WHOLE BACK AND HEAD INJURY AFTER A TERRIBLE FALL

Posted by ergodesign @ergodesign, Jun 19, 2020

I fell on August 1st 2019 from a 6.4′ ladder, all away to my whole back. The ladder moved, and projected me on a hard floor. I even heard the crack it did on my back, especially in the middle of my back,

After months of doing nothing to even understand or do the tests necessary to diagnose the extent of my injuries, I just learned yesterday – something I knew already because of my weakened legs, the numbness, the fatigue, the pains and my readings here, on Mayo Clinic articles – that I have a spinal cord damage.

I am in the UK now because I came as a tourist on October 2019 and hoped to stay a while, but I couldn’t go back to the US because of my fall and also because of COVID 19.

To make it short, because of lack of test, diagnosis and treatment, I can now hardly walk, stand or do whatever I used to before my fall. In 6 months, I became a true old woman not because of my age, but because of the suffering and lack of treatment.

Now I need to know: can something be done, still, or am I going to go worst everyday, as it was my case since my fall, to finally become totally paraplegic, paralyzed, or worse.

I say worse because now, I have additional symptoms I never had before: blisters in my skin, some kind of painful pimples, rashes, head pain and confusion, memory loss, terrible fatigue, nervousness. My life has become a nightmare.

I want to add that in 2013 I also had a brain aneurysm surgery (no rupture) and since my fall, my head also has problems: pituitary cyst, injury near my clips, CSF or possible hydrocephalus.

If anybody had this kind of experience, or some of it, I would love to know what was the outcome.

Thank you very much for your kind support, all of you, and hope and which everyone a wonderful recovery.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Spine Health group.

@fighter

Great suggestion.

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I agree. Please contact the U.S. Embassy.

Let us know later if they could make a medical recommendation for you.
Do not worry about your response to us.
Take care of YOU first.

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@fighter

Great suggestion.

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I will try today. Thank you

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@wisco50

I think someone’s suggestion of contacting US Embassy isn’t far fetched. Perhaps it is worth a try!

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Thank you. I will.

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@fighter

I would contact Mayo, and get your information to them. I would, also, contact the US Embassy as well. Prayers.

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Thank you but who at Mayo? What specialty doctor? They don't even know what causes my weak and numb legs, they in fact don't know if it is my brain or my spinal cord? Do I need a neurosurgeon, a neurologist (and if so, in which specific field), or perhaps an orthopedist? I did try to find a way to send them my medical records with CDs but I don't know how?

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@ergodesign

Thank you but who at Mayo? What specialty doctor? They don't even know what causes my weak and numb legs, they in fact don't know if it is my brain or my spinal cord? Do I need a neurosurgeon, a neurologist (and if so, in which specific field), or perhaps an orthopedist? I did try to find a way to send them my medical records with CDs but I don't know how?

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@ergodesign You might have missed my earlier post to you. I am a Mayo spine surgery patient, and I posted 2 patient stories about my spine surgeon. He became my surgeon when I wrote to him and requested that he review my imaging because none of the local surgeons I saw would help me. After he reviewed my imaging, he offered me an appointment. Doing that much doesn't cost anything except the postage for sending in the imaging CDs. They make a decision about if they can help or not and will contact you. Mayo surgeons are busy now catching up on elective procedures that couldn't be done a few months ago because of PPE shortages and that can affect how long a patient waits to get into Mayo. Mayo also prioritizes urgent cases. I suggest that you call Mayo first and determine if your insurance will cover treatment there. You can request a particular surgeon like I did, or you would be assigned to one if you don't make a specific request. The surgeon will arrange all the other specialists who need to see and test you like neurology, so don't worry about where to start. Start with the spine surgery consultant. Weak and numb legs can be caused by a spinal cord injury and it will be their job for figure that out. Both a neurosurgeon or an orthopedic spine surgeon can operate on the spine, but my advice would be to consult one with an interest in a spine deformity like my surgeon. He is a neurosurgeon who also has orthopedic spine fellowship training, so that's the best of both worlds, and if he needs assistance on a complex case, he will call in an orthopedic spine surgeon to assist. So after you know you'll have insurance coverage, the next step is to call the neurosurgery department to set up a temporary patient account and they will give you directions on how to mail in the imaging. If you want to do that, let me know and I will send you the contact information.

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@jenniferhunter

@ergodesign You might have missed my earlier post to you. I am a Mayo spine surgery patient, and I posted 2 patient stories about my spine surgeon. He became my surgeon when I wrote to him and requested that he review my imaging because none of the local surgeons I saw would help me. After he reviewed my imaging, he offered me an appointment. Doing that much doesn't cost anything except the postage for sending in the imaging CDs. They make a decision about if they can help or not and will contact you. Mayo surgeons are busy now catching up on elective procedures that couldn't be done a few months ago because of PPE shortages and that can affect how long a patient waits to get into Mayo. Mayo also prioritizes urgent cases. I suggest that you call Mayo first and determine if your insurance will cover treatment there. You can request a particular surgeon like I did, or you would be assigned to one if you don't make a specific request. The surgeon will arrange all the other specialists who need to see and test you like neurology, so don't worry about where to start. Start with the spine surgery consultant. Weak and numb legs can be caused by a spinal cord injury and it will be their job for figure that out. Both a neurosurgeon or an orthopedic spine surgeon can operate on the spine, but my advice would be to consult one with an interest in a spine deformity like my surgeon. He is a neurosurgeon who also has orthopedic spine fellowship training, so that's the best of both worlds, and if he needs assistance on a complex case, he will call in an orthopedic spine surgeon to assist. So after you know you'll have insurance coverage, the next step is to call the neurosurgery department to set up a temporary patient account and they will give you directions on how to mail in the imaging. If you want to do that, let me know and I will send you the contact information.

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Dear Jennifer, please forgive me, but I am 6 hours ahead of you and I don't know if you read that since Friday, I have other symptoms, very frightening. I am now very dizzy, like if I was a drunk with one bottle of whisky in my belly. My legs have become much worse, and I have incredible allergies that I thought first to be shingles – although I am not sure I don't have them.I am very disappointed about EU health systems.

It is very generous of you, and I accept your offer with tremendous gratitude. So how are you since your surgery? Have you got back to more or less normal?

I am very new here and I don't know how to read the profiles nor to follow up on conversations. I wanted to post another page to say thank you to all the wonderful members who gave me their blessings and support, and I wanted to tell them to be patient with me if I don't reply right away. I am in a strange situation.

I couldn't find out how to do it. The first page I wrote, I had a welcome and I believe the page opened I believe. I think Colleen helped me the first time. Thank you Colleen. But I want to write the reasons why I couldn't respond to all of you, but couldn't.

I also have problems with my head. They did find an injury near my aneurysm clips as well as a possible hydrocephalus. They did say I have CSF. So you see, I have many worries.

So to all of you I send my apologies for not responding to you soon enough. I will respond to you but gradually. I didn't expect so much warmth and concern for me. THANK YOU ALL!

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@wisco50

It takes time to recover from big surgeries edp as we get older!
As to forwarding, I am so inept at such tekkie stuff, perhaps someone else can figure it out best? Sorry!

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I am so sorry. I had I believe 7 hours surgery for my aneurysm and I believe I never completely recovered, I mean without any trauma nor some side effects like huge fatigue, sleeplessness, head pain, etc.

It was a treatment only, no rupture, and sometimes I have doubts. Should I have done it?
Prayers to you and all with all my heart

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@ergodesign

No, I didn't because for now I can do nothing. Something else happened. Now I have some terrible skin conditions all of a sudden, with severe dizziness, like being drunk, with a lot of rashes in my skin. My walking also is more difficult – pain in the right leg and more weakness in the legs as well.

They won't help me here. I am sorry to be so unhelpful to others.

AND I WANT to apologize for not responding to everyone. There is time difference, I cannot sleep and I am in a hotel trying to find a solution.
THANK YOU For supporting me in my troubles. Perhaps I should get in contact with a neurosurgeon at Mayo and ask for a second opinion on video and by sending my images?

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@ergodesign, you are posting perfectly here. All your messages plus the replies from members are in this discussion. To see them all in chronological order, click this link https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/whole-back-and-head-injury-after-a-terrible-fall/ When you get to the bottom of the page, click VIEW MORE to continue reading.

Like others have said, I also encourage you to contact Mayo Clinic. At Mayo, physicians work as teams. Thus you don't need to contact a specific neurosurgeon. Instead call or write to the main Appointment Request office at the campus of your preference (AZ, FL or MN). You'll find all the contact information here: http://mayocl.in/1mtmR63

Ask them about options to get a preliminary second opinion.

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@ergodesign I saw this story about what United Airlines is doing to sanitize planes and create a safer environment for flying. I wanted to pass that on since that is a concern for you to return to the US for medical treatment. You'll need to check with what ever airline you choose on your end to see how they are managing this. I'm thinking about you and hoping you are finding a path to a resolution. https://www.msn.com/en-us/travel/news/afraid-to-fly-exclusive-look-behind-united-airlines-covid-19-safety-features/ar-BB15Xjd3?ocid=msedgntp

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@ergodesign

Dear Jennifer, please forgive me, but I am 6 hours ahead of you and I don't know if you read that since Friday, I have other symptoms, very frightening. I am now very dizzy, like if I was a drunk with one bottle of whisky in my belly. My legs have become much worse, and I have incredible allergies that I thought first to be shingles – although I am not sure I don't have them.I am very disappointed about EU health systems.

It is very generous of you, and I accept your offer with tremendous gratitude. So how are you since your surgery? Have you got back to more or less normal?

I am very new here and I don't know how to read the profiles nor to follow up on conversations. I wanted to post another page to say thank you to all the wonderful members who gave me their blessings and support, and I wanted to tell them to be patient with me if I don't reply right away. I am in a strange situation.

I couldn't find out how to do it. The first page I wrote, I had a welcome and I believe the page opened I believe. I think Colleen helped me the first time. Thank you Colleen. But I want to write the reasons why I couldn't respond to all of you, but couldn't.

I also have problems with my head. They did find an injury near my aneurysm clips as well as a possible hydrocephalus. They did say I have CSF. So you see, I have many worries.

So to all of you I send my apologies for not responding to you soon enough. I will respond to you but gradually. I didn't expect so much warmth and concern for me. THANK YOU ALL!

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@ergodesign No apology needed. Yes, I saw your post with the other symptoms. You might want to get a COVID test to clear you to travel and I'm sure you are doing your best to stay safe. Mayo would assess all of your symptoms and involve any department they need and do that as a multidisciplinary team, so don't feel like you have to figure this out before you can fly to the US. You might need a travel companion as it sounds like you don't feel well and are not moving well due to your injury. When you get to Mayo, you can use a wheelchair there which makes it a lot easier and it's good to have someone to push. They also can find escorts for you if you are on your own. Mayo is cleaning wheelchairs between patient use. As a prerequisite to any surgery at Mayo, you will be tested for COVID. They can't do surgery if you have an active COVID infection. They will also test for general health or any condition they suspect. I just went through this myself after breaking my ankle. I have had 2 procedures with the 2nd one at Mayo a couple weeks ago and I just got a new cast this week and having to keep my foot above my head to keep it from swelling.

My first surgery at Mayo resolved all of my pain and symptoms of spinal cord compression. I returned to a normal life and pain free. It is a long recovery, about 3 months, and then doing physical therapy. The surgeons are true experts and my surgery was done before much damage happened. I did loose muscle in my arms and shoulders because of the cord compression, about half of the muscle mass. As I got worse, it took 2 years for me to find a surgeon who would help me which is why I came to Mayo after being turned down 5 times by surgeons who didn't connect my symptoms to the problem. It has been 3 and a half years since my spine surgery and I got strength and muscle back, but not all of it. There is probably a deficit of 25% less than I had before I lost it. No surgeon will promise you that surgery will fix pain. I was not promised that, but I knew that my pains were caused by my spine problem because I could change where the pains were if I turned my head, and I had charted the progression of symptoms over several months and how it changed. I had bone spurs and a ruptured disc pressing into the front of my spinal cord in my neck, and that moved across the cord with my head position. The goal of surgery is to decompress what is getting squeezed and to try to regain normal function, and to prevent further damage that would progress if no surgery is done. Prior to spine surgery, I did have numbness and tingling in my legs and an uneven gait that happened when muscle spasms moved the alignment of my cervical spine. My physical therapist was realigning everything and I would walk normally again until the next spasms happened. Since surgery, the spasms calmed down. I can still get one if I do something that provokes it, but it is easily resolved by massaging the muscles with my hands. Your case will be different than mine, and you go into surgery with hope that after you've healed, it will improve your life. Even if it only stops the progression toward disability, that is still a good thing because your life would be harder with a permanent disability. With modern medicine, having the choice to prevent disability is a good thing. Many people don't get that choice. Let me know if you have further questions. I am happy to help.

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In reply to @ergodesign "Thank you" + (show)
@ergodesign

Hi ergodesign! Just read about your accident. FYI: I had brain surgery for subdural hemotoma in April 2019 from a fall. Fyi: short story. I was sent to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola,Fl. They specialize in head injuries for all plus military. (I was sent from Alabama to Florida for surgery). I don’t know if that’s closer to travel to for you. Just wanted to pass it onto you. God bless you and God speed to USA. !

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@princssd Sorry a bout your fall. It must be very scary to have a brain injury. Take care and update me how you are getting along. Prayers sent your way.

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