How Functional Neurology Prevented a Relapse of Symptoms After Another Head Injury

Updated on September 21, 2019
nybride710 profile image

Lisa suffered multiple physical, cognitive, and emotional symptoms after a seemingly minor concussion in 2016. She writes to offer hope.

I am on the right pictured with a local activist for the brain injury community. The Dynavision board is behind me.
I am on the right pictured with a local activist for the brain injury community. The Dynavision board is behind me.

In my blog post titled The Healthcare System is Broken, Not You, I outlined in detail the numerous and sometimes significant symptoms I suffered after what appeared to be a mild concussion in April 2016. I was routinely dismissed as having mental issues at worst and exaggerating my symptoms at best for two long and extremely frustrating years. I also dealt with outright hostility from providers who felt I was faking it.

I made significant improvement after discovering functional neurology in May 2018, suffered a serious relapse of symptoms due to inaction caused by depression and anxiety that winter, and finally got myself on a regular schedule of preventive appointments in May 2019. I was doing great and then – you guessed it – another head injury.

Ouch!

I was just about to take a lunch break from my work-at-home content marketing writing job on Friday, June 7 when my cat seemed to be summoning me to the laundry room where we keep her litter box. Knowing she’s a fussy little princess about such things, I reached down to scoop it out even though it really didn’t need it.

When I went to stand up, I caught the back right side of my head on a sharp corner of a shelf above me. This shelf, as well as the litter box, have been in the same spot for years. I think I was just standing at an awkward angle and a bit rushed to eat lunch and get back to a full to-do list for work, causing me to be less aware of my surroundings.

I immediately envisioned another three years of hellish symptoms, but I’m pretty sure that’s not going to happen. For one thing, this injury was not nearly as bad as the bicycle accident in 2016. I also got into the functional neurology clinic within a few days and not two years later like the first time.

New Symptoms and a Revamping of Some Old Ones

The June 2019 injury was to my parietal lobe while the April 2016 one was to my cerebellum. These two areas of the brain have completely different functions. I experienced some symptoms right away that I never had the first time, including severe nausea, loss of appetite, and a more significant headache. Unfortunately, it seemed to increase my balance problems and left arm spasticity. The good news is that I feel pretty close to normal not even two weeks later. I credit that to the functional neurological treatments I have received, some of which I highlight below.

GyroStim

My first impression of GyroStim was that of a high-tech, futuristic machine that astronauts might use. It wasn’t nearly as overwhelming as it looks, though. It’s a rotating chair surrounded by glass that provides visual, vestibular, and sensorimotor stimulation on multiple axis. Some of the functions that GyroStim can help to improve include:

  • Balance
  • Decisiveness
  • Eye-hand coordination
  • Multitasking
  • Proprioception (understanding the position and movement of your body)
  • Reaction time
  • Situational awareness
  • Spatial awareness

While I’m moving at a low speed in the GyroStim, the functional neurologist working with me monitors me from a computer screen and asks me to complete specific tasks. It typically starts with pointing a laser at different targets and then adding a cognitive function such as naming as many states as I can. Having to think and complete a physical action at the same time always slows me down, but the goal is to make it come more naturally.

Dynavision (D2)

This treatment involves standing in front of a large board with multiple flashing lights and pressing as many as I can of a certain color in the allotted time. The squares are placed strategically in several layers away from the center, some outside of my field of vision. Using this piece of equipment has provided me with the following benefits:

  • Eye-hand coordination
  • Improved decision-making
  • Improved ability to complete gross motor and neurocognitive tasks
  • Peripheral awareness
  • Situational awareness
  • Visual reaction time

A variation on pressing as many blinking red buttons as possible in the allotted time is to include green buttons as well. The instruction is to ignore those, which is a cognitive challenge since we normally associate green with go and red with stop.

Accelerated Recovery Performance (ARP) Neuro Wave Therapy

This therapy has primary helped improve weakness on the entire left side of my body and low back pain. The theory behind it is that injury causes a decline in the body’s ability to receive force. Muscles can tighten and become shorter, so this treatment targets electrical interruptions and areas of pooled blood in the injured area of the body.

The functional neurologist attaches thin cords with a type of small suction cup on them to the area requiring treatment and then turns on the attached unit that transmits the power waves to my body. Treatment with ARP has eliminated my low back pain that recently prevented me from walking more than a few blocks without agony. We are now working on finding the source of my left arm spasticity and getting those muscles to relax.

Note: I have named these three treatment specifically because they are all provided by professionals. I'm not aware of any option for home use and therefore receive no commercial benefit for doing so.

I'm a Believer

These treatments have done for me what I feel surgery or pills could never do, and for that I am grateful. It has also done wonders for my confidence to feel listened to and believed. As for my clumsiness that has now caused two head injuries, all I can do is laugh, carry on, and consider wearing a helmet 24/7.

Other articles in my brain injury series:

The Healthcare System is Broken, Not You

How Photobiomodulation Finally Improved My Quality of Life Three Years After a Brain Injury

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Lisa Kroulik

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, patientslounge.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://patientslounge.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)