#1 – 10 Signs of a Brain Injury

For most people, a traumatic or acquired brain injury starts in the car.

Two million Americans will get a brain injury this year.

trainwreck

If there is lots of blood or broken bones on the car accident scene, or if someone is in a coma, a severe traumatic brain injury can be diagnosed on site.

At first glance, however, you need to know that a mild traumatic brain injury isn’t so obvious, like a giant train just fell out a window.

No, not at all. But the brain damage can be immense.

Here’s a looking-glass view of the brain and how it’s encased in the skull with the spinal cord. So you see?

Everything can seem perfectly normal.

Perfectly normal.

But after days and weeks go by, the internal damage reveals itself. It has to do so, and others need to be on watch for subtle signs. A mild brain injury doesn’t ‘jump out at you.’ It is frequently a diagnosis made after a long time has passed by, qualifying it as an ‘invisible disability‘ that is virtually unseen.

For example, I slept on the sofa the night of our car accident (i.e., my daughter and I were hit by a distracted driver, at high speed). No one noticed how strange that was for me, as my bridesmaid happened to stop by for a visit and no one woke me up to eat. I slept much of the time, for days and days, and only was tipped to this not being normal when my friend said,

Margaret, call us day or night if you need anything. This is not normal for you.

The brain can swirl. This can cause lots of damage. You don’t even have to hit your head on the windshield or steering wheel. The airbag does not ‘need’ to have been deployed.

  1. 10 Common Signs of a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury:

    1. Fatigue, LOTS of sleep (I’d like to emphasize this)

  2. Nausea and vomiting
  3. Headache
  4. Eyes sensitive to light, ears ringing
  5. No hunger, no thirst
  6. Forgetfulness, confusion
  7. Pupil dilation
  8. Nervous or distressed personality
  9. Loss of coordination, balance or accident-prone to fall
  10. Unable to do Activities of Daily Living. Watch if a parent is unable to care for children well. This is a key sign.

If you or someone you know was in a high-speed accident and came out “unscathed,” wait and watch for signs of mild traumatic brain injury. Stay vigilant.

Be vigilant to watch for changes in your friend, your mother or your spouse who just “changes” after a car accident. It may be a puzzle that you could actually put together. On your own. Go ahead and be a rebel for the one you love. Get answers if you think something is wrong. Get a diagnosis. And if you have to do so, fight for your diagnosis.

Fight for your diagnosis.

~ Dr. Margaret Aranda

Thoughts: I suffered a traumatic brain injury in a high-speed car accident, when my head never hit anything and I walked away thinking everything was normal. I have been disabled and bed-ridden for over 10 years, so I’m speaking from personal experience and a hefty medical background. I graduated Keck USC School of Medicine and then Stanford’s anesthesiology residency and critical care Fellowship. My first research manuscript authored was, ironically, a Rapid Communication in the prestigious journal, Neurosurgery. So that makes me a brain expert.

No one was there to tell me all the things I just told you; I figured out my own brain injury on my own. Please stop and think about this:

If you know someone who was in a car accident and auto(a) bodies were severely damaged, then something in a human body was probably damaged, too.

car-accident-1995852

If it’s just a fender-“bender,” then maybe no body parts “bent,” either. Get it?
But if the car “body” is severely damaged, then a human “body” is probably damaged, too …
and that ‘damage’ may be internal, on the inside. Keep watch.

Two cars were totaled in my car accident. All the officers, police, firemen, and ambulance drivers let me drive my own truck home. It’s incredible that they let me drive with my baby in the car (see her), but that’s what happened.

# # #

THE END

# # #

Thank you for reading my writings.

There is more on this subject in my new book, The Rebel Patient, Coming Soon!

Join “The MD, PhD Is In” mdphdisin-on-twitter

The Collection: Brain Injury

#1 – Ten Signs of a Brain Injury

#2 – Five Tests to Diagnose a Brain Injury

#3 – Sweet Urine and DI

#4 – Four Ways to Treat DI

# # #

Additional Articles by Dr. Margaret Aranda

Organic Orange Blueberry Scones

Organic Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

Organic Paleo Muffins

Organic Carrot Cake

Diabetes & Obesity

How are you Aging?

10 Complications of Diabetes

10 Health Benefits of the Low-Glycemic Diet

Chronic Metabolic Syndrome is Killing US

What does ‘Iatrogenic’ Mean?

What is a Diagnosis?

7 Ways that Chronic Pain Changes the Brain

What Matters to You: Patient Advocacy

From Dr. Forrest Tennant: Hyperalgesia: No Reason to Stop or Reduce Opioids

~ ~ ~

Read Dr Margaret Aranda’s Memoirs:

Age 1: A Baby in the Sky for Father’s Day

Age 2: The Making of a Woman Intensivist

Age 3: In the Blink of a Car

Age 4: Respond, Don’t React

Age 5: A Baby on the Edge

Age 6: Glistening in the Moonlight

Age 7: The Pigeon Boy, The Suction Bush and The Darkness

Age 8: Selling Cupcakes

Age 9: Sitting on the Edge of a Cave

Age 10: Mr Bubble Strikes Again

~ ~ ~

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12 thoughts on “#1 – 10 Signs of a Brain Injury

Add yours

    1. Oh, you are so beautiful to lend so much encouragement! It is rather funny that when I was still a resident in training, my first paper was published in the journal, Neurosurgery, as a Rapid Communication.

      Decades later, I stared at the walls of a Neurorehabilitation center. I could not walk or talk. But I made it, with God’s grace and a purpose for living.

      As you wrote this four hours ago tonight, I penned the last stroke on my newest book, The Rebel Patient. I am reassured that my personal insight, gleaned from ‘the other side of the drapes,’ continues to inspire you and others like us, too ;).

      Your Comment is so kind; you ignite hope. And I’ll head on over to your website now, “hopetbi.com” ~ can’t wait! Be blessed!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Struggling financially like so many of us thrust into this abyss of rehabilitation, chronic pain and new normals.

        Battling myself about radically accepting what is and releasing what was to accept openly what will be.

        Reaching into the depths of myself to find the compass that guides me into the direction I am supposed to go and coming up empty handed.

        Focusing on bringing awareness and education as I have time and am able. I believe this is my calling for now….

        Like

  1. Struggling financially like so many of us thrust into this abyss of rehabilitation, chronic pain and new normals.

    Battling myself about radically accepting what is and releasing what was to accept openly what will be.

    Reaching into the depths of myself to find the compass that guides me into the direction I am supposed to go and coming up empty handed.

    Focusing on bringing awareness and education as I have time and am able. I believe this is my calling for now….

    Like

    1. Financial concerns definitely affect many of us. Staying in school is one of the best things we can do. I’m in a class on age management medicine all this week, and looking forward to soaking it all in. How’about you?

      Like

  2. I may have, I was involved in a partial head on collision that took the life of my wife of 23 years, I’d already been suffering with a failed low spine fusion with hardware implanted, So, I don’t know, I just know I haven’t been the same since and I’ve had to fight for myself and at the same time for my 2 children who are adult age now.

    Liked by 1 person

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