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 fallย  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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  1. Rita Dean

    I was in a motorcycle accident 2 days ago and a car blew through a stop sign and hit us and I was thrown off the back of the bike. I hit my head very hard but didn't black out (I don't think) but I did lose the ability to move my body parts (paralysis) for 30-45 seconds. I could hear everyone and I could talk. Then everything started tingling and slowly I was able to move again...I thought I was going to be paralyzed. I have a nasty bump on the back of my head and some scratches on my hand. The hospital did a CT scan and everything came back ok...I was very lightheaded the next day, I'm just wondering why I lost the ability to move? Does anyone know? My boyfriend thinks it was shock...I don't think so...can someone shed some light? I'm having a hard time dealing with the whole ordeal:( I KNOW we both were VERY lucky!!

    July 15, 2010 at 15:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Betty Maddocks

      Over 12 lbs of steel fell on my head at the gym yesterday (the machine had had an incorrect weight put onto it). I have had the worst headache of my life and some nausea. Seen in ER last night. Physician did neuro checks but no CT SCAN. I am a 71 year old widow so per their directions I couldn't have someone wake me up q 2 hours throughout the night which I related to them.

      May 28, 2011 at 18:44 | Report abuse |
    • mary velasquez

      i have suffered many head traumas over the past 20yrs...i now have a goose egg on the back of my head. i am 61...have you talked to a doc about this? help

      October 23, 2017 at 19:19 | Report abuse |
    • lyfboat1

      You were very lucky..

      October 24, 2017 at 03:39 | Report abuse |
  2. Tracy

    So I had a serious brain injury in Jan of 2009...3 fractures of the skull, and bleeding of the brain. The bleeding stopped just in time that they didnt have to drill my skull to relieve the pressure. I slept about 18 hours a day after the injury for about a month, and i had to go to therapy to learn to get my balance correct because i kept falling into walls lol. Anyways, its been a year an a half, and for the past week, my head has been killing me just like it use to, in pretty much the same area. I also feel like i want to puke because of it it, and my sleeping is not going well. I sleep about 3-4 hours a day since the headaches have returned. Is it possible this is from the injury? Should i go back and get a CT scan or MRI or anything again to make sure nothing has happened since last year? Im scared as to this might not be a normal headache, but has to do with the injury.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.

    July 18, 2010 at 01:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bob


      June 10, 2013 at 09:28 | Report abuse |
    • Tamara

      Absolutely! Never risk waiting if something is going on in your brain time is not your friend!

      December 5, 2013 at 07:41 | Report abuse |
  3. suzannne

    When I was 18, I was hit by a car while running. The car hit me from the back, and I did not see it coming. I cried out to God as soon as I realized I was being hit by a car. It was a miricle that I was up afer what seemed like seconds and walking with a limp, and one of my shoes came off. I know God proteced me when the accident happend. The way Ianded on the ground helped my. When I landed I ate the curb, and so most of the pressure of the landing was in my mouth. Of course my teeth got messed up, but I was just happy to be alive. Nothing mattered. I was in shock for a while and really did not feel anything. I remeber most of everything. Its crazy! I rember feeling really tiered while going to the hospital, and just foucousing on staying awake. They rushed me in and did all the procedurs and i was able to go home that night. But its been about 6 years since looking back after the accident I have sufferd much anxiety. I had a hard time conversating with others, and was forgetful of things, which I still am..I suffer from isnomia and other little things. I am just grareful to be alive. I have gotton married since then and have two girls, 2 and 4. Life is great, but I hope that their are not any surprises that will show up in the future. I just am thankful to God that he herd my cry to me and saved me!!!

    July 28, 2010 at 01:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Sue

    Two years ago I fell off some step ladders cutting down some trees, the ladder went from under me and then came back
    down and hit me in the side of head. I never felt such pain when they say you had ringing in your ears it was like the church bells at full pelt. I never went to have it checked and a i had a masive bruise for several weeks. Now though after
    all this time it is still sore when I lie on that side of my head – Is this normal also i have been getting sharp pains behind by eye.
    I am scared to go and have it checked. I feel fine otherwise.

    August 18, 2010 at 05:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. sally

    I am 54 years old, In the 80's i was brutlally beaten up and chocked,. all i know i was in hospital for 11 days 7 days in intensive care. As the years have gone by , Reapeatley i have told doctors about my head preasure i the back of my head and my memory that has been slipping and my dizziness. They treat me like i am just depressed or think i am making up. Yes just recent i had a cat scans (circle of willis) and ultra sound on neck and brain cap test and mri . Fearing they will say there is nothing wrong when i know there is. Especially when i can not remember my childrens child hood and other past memories.This is and every day thing, And Now i also have Ringing in my ear and is about to lose my job on monday .Yesterday i called my sister and asked her a question about my abuse and she was hesitant to talk about it because they did not want to hurt me but she did say my head was full of egg bumbs(25) on my head.I was seeing purple people and purpe monsters and that was due from the chocking cause that is what i heard the man say when i woke up. I am just so scared , i feel i still have a good full life but when you still have pressure on the back of your head that has last for years and forgetfulness ,i feel my life will be over sooner, cause of lack of help.any suggestions?. Cry myself all the time cause I have 2 wonderful sons and 2 wonderful grandchildren i want to enjoy for a long time.

    November 4, 2010 at 08:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. sally

    Sally Again, Just so someone can understand these symtoms

    pressure in back of head, dizziness lightheaded, nausea, feel like some times my brain wants to shut down (actually alot of times ) so i lay down alot and try to just rest, forgetfulness, cnfusessed. Trying to remember my pass is very upsetting. cause i don't know.my eyes get exhausted and tired out .sted I also was told that i have nothing to worry about but have to small like pin hole in 2 of my heart valves but again nothing to worry about they say.
    I cry cause i am scared because i believe no one is listening, or they just shove pills into me, and they don't care. ringing in the ear so bad , did tell the ENT about this . i hear my own heart beat in my ear. This has been going on for years. which i have told several doctors all of these sytems and i feel they just brushed me under the carpet. So PLease if anyone can shed some kinda light for me and give me some good ray of hope please write back with some good advice or something positivwe for me , please save me. Finally trying to reach out. Always to proud or Ashamed. Thank You !

    November 4, 2010 at 12:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Suri

      Neurofeedback helps with brain damaged areas to train the brain to be calm and functiin. This is such. Wonderful non invasive therapy that does not hurt. Once the brain is trained it is permanent! Most insurances cover it under physical therapy. Helps dissiness, chronic pqin, memory function, ptsd, adhd, ocd, focus, hearing and mental processing! Good luck!

      July 11, 2015 at 19:46 | Report abuse |
  7. Janeen

    It could be your nerves healing, don't stop getting the you need and deserve. I hope the attack did put dementia in motion. Is your bp high? Did they check if you had slight stroke?

    May 20, 2011 at 00:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Diana

    My little boy fell yesterday while we were taking a walk he decided to go for a yard sale (so much like mommy lol) in a very crappy parking lot there were shards of metal rock sticking out everywhere he tripped and bunked his head i picked him up he cried a little bit and i thought everything was fine until i looked at him blood everywhere oozing out and a small goose egg on his head. a lady stopped her car and gave me a few wipes to wipe away the blood . all the blood came from a small cut not even bigger then my nail. I brought him home and told my hubby i wanted to take him to the hospital to which my husband said he was fine. we argued of course (me how can you say he is fine did you see all the blood!!! him is he crying/ is he unconsouse? ) but my son was running around and playing like nothing happened . i watched him through out the night and the lump is now less then the size of a quarter...but after reading this iam taking my baby to the hospital to check him out. hes 2 years old pray for him I feel so stuped for not taking him .

    June 5, 2011 at 15:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. India

    I hit my head on a shelf yesterday.And I'm terrified something is wrong.It hurts really bad when I lay on that side of my head.I'm so afraid I might not wake up.I've been praying that this will heal.I'm not really sure if I should get it checked out or not.

    June 16, 2011 at 01:14 | Report abuse | Reply
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  11. Yodi

    I was pretty lucky much of my life as far as my head, but since the last 10 years, I have had head bumps, some not so bad, and some terrible. I had one bad fall in 2001. I slipped in my bedroom and hit the back of my head on a hard wood dresser. Anyway, the pain was extreme. At first I felt something warm inside my skull going over the top of my head. Then everything hurt, and I couldn't sit up for more than 20 minutes without getting dizzy. That went on for about a couple of months. I rested in bed for about two months before I started to feel better, but it took close to a year to really feel better. Then less than two years later, a roommate hit me over the head with a metal pipe. It might have been an accident, but there's no way to know. I don't think it was, but I had headaches for a good year after that even though it was not as bad as the first time. When I hit my head on the dresser, I remember having trouble walking for about a week or two. When I tried to get up to walk, my legs felt like rubber bands. I felt like I was walking on a trampoline or in thick sand. After about two months, I took a new job, but I felt too foggy to perform at my best on the job. The pain and fogginess eventually went away. I rested a whole lot when I first was hurt, and I think that helped. I fell right now in the kitchen, and hit the back of my head, and I was just trying to find out what to do other than to use an ice pack on my head. I hope this one wasn't too bad. I don't think it was, but I really hate this. I was cleaning the floor, and it was a little wet, and I slipped, but when I fell my head banged against the cabinetry. I think this is okay, but bad concussions can be really scary.

    August 18, 2011 at 05:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Shawn

      That sounds horrible. I was jumped by a gang of juveniles 20 years ago, and hit in the back of the head. I saw stars. I went to the ER, and the nurse said I didn't have a concussion. Imagine that. I believe it was a concussion. I don't know if the fog ever left me, or if I got used to it. Anyone that messes with someone's head should be jailed for a long time.

      September 27, 2014 at 16:24 | Report abuse |
  12. Elaine

    I kept passing out, I still don't know why. It might have been from stress, my mother had terminal cancer and I was her caregiver. After falling several times in two days, I finally fell so hard that I had a large gash in my scalp. I called 911 and they took me to the hospital where i was diagnosed with a subdural hematoma. The doctors operated and I was home within a week. The doctors wanted me to stay longer but my mother was alone and I had to get back to her. I still get dizzy every now and then but I now sit down right away until the dizziness subsides.

    August 23, 2011 at 01:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JOE63

      I hope your ok/

      September 20, 2012 at 21:58 | Report abuse |
  13. Patria

    I had a slip and fall at a grocery store and hit my head and neck on the shopping cart as I was falling. I feel pressure on my right side of my brain and it aches all the time, I am scared that one day I will forget who or where I am. I've told my husband how it hurts and I don't know what else to do. I've been going to a chiropractor and some other doctors but it's like no one is listening to me. Someone please tell me what to do.

    September 1, 2011 at 04:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. kerry osbourne

    I slipped and hit my head in april of this year and havent been the same since, I go for a mri on the 13 of sept and i cant wait... I had a ct scan done 4 days after the fall and it showed i suffered a stroke....i remember a few days later trying to wake up and calling out to GoD and i think i died that morning..and GOD let me wake..It was the scariest thing ever not being able to wake up..i fell on wed and sat i had the stroke.. after finally waking i remember having a bad headache and problems talking , then i had speech problems and was walking like i was drunk..i went to the er and they confirmed i had a stroke...they say that it very unlikely that the smack to the head brought on a stroke but i think differently...its been months now and i still dizzy and suffer headaches, not to mention i feel so depressed..i cry all the time...my kids cry for there mommy back...the mommy they had before i fell...it breaks my heart...i fell the other day again because i still have bad dizzy spells and i think i fractured my collarbone and gotta go to the er today to see what the problem is...i heard some dont get better but i pray everyday i do get better,,,

    September 6, 2011 at 09:46 | Report abuse | Reply
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  16. Mia

    Hit my head on concrete over two weeks ago and I still get very dizzy when lying my head down or up is this normal

    November 8, 2011 at 12:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Mia

    Does anyone reply to the post or are they just for reading others experiences, just wondering? Dizzy n confused

    November 8, 2011 at 12:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Molly

      I tripped on back end of treadmill and was thrown back on to the back of my head on very hard cement floor of gym....this happened six days ago. Now the still large goose egg has begun to feel spngy like it contains a liquid. What is this fluid?.....Blood or wateryfluid??? The head scan showed no concussion. Is this liquid likely to result in further complications? I am 85

      March 24, 2012 at 21:29 | Report abuse |
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  21. Brett C.

    I was inpatient at a hospital in the U.S. and was hit on the right side of my head by two care takers that wer lifting me onto a CT scanner table. Immediately had pain in my neck that went straight to my head. I had severe light sensitivity. I tried to tell anyone who entered my room about the incident and they translated it into having a headache. They never made an incident report. and now I have the left inferior quadrant out of each eye and am now legally blind. This has ruined my life and I want to inform people so that it doesn't happen to them while these hospitals are cutting corners in care. I was 30 when this happened and am now told there is no fix for the optic radiations, part of the optic nerve that curves around to the back of the head. Two seconds of their negligences costs me a lifetime of vision. And they are denying imperical scientific results from neuro optomologists that have identified and assessed the damage to my brain and visual pathways.

    February 26, 2012 at 01:28 | Report abuse | Reply
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  23. Carole Boyer

    A girl slammed a large rock into the back of the left side of my head on Thurs. Aug. 17/12, walking with my friend on a busy st. I called the police, I declined the hospital when the ambulance came, as my head wasn't bleeding & apart from being slightly light headed, i thought that I was ok. Woke the next day, with a very stiff neck,& shoulders & sore head, my Dr checked me over & said I seemed ok, but to go to hospital if I had any problems. Today, I felt weird all day, felt as though I was going to pass out afew times when leaving work, also had numbness from my left shoulder, down my arm to my fingers & still stiffness & pain in my neck.
    I went to the local hospital, got checked by a Dr. had Ct scan, said that my neck & shoulder looked swollen & my head seemed ok,but that I looked arthritic in my neck & to take Ibuprophen & put ice or heat on my neck & shoulder. I worry about the fact of getting hit in the head by the rock,& if I am going to have more problems down the road, as today, I felt at times that I was having trouble concentrating on just having a simple conversation.

    August 21, 2012 at 01:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. jess

    Hi I slammed the top of my head with a car boot on Monday been in agony since even though taking paracetamol every 4 hours, dizzy n nauseated just wondered if this is normal and if it should settle down.

    August 23, 2012 at 07:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. roni

    my ex husband was very viiolent and used to choke me until i blacked out and would puond my head into car windows, walls, mirror in bathrooms, and concrete on ground. It has been a couple of years now since I have left him and now I have to go see a neurologist because I am having vision problems, tingling in my arms, legs, head, and my feet feel like they are on fire sometimes. I feel kind of more like an airhead if you will. Missing little things at work more than usual. Does this have anything to do with my past trauma?

    September 19, 2012 at 16:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Janice

    I was standing up & fainted – I fell back and hit the back of my head really hard – my boyfriend witnessed the entire thing, I was passed out by the time my head hit the sidewalk. It hit the sidewalk so hard that he heard the hit. I felt nothing until I woke up and the back of my head was so sore. I felt horrible and could not figure out what had happened – I was foggy, couldn't think straight and was nauseated & dizzy. I definitely had a concussion – later that day I developed bruised eyes on both eyes from hitting the back of my head so hard, plus my eyelids hurt to blink & were swollen. I definitely think I got out lucky on that one – the thing that scared me the most was having no control of hitting my head so hard.

    October 16, 2012 at 08:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Renee

    I was bowling on Monday, November 5, 2012. I didn't realize that a portion of the floor was slipper, as I went to throw the ball, I started slipping backwards, couldn't hold my balance and fell backwards hitting the back of my head on the floor. Since I already have racked up medical bills, I put off going to the emergency but because my head was still bothering me, I decided to go to the emergency. However, the doctor indicated I had a contrusion and didn't need a scan. He recommended Motrin 800mg. However, my head does not feel good especially the part that slammed on the floor. I planto go to another doctor. Even after I told him I slammed my head pretty hard on the floor, he didn't feel it was serious.

    November 12, 2012 at 15:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jae

      Last night I was rollerskating my 2 boys and while standing i lost balance and fell backwards hitting my head... when i hit the floor it felt as if my brain shook.. today i woke up with a sore neck and shoulders.. ugh. did you experience the soreness too?

      November 18, 2012 at 18:56 | Report abuse |
    • Jae

      Last night I was rollerskating with my 2 boys and while standing i lost balance and fell backwards hitting my head... when i hit the floor it felt as if my brain shook.. today i woke up with a sore neck and shoulders.. ugh. did you experience the soreness too?

      November 18, 2012 at 18:56 | Report abuse |
  28. Renee

    ...O, I slammed the back of my head on the floor Monday, November 5, 2012 but didn't go to the emergency until Sunday!

    November 12, 2012 at 15:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Mary Lou

    I hope everyone here is doing better, so many injuries! I see this discussion has continued a long time. Yesterday I raised up under an open cupboard door really hard, and hit the top of my head. Immediately grabbed a blue ice from the freezer and put it there, in horrible pain. Looked at the ice and saw blood and got scared. Called husband home from work, as I couldn't see the injury. Pain was bad, took 800 mg motrin and took it easy all day. Weird dreams and didn't sleep much, but this morning it feels better but still very painful. Now I have to figure out how to wash blood out of my hair, although that's the least of my concerns.

    November 17, 2012 at 10:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Robin

      The bleedi g stopped last night my friend did t thank cut was thad bad to go to er we washed it a bit and it stopped bleeding but i have cut to get this blood outhow should i do that? Y head does hurt its been oved 24 hours ive felt ok and didn't go to sleep till this morning and I feel normal been doing my normal stuff i thinm it just very sore and need blood out and maybe put something on cut if i was it and it doesn't look ok ill go straight to er but its sore so how tne heck do i get blood out. And dont have mu h here but i do have peroxide a d Vaseline. You got a y addvise?

      November 27, 2017 at 05:44 | Report abuse |
  30. Maxine

    My son(50) just passed away in Dec.. He fell backwards and hit his head then went home. He wouldn't go to a doctor. Apparently, he became unconscious after a couple of hours. (He was found the next morning, (the 14th) was rushed to the hospital for brain surgery but to much time has passed he was not able to recover. He was on total life support for 7 days and no respnse. He passed away Dec 20th. I am making a comment today that no matter whether the person thinks he/she needs to go to a doctor TAKE THEM or CALL AMBULANCE immediately. Had my son went to a hospital when he fell the outcome might have been very different. When we take a hard fall and hit our heads we think "oh, I'm ok I'll just lay down and rest and that is the wrong thing to do– but little do we know that our brain is possibly bleeding at that point.

    January 10, 2013 at 06:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • April Edwards

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  31. Angela

    Hello, I was in an accident in the beginning of December 2012. my head on the drivers side window and it shattered. But now 3 months later it still hurts. Not as bad but I know it's the same spot from the accident and hurts when I pull hair up, and other random times. I always have memory loss and forgetfulness so I can't tell what other symptoms it's causing. The accident was her fault.

    March 24, 2013 at 22:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Angela

    Hit My head*

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  34. Lafonda

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    August 18, 2013 at 16:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jrube66

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  35. jrube66

    I have been in 5 car wrecks, only one in which I was driving. In one my head hit the side window and the front of a van that t-boned us. Another I was a passenger also and we hit a culvert, concrete steel reinforced box culvert and my face and head went into the windshield at 95 mph. I died twice and was brought back. I had a torn aorta, half my left lung removed, numerous broken bones and a lot of plastic surgery. After the main accident in 1988 I would laugh uncontrollably at the most inappropriate times. I remember my family looking at me like I was totally crazy. It still happens when I get really stressed out. I am very forgetful now, have balance problems, go through periods of time where I fall a lot, I'm tired a lot of the time, I get very agitated and angry out of the blue for no reason, and the depression I've suffered since just won't go away. I was diagnosed about 5 yrs ago with Cerebral small vessel disease. I am really scared of my future. Would that type of head injury cause problems all these yrs later, it's been 24 yrs ago, or is it from the CSVD or could it be both and what will my future be like?

    August 29, 2013 at 16:46 | Report abuse | Reply
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  37. Starr Lara

    A week ago Thursday, I slipped backwards, and I fell fast and hard on the upper left back area of my head. I went to Emergency, as I was bleeding, and I'd seen stars. I'd never hit my head like that, so I was quite scared. The ER doctor said I was fine. However, a week later, I still fetl weak, dizzy, and my head hurt in the area where I hit it. My primary doctor said that I would be okay, but to get lots of rest. She did some movement tests, that was pretty much it. My head hurts a lot today. The area is very sore still and feels quite creepy, like it is full of nerve endings when I touch it. I feel so weak and tired, except when I first get up. What can I do to be sure this will heal properly?

    October 6, 2013 at 18:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • tagtng1

      Starr insist that your primary care physician refer you to a brain injury neurologist and get a MRI just to insure no traumatic brain injury. I took a fall and landed on my butt was more embarrassed then anything but my back kept hurting, my dr. said I had probably bruised my tailbone, I have compressed neck disks and my dr. referred me to a neurologist to evaluate this was 1 year after my fall and the neurologist asked me when he received my x-rays back when had I broke my back. So please don't just take advice of a dr. who just looks at you from the outside please see someone who specializes with traumatic brain injury. Thank you if you go keep me posted I'll keep you in my prayers all will be fine.

      November 21, 2013 at 23:28 | Report abuse |
  38. tagtng1

    My husband was diagnosed with Cervical Spasmodic Torticollis over 15 years ago. Since he has had two TBI – 1 caused to a blow to his head by his brother hand, boot and falling back on a rock he spent over 8 days in ICU then released with no referral to Traumatic Brain Injury nor follow up advice...life went on but I could tell my husband behaviors were changing, he was withdrawing from social activities, angry at life and depressed his primary put him on celexa which seemed to help some but he nor I was ever educated on TBI still. Then 2011 while crossing a street on foot my husband was struck by a car and suffered yet another TBI this one worse with facial reconstruction, he was very confused of his surroundings when he came to and violent with hospital staff they still never educated me on TBI nor was the word mentioned they sent him for a psyche evaluation because he was what they called a wanderer and would not adhere to what they were telling him even strapping him down. No one said the evaluation was at an outside facility just the date so I went to the hospital to meet with him during the evaluation where I was met by him in handcuffs and police to escort him to the facility (this was on 3 days after surgery), I told them to release him and they said I had no say so because I only had a medical POA not a mental POA so I asked where he was being taken and they gave me directions. I drove there and spoke to an intern introduced myself and explained the situation 6 hours later they called me and told me he did not belong there that he was a victim of TBI this was the first time I heard those words and I was told because he wanders and is unaware of his surroundings they were sending him to a behavioral health hospital with a lock down unit until they could find a lock down room at a regular hospital with a neurological brain lockdown ward. 6 weeks later he was still at the behavioral mental health hospital where they discharged him to me because Medicare refused to pay ordering him to a Nuero hospital which they said they could not find him placement. That night was hell he kept wanting to wander outside and take off, I called his insurance company who advised me to take him to ER which I did and chose St. Joe's because they have Barrows Neurological Hospital they took him in and started working with him on cognizance and physical rehab but once his physical was considered good he only had cognizance issues therefore his insurance ordered him released for 1 week at a rehabilitation center. Just when his cognizance rehab was getting better we went for a outpatient follow-up at The Brain Clinic at Barrow's where his Dr. discovered he had a vertical brain tumor (August 2011) and he underwent surgery at St. Joe's (Oct 2011) which set back his cognizance they worked with him and ordered outside rehabilitation to the tune of 3 times a week at a weekly co-pay out of pocket $150.00. I was on FMLA but had exhausted money so made all future appts to Tues and Thursdays and worked Mon, Wed, Fri and Sat. I had to find and pay people to stay with my husband while at work because his insurance nor state would assist because he could put his pants on one leg at a time and button his shirt. All the while my dad passed away during my ordeal and my boss got my employees together and had a bash Teri meeting that they did not appreciate the time I was away from work and how it interfered with their life's, Really! we were lucky to have 4 customers a day in our bank branch, 1 person came to work ill and my boss said it was my fault because I wasn't there, she could have covered (oh yea, she doesn't know how to run a cash drawer) or called another branch for relief. For over 2 months I stuck in there facing harassment, finally our insurance came thru with a small settlement off of our auto policy and I was able to resign and low and behold given a severance package. When my severance pay ended I started job hunting again and filed for unemployment (which I only collected for two weeks thankfully) but was awarded because of the company unable to take care of an inharmonious situation that I diligently tried to remedy. My husband just passed an Independence to driving course and got his license back, but still does not like to drive and suffers anti-social anxiety problems bad. I know his physicians and Neurologist sees this and they have tried many medications but I fear this is as good as it gets...I lost my outgoing husband I once had, our friends have backed away from socializing with us, so all I have is work and home and I still am unable to get my husband motivated to go to a movie, a walk, a park, a restaurant and he refuses any mental treatment he says he doesn't need it's just because he' stuck at home and tells me to go get treatment. Anyone know of maybe a group meeting I could possibly go to with him for us both? Maybe it would be a first baby step towards quality in our life's. Thank you!

    November 21, 2013 at 23:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Cindy

      Hi There, I can hear how hard it's been on you. I too have a TBI and i can tell you ur husband is a classic case of TBI.. I have been going thru it for almost 3 years now, the one thing I can tell you is he needs to try to push thru everything cause the brain can repair it's self but you can't stay status quo, you have to be willing to push little by little, baby steps is the best approach. I find that going to church and that my faith has gotten me better but not my old self, my new self. Sometimes you won't be able to go back but you can go forward with God's help. I have been with my partner for 20 years and I can tell you I know how hard it is on you too... This happens to the whole family not just the TBI patient.. Yes I know about the anti- social-ness cause I used to be very out going and since I've changed so much but by the grace of God I'm getting better each day and most days are hard but you have to find something that will motivate him to WANT to get better, something like what I did every morning, I would walk outside and stand there and thank God for the eyes to see the beauty, the ears to hear the beauty and the nose to smell it, I would drink all the beauty in and say how Grateful I was for what I could do and not focus on what I couldn't. I even do it today and it's been almost 3 years, have him try something like that plus have him read these stories that might help him see that he has changed too. Good Luck and lots of prayers for all TBI patients

      June 4, 2014 at 16:33 | Report abuse |
  39. danny

    I fell and hit a gas meter with my forehead about 4 years ago, and now I'm having really bad headaches on the left side of my head, more like migraines, and I'm really sensitive to light, could something that happened so long ago affect me today?

    January 8, 2014 at 23:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Rosemary

    I am 54 years old , and when I was a child I was often beaten in the head by my father ! So hard sometimes I could see stars . When I grew up I went into a relationship where my partner also hit me a lot in the head when he had had a drink . I would like to know if there could be any long term damage as I have never been checked out . Obviously i do suffer from depression and have been on medication for years , I do seem to have abit of a bad memory , carnt consent rate on films or reading books as I mind wonders do you think I should get checked out ? Or have I left it to late .

    February 4, 2014 at 18:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. M Stokvis

    I was just diagnosed with Apnea but I also have sudden sleep episodes. Five days ago during an episode I fell hitting my dresser in my bedroom. I awoke as I was hitting the top edge of the dresser with my head and from my weight it kept hitting all the way down to the floor. It started in the upper rear quadrant downward toward my ear, about 3 inches. I had three pretty good sized bumps but I've also had issues sleeping and having sharp pains above my right ear. I also see double when I read but that's when I begin getting really sleepy. I have a really bad neck too which was probly agitated pretty good. Should I get this checked out being it may not be my head?

    February 9, 2014 at 20:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. skeetelmore65

    I received a head injury after I was struck on the head, by the ROOF of the Car. Who I was riding with hit something in the road and I hit it hard and 10 min. later, I had a splitting headache..but I decided to go home. Now, 10 or more years later I still hurt on the top of my head. I will get goose-eggs in that spot and on EVERY MRI...it show a White cap on the top where I was struck.
    Also, I have been dx'd with Addison's disease, Lyme disease, Candida(which my LLMD Doc seems to think it is my major problem) I have dx'd with Fibromyalgia, but everything seem to have started with that head injury. I had to have an ACD & F spinal diskectomy on my C5-C6, due to a ruptured petrusion that had to come from the hit on the head and Tonsilar Ectopia from where my head was pushed in a downard position.
    But, I have PAIN in my whole body and it stemmed from being hit. I have wondered if, that HIT on my head isn't the whole problem behind my pain..I wonder, but no one seems to think anything of my MRI having a White cap on it everytime...but, should they? IT hurts and when, the goose egg comes up...I can't even touch it and it makes me wonder WHAT is going on. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ
    Any ideas would be thoroughly appreciated. Can a hit on the head cause all of that? Or...did it get the ball to rolling?
    Just so ill and don't understand. I am mostly confined to bed, but I can walk..just minimal and sitting it limited also. I have 5 disk herniations in my Thoracic with hypertrophy(means muscles affected) that can't be explained. I don't know why they are there and what cause that even. I have a C2 scerlotic lesion, and AVM, empty sella, T3-T4 compressed fracture, DDD, Spondylosis, Myofascial pain syndrome..enough to drive a person insane, but there is a reason for everything and we must push forward...to see a better day. I have faith that one day, I will be able to function among the living again. I know that God gives me the strength to move on and I am grateful. I just wish that I could be me again and not have all of this on me. To feel good and not have pain or worry of pain to come. Maybe one day soon...I will.
    Hope for all who posted and prayers. God Bless. ๐Ÿ™‚

    February 16, 2014 at 15:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • skeetelmore65

      Also, I was thinking that it might be important to mention that I've had two head injuries and for sure a concussion with one. I forgot to mention the Car accident that I had prior to this one. It happened, when I was working in Nashville and hit a car head on the interstate. Someone had stopped in front of me and I was going at least 55, so at the last minute I went over the median and thought that it would slow me down, but I hit oncoming traffic and went out the passenger's window. Had a lot of cuts from taking the console with me, but when I went back and looked at the car...I was lucky that I wasn't strapped in. The whole driver's side was crushed and it would have been the end of me. Still, wound up with a contusion on my left leg, concussion and some nice cuts, but I survived. I wonder now, if those two head injuries are not MOST of my problems.
      I still get sore on the last goose-egg on top and I'm worried that the MRI'S show a white cap that make me question..Why is it there, when on other MRI'S you don't see it?
      I am dealing with Lyme disease & candida, which in turn, the candida I believe is being caused by some MOLD of some sort and I'm afraid of a CNS infection. There is no way out, for I believe that my mom/dad's house is also affected by MOLD, so don't have anywhere to turn, but to move completely out of state. It could be done, but really worried about it all.
      Could it be that they are just not seeing a CNS infection? I don't want to be another statistic. :/
      All that I know is that I am having severe tremors in my chest/back that seem to be continuous and really scare me. They must be coming from somewhere...but is it the Lyme or some kind of infection..or some really bad nerve damage? What is going on and where do I need to go? Help..
      Anyone got any clues? Thanks.. ๐Ÿ™‚

      August 9, 2014 at 00:01 | Report abuse |
  43. lance ambrose

    My names lance ambrose i suffered a brain injury in 2011. I was told i had a brain bleed or something of that nature. A little over a month ago i started getting a bad headache over the top left portion of my head. I went to N.P. and was given ibprophin 800s and muscle relaxers and was told it was stress. Not much has changed. She said i should get my eyes checked to rule that out. Havent done it yet. Im concearned. Im wondering can problems arize years later after having such an injury?

    March 20, 2014 at 00:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • C

      Hello Lance

      I was hit in the head extremely hard and at very close range by a door at my office in 2012. When it first happened, I immeidately jumped back and thought that I was going to fall but did not. The pain was horrible. It lasted a few moments and then I felt OK. About a week later, I began to experience headaches and dizziness. I went to the ER where I had a C-Scan. The C-Scan was negative. After this, I begin to experience dizziness to the point where it felt like I was going to fall and also my ear (same side where I was hit) begin to feel as though someone were pouring liguid inside my ear. I had an incident at my office where I actually did fall and went to another ER. I had another C-Scan; this one was also negative. For about two weeks after the 2nd ER, at times it felt as though someone was standing over me pouring warm liquid inside the top of my head and it was running down my head and the side of my face. My face, lips and jaw begin to tremble at times – this was very frightening. Each time, this took place – I would get to a mirrior as soon as possible to see if my face appeared as though I may be having a stroke. I then went to my neurologist – I had an MRI. MRI also – negative. My nerologist also ordered an EEG and a Carotid Sonogram. She did not take any changes, she wanted to rule out a tumor or possibility of a stroke. These test were also negative. The symptoms went away for awhile but then came back. In March of this year, more symptoms along with swelling that just appeared one day at the exact spot where I was hit. My face constantly feels as though it is hanging off and/or drooping – the same with my eye. My eye also hurts as it did when I had the Carotid Sono. To feel as though my face and jaw is merely hanging as though disconnected from my neck is very scary. Also sometimes my lips feel numb as though I have been given numbing medicine (as you're given for dental work). I went back to my neurologist, this time she ordered another Brain MRI and and Orbits MRI. At this point – no one could tell me that I had not developed a tumor or inflamation or something on the brain! I was anxious and nervous to hear the results. That swelling said something had been missed (in my opinion). To my shock – these tests were also negative. It is now June – the swelling has not left or even decreased in size. I still get shooting pains and all of the symptoms and additional symtoms I experiece on a daily basis. I can't even brush my hair or pull my hair up without expericing pain as the same location. The pain now radiates to the back of my head. I saw another neurologist on Friday, May 30th becasue my neurologist did not have an opening soon enough. His office has ordered a C-Scan that I have not had yet. His assistant asked me if I have experinced runny nose from the nostril of the side where I was hit. Indeed I have been expericing this for a little over a month now but never thought that this might have anything to do with my head injury. I truly feel that something is going on with my skull that has not been detected. I have the utmost respect for my neurologist and I know with no uncertainty that she hears me and is listening to me -she wants to find out what's going on. However, will all of the testing that she has orderd for me. I KNOW that something is not being detected. What I am feeling is NOT normal. The swelling that has appeared after 2 years at the exact location where I was hit is not normal. I could understand on-going headahces. I believe that's normal but not all that I am still expericing. Back to the runny nose – I was curious as to why the 2nd nuerologist's assistant asked me if I experience a runny nose and of course I looked this up. I simply did not want to ask her at the moment why she asked. I don't think I wanted to know. This is all very overwhelming at this point. At any rate – I find out that sure enough....you can expericne leakage from your ears and nose after head trama and of course this can be very serious. I'm informing you of ALL of this Lance (and I'm sure there is some that I have left out) to say....if what you are feeling is not right to you – do not merely accept what you are being told. The answer to your question is YES....something could possibly still be wrong after years. I am living proof and want to remain among the living! I will not stop because a machine is claiming that I am just fine. I have one of the best neurologist who listens to me and is not taking anything that I tell her lightly. The assitant for the 2nd neurologist was very thorough and likewise very attentive and displayed concerned and also is truly interested in finding out what's going on. I will not stop until I am satisfied. I can appreciate wonderful technology but these are machine made my man. Again, something is not being dected. I have an appointment with my regular neurologist tomorrow. I will not stop! Do not stop until you are satisfied that you are REALLY OK!!! Please excuse all typos and grammar errors! Hopefully, there are not too many! At work – no time to proof! I will certainly keep you updated if you'd like.

      June 9, 2014 at 10:19 | Report abuse |
  44. Ronald Antolik

    I fell down stairs at BP and a 6.8 lb wrench busted my head open. I was unconscious from what i was told. I thought i stood up immediately and held my head from the intense pain. I then noticed blood dripping from my bandana and the steel floor was coverd in blood. I have had extreme headaches everyday since this accident. All mris, cat scans, and eeg tests came back clean. I was seen by a neurologist Dr. Aita in north west indiana he told me it was just all in my head. It made me angry so i cussed him out. Im suffering everyday from headaches, chronic neck pain, chronic lower back pain, and severe leg pain. A month and a half now, ive been cut off all of the medication that was masking the pain in the hundredths. Work comp is pulling me through the hoops. Im 29 and never had any kind of incident at work allways been saftey conscience. Now i have this case manager That is telling these new doctors (pain specialist) that im crazy and that i am going to kill myself. Which i never said she come up with this after i told her to look up john grimsley the football player. Because he had a serious condition that was not seen untill the doctors disected his brain after his death. Now im seeing these pain specialist and karen perkovich at first wanted to give me a nerve block shot. I didint feel comfortable with that procedure so i fought to see a different pain specialist the new pain specialist has not givin me anything for pain besides tramadol which is not helping at all, and a trigger point injection in my neck. Dr.disari has not helped me at all he asked if the injection numbed my neck i told him no and it hurts worse now than before. He told me that no doctor in indiana was going to give me anything for pain. Needless to say i went to the ER right after and the doctor there had some compassion and wrote me a script for norco 5/325 i was greatful for that, because for the last month ive been withdrawing along with having debilitating headaches. Ive been completely miserable since this accident. The day after the three trigger point injections it felt like a mack truck hit me in my head full speed. No improvement whatsoever and im still in a debilitating state. Ive been to the ER 5 or 6 times in the last month. Because im in so much pain. I need all the help i can get. Please if you read this and can offer me help, im more than willing to go where ever and do anything to fix this problem. I have these bumps come up on my head the size of ball barrings out of a vehicles wheel. I dont know what to do and the insurance company amerishure cut me off from my regular doctor, the only doctor that had compassion besides the Last ER visit. Just a bunch of soulless people in this world and if they only knew what i was enduring, then they might feel ashamed of themselves for tourturing me like this.

    May 15, 2014 at 00:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Country Gal

    When I was 11 I was playing a game with some friends. A girl, whom I have forgotten the name of, and I were taggers. A boy was running between the 2 of us and we both went to tag him. I don't quite remember what happened for about 5 minutes. Neither does she. The boy never looked back and no one saw this. I blacked out and woke up with blood on my head, the grass, my clothes, and hands. I had chipped her tooth. Some older kids found the part of the tooth in the grass. She had it fixed and everyone, including adults, were crowding around her while I was in and out of consciousness. I had a concussion. I am very lucky as tooth enamel is close to the strongest substance in the body. We are still friends, but I still get nervous when I see kids playing as I suffer from memory loss and headaches. The dr said for almost forever. That is okay. It was a freak accident and they (boy and girl) are still very nice to me.

    May 24, 2014 at 11:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Cindy

    Back in 2011 my life changed so dramatically. I went to check on an elderly client(about 89 years old) once I was there I hit the top of my head on her fence and knocked myself out. I wasn't getting better after 3 or 4 weeks so I went on a week vacation then I het my head again in the pool, I guess I fell asleep on my back not sure but the pressure from the water pushed me into the side and hit the exact same spot again, no memory of getting out of pool or the rest of vacation. After about 1 1/12 months I went back to my doctor and had many test done over the next month or two and found that it was a TBI. I've had several hits when younger so not sure if that is the reason or not but I'm going on 3 years with many symtoms still. I used to work out all the time and enjoy riding my trikke, now I still can'[t seemed to any of that cause once the blood pressure hits my brain I get worse symtoms:-( I have hit my head several more times since my first one in Sept 2011. It has changed me more ways then I can count. Very hard on my family still they don't understand the symtoms, my partner of 20 years has been my support and my doctor plus my Faith in God, my faith has been the one aspect in my life that gets me thru the day. I cry all the time but refuse to let that hold me back so now I say they are tears of joy so I can try to continue to deal with this, it's my faith that has brought me to where I can do things better today but no where close to do what I could. If I stay focus on one thing at a time not bad but to try to do more then one thing it becomes very hard on my brain, still get sharp pains, still get very fogging, balance is still off, memory is still an issue when I get tired, no one knows what we go thru unless you have been thru it too. I hope this story helps someone out there to deal with there issues, try using your faith in God to help you cause this so much bigger then we are, can't do it on ur own or by ur self. Good Luck and lots of prayers to all you trying to heal from your TBI. Don't give up what ever you do, keep moving one step at a time no mater how hard....

    June 3, 2014 at 15:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Michael Anthony

    To all of us unfortunate People who suffered a TBI Which I am still Recovering From is to use Ice Therapy..which is working for me! Ice the area of the injury 20 min on 20 min off 2 x aday Morning & night..This will help With Imflamation that is causing most of your systems! also will help in speeding up the healing process because there is no drugs that can help with this! the cold Icepack will contract the bruising in the brain just like any other injury Ice is the key!! even old injury's can be helped by Ice therapy..This will help the body to heal if you reduce the imflamation!! not with advil or ibprofen! they will cause more bruising in the brain!!! Common Sense!!! Good luck & God Bless!

    June 29, 2014 at 14:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Russian Judge

      Do you have any studies that show this treatment to be effective and safe? Please cite it.

      June 29, 2014 at 21:17 | Report abuse |
  48. Daniel McCoy

    I really just want to let anyone know that is still reading this article that I am not 100% sure how I am still alive. God clearly stepped in and helped me out. I was in a car accident that I caused back on August 16rh oF last year. What I did was I swerved off the road, hit a fire hydrant, and flipped my car over the fire hydrant. at least that is what I am told, I don't have anything I can recall of that night. I stayed more than a month at the hospital I was taken too, because they medically induced my coma to stay in it. Then I have spent 2 more months at Dodd Hall here in Columbus and that is the first thing I can remember waking at nearly 2 months after the accident, I found out later that my car was totaled. I managed to live when my brain swelled up and took over a week to swell down back in my head. I found out months later I broke better than nearly 5 inches of my skull over my right eye. No one seems to care any more,I apparently never saw anyone ever because no one that I can remember has seen me. I am still at Edgewood Manor of Westerville, Ohio. I am told I am still healing but I havent been in therapy for over a month now, the ex never brings my daughters in. This place barely lets me outside. My church that I have reconnected with is helping me out in the best ways possible, but they are still only limited on several steps. I am going to thank the Olive Garden, which is where I used to work, they took a donation for me from the people that worked there and they matched the donation with their own cash. The only downside to that is that they haven't found a way to let me get ahold of it yet. Well thank you, anyone for reading this and if you have a way I can get out please let me know, thanks again and I will see everyone later.

    July 6, 2014 at 00:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Eve

    My brother is 9years old and he fell out of his pram when he was between 1 or 2years old,a week ago he complaint about his vision being blurry and that his eyes feels abit scratchy,then on Saturday his eyes literally start to swell up and seems like its going too burst,we don't know what's wrong but he was taken to the local hospital given some medications and the swelling stopped and sent home.I would just like to know if anyone maybe know what is wrong with him and if it could be that fell that could be the cause. Please help!

    July 14, 2014 at 06:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Adam

    I am currently a scholar in 12th grade and today at school all the 12th graders were called to the school hall for a message. We were told that one of the pupils woke up with the intent of coming to school today and while getting ready he complained to his sister that he had a headache and decided to stay at home and go to sleep. We were told that his sister called the school and told the headmaster that he had passed away just 20 minutes ago. It was a really sad day today and the most suprising thing is that he was fine yesterday, he was his usual bubbly self. He died from trauma to the brain.

    July 22, 2014 at 09:51 | 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.