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Could use some advice: post-concussion symptoms or TMS?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by maxpower, May 31, 2021.

  1. maxpower

    maxpower New Member

    I'll be as brief as I can. I've had TMS for 15 years: pelvic pain, stomach pain, nerve burning, back pain, chest pain, you name it. But...in 2008, I had a very real brain aneurysm, and was saved via surgery.

    I was fine both cognitively and emotionally immediately after the surgery, but emotionally I was a mess. Starting about six months after the surgery, my primary symptom came on: a constant "brain fog" where I felt a little drunk every day. It got worse when I was under stress or talking to large groups, and we eventually realized it was PTSD. One day, I was prescribed Ativan, took one pill, and it disappeared for hours. Eventually, it went away for good, but it purely an anxiety symptom.

    Two weeks ago, I crashed hard on my mountain bike and suffered a grade 2 concussion. Prior to the crash, I'd been dealing with weeks of terrible stomach paid TMS, and that pain disappeared the MOMENT I crashed. A trip to the ER revealed no cognitive deficit, but they suspected a grade 2 concussion.

    A few days later, with NO other concussion symptoms, the brain fog comes back. And it's been here every moment for the past two weeks. But EVERY OTHER TMS SYMPTOM I deal with -- tight chest, pelvic pain, gastro pain-- has disappeared. But every day I feel like I'm drunk, and looking at life through a slightly dirty window. My brain is fine and I can do my work, but it doesn't feel EASY. Everything is a struggle.

    If I were a normal person, I'd just say "it's a post-concussion symptom" and will go away with time. But I'm not and I accept that. I have TMS, and this could be TMS. And it matters: if I think it's a concussion and it's really TMS, I may rest for a bunch more weeks, miss out on a lot of life, get more depressed and anxious, and think this is how I will be for the rest of my life. But if I think it's TMS and it's really my brain, if I return to physical activity I could crash again and hurt myself badly.

    I just have a hard time believing if it was a concussion symptom that 1) I wouldn't have at least one OTHER concussion symptom, like memory loss or headaches or nausea, and 2) that all of my TMS symptoms would have disappeared the moment I hit my head if this symptom wasn't also TMS.

    I'd love any feedback or words of wisdom you might have.
  2. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    Hey Macpower,

    You sure been going through a lot.

    What I can recommend is what helped me after concussion:

    1. Acupuncture
    2. This video by Dr. Eric Berg on how acupressure can help relieve symptoms of concussion. It really helped me

    Take care,
  3. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think you have put yourself in a rather restrictive box here with these two options and the predicted consequences. They are both extremes, while there are many more possible ways to act, think, and believe. For example, it is possible to limit your physical activity for awhile while you figure out whether your symptoms are TMS or not, that does not automatically lead to missing out on life and getting more depressed and anxious.

    Do you have a trusted MD that can help guide you on this? Or perhaps talking to a TMS therapist/coach would help you sort things out. If you've been diagnosed with PTSD in the past, it is very easy to trigger PTSD again when a stressful event occurs. That may be what has happened and why you feel all possible outcomes are negative. Maybe consulting a therapist who works on PTSD could be helpful.

    You've been successful in the past with overcoming health challenges, and there is good reason to believe you will be successful again. Hang in there, but consider getting help to make the road to recovery a little easier.
    TG957 and yb44 like this.
  4. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    I just want to add something about brain fog. This is a symptom I have had many times over my life, and it is easy to attribute it to whatever else is going on. Recently, I've had it off and on and sometimes attribute it to my aging brain. However, I know it is TMS. I see it as my brain trying to limit sensory input to keep me from feeling overwhelmed. It's a protective mechanism like other TMS symptoms.
  5. maxpower

    maxpower New Member

    Update: a month later, and I still have terrible brain fog. But no other post-concussion symptoms. And during that month, ALL other TMS symptoms that are always a part of my life -- stomach pain, chest pain, pelvic pain -- have disappeared. I've got to believe that means the brain fog is TMS as well.
  6. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    It could very well be. Did you try the scalp acupressure recommended by Dr. Berg?

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