Sorry for our recent absence, it’s been an eventful week. Corey’s headaches have been bad again and unfortunately, a fall in the kitchen didn’t help. Corey is still unaware of her physical limitations. She does not understand why she can’t just stand up and walk around the house or drive a car? When I remind her that her brain is healing and her left side is still weak, she often asks, “with all the medical technology invented, how come no one has technology that tells them how to fix the brain”?
My magic 8 ball doesn’t have that answer…
Corey was sitting at the Kitchen table on her IPad, I was sitting on the couch watching the end of a show. She wanted to come in and join me. I said no, the shows almost over and it’s almost time for bed. She didn’t like that answer so she tried to stand up and come into the family room to join me and fell backwards. This is one of the moments that you look forward to (her standing independently and walking) but it’s also the most terrifying at the same time (the potential for falling is always present)
Falls are a common ‘accident’ when a survivor gets more mobile. The nurses and I checked for signs of concussion for two days. Corey never lost consciousness, I didn’t see her fall and couldn’t find a lump/bump on her head, her speech and vision remained the same, appetite didn’t change, physical stamina didn’t change and she appeared unaffected cognitively. Thursday night she mentioned her eyes hurt with or without her glasses. Friday she had a headache, Saturday it was a bit worse. By Sunday, she was nauseous, tired, had a raging headache, couldn’t wear her glasses. I called my girlfriend, an ER nurse, for a consult. We agreed it couldn’t hurt to go get checked out. When I asked Corey if she wanted to go to the hospital she said yes,
The ER at Christiana Hospital is very good. She was seen immediately, had a CT scan and x-rays to look at her VP Shunt and her skull plate to make sure the plate hadn’t shifted and the shunt was working. She had IV fluids, blood work, and slept through most of the testing…that’s how I knew she was REALLY feeling poorly.
The Doctor’s confirmed NO brain bleeds, no change in the ventricular’s proving the shunt was functioning, blood work looked good but she was borderline dehydrated and had low potassium (she wasn’t drinking or eating much Saturday/Sunday) and they ruled out post-concussion syndrome. Given her history, they decided to keep her for observation.
As you can imagine, I was relieved on several levels. No concussion and thrilled my worry about the plate shifting and shunt not working were put to ease…for the moment. Unfortunately, with a VP Shunt, we are always a bit guarded because it can become infected and/or unexpectedly stop working…but for today…it is.
The end result; Corey had a REALLY bad headache. Another unfortunate fact, most survivors suffer chronic headaches for years if not forever once they have sustained a TBI. My next search will be to find a headache specialist that may help us manage them without drugging her. There’s got to be something or someone out there that can help so Corey doesn’t have to live with daily headaches.
As my mother and I would often say, ‘I’ll worry about that tomorrow Scarlet’, xoxo