Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Brain Injury

In light of a disturbing article I read today about a woman who complained of headaches for a very long time ~ she was constantly dismissed ~ then she passed away ~ I looked into the definition of a brain injury. I feel like I have been on the sidelines for a while now, neglecting my blog and my readers and I am trying to get back in the groove and post some helpful info out there on the web. Here's a good link for symptoms of a brain injury broken down by parts of the brain. This is the piece that really grabbed me:

Brain Stem: deep within the brain

•Decreased vital capacity in breathing, important for speech.
•Swallowing food and water (Dysphagia).
•Difficulty with organization/perception of the environment.
•Problems with balance and movement.
•Dizziness and nausea (Vertigo).
•Sleeping difficulties (Insomnia, sleep apnea).

Cerebellum: base of the skull

•Loss of ability to coordinate fine movements.
•Loss of ability to walk.
•Inability to reach out and grab objects.
•Dizziness (Vertigo).
•Slurred Speech (Scanning Speech).
•Inability to make rapid movements.
Seriously, I think it's safe to say that many of those still apply to me. I still have to remind myself daily that I have a serious brain malformation that caused irreversible damage/injury to my brain, and with high intercranial pressure and cranial settling, it continues to server up good doses of pain and destruction. Seems like the brain stem is really stressed out by the cranial settling ~ all I can do is wait for my bones to dense up ~ is that even really a word??? get more dense, that's better.
I am thrilled that Chiari is making the headlines more and more ~ the general public is getting an education on Chiari Malformations, but the stories are breaking my heart! Please, if you or someone you love is complaining of constant headaches, encourage them to find a doc who will give them so concrete answers.