Things I now know

Well, it's been an interesting few weeks in my post concussion head.

It's been about a month or so since my last post, when I was considering using omega 3 supplements because I'd heard of their benefits for heads. I think I must be getting to the point now where I am starting to feel their benefit. I've not been needing to take my prescription pain killers (which were given with the instructions to take as required) anywhere near as often. My neck and head do still have an almost constant ache but I got that with the pain killers anyway.

Also, I can fully vouch for the added bonus of finding a great physio. After one session of massage and ultrasound, followed by being given instructions for stretching exercises, I was much better. I've since been back for another equally successful session and have another booked for a few weeks. I've also restarted swimming and climbing, and have been going to pilates, which is working wonders.

On another note, which won't have helped my post concussion head - I've been told I have hayfever triggered sinus pain. I have to admit that I've wondered for a few years if I had hayfever but always brushed it off. I went to the doctor with what I thought might have been a sinus infection...

Other things - the local NHS is still slow. I eventually got a neurology appointment for September but only on the third attempt of booking after my referral.

I still can't fully shake the headache, neck ache and dizziness.

I still have moments where I get so spaced out that I have to lean on something otherwise I feel like I'm fall over.

I still get very tired very easily and end up snapping at my partner. He tried to understand but sometimes forgets that I can't process a lot of information when I've just woke up or late at night. Then he gets wound up with me because I can't answer his questions as quickly as I used to before I hit my head. Then I get annoyed with him and myself because my brain doesn't work as quickly as it used to... it's all a vicious circle.

I have a similar problem at work... but the less said about that the better.

Oh well, nearly the school holidays. Hopefully 6 weeks in North Wales with the mountains, the sea, some steam engines and my camera will help.

17 Replies

  • You go and enjoy. Are we talking steam trains or traction engines? Either way 100% with you. The railways in Wales are wonderful and my personal favourite is the Talyllyn.

    Was at the Kelsall rally last week and enjoyed it and a day by the sea yesterday.

    Does this mean that summer is finally here?

    Love n hugs


  • I'm a Ffestiniog Railway fireman. That's how I hit my head in the first place - those double engines are a canny bit tight when you're swinging a shovel!!

    Summer certainly seems to be here in the North East of England but I have to wait for 3 more weeks to fully enjoy it!

  • I'm heading to really good friends near port talbot in 2 weeks and can't wait! In laws in Bristol and love popping over the bridge.

    Re the hay fever- if you are taking a steroid nasal spray it is a minute dose so try not to get hung up on the word 'steroid' and it has to be used every day for the effect to build up (about a fortnight initially to begin working) and be maintained.

    More natural remedies include hay fever nose balms that basically stop the pollen from being absorbed by nasal passages.

    Antihistamines vary in effect between people and older sedating type will probably make you feel worse, however the newer types you can buy at the supermarket are loratidine or cetirizine.

    Your GP can prescribe stronger, newer antihistamines if these don't help and again you are better to use them daily if possible.

    Non med wise advice: pollen levels peak early evening and around daybreak. Hoover a lot to remove pollen from floor and soft furnishing. Keeping bedroom windows closed between 6-9pm and 4-7 am approximately can really help.

    Weather doesn't affect pollen level as much as you'd like so even rainy days can be bad although wind is a nightmare for speaking it. Wear wrap around sun glasses to stop pollen getting into eyes and again anti inflammatory eye drops available (sodium cromiglycate) or antihistamine such as otrivine antihistin used when required but are fairly nippy compared to the regular sodium cromiglycate.

    Totally sympathise with the partner thing- it's tough. I keep flying off the handle and getting annoyed at the slightest thing when I'm tired... So quite a lot!!!

    Glad the omega 3 has helped. Fiona X

  • Thanks for the advice on the hayfever, it is very much appreciated. I've only ever really known people with quite mild or "obviously hayfever" symptoms - my partner, for example. That said, I've done a bit of Googling myself.

    I've been given a steroid nasal spray, which came with the instruction to give it at least a month of use before I get any noticeable effect on the headache. Well, nearly 3 weeks in, it's steadily starting to help. Within the first week my nose was streaming so I figured I either had a cold or the congestion was clearing.

    I've tried Cetirazine for the same length of time but my eyes are still terribly itchy so I went back to see the very useful local pharmacist who gave me their cheaper equivalent of Piriton to try, with the instruction that it may make me drowsy. Well... I figured it can't be any worse than the tiredness I get from the post concussion.

    It's interesting what you say about the nasal balms. Someone at work who suffers quite badly with hayfever says that she swears by putting vaseline around her nostrils. I may give it a go.

    As for the partner - we've been together long enough now that I think he knows that I don't mean to be ratty with him. We can both be quite abrupt at the best of times, us being from Yorkshire by birth! I think I mostly just feel bad because it's not like me to be constantly snappy.

  • Every one coming down to Wales suddenly must have heard about our marvellous weather recently - we get 24 degrees and London gets floods got to love global warming :-)

  • I used to holiday at a horse riding farm in Dolgellau in the Snowdonia National Park. I love the area and always found it really helped clear my mind.

    Not that my mind has a problem with being cleared anymore!

  • North Wales really is one of those places that draws you in and grabs a hold of you and never lets go. It is truly a stunning place.

    I stay in a 200+ year old cottage near Porthmadog, on the site of the Ffestiniog Railway workshops. My mornings are brightened by the view of the estuary and the sea on one side and the Snowdonia mountain range on the other... thats when the rain isn't pelting horizontally across from the sea!

    There are a number of railway volunteers, including fellow educationalist and a friend who had a TBI a few years ago, who regularly refer to it as "therapy".

  • Remember, there was a reason Tolkein got his inspiration for Lord of the Rings, It wasn't the dramatic scenery more like its the only place where you can still see hobbits still running free :-)

  • Indeed, my ex wife and I took a coach to Portmadog one year where her father picked us up enroute to Dolgellau.

    I enjoyed going for walks early in the morning, alongside a river running through woods on the farm. As well as walks along the estuary too. We once climbed the Cader Idris but that was about 15 years ago and beyond my abilities now

  • There are some amazing walks.

    When I was last there in May, some friends and I went exploring an old abandoned mill and slate quarry workings. Absolutely fascinating place but, unfortunately, a harsh lesson at the time for inflated optimism on the part of the owners. The quarry was only worked for 8 years before it closed.

    My new favourite walk is a new-ish 6 mile route from Rhyd Ddu to Beddgelert. Very easy going with some stunning views of Snowdon. I can certainly recommend it.

  • Thank you Clare, I keep meaning to return and you have reminded me how much I miss the area xx

  • Some people find Omega 3 very good for them also HTP-5 and the vitamin Bs.

    The one thing that really does work is to have a clean diet - so that's less fatty and processed foods, more protein, better drinks - no booze, coffee and less fizzy drinks, more fruit and especially nuts, dates / figs etc.

    In terms of the Hay fever, what you may find (as many of us have) is that anything that resembles cold symptoms - e.g. a common cold, flu, hay fever etc. is a huge order of magnitude worse now than before you were injured. Nobody on here has an answer but we are all prone to it.

    One thing that you may want to check is the function between your eyes and ears. This may lead to a lot of the dizziness you have. A bang on the head may affect the crystals inside the inner ear and also affect the teaming between both eyes. Quite often as well because the brain is going through its version of a repair cycle, it processes information coming in from the eyes, ears and your feet a lot slower - one good test is to go from a light room to dark and see how long it takes to adjust. When i was tested by dark reaction time was 7 times that of a "normal" person.

    All the best on your recovery

  • Interesting, what you say about going from light to dark. I certainly react much slower and seem to get more off balance in dimmer light. I suppose I'd never made the association.

    I've always had ear problems (glue ear and repeated infections and such) since being a very young child so the fact that I've got ear problems is no real surprise.

    As for the diet, that's something my Dad suggested - lots of beans, pulses... I've always tried to eat sensibly so this is not a problem and I've taken fizzy B-complex vitamins for years, even before my bump.

    So much for it being, what I thought, was a "minor" bump that didn't even knock me out...!!!

  • As a result of a trip - I also had a "minor" bump stopped me working for 4 1/2 years !

  • Mine was a bump on a steam engine. I count myself lucky that so far I've been able to mostly carry on with life.

  • Edge of desk :-(

  • Ouch :-(

    I see that sort of thing all too much at work and wonder what damage it's doing to little minds.

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