.

    In October of 2008, St Joseph’s Regional Medical Center hosted the International Conference on Behavioral Health and Traumatic Brain Injury. 100 doctors, researchers and scientists from around the globe discussed issues facing our wounded warriors, identified the barriers to treatment and strategized on the improvements for continuum of care. The Brain Injury Task Force presented their recommendations last week.

    The group suggested that an assessment tool be used in wartime to determine if a soldier should return to duty. It also recommended improvements to traumatic brain injury research, identified the barriers to treatment and strategized on the improvements for continuum of care and more resources for families of troops with TBI.

    For more information, visit qeegsupport.com.

    March 20, 2009 at 12:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Paul

    On Sept. 1, 2005, I was taking one of my daily 20 – 30 mile bike rides, for exercise, with a friend, after work. I rode a fairly expensive
    road bike and always wore a helmet. I, for unknown reasons, slipped
    and fell to the right side, totally destroying my well-made helmet. I
    was life-flighted to a hospital, where my Glasgow Coma Scale score
    was 3t. (Scores range from 3-15, t means intubated.) My lungs fully
    collapsed. I remained in a deep coma for 3 weeks. My hospitalization
    lasted for two months, followed by outpatient therapy. I had to sell my
    business, my home, and move to a quieter town, because of
    " flooding ". My abilities to process are slower. My long-term memory
    is excellent, beyond ten years. I lost ten years. My short-term memory
    is terrible. Non-cognitively, I limp on my left, due to ataxia.
    But, people and technology saved my life. A cell phone shortened
    response time, a helicopter got me to a hospital, but that crushed
    helmet absorbed tremendous amounts of energy. The hospital's
    various teams worked with me, I owe them and that crushed blue
    helmet, my life.

    March 20, 2009 at 21:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. MARY SKI

    I think there were two ambulances, she refused, possibly in writing, the ski patrol's urging to go to hospital. Later when she developed a headache a second ambulance was called and she went to the nearest hospital, who couldhave diagnosed the injury in all probabilty
    She was about120 miles from the McGill Univ. in Montreal wellknown for brain surgery.

    March 20, 2009 at 23:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. George

    This story stirs memories.
    Ms. Richardson lived about a dozen miles from our house, and my sister is an ER nurse at Lenox Hill. Those are coincidences.
    The darkest link is that our son died in 2000 of the traumatic brain injuries that resulted when he was shaken by a child care provider.
    At the time, our only knowledge of shaken baby syndrome was vague memories of the news storm that erupted about the Matty Eappen case and the "English Nanny." We certainly had no idea that there were 1400 to 1600 cases of SBS a year.
    During the three days we spent in a PICU, we got a graduate course in traumatic brain injury. We learned about the irreversible effect of anoxia, and how even a minor insult to the brain can affect the vital functions mediated through the brain stem.
    Many of the anecdotes responding to this story illustrate the need for greater awareness about the prevention of brain injury, as well as the need for support and understanding for individuals and their families who survive those injuries.
    Interestingly, it seems that none of the anecdotes about surviving TBI mentioned Brain Injury Awareness Month. Perhaps that reflects the cognitive biases that make prevention education hard in the first instance.
    That may be the tiny silver lining of this story. Ms. Richardson's work had an affect on many people, and perhaps her death can also make a difference in the lives of many.
    Asking an accident victim to go to the hospital for assessment may be easier when a family member or emergency responder can say "...sure, it seems minor, but remember what happened to Natasha
    Richardson?"
    Many people tell us they can't imagine a worse tragedy than the death of a child, but I can. It's a child who survives traumatic brain injury with extensive, devastating and irreversible brain injuries. It's a tragedy experienced anew everyday. I have enormous respect and admiration for those families who care for their child in such circumstances.
    The good news is that prevention measures can significantly reduce the incidence of injury.
    In New York, educating new parents about SBS has reduced the incidence of inflicted head injuries by 50%.
    Educating teenagers about the use of helmets in skiing, boarding and biking is harder, but it works.
    Part of the challenge is to educate the medical profession about effective prevention education: many still get no education in medical school about educating patients, and don't understand that "telling ain't teaching..."
    Stories like Natasha Richardson's will help.

    March 22, 2009 at 08:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Nancy Huggins

    Hi Val -

    I wanted to remind folks about blood thinners like Coumadin and even Advil. While these medications are used to help and even prevent certain medical issues, they too can be dangerous especially when it comes to bumps on the head. It was at a time of great celebration at our church, when later after the evening service a parishioner when home and tripped up the stairs not thinking anything of it. The next morning while serving as an usher at the grand service, he felt dizzy and quickly became very ill. He was rushed to the hospital and was gone within six hours. In his case, the bump on the head and the fact that he took Coumadin proved to be a fatal combination.

    May God hold both Natasha and our friend Gordon close.

    NH

    March 23, 2009 at 15:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Katie Ross

    This past summer, August 18,2008, my best friend and roommate died from a severe brain injury. It was completely unexpected like Natasha Richardson's death and was very much like hers. My girlfriend, Devany, fell down our staircase and hit her head so hard on the railing and then the stairs that she suffered an immediate fracture to her skull causing internal brain damage and swelling of the brain. It happened right before bed and she got up right after she hit her head, had a conversation with me and said she was fine so we went to our rooms to go to sleep. I found her the next morning in a puddle of blood, unconscious. Along with an ambulance arriving, there was also 3 police cars and a few detectives. Because we had roommates in a college house they were suspicious on how something like this could happen without someone pushing her down the stairs, etc. So I was not able to be with Devany until 8 p.m. that night after questioning and interrogation by the Denver police. A victim and witness were not allowed to be in the same room together during an open investigation but the nurses knew it was vital for me to be with her in ICU, especially because I had no idea what was even going on. I had to be approved from the hospital to be with Devany and I quickly was. I soon found out that she was on life support and completely brain dead. I was the only person allowed to sit with her until her parents flew in from Maine, while we had a lot of friends sitting in the ICU waiting room. To say the least, it was the worst and most traumatic experience of my life. I definitely know that "head trauma is nothing to be taken lightly."

    March 24, 2009 at 23:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Kai

    According to the article, did your husband have any symptoms such as headache, vomit, loss of balance, etc, during the 2 months period before he went in for a CT scan. It would be odd for him to be perfectly fine while inside the skull developed what is called subdural hematomas. I had a concussion 2 months ago and now I feel completely ok, so I am debating whether to go get a CT scan. I went to see a doctor today and she said that I would have to have some kind of neurological symptoms or my condition has to get worst and worst through time in order to be concerned. At this point, my doctor is not recommending the CT scan but ultimately it's still my choice to have it done. Thanks in advance for your response

    March 25, 2009 at 15:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. CA Portsmouth, NH

    I've had multiple accidents riding horses over the past few decades, but one of the scariest involved a fall and a concussion I got at 16 years old. The horse I was riding slipped on a muddy spot on the jump course and fell down between a couple of jumps, with me still in the saddle and pinned underneath him. My head slammed against one of the fences, with the force of the horse's weight pushing me into it. By the time the horse rolled off of me and I was able to pull myself up, I'd cracked the wooden post with the force of my head. I was dizzy, but checked out okay at the hospital. But the scariest part about it was the fact that the post I'd hit had several exposed nail points where I'd smashed into it. Luckily, I was wearing a helmet, and it took the impact of the nail, as well as the brunt of the fall But I had a hole in my helmet where the nail punched into it, almost straight through the plastic and foam liner inside.
    Needless to say, I kept the helmet as a souvenier and a visual reminder to other people I know who ride to make sure they always wear a helmet!

    March 26, 2009 at 19:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. BlueCrabsFan

    I suffered a head injury 30 years ago this month. I was riding a go kart. My hair got caught in the fly wheel of the engine behind my head and snapped my head back slamming it into the gas tank, knocking me unconscious. An ambulance was called, I was taken for stitches, xrayed and told my skull was not fractured and sent home. I had a headache that lasted about two years. I complained to my dr who blamed it on neck strain. Never was a CT scan or any other test performed. I suffered a seizure this past November...30 years later, was given an EEG and was told I had epilepsy in my frontal lobes caused by a previous brain injury. Now I am an anti-seizure meds and can't drive. When I hear about others who have suffered brain trauma, it really makes me wonder why none of these drs ever ran any tests on me and why I was sent home from the ER after being knocked unconscious. Then after a two year headache, shouldn't that have triggered a little brain injury concern from someone?

    March 26, 2009 at 22:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Judy

    re:Natasha Richardson head injury – seeing youngsters from ages
    8 thru college playing soccer and doing “headers!!” – what possible
    harm can these repeated hard blows to their heads being doing to them?? Will trouble show up later in adulthood?
    And – watching young women using their chests/breasts to stop the
    ball (in soccer) really alarms me! Will the future bring cases
    of breast cancer in these young women? Its all so new – females
    playing soccer – who knows what will show up 20 years from now.

    March 30, 2009 at 12:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. YoYo

    I asked for a cat scan because I was suffering from mild headaches and my father was recently diagnosed with brain cancer. I wanted to make sure that everything was O.K. The results came out fine. Three weeks later, I had a freak accident. I fell in a shopping center parking lot and hit my head against the concrete. I was in shock and refused to go to the emergency room. I took some pain medication and hoped for the pain to go away. I wanted to forget this happened. Two months passed and after an evening of no sleep due to pain, I decided to see my primary physician. He said that because I had the cat scan recently, nothing would show up, so it was up to me if I wanted this done. he made me feel stupid. I didn't have one done and haven't returned since. I guess it is all in my head. Forgive the pun.

    April 3, 2009 at 22:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Charlene Burgett

    Sixteen years ago, my stepson was a pedestrian crossing the street and was hit by a vehicle who did not stop for a red light. His head hit the windshield and he was carried 300 feet and finally rolled off the car. He immediately died; however, he was resuscitated on the spot and was admitted into the ICU where he was in a coma for six weeks.

    Now, fifteen years later, he is legally blind and has behavioral and cognitive disabilities due to TBI. He virtually has no short term memory. He has problems with decision making and taking care of himself. He can do any kind of employment, other than a sheltered work environment. This is the best it will get for him.

    When he had this accident at the age of 16, he was quite the jock...in football, wrestling and an all-around popular kid. Life can change in a blink of an eye; and it happens to good people who don't deserve it.

    April 5, 2009 at 21:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. sandra barrett

    i was in a serious car accident in 1999. i had a huge hematoma on my left front head area. i recovered from my other injuries and have never had any problems with my head. this weekend i suddenly developed double vision. could this be a result of this accident?

    April 8, 2009 at 19:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Martha

    My brother, who lives in Savannah, GA recently, had a tragic automobile accident, which stemmed from a lady who was trying to beat the light and hit him. Although he was wearing his seat belt, he was thrown from his truck, and made contact with the concrete, which impacted his skull. By the time EMS arrived and transported him to the hospital, his head had swollen severely, and he was suffering some memory loss. He stayed in the hospital for approximately a week, and then spent two days in rehab.

    He now suffers with slurred speech, on his left side his motor skills are very poor, he's had ear wax formed in his ear mix with blood, and he can barely walk; and, his appetite is very poor. A neurosurgeon doctor seen him one time and released him and he’s had approximately six therapy visits which is now discontinued due to his insurance has ran out.

    The incident happened around the 23 of March, 2009, and today is 2 May, 2009. His doctor(s) are saying he' ok, this is not true! He is suffering from stages of depression, weight loss, and has little mobility. He cannot keep his left eye open and he sits with his eyes closed and his head down most of the day.

    We are outrage that he cannot get more medical help than what's been administered. We know that he his suffering from a case of brain damage and possible, he's had a stroke. We fear the doctor may have misread his MRI.

    Are there any medical professionals or anyone who has experienced this type of injury, can inform me what's the next step that can be taken to help our brother get back to a complete normal life?

    May 1, 2009 at 22:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • shannon

      take him to Memorial Medical Center in Savannah, if you still get no answers take him to Augusta, GA to Medical college of GA. good luck

      March 13, 2014 at 03:55 | Report abuse |
  25. Pam

    I fell at a roller skating rink the Sunday before Easter. I am a good skater. I have skated for years. On this day I wasn't out on the rink floor. I was starting to move on the concrete floor in the concession area. All of a sudden my feet slipped forward. I fell backward and landed on the upper part of my back, then the back of my head smashed onto the concrete. No cut head, but a major bump was forming. I greyed out for a few seconds, dancing points of light obstructing my vision. I ended up getting diagnosed at the ER with a mild concussion. They did a CAT scan to make sure it was nothing more serious. A week or two later I began having more symptoms. Light sensitivity. My hearing was like I was underwater. Headaches all the time. Fatigue, trouble concentrating, having difficulty doing more than one thing at a time. It just seems still like I'm only functioning at half the level I used to. I saw my neurologist who has ordered an MRI sometime this week. He has also scheduled an EEG in mid-June. I thought I would be better by now, but these symptoms persist. My neurologist said he thinks it's post-concussive syndrome. I have been reading about it on the internet. I'm worried it will never go away. This is my 4th concussion. The 1st time was when I was 10 or so, diving off a pier into what I thought was a deep lake. Landed on my head on the bottom of the lake. Concussion. 2nd one happened as a teenager. We were hiking down a gorge trail at a local state park. A kid at the top of the gorge threw a rock down and it hit my head. 5 or 6 stitches and a concussion. 3rd time was last year. I hit my head on a metal bird feeder. Almost passed out. Concussion. Now this skating accident. I am wondering if the effects of multiple concussions are cumulative? WIll it make me more susceptible to getting another concussion in the future.

    I have learned a good lesson. I will wear a helmet when I ride my bike and when I skate, indoors at a rink or outdoors. I will feel funny at the rink because no one else wears one, but I could have died or become brain damaged to the point where I couldn't function. People will stare at my helmet and maybe laugh at me, but I don't care. At least I will be safer.

    Last thing, I'm wondering how long I will have to wait to start skating again.

    May 5, 2009 at 03:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Linda

    My daughter is 3 wks post recovery from a craniotomy/epidural hemotoma and skull fracture. She fell off of her bike on April 24. We are thankful she is alive today! And head trauma is nothing to be taken lightly. As I sit here typing this looking at the clock at this time 3 weeks ago we were waiting for Life Lion Helicopter to take her to Hershey Medical Center.

    When she was transfered from our small town hospital to Hershey she was a very sick little girl. Unconscious and vomitting. We were told she had a temperal fracture and a small epidural bleed.

    Her flight to Hershey was 14 minutes our drive was 1 hour. Every parents nightmare. When we got to the PICU at Hershey we were told that all the Doctors and nurses were working on her. We were told to wait in the waiting area. One by one staff came out for us to sign consent forms and let us know her vitals were dropping and her rt pupil was dialated and fixed and from the brain swelling her Left eye was being pushed over (don't remember the medical term). We did not get to see her except for them bringing her down a dark hallway with equipment and 6-8 people pushing her bed. My husband ran over to the elevator asking if that was Kathryn as the elevator doors closed. It was sureal. Like the tv shows you watch. Kathryn went from CT Scan right to surgery. The operation was successful. Thank you Lord. Kathryn, or as we call her, Kay, spent two days in PICU and then 3 days in a private room. She is in outpatient PT 3 days a week and has started tutoring for missed school work.

    On Tuesday, May 12, we went for our two week post op. Her Dr. apologized again for the "crazy Haircut" and told Kay that if she had been wearing a bike helmet they would have never met. That comment shook me a bit. After our Dr. visit/checkup we went to the Hangar to meet one of the trauma nurses, Paul, who flew with Kay that night. We got to hear about the program and what they do. We feel it was important for all of us to see and to be seen so the team there at "Life Lion, Hershey Med" see the good come out of the work they do!

    We have been given good prognoses for a full recovery. Time will tell. She has her sense of humor back and her balance and movement is 100% better than a few days ago.

    Please everyone one wear a bike helmet, a motorcycle helmet, riding helmet....When you are doing an activity that may cause this type of injury please protect your head! We are lucky and blessed considering 50,000 people a year die from this type of injury!

    Thank you for Listening!

    HELMETS

    May 15, 2009 at 22:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Jan

    My husband & I were riding our scooters & he went up a gravel hill. I followed, slid & fell to the left side with the bike, hitting the side & back of my head. I heard it crack, was dizzy & then got up with a bad headache. I sat for awhile & got back on the scooter to go back home. I took a couple of asprins to no avail. I got up to go to work & still have the headache. I may just go to the emergency room where I live, after work today to have this checked out.

    May 26, 2009 at 10:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Penny

    I was thrown from a horse and landed on my back and head. I was knocked unconscious and was out for about 5 mins. I did not come to till I was in the ambulance. When I came to I did not remember the event or some very important other things, like my name or age, I was very confussed and in and out of consciouness. It did come back to me after and over the course of a few hours. After xrays and ct scans, they did find what they called a small brain bleed and admited me for observation. I also had a broken tail bone, so when I was released I was given pain medacation. I was very unbalanced, light headed and dizzy often folling the week after. I went back for a follow up 9 days after the accident. Still I was having dizziness and light headiness often { several times a day } I told the doctor all this and how I felt really awful all the time. I was told that it would just take time and to rest often. When my husband ask if they were gonna do another scan to make sure everything was ok, we were told there was no need, even tho I was not much better I was not any worse. Should I be concerned, or just be patiences and ride it out.

    August 6, 2009 at 11:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Theresa Lowery

    I was trying to find some answers to my health problems when I came across this article. I can say it has been very helpful.

    August 10, 2009 at 18:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Laurel O

    Nine years ago I was 37 years old I was victim of a violent crime; an man I had dated briefly and had broken up with recently decided he was going to leave me with something to remember him by; long story short I was grabbed out of my chair and dragged over agsinst a wall that tuned out was plaster with wood lathing reenforcements behind it-going up a stairway in an old cape. with the back of my head against the wall he grabbed my head and clammed it with full force strength into the wall striking the flat part of the back of my skull-I had immediete severe vertigo where the walls looked as if they were tilting and the room moving I fought to stay consicous for fear of dying. I remember that I wa shocked when he looked really close in my eyes as if to see if I was blacking out or not and whenhe saw I was still consicous or alive he conitnued to rail against me and dragged me off to another part of my house threw me on the floor stuck his knee in my chest and proceeded to bang my already badly damaged head/brain agaisnt the floor hardwood with a indian rug. I recall thinking after one very hard vicous blow that well that did it I am gonna die for sure... In between the banging of my head which he did with the head sideways and the back of it he began hitting the sides by the temple hairline area with strange karate type blows with the heel of his hand really really hard. I was also choked very hard many times to the point where I blacked out from it only for him to stop and soon start it all over again. I kept thinking when is he going to stop doesnt he realize that he has hurt me really badly my brain is surely bleeding I am likely going to die why does he keep hitting me. From the intial severe slamming of my head I was so stunned that I went limp and didnt fight back or even try to block the blows. I was like ragdoll.
    Well suffice to say that the assault continued for at least 30 minutes and it felt like hours. For such a serious beating my face wasnt nearly as bad as I expected. My eyelids were bruised purplish not from blows to the eyes but from the blood vessels in the head. My temples were swollen and bruised and I had huge swellings all over the back and sides of my hair as well as bruies in the dhapes of fingerprints around my throat.
    I suffered with severe head pain and vertigo for months and had physicial therapy for 4 months for a cochlear concusiion. I was held all night against my will the night of the assault and thus could only get medical help the following evening when I finally got away. Hospital ER Doc said a bad concussion with some probable inner ear damage-this afetr the dr was surprised he said by a nagative catscan. I was in a near somnolent state and this was 36 hrs post injury and getting worse instaed of better as far as symptoms. Had to sleep with 3 pillows under my head vertigo and couldnt look up or sideways without bad vertigo nausea. The temple area was swollen for 6 months on and off and jaw was bruised for 2 months. I wasnt able to stand long enough to have jaw xrayed so the hospital just skipped it despite swelling on jaw that was growing rapidly despite ice.

    November 18, 2009 at 02:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Laurel O

    despite ice applications-I cant be sure to this day if it was fractured or if that swelling was something to dow ith the head injury bc I never had it xrayed due to being so concerned with the seleleque of the tbi and all of the daily pain vertigo and symptoms that I was dealing with. Cold weather seemed to bring on horriifuc head pain in my temporal areas and I became very sensitive to cold in my ears had to wear hats always. The cognitive problems came later after a year or so but the emotional symptoms were bad fron the start; anger and obsessive thinking were my constant companions. Some of this was the ptsd I know but also the head injury brain injury was causing a lot of the personality and behavioral stuff as well. Very frustrating was the fact that Altho I had sustained an incredibly brutal assault and had been injured severely-could have easily died from what was done to me-other pwople including the prosecutors handling the case against my assailent-did not grasp the severity of my injuried nor the assault itself simply because I looked ok " months afterwards when the case was being heard in court. This of course infuriated and pained me to no end. Even if my assailent had stopped right after the first severe blow of the back of my my head into that plaster wall this would have been an easy assault in the 2nd degree conviction-he was charged appropriately with assault 2 by police altho he couldvve been charged with assault 1 which is usually with a weapon but clamming someones haed purposely into a wall and floor etc is the same seriousness and hitting someone in the head with any hard object like a bat or rock-a good dedicated prosecutor could have made this charge stick but unfortunately for me I had prosecutors that were inclined to do the least amount of work possible and as the defendents lawyer was willing to plead him guilty to a set of reduced charges-with no prison as a reward thank you very much-the proesecutor set about convincing me that this was the logical way to resolve my case! The main way they tried to do this was by literally mocking the severity of my injuries stating I looked "ok" now and I should 'get on with my life" and get over this. After all, they said, they were getting 3 convictions on my assailents record-albeit they were all going to be misdemeanors rather than the felonies that hed committed and was charged with! Oh and 3 years of once a month probation meetings were going to have to suffice as punishment!

    Allow me to interject an apology here for all of the typos herein-part of the symptoms of my tbi is a problem I have now with sometimes typing letters backwards or just out of order period. I also have severe short term memory impairment, bad sleep issues and a host of other problems associated with the head injury or really head injuries as my neurologist points out , since my head was repeatedly struck many times over in a one hour period-never allowing it to right itself and causing much more diffuse tearing coup contracoup inujury.

    nine years later I am terrified of getting early onset dementia as a seleleque of all of this- at 46 my memory is almost as bad as my 73 year old mom and getting worse weekly. I lose things contantly and I forget who I told what to and wind up repeating things to people all the time.
    I had tests following the assault to determine where the nystagumus was coming ear or central brain damage-an eng showed severe damage to both peripheral and central portions with a caloric test showing no response at all on the left side which was the worst ear injured as the man that assaulted me was right handed and I was lying on my back for most of the blows, The prosecuto kept saying that in order to make the assault 2 charge stick I had to prove permanent damge to my body. First of all I have since found out that no such parameter exists nor is required and if that had been the case they couldve charged him with attempted assault 2 qhich also carried a felony conviction. The real truth was the sociopath that did this refused to plead to a felony and threatened he would go to trial over it which the states attorney allowed them to bluff as they had no intention of trying a so called partenr violence case where the woman was still alive and looked"okay"
    The reaosn I wrote today was to help people to understand that traumatic brain inury in criminal cases needs to be treated extremely seriously as it usudally has lasting effects on a persons life. They talked about my having to prove permanent damage and the dr stated that medically they cant say that until a year post injury when it is seen whether you still have symtomology then. Most criminal cases wont sit around and wait a year as court wants them resolved and rarely do these cases proceed to trial-they are all plea bargained or nolled or even dismissed in many cases

    . I was very nearly killed. If I wasnt in the good physical shape I was and the young age I woul have died. I would die today if this same assault were to happen to me. Not only did the injuries last a year theyve lasted ten years and some have gotten much worse as is the normal progression of moderate tbis.
    I had no fractures altho they suspected a basilar due to the bruising around eyes and ears. The cats was nagative. but they did say that cats can be negative for this type of fracture sometimes.
    Luckily for the criminal case my eng was very postive and I had PT for months otherwise the assailents claims that he hardly hurt me might have been belived if all anyone had were the poor quality polaroids the police took at my house in a hallway with a 40 watt bulb 28 hrs after assault. The bruising which was quite bad was barely visible in the pics tho very bad to the naked eye which was noted by police in the warrent. The man that did this knew to beat the sides and back of my head in an effiort to give the most damage with the least evidence of assault-he actually said to me while he was beating me Im going to beat the s it outta you and youll never be able ro prove it!" I remembered that vividly bc I was actually relived to hear this as I thought his intention was to kill me. However no sooner to I fthink that when he spit thru clenched teeth no no Im gonna kill you instead!"

    Bottomline is that all prosecutors need to be trained as do law enforcement re tbis and domestic/partner violence. I was pretty articulate about my assault and I still had a terrible time getting the prosecutors to understand how badly Id been injured despite medical records I brought them and proper communication with the victims advocates who acted as liasons to the prosecutors They are not there in the trenches as the police are-they dont see you beat up and terrified right after a violent assault. If they do meet you its months after the crimes and your face has healed your walking and talking not drooling and on a resporator so you must be fine-its insane and archaic and mostly very dangerous to not only this victim but all of the future victims of this same offender who is likely going to reoffend because he got away with no prison and no serious criminal record.

    November 18, 2009 at 03:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. monika

    hello,

    I am very sorry to hear this. I am glad that your family is okay. I suffered from 3 situations at a time, I have a head injury, a box fall on my head somebody misplaced it in the wrong spot and it fall on my head. It was between 40 and 50 pound and it still hurts and my neck is stiff and my back hurst. I have concussion syndrom, hematoma, and something else. God knows I got nasea and I had a CT scan. I hope that I am not pregnant. I am tiered and not happy about certain things and i wish that my paperwork would have been easier. You do the right choices but others
    forget or don't know that they have to pay attention what they are doing.
    Only my doctor helped me.
    take care

    monika

    November 18, 2009 at 19:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Katyn

    I am or WAS a college cheerleader. I cheered two years in high school. My Senior year I was dropped on the back of my head, Doctors said I didnt make a full recovery, but I kept cheering. I made a college team and a year later I was dropped from over 6 feet int he air directly on the back of my head(Im under 100 lbs so my inpact was pretty bad)After suffering two major concussions I have had 3 more mild head injuries. I am now suffering day-to-day problems. I have tingling in certin parts of my head, I forget things,my vision is alot worse, and I wake up not knowing where I am. I can no longer cheer to say the least.

    December 28, 2009 at 04:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. L. Bean

    In 2007 I was taking roller skating lessons with my son for mother/son bonding.. We were learning the crossover, and I didn't. As I fell backward on the indoor rink floor I had no way to catch myself. Not wearing a helmet, the back of my bounced on the floor so hard people sitting watching us could hear it from their seats feet away. I layed motionless, my eyes closed. I saw a bright light but no one greeted me. I could hear people around me. In my head I prayed to God; 'please do not take me yet. I am ready to go home, but my 12 year old is standing close by and I pray I do not die here in front of him. He would forever live with blame." I could move my legs and yelled for the teacher to take my skates off. I tried to move the upper part of my body, but my shoulders felt like they were superglued to the floor. I couldn't lift my head. I knew I should have had an ambulance come to take me to the hospital, but being a 41 year old Tastefully Simple Consultant with a party later that afternoon I knew if God gave me the strength I could go about my business. No one seem concerned. I drove my son and I home after the lessons.

    I had a headache. I had normal vision. My best friend had died in 2004 from a brain anyerism out of nowhere, but I still wasn't too concerned.

    My son was so scared. I packed my car for the party I was to do. I did fine. When I went home to put the orders on the computer, no problems.

    I made an appointment for my doctors office to have a regular skull xray. When I got there the xray tech said she wasn't trained to do it. My doctor asked if I wanted to go to the hospital for the xray. I, stil not worried said yes. When I got to the hospital my xray got mixed up. Instead of getting a regular skull xray, I got a cat scan. The xray tech said maybe it was a sign from God. I told her maybe, but could we hurry as I had to go get my kids from school.

    The cat scan showed nothing 48 hours post injury. I felt relieved and made an appointment to see my chiroprator. I instantly felt better after seeing him. My doctor had me on ibuprophen for pain and ice for my neck.

    The host's party was missing several items. Seemed when I put the order in for her party one day post skating accident my brain wasn't functioning normally.

    Two weeks later I was delivering a Tastefully Simple order to a client and I fell on the ice in her driveway the same way I fell at Skateland, minus the skates. Now I was worried.

    I didn't get any additional xrays. Just visited my chiropractor.

    I still get little twinges of pain in the back of my head every now and then. I feel my short term memory has been affected. I do not hear as well as before either. It is now 2010.

    January 3, 2010 at 18:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Raymond Corwin

    I a professional in ophthalmology

    The first week of Nov 09 I slipped on a dog toy and hit my head on the cement floor hard enough to actually bounce up several feet and was able to grab onto some thing solid. I checked my vitals and looked in the mirror. Did not look like I did too much...
    I was out of town and did not think it was worth going to the ER as no symptoms that night and even went out to have fun. Woke up the next am not feeling right, but mostly tired. Drove the 1/12 hours home and fortunately I told my mom who had to move in with me several years ago due to poor health that I hit my head pretty hard and as going to lay down as I was very tired.
    I managed to partly clear off the bed, but fell asleep sideways, mom heard me snoring very 'strangely, andd tried to wake me to no avail.
    911 was called and I woke up after a crainotomy.
    I was in the hospital for most of two months with only my long term memory intact. Have had to re-learn to use this compuer and I am blind in my left field of vision.

    IDID NOT TAKE THE INJURY TOO SERIOuS AND WILL PAY THE RESST OF MY LIFE FOR IT!!!

    i am fortunate that I have been able to get back legal drving vision, only my reading and near vision is difficult. Also horrible head aches for almost 3 month now and nothing seems to help.

    Moral of this story even a medical expert can not check themselves out after a head injury.. go to the ER or your doctor immediately
    Sincerely Ray Corwin now disabled..until?

    February 3, 2010 at 19:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. mp

    hi. i and a friend were recently struck by a car while walking in a crosswalk together. the car had stopped and then accelerated to turn right, she was on my left so i took the brunt of the impact. the car was going probably less than ten mph and i remember the feeling of the hood against my leg and i think i remember hitting the hood, i don't remember the moment between the hood and hitting the pavement, so i think i blacked out for a second or two. the paramedics came and made me go to the er to check my spleen and some pain in my ribs and ankle, and my brain seemed to go into some weird sense of hyperdrive or something...humor must be my coping mechanism because i kept the puns rolling for five hours straight...needless to say i also didn't recognize the scope of my injuries immediately, nor did anyone seem to take me that seriously with the few complaints i did have. the doctors and nurses asked me a few times if i had a concussion, and i said, "i'm sure acting like it, but, no, i didn't hit my head". the same week i started getting terrible headaches, and the feeling of sensory overload. i had some hairline fractures in my ribs and they gave me a pain medication that i thought i had an allergic reaction to because i kept throwing it up, but in retrospect i'm wondering if i had a concussion that also contributed to the nausea. sounds became really amplified, like i had no ear drums or something. and to much activity in one moment...went to the mall with my mom a couple weeks later right before christmas, and got the most excruciating headache and inability to concentrate for anything. well, its been almost two months now and i started driving again a few weeks ago. i have a perfect driving record but will probably get a ticket for running a red light because it took me too long to process mentally that the light in front of me was yellow. a couple of times now i have gotten in the car to go somewhere and driven for awhile in the wrong direction until i realized i wasn't driving to the right place. its like sometimes, like today, i almost forget im driving because im suddenly hyper-distractable. i briefly thought about something else, and almost caused an accident this afternoon. my mental processing seems to have a couple second delay before what i hear or read "sticks" in my brain, and i forget almost immediately my thoughts or what i was doing or saying if i get distracted by anything. i know my brain and i am a really good multitasker usually and this is NOT normal for me. i had an mri and it showed nothing abnormal on my brain.

    im wondering if anyone knows if this is concussion-related and how long this will last and if theres anything i can do to quicken my improvement.

    any advice will help and i really appreciate it, knowing what my brain normally is and what its not able to be right now feels sometimes very helpless and frustrating, so again, if anyone knows anything i appreciate the insight. thanks so much!

    February 12, 2010 at 07:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Pam

    To the person who left the last comment. It sounds as if you should not be driving if your concentration is not 100% and you admit you almost got into an accident. You are putting other people at risk as well as your own safety. How would you feel if you hurt or killed someone?

    I had post-concussion syndrome after falling and smashing the back of my head on a concrete floor. I was roller skating. For two months I experienced a lot of the same symptoms you had. The doctor said I should not drive, and I knew that I could not because every thought was a labor. My balance was shaky. I had headaches, had trouble with my thought processes, forgot things or it took me a long time to do something. None of this is anything to be taken lightly. You need to give yourself time to heal and have consideration for others by not getting behind the wheel of a car. You don't need manslaughter or a lawsuit to add to what you are already going through because you surely could injure or kill someone while driving in this condition.

    Good luck and I hope you feel better soon. All of my symptoms have gone away. I am back to my normal self.

    February 12, 2010 at 15:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Brittany

    I am 23. I had my son 6 months ago via c section and 3 weeks after he was born i woke up to the worst headache of my life. I couldn't even walk straight so i decided to go to the hospital. At the hospital she said they would give me a ct scan and when she came back in the room she said i had bleeding in my brain. They rushed me to the trauma hospital that has neurosurgeons. I had yet another ct scan and a MRI where they found a blood clot in my left transverse sinus. They decided i did not need surgery because the bleed was very small. so they admitted me and started the heparin.After 5 days and constantly taking my blood to check my inr level to see how fast my blood clots..i was able to leave. 3 days later I get the worst headache ever i go back to the ER were they do another ct scan and everything is fine so she prescribes me meds to relieve the headache. I daily get headaches and see a lot of drs. My neurologist did not feel the need for me to get another MRI. My hematologist said all this was because i was pregnant. Every time i have a killer headache im so worried . So now i have to worry about all the ct scans i had (6) because they say they cause cancer...I swear if its not one thing it is another...But im just very lucky to be alive and have this beautiful 6 month old..

    February 15, 2010 at 07:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Jasmin

    I hit my head on the sidewalk when I was 11. I had a huge knot on my head and after the knot went away my head was a swollen mess and i had a black eye on the side of my face were the knot formed. Ever since then the side of my head that I hit on the sidewalk is somewhat numb and it feels as if my skull is bumpy on that side. But it has been a few years and I'm fine...I think. I didn't go to the doctor or anything I just put ice on it and hoped that everything would be fine. I feel fine but it had never crossed my head to go get myself checked out by a doctor until now.

    February 26, 2010 at 04:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Cynthia Hackney

    My son age 15yrs at the time was backed over by a pickup truck on a farm. He suffered extensive head and facial truama and a broken right femur. He is now 20yr blind in his right eye, has Gran Mal siezures, depression, anxiety, post truamatic stress, and rage disorder. The frontal lobe and base skull suffered the mose damage. He had a subdural hemmatoma removed, repaired both orbits, sinus obliteration, as well as rebuild this nose from the crush of the tire rolling over this entire head, chest, and then right let. He just had his 15th surgery on his ear. The skull fracture line went through both ears. His las siezure caused a bone to break off and he suffered hearing loss, and a constant popping in his ear. He now has a screw that has been come loose inside the skull from the orbital, or nasal repair. This will probably require more surgery.

    March 15, 2010 at 01:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Cynthia Hackney

    My son also suffers with relationships. He can only keep friends for about 3 months at a time. He also can't be in a serious relationship with girls. He has such mood swings, but is normally gentle and loving. the head trauma will be a life long problem, with definant emotional and physical problems. He is also in weekly counseling. He tried to attend College twice out of town, which ended in a disaster. He suffered from the Swine flu, then a gran mal seizure, then stomach bug, then seizure, and missed 3 weeks of school. He ended up with drawling from the rest of the semester. He tried it again the next semester again having health problems. It is an ongoing financial burden with health problems, and depression. The whole family has suffered with him. We hope one day to be able to use stem cell to repair the brain damage, as well as the eye sight loss.

    March 15, 2010 at 13:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Tammi

    Rare, Complete Retrograde Amnesia... after a slight fall.
    7 months ago (Sept 2009) my husband fell 6 feet at work. No one was watching, but he clearly hit his head on something. The cameras at his work show the fall, but cannot see how he landed as it was over a cement wall. He was out for about 10 minutes before getting on the radio and calling for help. His coworker drove him to the nearest hospital. He was babbling and in and out on the way.
    We have been married for 16 years and have 4 kids ages 4-15. I arrived at the hospital about an hours after the accident and my husband was sore, but seemed fine. They did MRI's and Ct scans that showed no damage to the brain. He was a bit belligerent and confused, but his sense of humor seemed intact. He was released the next afternoon.
    At home we realized he had forgotten some things. Things he did everyday he would ask for help with and he couldn't find anything in the house. I took his to the follow up appts and they said it was post concussion syndrome.
    Within two weeks my husband admitted he now did not remember anything in his life that happened before that night. He has complete retrograde amnesia. He doesn't remember his childhood on a dairy farm, marrying me, the births of our kdis... nothing. He has massive, severe headaches every day. He doesn't know his middle name or birthday. He cannot tell you the date or even the season.
    He is a completely different person. He is just not the same man. The kids and I really miss the man we have always loved, and are trying to have patience with the man he is now. We are just in the middle of this still and it is so hard.
    I am praying for the strength to get us all through this.
    Do not ever take any kind of head injury lightly. The doctors have no idea why Mike's symptoms are so severe. He has had many long tests. He has to attend cognitive therapy three days a week, but we are not sure how much it's helping.

    March 19, 2010 at 12:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. L. Bean

    What really makes me mad is my husband and others think I use my head injuries as an excuse. I had posted earlier about my roller skating accident and then falling on the ice, hitting the back of my head very hard. Because CT showed nothing they think i am ok. I know I did damage.

    March 19, 2010 at 19:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Terri

    To L. Bean: Sometimes an EEG will show more than a CT scan with regard to abnormalities. If you are still experiencing problems, I would ask a Neurologist for an EEG.

    March 22, 2010 at 13:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Kaye Olmsted

    I am a 35 year old mother of 3 sons.. i have had migraines and mid back problems for 20+ years.. I went to doctor after doctor with the migraines , each doctor would give me different pills to try, from narcotics to blood pressure pills to depression pills.. I am not depressed , My blood pressure only goes up when i am having a migraine, and i hate to take pills for pain, sometimes have had to though. Finally, one day my husband saw an ad in our local paper about chiropractic care that will relieve headaches, migraines, all types of problems.. We thought there was nothing to lose .. I had tried everything else. So, we went.. The chiropractor first did an x-ray of my neck and spine... I filled out all my patient history.... You know the regular questions about car accidents and things like that.. I had never had any severe injuries, or been in any accidents.. So , when i went in to talk with the chiropractor about my history he asked me "when did you fracture your neck?" I said I have never fractured my neck..He repeated it again and showed my the xray and pointed out a big chunk of arthritis on the vertebraes in my neck .... stating that the were caused by a fracture to my neck... saying that it looked to have happened many years ago.. But the evidence was there.. I was shocked.. My husband , was there with me said to me.. Didn't you say when you were a kid you went over the handle bars of your bicycle? I said yeah but that was 20-25 years ago.. And the ER said i had a concusion... and kept me overnight on IV fluids and observation.. I remember having the worst splitting headache of my life and a very stiff neck for a while, but was sent home the next day..> Never had an xray or anything ... Suffered with the headaches , but went on with life... Remembered that my vision really went down hill after that...My parents and brother all had perfect vision , but i went straight into "coke bottles" right from age 11.. Never put 2 and 2 together until i went to chiropractor.. I saw him for about a year , praying that he could help me... Was praying that he wasn't causing me more damage than good... I finally told him after about 40 treatments that I was getting worse, got to the point of leaving the office crying , vomiting with headaches... Didn't go back, he said he could help but it would take more treatments... I couldnt take any more.. So , I am still suffering and wondering if there is anything i can do to help this... I have questions i need answered also. Will i suffer the rest of my life.. Would this hospital ER be liable for not xraying my neck and spine when the were aware of the type of injury and the pains i was displaying.. What should I do ... If anyone can help .. please let me know.. Thanks for listening.. And God Bless.. Kaye

    March 23, 2010 at 14:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Terri

    To Kaye: WOW!! What a story of neglect on the part of the ER staff that day so long ago. I would see an orthopedic surgeon for the neck injury. And then see an attorney for malpractice, for sure. Hope you find some relief.

    March 23, 2010 at 21:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Harvey N. Kahl

    On October 1st, 2002 my life was changed forever by a traumatic brain injury. I had worked for 37 years mainly in construction and was a very safety oriented person. However on this day I did not make it home from work. We were installing College Style stadium lights behind a local High School for their new playing field. We had constructed these lights on the ground and were approximately 60' in height. At the top of these poles were 2 banks of 10 lights each weighing approximately 20#s each. We had a crane lifting them into place while we secured the poles on the ground. When the crane lifted the second set of lights into position the pole did a barrell role and the bank of lights struck the crane knocking one of the lights off the bank and falling 70' to the ground where it struck me on top of the head. I did'nt remember a thing for several hours afterwards but i woke up in an ambulance headed for Grant Memorial Hospital with a subdermal hemutoma and a traumatic brain injury. The next day they tried to get me out of bed but as I stood up the floor from underneath me kept breaking up as if I was walking in an earthquake. I had to endure 3 years of speech and physical therapy to get my life back together as best I could. I had to learn to drive a car all over again and try to stay focused on what I was doing. I would walk into a room and by the time I got there I would forget why I had gone there to begin with. I just thank God and all the amazing professionals that treated me and helped me get through this horrible event in my life. Everyday is a blessing to be alive!

    March 28, 2010 at 12:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Alyssa

    I was playing soccer 2 weeks ago and I got kicked across the face at my game. I was hit so hard i was knocked unconscious. When i woke up my team and the Ref were all standing above me. I decided not to go to the hospital because i didnt think it was too serious. I had already been hit in the head with the ball many times before but never directly kicked. The next day I woke up and the left side of my face was so swollen you couldnt even tell when i smiled and a black eye shortly developed a few hours later. I have had the worst headaches after this happened. I dont remember what happened at all for me to have gotten kicked. I remember starting the game and waking up and thats it. My team told me that i was stiff and not moving. Should I have gone to the doctor?

    April 14, 2010 at 22:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. julie ohlinger

    I only know to well the trauma that a hit in the head can cause .My son at the age of 23 got punched in the side of the head and 2 hours later he was in the er with a massiave headace and was life flighted to St. Joes Hospital in Phx Az.. His skull was shattered and was bleeding in his brain the docs told me that he would die if he didnt have surgery 7 hours later he was out of surgery and now has a plate in his head where the skull once was . So never take a head injury lightly. My son didnt have a single mark on his I never thought he was hurt . The guy that hit him only did a year in jail and my son has a lifetime of headaches..

    May 18, 2010 at 12:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Samantha Herrington

    My sister's daughter is 18 years old and 1 year ago had a incendent
    where her another student ran head on and they hit so hard it knocked them both out my neice now have been having really bad headaches and can't stand the light in her eyes she also get nauseated. They have had CT and MRI and eye exam and other test but they say they can't find anything well there is something. Maybe they need to think outside the box PLEASE HELP US!!!!!!! Thanks

    June 12, 2010 at 12:55 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.