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We answer all types of Neurology/Neurological questions about the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves. Include your age, sex, current meds, and known diagnoses, upcoming/completed appointments, tests, or procedures. We are not physicians. We help explain medical terminology and give support.
Frontal Lobe injury, research/info needed.
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Syd22 posted:
Hi, i'm only fifteen years old but i'd like to experiment with this website, see what information i can get. i need some advice or research--anything. I am very involved in sports and as embarassing as this is to say, i was running hurdles a year ago when i got distracted by a friend. i ended up falling, and i was going pretty fast so when my head hit the concrete...it bounced several times. i hit the right side, above the temple. i went to the emergency room and had a CT scan done, but was let go with a "possible concussion" and told to stay out of practice for a week. unfortunatly it was pretty severe and it was my first head injury so i didn't know what to do; i went back to running as soon as i could, since no one was checking up on me. that was bad idea, because to heal i needed time off to rest. Going back so soon also made me very suseptable to more concussions. about three months ago i got my third concussion, in less than a year, (i had one about five months ago, but it wasn't severe and it wasn't noted) by being elbowed above my nose, right under my forehead. I went to a concussion specialist, and was told to rest. that did not help at all, i still had the same symptoms (severe headaches, major sensitivity to light, sensitivity to loud noises, trouble concentrating or focusing, trouble reading fine print, irritablity, tiredness but trouble sleeping, etc.) and i was instructed to take half days at school, because it just became too much to handle. i decided to see a neurologist, where i got put on medicine to help me sleep better, because rest can really help. i aslo got an EEG done, where they studied the activity/function of my brain. the results came back and i have a "frontal lobe slowing" which means that the front of my brain hit my skull and it has been injured. i was told that my brain is "slowed down" now, and i may never fully recover. i also was told that i may never be able to play contact sports again, because another blow to the head could result in horrible problems. i can understand that but the news is unbelievably devastaing for me to hear. i researched a little about what the frontal lobe does, and i'm not really sure what to do. i'm scared because i guess after an injury my personality, mood and emotions etc can be affected. i also may get some ADD or ADHD like symptoms? I obviously don't know much about this and i'd just like to know if anyone has any more information on things like this, if there's anything at all i can do for myself? i want to get better, if possssible. As a usually healthy athletic teen, this is suuuper scary so i'd also love to read some more valid information on what that part of my brain does, just so im in the know. obviously my injury isn't as bad as it could be, but it's still kind of significant and as a teenager i still have my whole life ahead of me; i really need more information so i make good, safe decisions during all of this. thank you everyone.
Reply
 
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Lifes responded:
First, I want to reinforce, none of us are physicians. Instead, people who answer questions here either have some background with medical/nursing topics or enjoy researching questions and helping others.

The second thing that I want to comment about is how mature you sound. You sound very bright, well-organized in how you are thinking and writing, and very motivated. All of these are skills which will greatly help you as you allow your brain to heal. But, the one thing that can work against people who are very motivated and who want to DO things is that it's hard to deal with impatience as you recover. As you said, you wanted to get back into sports so much that you went back too early. So you'll really have to guard against becoming too impatient and give yourself time to heal.

Here is a webpage that describes symptoms after frontal lobe concussion. http://calder.med.miami.edu/pointis/tbiprov/NEUROPSYCHOLOGY/psych1.html

However, the symptoms listed are generalities based on what doctors have seen in thousands of patients. Not every patient will have every symptom. Print out the list if you can and circle the ones you have noticed about yourself. Then, you can try to put some energy toward preventing the ones you might be able to prevent.

The first BIG, HUGE thing you can control is getting rest. The medication will help your sleep. The second HUGE thing you can do to help yourself is to recognize life has changed. Your head has been hurt. You need to take steps to allow it to heal. Just because life has changed, it is not the end of the world. But, if you push things too much, too fast, then you could make things much worse.

I've been very disabled for over 25 years, and badly disabled for 12 years. So I really do understand "losses" and being unable to do what I want. You may indeed have to give up on sports, but--- that doesn't mean life is over. It will mean, though, that you'll need to identify other interests and begin to develop them. With your intelligence, though, that shouldn't be too hard to think of other things you enjoy. Also, remember that even if you cannot participate in sports (even if it is never again), there are many ways to be "involved" in an interest. Possibly you could become a student-assistant to the coach? Possibly you could do things that support your team?

Physically, your brain needs a balance of rest and mental activity. Note, I said balance. Some days you may need more rest. Other days, you may need to find ways to deal with being restless about "resting". Put your good days to use with enjoyable interests. Use your good days to keep up with school work. If you had hopes to go to college, DON'T just let those hopes go. You have great writing and communication skills and could go far in college.

Psychologically, the biggest obstacle will be keeping out of depression. No one can do that for you. But it IS possible to be positive even when our bodies aren't working right. Even though you need rest, it doesn't mean your days need to be depressing. Having goals really helps, EVEN small goals. Do what you can each day. Make deals with yourself. Don't let yourself 'slide" just because you can't DO certain things now.

Many people must change their views from "doing" -- to "being". Rest is a "being" state. The things you "do" now may not seem as challenging or important as sports-- BUT-- the things you do now may lead you to new directions for your life next year, or several years from now.

See part 2
 
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Lifes replied to Lifes's response:
Part 2

Also, look through the scarier / more difficult symptoms listed on that webpage. For example, displaying rage or changes in emotions. Some of those symptoms may never happen with you. But it is good to be aware of the possible symptoms you *might* experience.

Have your parents look over those symptoms. Ask your parents and friends to tell you if your emotional displays seem different (now or in the months to come). Ask your doctor if your test results indicate you could benefit from cognitive restructuring, as mentioned on that page.

I may be wrong, but I bet the doctor is wanting you to rest so that later they can evaluate IF you are having other problems. Remember, the brain is a magnificent mystery. It is very prone to injury during sports, but it is also a magnificent healer IF given time to heal itself. Rest may be the ONLY course of action doctors (and you) can take right now.

Take the time to allow your brain to teach you about what it needs. For example, maybe you'll notice that if you try to watch TV, you get headaches--- that is your brain saying, "We aren't ready for this yet." Learn how much you can do at home before symptoms start. Then, tailor the amount of time so your brain gets plenty of rest.

I would imagine that Internet Games or Game Station type games will increase your headaches and dizziness (these bother epileptics, too).

I don't know if you've ever had alcohol, but note that the webpage mentions alcohol intolerance. So, DON'T drink! A sip of alcohol can affect someone with a brain injury.

Eat proper nutition. Make sure your parents know if you have any new or worsening symptoms. Ask your teacher if you can give an instructional talk to your class about things to avoid doing around someone who's had a concussion (example: the elbow you got to the nose/forehead). You can help your friends learn just how this injury affects people.

Again, don't panic or let yourself slip into depression. You can get through this. Some days you may not think you can, but you will.

Since you write so well, what about starting a daily journal? You could write about your experiences day to day. Maybe sometime later your writing will be a help to another teen in your situation?

Let us know how you are doing. We may not respond the same day because I'm ill, but I'll try to answer as soon as I can.

Lifes
 
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Syd22 replied to Lifes's response:
Hi,
First of all, i don't even know what to say back to that. i mean, when i asked for some help i did not even imagaine getting something back like that. Thank you very very much. you don't even know how much that touched me, i think it's funny because you don't even know who i am, but you still seemed to know me as you wrote that haha. (like about the writing; reading and writing are two of my very favorite things, and i am deffinetly planning on doing something with them when i get older!) I will definetly use that information you gave me as best i can, that website is very informative. There are many things on there that i know i don't need to worry about--the alcohol for example--but the nutrition thing is a big deal. i was given from my neurologist a list of food that can trigger headaches, but it frustrated me when the doctor first handed it to me; of course that list happens to have just about everything on it. I was told to experiment and find out what things cause more headaches since it varies from person to person, but i'll admit its just hung on my refridgerator, kind of forgotten about. I haven't noticed a lot of problems though, and i have eliminated the few things that i know cause problems (like peanut butter, nuts or sweets on an empty stomache for example).
The part in there that you added about depression, i think reading that helped me the most, i have noticed a few new things about myself that i don't like...the motivation thing is kind of affecting me, and i think it goes along with the depression part? its only a few things but the past few weeks i have noticed my moods changing oddly throughout the day. that's probably the biggest issue to me, i don't want to be a sad unhappy person, obviously. i have always been an optiomistic happy person and the moods are very new, but what you said about being positive i will definetly keep in mind.
Once again i have to say thank you for that, it's much more than i ever expected. Last week on Thursday i was in the library at school looking through this website for some intersting health articles i could use for an assingment in my health class, when i decided to look up something about all of this. Then i saw a link to the "WebMD Community", and i was hoping it would be this exactly. For a while i was thinking i should find some kind of website to connect to people just so someone would understand, so i would have someone to talk to, even just for a second. obviously none of my friends understand whats going on with me, it's just a tough situation for everyone. But anyway, im glad that i found this Community. It's helped a lot already with my outlook about this, because this is still relatively new to me and of course hard to get used to.
i am sad to hear that you are ill, and i hope you'll be all right, it did take me a while to reply myself so don't worry about it! You are a wonderful person for taking your time to do this for other people, definetly going above and beyond. Thank youuu.
 
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brainfog61 replied to Syd22's response:
Hi Syd22
I have a long term brain injury. Great reply you have had. Here are a couple of other things. It may seem that rest 'didnt work,' but instead of thinking about it as not working, ie fixing you, think about it as a tool to manage. If you find you are getting irritable or agitated during the day that can be a signal to stop what you are doing. What you are doing might be too hard for you just now or your brain has got tired. Then rest up for a while. Listen to some music you like for a while or something like that.
Headaches: the list the doctor gave you was probably too long as it is making you irritable. try putting a line under the first 2-3 foods on the list and think about them for a while or try leaving them out of your diet. Or even just one - small steps are always best.
I found taking 500mg of magnesium at night helped with the headaches.
For more advice and support check if there is a local brain injury association group in your area. Search online or look in the phone book.
They can also help with telling you how to get any therapy or assistance that might be helpful.
 
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Lifes replied to brainfog61's response:
Syd,

Thank you for adding insight from your personal experience. Those kinds of tips are always very helpful. I really like your idea of breaking up a long list and it is very true! Even with a "to do" list it is much easier to stay motivated and get things done when the entire list is broken up into 1 to 3 things at a time. Plus, it feels like something is accomplished!

And, I've found music really does help moods!

Lifes
 
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Lifes replied to Lifes's response:
Ack! I was thinking about Syd and replying to "brainfog61" and got my names confused. I'm sorry. NOW this message will be to Syd! LOL

Syd, you'll find many people in this group who genuinely try to respond to people who need help or answers. We also try to give factual answers. Too often on forums, people get opinions only, without fact or substance. But, I think when patients have the right to review information about health conditions, try to learn what applies to their situations, and use that info to make health choices.

I really meant it when I complimented your intelligence and writing skills. I think you'll go far in life. Just don't give up on yourself because of this set-back.

Write anytime -- I don't always check this page everyday but I get a Digest E-mail and respond when I can.

Lifes
 
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ske22 replied to Lifes's response:
brainfog61, thank you for the help, I did end up doing just that! but after a while it got to be okay. i don't have many foods that trigger headaches for me anymore, except some nuts do strangely. it has been a long time since i checked up on this website, I've been pretty busy myself. thank you for the reply Lifes, it may not seem like a lot but you really did help me keep up my motivation and not give up.
I'm feeling so much better, my neurologist had given me medicine to sleep better and it's been amazing how well its worked. i'm definitely not back to how i was before, not sure if i ever will be, but its definitely getting somewhere. Its a tough thing to go through, but the reason i decided to check up on web md is because this school year i am taking a psychology class. currently we are learning about the physical functions of the human brain and i think it is soo interesting. i guess in a way this injury has made a positive point in my life. it's made me more aware of what really goes on inside my head and I've been researching a lot about it. i think i want to do something in that field when i grow up, research, teaching or most importantly trying to heal. i want to be there for people who are in the same situation i'm in, but make them feel better than my doctors have for me. ill have to save my pennies though for college! but i hope to do something to help all kinds of people out with anything having to do with brain injuries or conditions. i'm especially interested in children with disorders or special needs. i never would have realized what an interesting organ the brain is, and realized something i definitely want to have a future in without this. its crazy!

thanks again for your help, hope you are doing well!


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