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Had hit on head. Feeling unconscious and loss of memory. CT scan and xray done. Looking for suggestion

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Emergency Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 2000
Answered : 1962 Questions
In XXXXXXX I hit my head hard on the overhead bin of an airplane. I was stunned but after a while I got better. I wouldn't let the ems take me to the hospital. There didn't seem to be any side effects later.

August 1st I was in a car accident. We were struck from behind while stopped at a light. I was wearing a seat belt but hit the head rest hard then because of the angle my head struck the drivers side window. I was unconscious for a short time and seem to have lost the memory of the accident. One minute I was sitting at the intersection and the next the car had been moved to a parking lot away from the intersection and I was surrounded by firemen and EMS. I have a few memories of the ambulance and have totally lost the doctor talking to me giving me the results of the CT scan and xrays. I was released.

I did pretty good for a while then things started getting worse. My ability to concentrate and focas on anything is gone. My memory is greatly affected. I can be talking about something and forget what I was saying or doing before I finish. I'm an IT professional and would think of something I need to do at work. When I turn to do whatever it was I have no idea what I wanted to do. I'm making many mistakes on things that I know by heart. Silly mistakes. In the past couple of weeks I've been shaking and having involuntay muscle jerking. My hands shake so much I can hardly write anything even my name. It's as if I'm not in controle of my hands.

I've found if I take 1mg of Ativan after a short time it is better. Also If I sit quietly and don't have distractions it seems to settle down. I'm even having trouble walking especially maintaining balance when I turn. If standing and I close my eyes I immediately lose my balance and must grab something to hold on to.

Week before last on Monday I saw a neurologist. He did some simple test like having me walk and turn. Close my eyes and touch my nose and I couldn't do it. The they gave me three simple words and had me repeat them back. They told me to remember them they would ask again later. I answered a few questions then was asked to repeat the three words. I got the first and last and had no idea what the middle word was.

Thursday I had MRIs on my neck and head. Next week I'm having an EEG. After the doctor finished and ordered the tests I asked him what he thought. He said he thinks I've had two concussions and it takes a while to recover. It's been two months and things are worse than ever. My doctor and therapist keep telling me I'll recover but it may take a while.

Are the symptoms I've described, especially the shaking and serious memory problems, consistent with having two concussions in a short period of time? And why would taking a Ativan or calm the shaking relaxing quietly ease the shaking? Is that a clue as to the diagnosis?

If it shows that the concussions caused the problem is there any kind of treatment that could help? I've researched everything I can find and every place I look say to rest. I'm worried about my job. My work is not up to the standards I set for myself.

Thank you,

High Blood Pressure
Migraine Headaches
Severe Depression/Anxiety, Panic Attacks

Posted Wed, 24 Oct 2012 in Head Injuries
Answered by Dr. R.A. Singh 1 hour later

Thanks for providing a detailed account of your problems.

I read the details submitted with diligence and accordingly, I too feel your symptoms are related to concussion injuries.

Concussion injury is associated with any or all of the below symptoms:
1. Episode of unconsciousness
2. Loss of memory
3. Irritability or confusion
4. Difficulty in balancing the body
5. Persistent headache
6. Nausea or vomiting
7. Seizure

Though the symptoms recover in a few weeks, the recovery can be prolonged in some cases especially when there is a second injury shortly following the first (as in your case). It is definitely possible the second injury has caused flaring of symptoms resulting in prolonged recovery time.

The best method for quick healing is proper rest. By rest it means both physical and cognitive - you should not watch television / computer and no messaging, etc., - during this period. It is practically a little difficult in today's lifestyle, but some patience and co-operation from your side will make you feel better, recover early and will help you in returning to work early. So, please take proper rest for few more weeks.

Ativan (Lorazepam) which is a benzodiazepine has effects anxiolytic and muscle relaxant like effects. So it may seem that it is helping you in relaxing and reducing the body shakes. However adequate rest is the priority.

In brief, I do not find any reasons to say that you have a serious concern and that you won't recover soon. Give it some more time, you should soon be fine.

I hope this answers your query. If you have any concerns, I will be happy to help.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Had hit on head. Feeling unconscious and loss of memory. CT scan and xray done. Looking for suggestion 8 hours later
Thank you very much. That makes me feel better. Both of the doctors didn't want to say much until the tests were complete. But waiting for some sort of answer was making me anxious and worried.

I do have one follow up question though. My psychiatrist said that a concussion is like a bruise.

I've had an MRI for my head and another for my neck. My neck is also quite painful still. I'm to have the EEG on Thursday. I've never had either of those tests. Should they show something definitive about the injury? I thought the EEG may show something about the shaking but that is just my idea.

Thank you,
Answered by Dr. R.A. Singh 3 hours later
Dear XXXXXXX Hello
It is nice to know that you are feeling better.

Concussion is a minor traumatic head injury when the head hits an object or a moving object strikes the head. No structural brain damage occurs in concussion and the symptoms are temporary due to some biochemical changes in the neurons.
Most concussions cannot be detected by CT scan or MRI. However in some patients changes can be observed in MRI depending upon the level of impact during the injury and area of injury. Neuroimaging is usually normal in concussion injury.
EEG can be abnormal if seizures are present. Mild head injury may or maynot produce abnormal EEG readings.
Pain in your neck can be due to the muscle sprain of neck muscles caused by the injury. This can be relieved by taking pain killers and physiotherapy under medical supervision.
I hope this is of help to you. If you donot have any clarifications, you can close the discussion and rate the answer. I wish you good health. Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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