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ergodesign (@ergodesign)

WHOLE BACK AND HEAD INJURY AFTER A TERRIBLE FALL

Spine Health | Last Active: Jun 27, 2020 | Replies (39)

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@colleenyoung

Hi @ergodesign, and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. You really have quite a story. Falling off a ladder on a hard surface leading to possible spinal cord injury and most certainly traumatic brain injury. I'd like to bring fellow members @darlingtondoll @dawnpereda @kw1904861 @carnes @treyaj @jenniferhunter and @staffordpark into this discussion so that they can share their experiences and thoughts about your injuries and what to do.

While you wait for others to join in, you may be interested in this video Q&A. It talks about brain injury and spinal cord injury and their differences in a younger population, but may still be relevant as you seek answers.
– Video Q&A about Enhancing Upper Limb Function in Brain and Spinal Cord Injured Patients https://connect.mayoclinic.org/webinar/video-qa-about-enhancing-upper-limb-function-in-brain-and-spinal-cord-injured-patients/

Ergodesign, can you clarify the timeline for me? You had the fall off the ladder in August 2019 and were able to travel in October 2019. That must've been a very difficult journey. Now, because of compounding symptoms due to the fall and lack of follow-up care (as well as COVID), you are unable to return to the US and things are getting worse. Did I sum that up correctly?

Have you received a diagnosis in the meantime? What rehabilitation or treatments have you done?

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Replies to "Hi @ergodesign, and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. You really have quite a story. Falling off..."

Thank you Colleen: I fell when visiting my friend in France first, but in France, in the ER, well, just say it is not perfect, so I forced myself to walk and despite my pain, I took a taxi and went back to my friend's. I was OK really despite my terrible pain, but I could walk. A family doctor I went to see, even said: You walk, then you are OK. As incredible as it seems, my walking and the other problems occurred a few months later when I was in England.
In France, I had two MRI's: one for the head, one for the spine. Well to be short, for the back they found a fracture compression on vertebrae L2, and nothing else.
But for the head, despite my giving them my clips reference, they must have put the MRI strength too high, because I had pain while I was on the table. Then I had dizziness and nausea. This is why I believe it is so difficult to know if it is my head or my spine that is responsible for my legs' weakness and numbness now.

In England, they found an injury near my clips, that the French didn't find. So is it possible that the injury in my head, near my clips, had damaged my aneurysm surgery?
I still don't have my answer to that.
They also found CSF, a cyst on my pituitary gland, enlargement of my ventricles – but said it's not hydrocephalus, although it seems I have all the symptoms and the french radiologist said I have hydrocephalus – but he is the only one who said it – But the weakness and numbness started in November and I went to the hospital in London end of December. They kept me one month but didn't do the MRI. They said they didn't have a spot for me at the MRI because they needed one hour and a half spot that they didn't have. Finally they discharge me without any test.

The English doctors said I have discs damage, pressure on the disks, degenerative disks – which I always knew I had since I was 45 years old but never really suffered from it – but nothing like spinal cord damage, until last Tuesday. I was 74 years old last June 5th.

By then, I had tremendous difficulty walking and my brain was very painful (pressure on my temples, feeling of cold liquid running inside, headaches and very strange noises). I had difficulty concentrating, some memory problems, so I had to stay put.

When I decided to go back to the States anyway with assistance, COVID 19 happened.

Finally, I had my MRI only on April 27, and I couldn't see the doctor before last Tuesday June 16, when one of the young doctors said I have a spinal cord damage. And that is it.

Now I want to go back but I really don't have the courage to travel for such a long time. I am staying now in a hotel. It is also true that I wanted to have the final word from the doctors in London. I don't think I achieved so much.

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