Post-concussion and MAV

Hello all,

I just wanted to get started by posting my story and then asking advice/opinions for what to do next.

As I mention in the title I have post-concussion syndrome which has resulted in nearly every symptom listed:

Mayo Clinic.

I got this from a concussion that I suffered in 2006 when my head hit dead smack on carpet covered cement. I was knocked out and I was out for about a week or two with severe memory problems. Afterward, I had a few problems a long the way but I assumed that it was all just a part of my brain working on recovering. After about two years I started to get worried that some of this stuff wasn’t going away. Then, to make matters worse, I got in a car accident and had another concussion and I was out for about a month. Since this one, the PCS got much worse and the symptoms increased a lot worse then before, not surprisingly.

So then I started to realize that what I was feeling wasn’t just going to go away with time and I started seeking help for the individual problems. Insomnia= sleep specialist, headache=neurologist, neck stuff=physical therapy. Sadly, I didn’t jump right into the “natural” methods of dealing with the problems and went with the medications. I’ve tried: Topamax, Fiorinal, Amitriptyline, Propranolol (10mg), Lunesta, Ambien, Lorazepam, Xanax, and I’m sure there are more but those are the ones I can remember. Needless to say none of them really worked. Then I moved onto physical therapy which helped some, but it was/isnt really enough to take away the symptoms. Same with the sleep specialist. I was able to get off of Xanax (painfully, and the w/d symptoms are still brutal) thanks to her but I still have trouble sleeping.

I am now back to seeing my neurologist and trying some more/stronger medications. I am taking 20mg of Propranolol and I’ll be working on increasing it until I get up to a higher dose. At 20mg I’m not having any side effects so hopefully we can reach a point where it will actually start to eliminate some of these issues.

My question is about the vertigo stuff. If anybody has PCS like i do, have you found anything helpful for dealing with the vertigo? My doctor and neurologist both think it’s a bad idea for me to take valium, but I need to take something for it. I was going to try taking some meclizine to see if it will at least help lessen it some. Even if you don’t have PCS, feel free to comment on this with things that have worked for you.

Also, if anybody has taken propranolol and had success, what dosage did it take before you started feeling better? I realize I’m at a low dosage, but so far it’s not done anything to help.

Thanks,
Jingles

You know, it’s interesting you bring this up. I got a concussion from boxing in 1993. I was a dumb 20-year-old, and it was the first time I’d boxed–just at a party with gloves and no head protection. I got a headache and was dizzy for two days. Then it went away. But I the next two weeks were probably the most stressful of my life up to that point. The day after that stress ended I found myself extremely tired. The next evening, still extremely tired, I forced myself up from a nap to go out with some friends. I got dizzy on the car ride over and have felt like I’m rocking on a boat (like the ground moves up and down) 24/7 since. Other constant symptoms included low-level headache, tinnitus, and over the next couple months, sleeplessness, awareness of my heart beat (even when not feeling nervous), and anxiety. Dr. Baloh at UCLA, who diagnosed me in 2010, said that MAV is genetic but can be triggered by head trauma. I’ve always wondered which was the bigger factor, because at no time in my life prior to 1993 did I ever feel like the ground moved.

-Brian

I guess we get nearly as many post concussion VMers on here as we do ‘ladies of a certain age’ so I thought this story would resonate with many.