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Possible Acquired Brain Injury unrelated to HPPD... Advice/input?


Puppeteer
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Hey guys.

 

I've just gotten into a kind of panic after considering an incident I had earlier this year. I suffered from acute hyponatraemia at a festival I went to in January: it was incredibly hot, so I was drinking a lot of water. When I got quite a bad headache, of course I've been told all my life that water's the best solution, so I kept on drinking :S. After jumping around for a bit at a concert, I left and had a tonic-clonic seizure, accompanied by falling over and hitting my head. The next 12 or so hours are missing from memory save what I've been told and blurry pieces here and there. A couple found me and took me to the paramedics, I can recall having very slurred speech and laboured comprehension interacting with them. They didn't really stick around to describe what had happened very thoroughly which is unfortunate. Apparently I was very dazed and out of it. I woke up in the ER, while peeing for a drug test managed to drop the bottle of piss all over the floor before falling asleep again, so I guess that's an indicator of how gone I was at the time. I'm really not sure just how adequate the initial treatment was because they'd assumed it was all because I'd taken drugs (I hadn't) and were trying to "flush anything out" before treating whatever else. They tested my vision and I had a blindspot in the left field where I couldn't see the torch they were holding. This lead to me being kept in the hospital over the weekend (not a fun time). When I got out, people were telling me for a couple of weeks that I still didn't seem completely with it.

 

What's followed has been a year of hell, of course, but I don't know what role that episode has played.

 

Of course, at the time I was already experiencing pretty unpleasant HPPD. I really can't remember too well how different life was before and after the incident, save that it was really shitty all around.

 

I had an MRI and EEG at the time which weren't remarkable save for a slight white spot in the upper-right (really not sure exactly where and don't have the scans on me at the moment) "consistent with having bumped my head" which I was assured was mild and would recover quickly. I'm aware though that a lot of brain damage just can't be picked up by typical scans and now I'm fretting that I'm not only looking at HPPD but also an undetectable ABI.

 

I'm just wondering if anyone knows what I'd best do in this scenario? I've read that there are more sensitive scans that can detect the "shearing of brain cells" from traumatic brain injuries that would normally go undetected but still cause a notable blow to cognition. I read something about a qEEG possible also being of value. I'm not sure if there's anywhere I might be able to receive any such specialised scans in Australia, or indeed whether I might have already undergone the best analysis I have access to. The scans I've received were at the Australian Brain and Mind Research Insitute which has a sizeable neurology sector but I'm not sure of just what scans they might've run given my main claim at the time was drug-related impaired cognition... They did know about the hyponatraemiac seizure episode, of course, so perhaps they ran tests with that in mind...

 

I don't know whether it's appropriate to email the research professor I've been seeing about this, I don't really want to bother him with a spur-of-the-moment hypochondriac rambling... He's clearly a very busy, highly qualified guy who's gracious enough to consult patients when he can.

 

Fuck. Being in a situation like this really does foster rampant hypochondria. Fuck all this ambiguity about what's caused what... I'm just quite panicked right now. Eugh

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While the seizure was triggered by low sodium, the weakness was probably already there and related to the HPPD (a pre-seizure state).  People don't normally seizure from too much water though there are reports of heart attack from such an electrolyte imbalance.

 

MRIs and other scans are just too course right now.  Taking neurocognitive evaluations are the most effective 'diagnosis' thing.  However, it is possible that you have suffered no real change beyond those few weeks.  Without previous testing you won't know.

 

So, you could ask about such tests.  It would help establish where you are now with it all.

 

Beyond that, keep a little salt handy (probably good anyway in the hot Australian sun) and otherwise try to chill.  Anxiety is a big stressor for the brain.  Also, it is important to get plenty of rest ... even brief naps when you feel tired.  These are TBI/ABI basics.

 

Did your HPPD get worse after this experience?

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