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Public involvement is needed to save lives after head injury.
Chances are that a teen was involved in a car accident, resulting in a head injury. Even as a teen in school, you may be the first to notice changes in your BFF. Your Best Friend Forever will thank you for saving her life.
After a head injury, the pituitary gland can malfunction due to physical damage that disrupts nerve cells, neurons. While the brain cells have something called neuroplasticity to re-learn how to act together in a bundle, someone can die of kidney failure before the neurons heal. This is because the body simple urinates itself into kidney failure and death.
So watch for BIG THIRST = BIG PEE in someone after a head injury, as you could literally save his or her life.
You could even ask the doctor, “Do you think she could have DI?”
The treatment of diabetes insipidus, or DI, after a head injury is very serious. One can have complications for any and all kinds of reasons, having to do with the drug treatment. There is no way of getting around this problem, so be aware of the serious nature of the prescription drugs, no matter which one you take.
Be sure to talk to your pharmacist before taking the drug, and call your doctor, nurse, and/or pharmacist for assistance in getting your drug regimen ‘right’ for you.
Don’t run out of this medication! It may have to be specially-ordered from your pharmacist, so ask for the refill before you need it. Do not let your bottle get empty unless you have a back-up. Since it needs to be refrigerated, pack it in a cool pack for travel.
Four Ways to Treat DI:
AKA The 4 Forms of Vasopressin, or DDAVP, or Desmopressin:
- Nasal spray. This is great if you can’t swallow pills or need an easy route of administration.
But I found this to be difficult to dose, as each spray needs to be exact. You have to hold the bottle just right and squeeze the same squirt out every time.
2. Pills. These are easy to take, as they are quite small. The dose is the exact same amount, and it can last overnight. I found these best to take before bedtime so I didn’t have to wake up to pee.
3. Injection. Like the insulin of diabetes mellitus, the injectable DDAVP can be self-treated. Make a bubble under the skin, like a mosquito or bee sting (I found that many doctors and nurses wanted to incorrectly inject it into the muscle). Remember that the skin has poor absorption, in general, so that if your skin is cold, the drug won’d absorb well. You may get the right, exact dose into the right skin area, but your metabolism of the skin may cause it to have different effects on your body.
4. Film. A film on or under the tongue can melt in your mouth. It was not available at the time of my DI, so I do not have any personal experience with it. Please let us know if you use it, and how you like it.
The good news is that for most people, the pituitary gland heals on its own, in time.
Both of my episodes spontaneously resolved, and I am free of this disease.
Persevere through this challenging time, as you will be okay!
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Thank you for reading my writings.
There is more on this subject in my new book, The Rebel Patient, Coming Soon!
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The Collection: Brain Injury
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The Rebel Patient book by Dr. Margaret Aranda
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