Post Concussion Syndrome and PTSD ……..

It began on a winter morning, when I was in a rush.  I know the drill, and yet I failed the drill, because I fell, down 3 steps, knowing all too well, that I was going to fall.  I immediately in those few frightening seconds had the sense to judge, where should I land?  Being very familiar with medical knowledge, I knew all too well, about disasters in the home from a fall. Was I paying attention?  Was I in a hurry?  Did my foot get stuck?  As I lay on the floor, after the fall, these thoughts all raced through my head.  Back to the fall.  I knew that above all I did not want to hit my head, so I went towards the sink knowing I would hit my shoulder. A bad shoulder was better than a concussion.  Well, to my amazement, I did both.  I hit my shoulder first, and then landed with my head hitting the edge if the sink.  That was December l, 2014.  As I write today, it is May, 2015.  As my life has changed, drastically, in many ways, I too question, when will this problem end?  When will I get my life back?  Why do people shut people out when they are hurt or injured?  Are they fearful it could happen to them?  As a psychologist, I question this, and try to figure out the answers, but I know in my heart.  People are fearful, and do not want to be around others who have things that could happen to them..

My husband was on the way to the doctor, and I tagged along.  He is a friend.  He was appalled.  My husbands concern was the bleeding arm.  My concern was my head that hurt.  “Ice, my friend told me.”  He instructed my husband to watch all day for me falling asleep and unusual behavior.

In the following days, the headaches came, which were migraines.  Pain and numbness, and blurry vision, no appetite, very fatigued, and I mean severe fatigue, pain and numbness, and excessive light sensitivity. confusion, and other symptoms typical of a concussion.  I would wake up every day thinking that this did not happen.

My first instinct, when I have faced a major issue in my entire life, is to look at it head on.  I saw a specialist, who then labeled this, after a CT scan, Post Concussion Syndrome.  He said that it would take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years, to completely recover.  I was stunned, and frightened.  I joined a group on line, a Post Concussion Syndrome group.  At last count there were over 3300 members from all over the world.

As a psychologist, I believe in the group process, and I firmly believe in groups on line.  I learned about others issues good and bad.  For me, I have to weed out the good from bad. This is a good way to bother friends and family less.  You can complain and commiserate on line to others, who are helpful and understanding.  I highly recommend such a group for many issues.

I know this from the past.  People disappear.  They leave you.  Friends, Family leave, mentally and emotionally. I have been down this road before, but now it is happening to me.   They maybe do not understand, or are fearful it could happen to them.  So, the group is a place that one can go to.  What also hurts, when I know it is from lack of understanding, is discounting, or lack of acknowledgement. It is like many of us are being punished, for something, none of us would ever ask for…

When someone has faced death or a very disturbing time in their live, it can cause Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.  With a concussion, that can happen and does. In many cases, the trauma is so great that it can cause severe depression along with the medical issues.

The dizziness,  pain, emotional distress, and other medical issues that pop up like distress from light, fear of falling again, numbness in my case, and pain and change in vision, are all very stressful.  Will they go away? Other problems, like the lack of exercise, or just doing the things that were done yesterday, are all taken too much for granted.  Enjoy every moment, as we never know when something like this is going to hit out of the blue.

Most of us who correspond with one another, talk in terms of:  I am out 5  months, or 2 years, or whatever.  Those statistics are scary.  What is true, and what is left as a residual, from the original fall or injury due to accident, or injury from ball playing, or falling or anything one can think of,is something only one can deal with. Everyone has to find their own way.

As a professional, I speak with people all the time.  Recently, in the last few months, I have found at least 6 different people who have suffered a concussion and have been diagnosed with Post Concussion Syndrome.  As I recover, I plan to start a group process so that everyone can share and learn and get support, in a safe and caring environment…..More later…..DI


I was feeling better, about 3 months out.  It is necessary for me to emphasise, that one period one might be feeling better, and another, you feel like you hit a wall.

On a very tiny writing on a prescription from my physician, on the last visit said:  Vestibular Therapy……..I never thought too much about anything but just existing, behaving, being cautious, and that in time everything can heal.  But I took the Vestibular prescription to  my physical therapist, and then it began.  What began is the vestibular therapy, which is getting your brain to re-train to your walking, talking, exercise, movement, and just about everything one does in a day…It was just as I had fallen a few days ago, and just had been diagnosed with the concussion.

Dizziness, Migraines, lack of appetite, and oh yes!  Must we forget????? The fatigue factor which is so stunning that it stops you immediately in your tracks.

Again what is so interesting, is that friends, family and strangers ask????? How long will this last????  Stunning, but the answer is anywheres from 6 months to 2 years….

What is hurtful, is that not only must one stop what they were normally doing, but stop socializing in busy places, like a restaurant, a party, or something that is too visually stimulating, as it becomes for the patient, overwhelming.  Each one of us who has suffered a concussion is different. Even going to someones house, is very scary, as you are used to your environment, and when you go into a strange house, it is not on auto anymore.

Again, I cannot emphasise enough, the Post Concussion group on Line, originating out of London, has been there in every way….One can receive and write, and one can help others.  As a psychologist, I can offer my help on line to others.  Depression is a major issue.  When you are stopped dead in your tracks from your everyday life, it so stunning, and shocking, and can cause depression, until one comes to grips, that this brain must retrain and recover.  It will take as long as it takes. One is not sick.  People still astound me, as even friends, pull away.  I guess people feel and wonder if this has happened to me and to others, it can happen to them….

The positive, is that I can write, and draw, and use the computer, and I have just begun to see patients again.  But, people with a concussion need a place to ventilate verbally, and ultimately get back to the things they love……In Progress…..I hope….

Note:  I will write more this as I hopefully heal….Interesting, I have about 5 people from our area who would like me to start a post concussion syndrome group to discuss their issues in a loving caring group. More Later……You can go to Diane Isaacs Facebook Page or Molly and Monet…..DI