Today I had a full neurological and vestibular exam with a Functional Neurologist, who proudly states that he is an expert in getting concussion patients back to living “normal” lives (or at least with as minimal dizzy, balance, and visual problems as possible).
His clinic is fully equipped with state-of-the art diagnostic equipment. My initial exam lasted over two hours and was very comprehensive, he left no stone unturned in his exploration of my symptoms.
I am currently two and a half years out from my fall (if you’re unfamiliar with my story, I fell on the ice and landed on the back of my head, and was unconscious for at least several minutes). I have been to a Neurologist, Neuro Ophthalmologist, and Neuro Psychologist…. all of whom made me feel like I was crazy. NONE of them seemed interested in helping me, and two of them went so far as to say it was possibly psycho-semantic. I was begging for help, and they chose to ignore my pleas and politely showed me the door.
I am a smart, educated, savvy woman who has run two businesses for the past 20 years. I KNOW that I am NOT OK, that something is definitely wrong, that I am not the same person I was before my accident. To have DOCTORS brush me off and leave me feeling crazy, helpless, and alone was a major slap in the face. Finding functional neurology is incredibly validating….. he even pointed out that a few of the tests were impossible to fake (such as eye movement and reflexes).
I finally feel like I am going to get the rehab help I need to get back my life. I am tired of feeling like my eyes are aren’t working properly, and walking into doorways, and feeling like I just got off a boat. I am exhausted when I go to bed at night, and then have to deal with my eyes moving around inside my lids. It’s just too much, and to be continuously told that your symptoms aren’t real, or aren’t related to your brain injury is SO INCREDIBLY FRUSTRATING!
Next week I will return to the clinic to receive a complete rehab program, and I honestly couldn’t be more excited to get started. I have been screaming for help for the past 2.5 years, and am SO fortunate to have found this doc (actually, I believe HE found ME, but hey, that works, too!!)
My advice to those of you reading this: YOU are your best advocate. If you think something is off/wrong, trust your feelings. Don’t give up. Find a new doctor. Reach out to others for advice. Don’t get discouraged, even though I realize that is easier said than done! Your brain can continue to heal YEARS after an injury, so don’t let anyone tell you differently!! Go forth and prosper, my fellow TBI friends!