Injury to brain/spinal cord = anxiety, insomia, etc.?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Marta608, Dec 12, 2006.

  1. Marta608

    Marta608 Member


    I'd appreciate your thoughts.

    My son was in a near-fatal auto accident years ago. His most severe problems were a closed head injury and a broken neck. He's been having anxiety and insomnia for the past year and recently his right hand became numb with pain in his back. A CT scan showed a fracture of his C-5 vertebrae. No one seems to know if it's an old fracture or a new one but he was referred to a neurologist.

    The neurologist prescribed Provigil which amazes me. There are evidently studies being done on closed head injuries and their aftermath, some of which includes anxiety and insomnia. With those two factors present it surprised me that Provigil would be prescribed but I know that some of you here use it too, very successfully.

    I also remembered a thread Prickles posted the first of this month about tailbone injuries and I began to wonder if CFS/FM might be related to some type of injury to the spinal cord. I also remember posts about so many people being hyper-flexible and wonder if they could have incurred a minor but gradually affecting injury to their spinal cord.

    I know all of this is a lot of speculation but no one else out there seems to be nailing it down so I thought we might as well mull it over.

    Any thoughts about any of this? I have nowhere else to take these questions and know a lot of you are very informed about this.


  2. joeb7th

    joeb7th New Member

    Marta, Hi.

    1 year ago I got a flu and 3 days into this I fainted and fell full weight on my head on a hard floor and smashed my face in. Nose over to the right, front tooth loose. I was completely knocked out! There was bleeding from the inside of my nose for a week. I was swallowing blood and bronchial fluid for 1 week. 9-11 was called and I was taken by ambulance to our local ER. I was so out of it. I was also so traumatized I was crying. I felt like I had been in a major head injury car accident while in the middle of the worst flu of my life !

    I was treated at a local hospital and sent home after only two hours! I was also given a 7 day dose of a super powerful antibiotic called "Levaquin." It was after I started taking this Levaquin that my body exploded into symptoms way beyond any flu. Symptoms that I still have and that have destroyed my life. But no one will even listen to me about my believe that the Levaquin triggered or caused my immune and nervous system damage.

    But in regards to head trauma causing anxiety. I have a sever anxiety problem and have had this since I first got head injured and then sick. Never before. My nerve sensors seem 3 times more sensitive than before.

    I mean I have to take Lorazepam every day just to calm down. I shake, tremor, and feel so weird with all my nerves including temperature senses all the time. I also get prickly feelings all over and have strong itching on arms, behind elbows and sometimes on my scalp. Also, my vision immediately got worse than before the injury. Could the head injury had something to do with all these nerve/sensor problems? I am also unbalanced on my feet.

    I am seeing a neurologist Friday to see if it may have.

    Also in the course of my getting sick last year, I just out-of-the-blue developed a torn roatator cuff, a fractured vertebrae L-1 posterior ( very base of spine ) and I have incredible leg weakness and pain in my muscles and joints there and in my ankles and in my shoulders, arms and hands with my hands feeling cold and kind of numb sometimes.

    Don't know how all this ties in...but I did have that serious head injury one year ago. So thought I would get back to you regarding the similarities.
  3. sleepyinlalaland

    sleepyinlalaland New Member

    I have heard about chronic insomnia sometimes being related to a closed-head injury. I'm sorry to hear about your son's condition. I don't know about the Rx for Provigil, but I really don't think doctors do either. This is not a put-down on doctors...I think they just experiment with a bagful of tricks which may or may not work. (I tried Provigil and it only made me more AWARE of my fatigue! ha)

    I meant to weigh in on the tail-bone post also...I remember several episodes of pain there when I was a kid. It felt like an inflamed bruise, and I could barely sit in my seat at school. I remember I couldn't connect the painful attacks with a previous injury, so I'm always a little curious about the possible connection to CFS/FM.

    And the hyper-mobility! I'm 60 and I can easily lean over and touch my palms to the floor, no problem. I guess that's hyper-mobile. I stretch throughout the day, every day...I HAVE to or I freeze up. Unfortunately, the relief is VERY temporary and very slight.

    We have a wonderland of possibilities here, I hope some day in my lifetime, the dots are connected.

    Best wishes to your son.
  4. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    For response later
  5. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Thank you all for your replies. Like you, MCD, my first thought was that Provigil doesn't sound right for anxiety and insomnia but I guess that's why I don't have a medical degree. That said, sometimes I think we understand more about drug reactions than many doctors do.

    My son is going to try the Provigil, then in January they'll do some type of nerve testing that will give them more information. He said that, according to the neurologist, C-5 does not usually produce the numbness and tingling that he has in his hand. I think they're throwing meds at him in hopes that something works.

    Sounds very familiar, right?


  6. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Speaking of children, I meant to mention what a beautiful daughter you have!

  7. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Just a quick note (I could ramble on about this topic for hours).....

    I had a head injury in late 1994. I immediately began to experience very high amounts of anxiety and compulsive worrying (new symptoms for me). My concentration also was gone, and my mood swings increased.

    The following year, in January 1996, I developed CFS. It's my impression that CFS very frequently follows brain injuries, if there is a predisposition for it.

    Many brain injuries cause mood problems, especially if the frontal lobe is impacted. (In my case, i fell on the back of my head, but apparently the brain flings forward to the front.) Anticonvulsants such as Lamictal and Depakote may be helpful---has your son tried either of these?

    The anxiety for me lasted a long time, but I have since recovered. Some of this may have just been due to time.

    However, my very good MD also used a treatment called Neural Therapy to try to resolve the problem. I think it helped a lot. If you google the words "neural therapy' you can find articles about it.

    He used lots and lots of little pinpricks all around my head. i did maybe a dozen sessions and found myself getting increasingly calmer. i really did not like the anxiety and so am glad that it has gone away.

    Obviously you need a good doctor, however.

  8. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    That's very interesting. I do know that my son's doctor told us that people who have closed-head injuries as severe as my son's have a personality change. The personality traits they had before the trauma become exaggerated.

    This is certainly true of my son. Patience was never his strong suit but his impatience is painful to watch, both for him and for others. He does a marvelous job of living with it and the short-term memory loss. He does so well, in fact, that we, his family, forget that he's dealing with these problems every minute and has for 18 years.

    He's just begun on this rx rollercoaster and isn't liking it at all. He's like his mother who would rather not take meds. When I talked to him last he was headed to the gym because he feels resistence training will do more good for him than medication to build bone. He's probably right on that but I would like him to have some appropriate help with the anxiety and insomnia. I'll talk to him about the things you mentioned.

    I still think the coorelation between spinal injury and anxiety, etc. need pursuing by someone, someplace... sometime.

    Thank you.

  9. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Wake, I feel the same way, that I want him to get a second opinion. I was upset with the med choice. He's to have some type of "nerve test" done on 1/11 which is supposed to tell the doctor more. I think that he is just throwing things at the problem for now.

    My son did have a broken neck but that was 18 years ago. In that time technology has evidently come a long way so they can now see this fracture. ??? That's what my son said the doctor told him. My son is married and in his 30s so unfortunately it's not up to me what he does, but I sure can write emails and make phone calls! ;>)

    MCD56, yep, you were right! The Provigil kept him from sleeping and he's not a happy camper. In fact, that same day I called him and he was talking very fast. I had a strong feeling that he was in for a bad night but didn't say anything not wanting to set him up. I've suggested that he quit the drug and call the doctor about something more suitable. Of course that doctor thought Provigil was suitable....

    How is it we seem to know more than many doctors?? I guess it's because it's not their son.


  10. sydneysider

    sydneysider Member

    I met a lady who had no FM untill going into hospital for an operation.Then she developed lots of problems, and was eventually diagnosed with slipped discs in neck, and FM. This friend also developed severe insomnia.

    After knowing her for some years she suggested that I go to her neurologist. I was eventually found to have disc problems at C5/6 & C6/7.

    I have noticed that there are some people that develop FM after whiplash injuries, or operations (particularly hysterectomies). I believe that neck injuries can occur while people are under anesthesia.

    However, it seems that there are other people with FM, who do not have neck injuries.

    I believe that there may be some link with FM and spinal injuries. I don't believe that FM and CFS are the same, and I'm not aware of any possible link with spinal injury and CFS.

    I've also read that hypermobiles are very suseptible to FM, so I think that really there is valid evidence of some spinal damage link. I just have no idea how spinal damage would be triggering FM, or why there are also people with FM who have no spinal damage.

    Good topic. I think there's more to this than mere speculation

    Also, in regard to the hand numbness, this is also a problem caused by my discs. My arms fatigue very easily. I am unable to do things such as hold up a book, or anything repetitive. If I use my arms too much this all gets worse. My disc problem took 25 years to diagnose. The doctors took no notice of me when I told them that "my arms don't work properly". In my case the disc is collapsing, and pressing against the nerves going to my arms. I don't understand why doctors fail to make the connection. Perhaps an MRI would show up more detail of your son's neck problem.

    All the best

    [This Message was Edited on 12/15/2006]
  11. sydneysider

    sydneysider Member

    I was just having a look on the internet. I suggest you do a google search fibromyalgia injury
    Some of the sites listed are talking about a cervical spine/FM link
  12. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Thank you both for your thoughts.

    Robyn, I'm not sure what the different is between an MRI and a CT scan. He had the CT scan and he'll have the nerve test in January. Even at his age I want to march into the doctor's office with him and make sure they do the right things! Once a mother...... I'll do a search.

    Desertsage, you were one broken up woman. How horrible for you! I'm sorry all that contributed to your illness now but I'm very glad you're here. Thank you for your prayers.


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