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Anyone else had a head injury? My brain constantly feels 'slowed down' since head injury

(10 Posts)
NooNooHead1981 Thu 12-Oct-17 09:49:42

Ever since I had a minor head injury two years ago, my brain has had cognitive problems, and I often feel like I have 'brain fog' if I think or concentrate too hard, even for basic things like reading and maths.

Today I went to DD's math's café they have sometimes for the parents to see how the kids are getting on. Helping her do some of the maths problems was ok but I generally feel scared as my brain sometimes feels like it is wading through treacle or mud when I am thinking, and there is something physically 'in' my head stopping my thoughts (if that makes any sense!)

I've told my GP about it and she says everyone gets tired sometimes after doing intensive mental activities, but I'm sure I shouldn't be feeling like this after doing basic maths for Year 2, or reading a magazine article on an unknown topic... hmm

It's almost like my brain has lowered cognitive reserve and resources, and that there isn't a way of making it go away once it has started. I just have to rest.

I'm petrified this is just the start of the long slow road to dementia or something. I'm only 36 - I have my whole life to live and can't fathom the thought of my mind - which I once considered pretty good and intellectually sound - to decline. It's just so depressing.

If I ever get Alzheimer's, I'll be out of here. It must be so awful. sad

user1499786242 Thu 12-Oct-17 09:51:14

Go back to the gp! Don't be fobbed off!

CandyMelts Thu 12-Oct-17 09:55:48

I'm recovering from a head injury and have just seen a neurologist, ask to be refered and don't let them fob you off. I only saw one as a relative who's a doctor said it's what I needed, my GP wasn't pushing for it. Normally you should be feeling more human in 2-3 months so 2 years is a long time.

PaintingByNumbers Thu 12-Oct-17 09:57:13

Have you spoken to anyone from headway? They are good for advice and support

MaitlandGirl Thu 12-Oct-17 09:58:49

I get like this a lot and it's so frustrating. For me it's a combination of a car accident 24 years ago and low B12 levels. When my B12 levels are right the fog is much more manageable.

The first thing I'd suggest is getting your B12 checked, and if that's ok push for a neurologist referral.

Homebird8 Thu 12-Oct-17 09:59:13

My DS had a head injury nearly four years ago and still has issues of the type you describe though they are improving. He has issues with processing speed and at 15 still regularly has to go to bed at 8.30 in term time or he can't cope with school.

Be kind to yourself and allow yourself as much rest as you can. It really does help. Go back to the doctor and ask about post concussion syndrome. It isn't just one of those things. Being made to feel like you are questioning when there is nothing wrong is not helpful. It may be that time and recognition, and coping strategies like rest and prioritisation of tasks could be the way forward.

NooNooHead1981 Thu 12-Oct-17 10:01:00

Thanks user but two different GPs have said it's 'normal' and they told me some people get post concussion amnesia. I get the impression there isn't much anyone could do really. sad

Just after my head injury, I saw about 4 different neurologists, and had an MRI, which was pretty useless as it doesn't show the microscopic damage to the white matter deep in the brain. It doesn't of course mean that nothing has happened, just that it isn't discernible.

Anyway, I do honestly think the GPs will say I'm being a hypochondriac or something. I know that many American footballers have been shown to have CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) post mortem, and that general mild cognitive decline is the start of this. hmm I only had one concussion, but I'm pretty sure that it has affected me in more ways than is visible.

Of course, my GP said there isn't any way of proving this and they just have to take my word for it. Which is really helpful. (NOT) hmm

NooNooHead1981 Thu 12-Oct-17 10:03:01

I did have the most awful post concussion syndrome for a year after, and it gave me a severe mental breakdown.

I know the brain can improve slowly, but I am out of work as a copywriter and genuinely petrified I won't even be able to do basic work or more menial tasks again. How can you explain to an employer you can't do the work when there is nothing outwardly wrong with you?

NooNooHead1981 Thu 12-Oct-17 10:11:16

This, taken from an American website protectthebrain.org terrifies me:

Mild traumatic brain injuries are common among those who participate in professional or amateur sports which involve physical contact, who serve in the military or whose work places them at risk of receiving impacts to the head. It is impossible to state exactly how many people suffer an MTBI every year, since the injury frequently does not cause symptoms serious enough to seek medical treatment and therefore often goes undiagnosed. Individuals who suffer several mild traumatic brain injuries may eventually display the effects of CTE, which can include symptoms similar to Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. The team of doctors at the Brain Injury Research Institute is working to investigate the relation between mild traumatic brain injury and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and we welcome donations and fundraising contributions from the public.

I know that I shouldn't believe everything I read, but it is worrying. sad

StorminaBcup Tue 31-Oct-17 19:04:16

@NooNooHead1981 - have you been referred for any kind of rehab? Your GP doesn’t sound very knowledgeable in regards to head injury! Like a pp has said Headway has some fantastic resources for you to read (which are free and accessible through their main web page). It can explain in general terms what to expect from a head injury and has more detailed booklets on memory, emotions and cognitive difficulties. I’m happy to search the links and on you if this would help. Don’t struggle on your own - help is out there!

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