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Brain & Nervous System Disorders Message Board


Brain & Nervous System Disorders Board Index


My 14 year old daughter was injured in a strange accident in Jan. of this year. While sitting on a treatment table face down in a doctors office a car crashed into the building striking the table she was on which in turn threw her into the air and she hit the wall then the floor. Shortly after she began having pain in her hip and xrays showed a misalignment of the hips one side higher than the other which causes one leg to be longer. Also she developed vertigo, seeing spots and vision blacking out, numbness in extremeties on both sides on occasion. She recieved every test possible MRI of spine and neck, MRI of brain to check for brain damage due to concussion, and EEG to check for possibility of mini seizures, all tests came back normal. In the last several weeks she has had no numbness and the vertigo seems to be getting better as well. However, she still has the misalignment of the hips, one leg longer and her hip makes a clicking noise. Also, she has severe migraine headaches at times which cause her to vomit. And pain in her neck, back and hips most all the time. I have become frustated at doctor's lack of empathy and also acting as if this traumatic event has not had any signifcant change to her body. She is in pain often and takes Motrin all the time to deal with it. She is only 14 is all this pain normal after 3 months. And still no real diagnosis as to why. Anyone with similar problem or solutions, where we should go to get a diagnosis and or treatment would be appreciated. I live in Raleigh NC.
I am so sorry that this accident happened to your young daughter.

Do you have health insurance where she can have a PET scan which shows the brain much better, any problems done to the optic nerve, and intricate blood vessels? They probably ruled out subdural hematoma, etc.

It takes a long time for trauma to heal. Has she seen an orthopedic physician for her hip?

I am concerned that she is using Motrin for pain. That in itself can cause stomach/intestine problems for young individuals (internal bleeding).

Does she have cervical inflammation? That can generate the migraines. As long as she has cervical inflammation, she will have the migraines. Does she have a neurologist? If not, it is time for her to see one right away and to have continued monitoring until she is much, much improved. Hopefully, you'll find one that is very sensitive to your daughter's needs.

Have you had her eyes checked by an ophthalmologist? Keep watch on those especially if she has any blurred vision. What I've learned, I would have her eyes checked every six months for the next three years at least. Have her inform you of any visual problems such as "flashing spots", "blurred vision" that does not resolve after a migraine, and when reading--"trying to see around a spot" that does not resolve after a migraine, any floaters that appear (dark little spots in her eyes--especially if they form a web pattern---hopefully before this happens she'll have had the exam). Anytime you have a head injury, always inform your eye doctor. The medical community is aware that trauma can affect the eyes. Particularly when it is frontal or directly to the eye. However, they don't seem to correlate any back of head or neck trauma as the cause of eye problems that might occur a year or so later. There are incidences where patients have had trauma, whiplash, and end up later with eye problems.

I don't know if a neurologist will prescribe these medications for a 14 year old. You might read about these drugs but I've heard for spinal and joint pain that BEXTRA is a good reliever. It is very expensive though. A combination of Celebrex with Soma (muscle relaxer) will help with severe inflammation caused by a traumatic accident.
Zanaflex is a good muscle relaxer and can also help with migraines. Zomig can abort those painful migraines and allows the patient to continue functioning without drowsiness. A combination of Zomig and Amerge (non-drowsy too) is also good. The neurologist may prescribe taking a Zomig at the first onset of the migraine, followed 2 hours later by an Amerge tablet. Very effective. For nausea and vomiting, the first step is taking a phenergan (suppository: necessary to be able to take the oral medications for migraines and/or hip pain).

I think you need a sensitive medical team of a neurologist to treat her head/spine/migraines and pain, orthopedic physician to treat her hip, ophthalmologist to monitor her eyes, and physical therapist. There are doctors who are sensitive to their patient's needs and I hope she gets the care she deserves. This kind of trauma takes time to heal. She may be contused to the bone in some areas.
Hi hon! I think I can help you here! I have the same problem from falling from a horse and I'll tell you, untreated, it only gets worse! I went through chiropractic and a massage technique called structural integration...it hurts like crazy, but it was the first time I didn't hurt.

Now, for her symptoms, completely normal for what she's going through, this doc's just an idiot. It's called: pelvic unleveling; malpositioned pelvis; malrotated pelvis, etc. also, is her sacrum tender? The spot right above her butt crack (sorry, don't know the technical term) but it is tremedously painful. It's listed under: sacroiliac joint dysfunction; sacrum pain; sacrum ligament dysfunction; and a few others. She may also have pains on the pubic mound....I found out when I was pregnant that it's not one piece! Mine seprated! It causes pain that can shoot down the crotch area, the thighs, and even radiate into the tummy area, where about the ovaries are. It's listed under: pubic symphesis dysfunction; pubic sympheseal separation, etc.

Look all these up and you'll find all her problems are related to the problems in her hips. You'll also notice that people in car accidents that suffer any kind of pelvic trauma are more at risk than most for head trauma and lasting neurological defecits! It's awful and worse when no one will listen to you or help you. I know from experience. My brain injury went undiagnosed for ten years and I've subsequently developed narcolepsy as well.

Please take your daughter to a pediatric hospital that specializes in trauma cases. They'll likely be the most familiar with this.

I will look back over the sights I have bookmarked on my computer and e-mail the mods to see which ones I can give you. They have great advice and will give you a full description of what she's going through. I know this is scary, but hang in there. The vertigo is normal this long, but is indicative of a problem that could be long term or life long. But, once you get a diagnosis, you can go from there. You also have time on your side. Brain injuries and other neuro probs can make great strides in the first year and upto the second. After that, upto the ten year mark, there will be slight improvements, although not as large or noticeable as the first two years.

I still suffer from problems, but again, it's 11 years now, post-injury. Are you suing for the damage done to your daughter? If you are, don't accept a settlement unless it also covers any life long care that she could need, related to this. Also, request a neuropsychological evaluation. It will tell you where she has any deficits neurologically and they will document it and start a treatment program for her. This is extremely expensive, but well worth it.

What is the status of your situation right now? Are her bills being covered? If so and you're still getting nowhere with the docs, ask for a patient advocate, most hospitals have them but won't tell you because they cost them money and get you more services. They act as a go between with you and the doctors and make sure they are listening to you and getting your daughter what she needs.

Again, I'll check back often and post those sights ASAP. Good luck and take care of yourself and your daughter and we'll be talking soon.
I hate to be right, but yes her leg will stay that way unless you do some intense massage therapy with it. The problem with the bone is that when it's adjusted back into place, the muscle has also been damaged and is reconnected to the muscle in the current state, injured and misaligned. So, the muscle fights against the adjustment and sends it right back.

I had the same situation and started structural integration. It's similar to rolfing and it's painful. It's only painful while it's being done and leaves no residual pain. After about the fourth session, I could walk with hardly no pain. It was the first time in over 7 years. Then, I got pregnant with my second and everything else went right back out. It also didn't help that I slipped on the ice and knocked it right back out after paying $50 for an adjustment an hour before!

I also have problems in my neck on the same side that my hip hurts the worst. I took the injury on the right, but the left side is where I hurt the worst. But I had a totally different situation than your daughter. I was also a teen when it happened and being in a non-supportive home only made matters worse. She's lucky that she has a mom who cares so much.

Do you have a chance to go to a children's hospital? Can you take the x-rays from the chiro to the neuro so he can see the difference in the x-rays from the ER to the chiro...and maybe he'll understand that laying down isn't always the best way to x-ray someone with pelvic injuries. They should try doing one each way....but that's just me.

Have you looked up any of the neuro probs associated with pelvic injuries? Look up, neurological seguelae of pelvic injuries, pelvic injury sequelae....basically, stick sequelae in most searches because what it will do is list any of the other problems that are commonly and not-so-commonly associated with a certain condition.

Does your chiro have a massage therapist in his office or could he refer you to one? If she does see one, be in the room with her, no exceptions! I was sexually assaulted by one and although it's not likely to happen to her, better safe than sorry, like I was. Also, check the credentials and see if they'll give you references for any pediatric accident cases they've worked on. If you trust your chiro, I'd go with his recommendation. You can also look up any problems they may have had with the division of occupational and professional licensing. It will tell of any negative reports, status of their license, etc. The guy who assaulted me had his license permanently revoked w/ no chance of getting it back. So, if you see some red flags, run.

I hope this helps. You can also try hydro therapy with her. It is a lot easier on injured bodies....I know it's much easier for me and I have a better range of motion. You may be able to get the insurance to pay for all of this. You have a really good chance at a law suit. I don't like to encourage this because we all know how many people make a mountain out of a mole hill just for money, but she will need it.

She may have lifelong problems from this and need some sort of medical management for the long haul and that gets expensive. If you settle for a lump sum, make sure it also includes a provision for any expenses incurred through out her life or a determined amount of time on top of the intitial settlement.

I don't remember if I asked or you said, but do you have a lawyer? What is the status of her medical bills? Who is covering them right now? If you are, ask for a hard-ship form from the hospital....they don't offer these, you have to ask. This will allow you to recieve the benefit of a reduction in expenses or possibly a complete right off of the debt, depending on your situation. Also, check into the places you are going to see if they're considered non-profit. Many of them have to right off a certain amount of debt to keep this status.

Is she having some other consequences from all of this? Is she having emotional problems or fears from the trauma?

Well, good luck to you. I'm starting to ramble and have no idea if I made any sense. I'll have to look over it later and edit.....ah, the joys of brain damage! LOL
No applause needed, but a cure would be nice, or I will even settle for the money to afford my prescriptions!! LOL The only reason any of it makes any sense is because my docs dropped me on my arse and left me to figure it out on my own and I had to whittle it down until I understood it. It took waaaay too long to figure out but it was well worth it.

I just get irritated that many of the medical community doesn't take us seriously or take the time to sit down and explain it to us, when it's our bodies that aren't going to ever be the same. It's a joke and a half. If I could afford schooling I would love to open up a center for chronic pain/illnesses, invisible/visible disabilities, group counseling for everyone involved and eventually get docs and other staff on hand and not turn anyone away for ability to pay.

I get a little down when I think of everything I've lost because of the medical bills rolling in and their lack of compassion for the situation at hand. I've had my bank accounts frozen and two house payments worth of money taken, started the whole ball rolling and it's never stopped. That's why I want her to know that there are many times consequences that no one can guess at and it needs to be covered when possible because it's not fair to sink an entire family and risk breaking it up because of the stress of the money situation and ongoing expenses that keep the fires burning. It never seems to let up.

And worrying about how you're going to pay for things or what you have to sell to pay for your meds that month or the doc appt. isn't really conducive to getting well. There focus needs to be on completely healing and returning to life before they get slammed with the bills. Not hardly fair when it's beyond your control. For the money I've spent, I could have had plastic surgery and looked like a 5'0" (add a 1/2" when my leg's out..LOL) barbie doll....instead, I got fat, going bald, acne to boot, and God only knows what else is cooking in this cracked little egg. But, my sense of humor remained in tact.....that's the biggest thing that saved me from myself.

So, mom, if you haven't seen a lawyer and your hands haven't already been tied, go for it because you're going to need it. And, get copies of all her records as you go. Be careful as to how you approach this though, because if they think you're checking up on them, things are likely to disappear. Tell them it's either for your own records because the insurance is refusing some things, need your own set of records so that they're on hand when you have to see a new specialist, etc....also, have a standing order in her charts that you want the last visits charts on the next one or w/ in a few weeks time, when the doc has finished the dictation. This will help you more than you'll know. When you're in the middle of it, you forget many things and aren't sure about your diagnoses, concerns, tests run, etc. Also, make sure to get copies of the labs and if possible, the x-rays.

I'm in Utah and here we are allowed to have our x-rays, they are our property, but they like to have them on hand as comparison should you ever need them...I don't know how feesible it is, but maybe have them shoot double films if they're needed badly. Also, if you have a lawyer, they can be (can't for the life of me figure out the stupid word I'm looking for, so you're getting the long explanation) forced to give them to your attorney or whom ever else needs to see them.

If you have questions, feel free to ask, I'll help where I can, but if I drop off the face of the earth for a bit, it means the brain problems all decided to cycle at once and I'm stuck on stupid.....back to shaking the toaster upside down to get the stupid crumbs out (never mind the fact that I've known for 5yrs that the sucker has a trap door on the bottom)....'tis my little cracked life and I must be getting more cracked by the minute because it's not that bad any more and getting to be a bit entertaining!
Sherry, I'm sorry about what's going on. I guess this is the upside of my problems, I've already been where you are right now and can help you through it a bit more than most who haven't been there. As far as the docs being put off by your knowledge, a huge, resounding, YES!! They either assume you're trying to outwit them or are researching things to make them up for whatever reason.

I want you to get a journal and document everything you're telling us. Also, you can double document it here on the board in case you need references to date and time. They can't dispute the times and dates on here because you have no relation to the moderators or anyone who could fib it.

I found an awesome head injury site and I'll see if I can post the web site. It gave me the most detailed information that I've ever seen! It had charts on aggression, emotional lability and several other self-check items. It helps you corralate what is irking you and triggering the over reaction and learn ways around them. The good news is that many of these things happen while we're adjusting to the injury and once the brain is healed, we'll be fine....the problem is for people like me who didn't get any help for over ten years is that the behaviors that developed to help you cope, stay in tact after they are no longer needed....many times because you have no idea that you are doing certain things.

As far as her weaknesses be overamplified....welcome to brain injury. They said that many traits that one possesses may be amplified substantially after an injury. Sometimes these are permanent. But you can both learn ways to cope and heal through them. I applaud you for taking time outs rather than blowing up on her.

One thing I can tell you is that if she has an above average intelligence level, she's going to have a harder time with this. I have or had an IQ over 130....apparently it's good, not sure of the number though...doesn't much matter....but they said that over a certain level, you have troubles adjusting because you know you're different from where you were. For example, I used to be able to read page after page of small text, no pics, and comprehend all of it. Now, if it's over a certain length, forget it.

I have to start over several times and it takes me so much longer to do things now. I also have a hard time with organization skills.....the biggest problem is I don't have ANY!! LOL There are some things you can do that will help her though...keep a fairly strict schedule, wherever possible....keep things in the same place and for those things that are smaller, organize them in a basket or something and show her where it all is and label them.

We don't like to admit that we can't remember that the toilet paper is under the sink. So, label it somewhere that she'll know to look or provide a list and location of items for her. This seems silly, but I can't tell you how many times I broke into tears over not being able to find something that I new had been in a certain place for years. It's so frustrating, embarassing, disheartening, etc. You name it....it's hard.

I have times when I can't even figure out how the stinking shower turns on! I will stand there naked trying to figure it out and I can picture this filing cabinet in the back of my head and I'm yanking on the drawer that says, "Shower Instructions" yet can't get it open....so after a few minutes, I realise that it's fruitless and go back to it when it kicks in.

Also, have little notepads or sticky pads around the house for her to write things down when they come into her head. That is by far one of my most frustrating problems! I think of something and then with in a few seconds, it's gone...and worst of all, you remember enough to know that you forgot something! So, now, I have a drawer that contains all my notes and I go through when I have the brain power to organize them and put them on the computer and then after that, I have to go through the now ledgible notes and re-type them into subjects.

I also get overloaded when there's too much sound or stress going on and it's likely to trigger me! I will either start screaming or bawling because I can't handle it and all the words are swirling around in my noggin and I can't understand what is being said. Loud noises also make me want to shut down. I have narcolepsy on top of it all and one of my cataplexy triggers is fear....and w/ the combo of brain injury and narcolepsy, I startle easily and it makes my legs give way.

I had to shut off the stupid volume to my speakers on the computer because that stupid MSN lady talks to me when I open my e-mail. I know she's coming, but every time, she scares me and I've fallen out of the chair more than once! Then, hubby got a small surround sound system for x-mas and compounded it...now I get scared in surround! Stinks! LOL
sorry...this is just an extension of the first....too long winded in it and had to edit.

List of some of the symptoms I still struggle with: But before I forget
If she is willing, please have her log in and talk to me. I will help where I can and help her to understand why things are going on in her head. The biggest thing being is we may be slowed down, but we are still very intelligent, even though we don't feel like it or show it at times.
~sensory integration dysfunction: it hurts when my husband pokes me..it's not hard, but feels like he's poking me on a fresh bruise..the whole sound thing...I also can't tell where the sounds are coming from most of the time..my eyes have a hard time focusing, even with my glasses on...and a few more that I can't remember.
~symptoms that are identical w/ ADD...lack of attention, no follow through, impulsiveness, hard time w/ motivation and comprehension, etc.
~migraines to boot..what worked for me was the tricyclic anti-depressant called doxepin..it's the generic of something...but it's cheap! It stopped the suckers dead in their tracks and also helped me with some of the other aches and pains. I am now on 50mg, second to the lowest dose and probably less dangerous than the one you mentioned.
~hard time winding down after I'm worked up...also, easily physically and mentally fatigued.
~feeling of being left out because people start to avoid you, rather than walk on eggshells...I've come a loooooooooooong way with this one on my own..would have been easier with the rehab and less painful emotionally.
~what's called a swiss cheese memory...the hole is never in the same place! LOL Cuases tons of problems...people think I'm lying a lot because I never tell the same story, the same way, twice, but if they'd listen, they'd know it's just a different piece of the same story...we just don't always remember what parts we told before and sometimes it has to do w/ our surroundings jogging a certain part of the memory. Also causes problems with the doc believing you!
~I used to be a top speller, now I have to guess over some spellings that would never have been a problem before....but now cause great stress because I can't figure them out.
~anger that doesn't seem to be tied to anything..when I get this way, I found that doing something repetative helps me calm down. I amke beaded/silver jewelry and I do this when I'm upset...if the carc. kicks in at the same time it makes for some interesting art work! I'm convinced that all those abstract artists that paint eyeballs in left field, off the face have the same problem I do and in their head, it wasn't abstract!
~help her isolate triggers and also develope some coping strategies ahead of time to stop melt-downs. You guys need to figure out what helps her calm down...be it musci, drawing, writing in a journal, shooting a few hoops, solitaire on the computer, etc. and then allow her to do this regardless of the situation, when you know she's headed for a melt-down.
...I'll be the first to admit that sometimes we use this to our advantage but it's usually because those around us choose to ignore what we're going through and it's our only way around things. I got to a point that when I'd have a narc. attack that I'd pick a fight with my husband so that he would want me to go to our room to mellow and then I'd take a nap...it was easier than saying I'm tired and having him look at me like he was irritated or disappointed.
~watch her for subtle signs that she's stressing or figure out some signal that she can give you if you're around others and she doesn't feel comfortable...then you can make an excuse for an exit or time out...maybe, if possible, send her to get something from the car or something that doesn't seem to point at her directly.

What type of support system do you have? Please, explain it to close family and friends and ask that they be senstive to her changing needs and MAKING FUN OF SOME OF THE STUPID THINGS WE DO IS OFF LIMITS!! Maybe it was funny before this happened, but now, that's traumatic and embarassing and lowers our already declining self-esteem. When she feels understood, we're less likely to lash out at the little things that are no big deal. We already feel dumb and don't need any help proving it. And keep in mind, we're also dealing with the loss of self, because we lose parts of us and things that we used to know and do well.
*********Also, sometimes when you find her procrastinating or getting angry when asked something, it may be because she's afraid to admit that she doesn't get what is being said and knows that she should know it. So, the only defense is anger because many people will just look at you like you're retarded or lying if you say you don't understand it.

~when talking to the doctors about what you have learned, try a few different approaches...depending on the ego behind the doc..."I have been researching everything I could get my hands on because I know how varied these situations can be and this information is what I have found to be the most closely related to our particular situation. I don't understand all of it but got enough of it to think it worth discussing. What can you tell me about this?"

That approach still leaves their dignity in tact and makes them less defensive, usually. Then, if you have no choice and are stuck with a twit, you will have to get pig headed and ask them to document in the charts why they wouldn't acknowledge or discuss your concerns with you...when this happens, they're more likely to take you seriously. But be aware that they're not likely to be real friendly with you after being called on the mat...but if that's what has to happen, it has to happen.

...also, quick thing popped into my head, off this current thought...can you pay out of pocket and have her x-rayed in the same position they did them and that way to you have a copy...granted they may not be identicle, but fairly close I'd wager...-k- back to the subject...

If you find you need more time with the doctor than the HMO 6min hour, ask what time would be best for you to come in (w/ or w/o your daughter) and spend about a half an hour or so with him/her. Also, let them know that you know their time is valuable but you feel it would best serve everyone to take one chunk of time, rather than a bunch of little chunks because you can address all your issues that you've been unable to cover...because when you have a regular appt. you aren't given the time to address anything outside of the exact reason that you're there.

I know, I'm incredibly long winded, but when my brain is working it refuses to stop! I'll get the website to the mods for permission and also get my hands on a free e-book that you can print from a neuro....I think he may be near you...maybe not..where did you say you were from? I think he might be in Illinois, but he had awesome information in real people terms...as well as the symptoms and coping strategies.

Do you think your daughter would benefit from talking to me or someone else here? If you want to keep your "chats" quiet, for fear of hurting her feelings, have her post it on the teen health board and on't tell her about this one. You also need to respect her want for privacy, too...because she may have some fears that she is embarassed to share with someone she knows in real life, not a faceless stranger. If she does want to talk, or to me specifically, tell me on this thread and have her post it to Angel77 and I'll look for it.

I hope this finds you both as well as possible and will pop back in after I track down the heap of papers that have all the info...oh, yeah, also printing out some charts for her, that lay everything out, word for word, will help her. She will probably initially be angry or hurt....I have gotten to the point that I have to take a magic marker to the cake boxes to mark off the ingredients that I've put in and have to make sure I don't do it until after I've put them the mix....or I'll think I put them in and won't be able to figure out what's up with the cake...

...nuther detour...literal thinking! I bought a kitchen timer that says, "flips open" I thought, "Cool!" I wound the little thing up and closed it and watched it as the alarm went off and was disappointed that it didn't flip open when the alarm went off...then it hit me, meant it flips open for use! Or, another example is when I set my cell phone for a timer for pizza. My husband asked if the pizzas were burning and I said, "No, they can't be burning, the timer hasn't gone off yet!" Problem was the timer was set for an hour and ten minutes, not just ten minutes...but in my brain, it couldn't burn until my phone said so!

...Anyway....forgot where I was, time to wrap it up and give your poor eyes a break....back in a bit when I get clearance on the one site! Toodles.
Hi SherryLou....long time, no 'see'. I'm glad to see that something is working. I have some great info for you and would love to share it. I have been doing a lot of work on my own to figure out a way around this danged brain injury junk and it's not easy. But, we can do just about anything once we figure out a way around it.

I, for one, have to print off everything, highlight the words and then write down the reason why I high-lighted it so I don't forget. It stinks! But, I'm learning to adjust.

I'm beyond tired right now, so I'm not going to be able to write it all down, but will be back to chat with ya. I don't know if your daughter has wanted to chat, I've not been on the computer in over a month....just too tired. Please do me a favor and post any questions that you have or any issues that are still in the forefront that have yet to resolve and I'll do my best to help ya out.

God bless and take care of yourselves. Micaela.....Angel





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