Coma Recovery

After suffering from a coma caused by low sodium in January 2013 I have had some debilitating effects. I have very severe headaches, low motivation, poor balance, and stiff rigid limbs and have poor mobility. As an MRI scan showed no brain injury and a neurpsychological test showed now brain damage my GP has on a lot of occasions told me to "give myself a shake". I feel I am no longer the person I was, I have not been able to return to my work as a Medical Secretary as my cognitive skills are so limited and the headaches make me feel very debilitated.

I feel very isolated as there are no friends who can relate to me and tell me to exercise (which is very difficult with a headaches and fatigue). I am hoping time will be the healer Lets hope so!

18 Replies

  • Hi Lorraine. Do you have a partner or someone who'd be prepared to speak up in support of your need for further investigations ?

    Often GPs can be dismissive when they're familiar with a patient until another party steps in, at which point they can feel obliged to view the issue more objectively and arrange further tests.

    I would hope you've already had all the relevant blood tests done ?

  • Hi Cat, Thank you for your reply. I do have a neighbour who could speak up for my support with my GP as she is extremely dismissive which I find unhelpful and very hurtful as these symptoms are very real. What kind of injury and problems have you had? I get blood take for low sodium and kidney function.

  • OK Lorraine, if your neighbour agrees to accompany you and present an argument for a serious review of your health problem, it might make your GP pay better attention. I think the best line for your neighbour to take would be an emphasis on the change in you since your illness and your good health & strong capabilities prior to the coma.

    GPs are all too often dismissive and casual and need to be reminded occasionally that the quality of life of their patients is precious and shouldn't be treated whimsically.

    I had a Subarachnoid haemorrhage in Dec 2011 which has left me with much the same issues as you are having, plus damage to short-term memory.

    Good luck with your appointment, but if all else fails, I think a change of GP would have to be the next move.

    Best wishes x

  • Hi Cat, thank for your reply. Yes you are right that if I take my neighbour they would have to emphasise the change in me. I think a change of GP may be the best way forward as my GP is adamant that I have no brain injury and because my MRI scan was clear. I am in no doubt of my debilitating symptoms since the coma and life is hard enough just now without my GP making it worse to some degree. Have your symptoms improved at all with time, or do they just stay the same? Your help on here is very useful Cat - thank you as this is the first time I have used health unlocked. x

  • I wish I could say things have improved as it was my aim after discharge from hospital to achieve a complete recovery. But it makes sense that a mended brain can never function as efficiently as an undamaged one, so it's more a matter of learning to cope with the changes rather than lamenting one's previous abilities.

    It seems to be the general rule amongst those of us with brain injury that acceptance and perseverance is the only way forward as the alternative (looking back) is a recipe for frustration and disappointment.

    That isn't to say we accept defeat; I personally try to make the very best of who I've become by pushing myself pretty hard to achieve increasingly difficult goals and just keep reminding myself that, without the expertise of such brilliant surgeons, none of us would have this second chance at life.

    But a haemorrhage is probably not comparable to what you've suffered so it may be the case that with appropriate treatment (or just with the passage of time) recovery will, in your case, be possible. I hope so Lorraine. :-) xx

  • I agree with you Cat that acceptance and perseverance is the only way forward. I look back all the time and it does fill me with frustration and disappointment so I will try and look forward and find coping strategies and try and make the best of who I am at this particular moment.

    You sound like you have managed to develop a positive attitude to your brain injury over time (with perseverance). I am finding it a little easier to be more optimistic about the future and I do hope that in time and with appropriate treatment recovery will be possible.

    I'm so glad I joined this site as I have been extremely isolated, for more than a year now. Take care for now x

  • Don't ever be isolated Lorraine; come here if/whenever you want to chat.

    You take care also,

    Cat x

  • Doctor's are naive sometimes. My neuropsychological tests revealed gross abnormalities but the doctors still want to ignord it.

  • Thank you for your reply, and yes I find my GP very naïve and have had to push for things to be done. Do you have a lot of problems? What kind of injury did you have?

  • Finding a good GP is hard it seems. I guess they become jaded after a while but they should still listen to what we say, after all we know our bodies. I think exercise is important in recovery but so is the right medication and goals.

  • Yes I know my body and I know I have changed, my personality has changed I worry all the time. Im just not sure what mediation would help me. Exercise has been difficult as I have just felt so fatigued and down. Thank you for your reply.

  • Have you thought about visiting a therapist?

  • The problem with gp's is that they're not familiar with neurology. Ask to be referred to a specialist. Even neurologists themselves have a hard time understanding sometimes.

  • Yes I'm going to be asked to be referred to a specialist in neurology. I know there have been a lot of changes in my personality and it's very hard adjusting. Thanks for your reply.

  • I feel for you. Sometimes minor brain injuries are all but minor. Read the story of Anne Forrest. I think you may find that your current situation resonates with her experiences.

  • Where can I find the story of Anne Forrest Negeen?

  • Just google her :) her interviews are all over the net.

  • I found her and will read thank you again x

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