post concussion syndrome - failure to recognize family members

Have any members with post concussion syndrome experienced problems with recognizing close members of their family when they are having a bad day, tired or stressed? They might not realize who the person is one night and know who they are the next day. They might know who they are in the morning, but not recognize them at night. This is very worrying.

14 Replies

  • My only experience of this comes from stories I was told about my behaviour whilst hospitalised after an op to coil a haemorrhage.

    Apparently, the first time I greeted my daughter in ICU I called her by a neighbour's name and said how thoughtful it was of her to visit.

    My daughter was really upset about this, saying it happened many times and, despite assuring me of who she really was, I insisted she was joking !

    ...................... (It's fairly common behaviour after brain trauma).

    But mine was a temporary issue, whilst PCS is ongoing, so maybe your mum's brain simply needs more time for healing. Apparently up to 6 months is the norm for symptoms to clear, but it's not unusual for them to last for 12 months.

    You could ask your GP for a referral to a neurologist if you're really not happy with your mum's condition.

    Good luck Jayne ; I hope the situation resolves naturally or, if necessary, your mum will get the help she needs. Cat x

  • hi

    remembering names is a real problem I can't match names to faces I saw a week ago

  • Thanks for your comment. This is very challenging. I think it might help if I put photos up with a few names where she can see them.

  • Thanks Cat for your insights. One of my aunties had a very nasty accident in a park in 2012. She was unconscious after falling over. A passer by called an ambulance and she was taken to hospital. She took time to recover, but was still able to live independently with a bit of support. She does call her sons by the wrong name and mixes them up.

    I've noticed my mum looks a bit more tired than usual this week. I thought she was improving but I noticed more bad days than usual since last Sunday. I called headway and had a chat and they did advise me to go to the GP, just in case mum had had a TIA or similar on top of her brain injury (post concussion syndrome from hitting her head on a tap in a sink while washing her hair, a lot of blood loss and probably hitting her head on the floor when she passed out). This was before she did not recognize me as her daughter. That was last night when I had been out in town shopping, missed the bus and came back a bit later. I asked her who I was this morning and she knew. Tonight she was tired again and when we were cooking together - she was concentrating on that - she said I was her niece!

    I also noticed she has been eating very sugary foods recently which are not so good for patients. She once said something strange after a small glass of port at Christmas and it was a quiet one too.

    I'm pleased I have found Headway and can exchange ideas. I will call the GP to have it checked.

  • Oh good ; it's better to get these things checked out so at least you know there aren't (hopefully) any underlying issues.

    The photos are a great idea ; anything which act as reminders is good brain retraining.

    Let us know what the GP has to say won't you. Try not to worry too much about the PCS Jayne, it can be a real hanger-on then disappear almost overnight. xx

  • Thanks Cat. Mum had an appointment with the GP this evening. She has 90% wax in her left ear, which has made her hearing worse. I mentioned concerns to the GP about forgetting who I was. The GP suggested a memory test in about 6 weeks. He can review progress. I told him about the PCS. He's being careful to rule out other nasty possibilities. The blood pressure was fine. The problem was not caused by a mini-stroke. I hope it is PCS and not another nasty underlying cause.

  • It sounds like your GP is taking a methodical approach which is reassuring. I had a GP (not any more) who was SO self-opinionated, reaching hasty opinions, many of which proved false. So try to have faith that this doctor will go through a process of elimination and get to the crux of your mum's confusion.

    Wait & See periods are always tense, but try to remember there's just as much chance of a good outcome as a poor one !!

    Keep us updated Jayne. All best wishes, xx

  • Thanks. There are some nice GPs in the team there. I have asked about LDB and used technical terms so I did not scare mum. This has symptoms which are like PCS. Well some of them are.

  • Hi Jane,

    There is a condition called Prosopagnosia or 'Face Blind'. Some people are born with it and some of us have have acquired it as part of a bundle of assorted difficulty after some sort of brain damage. I've had problems finding my daughter in Costa Coffee as it's full of young women with shinny long hair tapping away on their phones.

    There are several different forms of it, mine is a memory problem. I'm pretty good at recognising voices, handbags, shoes, rings, but faces floor me. There are tests you can have, I had mine done in Bournemouth where they are doing a big research thing.

    Being tired and in unfamiliar places makes it worse, and it helps if people don't get snaky when you don't recognise them. I have trained some people to come up to me and announce who they are.

    Try to work out if she is tired and confused, or is having the wrong word/name pop up, or if it could be face blind.

    Most GP's will have less knowledge of this condition than you have after you have read this.

  • Thanks for the tip Stardrop. I've been observing her and she has not done it again in the last few days. I think it might be tiredness or a wrong word/name issue. Good to know the condition is being researched seriously.

  • I think that forgetting people and things when you are tired is a fairly normal happening for those with bi. I have noticed that my husband's brain is much slower and less focused when he is tired, he is much more alert in the mornings. Maybe not getting overtired is the answer.

  • Thanks for your comment Jan. You are right about not getting overtired being a good solution. My mum is usually better in the mornings too. She's also better when I point out good things she has achieved and in a better mood. A nice dinner or pudding also helps.

  • I have been diagnosed with PCS and it's been over a yr now. I have been doing alot better but the first 6 months I had no idea what was going on. Constant dizziness, agitated all the time, tired, short term memory loss, couldn't stand bright lights or noises, wanted to sleep all the time, and alot of head pressute. I was prescribed a depression med from my Nuerologist that helped tremendously. He said they prescribe it for PCs and it helps relax your brain and everything. I am off the Ned now but still once in awhile have foggy feelings. PCs can last up to 2 yrs. I would forget things and still do

  • Thanks for your comments and sharing your experience. With a more elderly person, the major fear I think relatives have is could the post concussion syndrome symptoms be a form of dementia like LBD, which has similarities to PCS. I hope you continue to improve over time. We all forget things, especially when we multi-task or have too much on our minds, even without a brain injury. I did that at the weekend!

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