Traumatic Brain Injury

 In 1979 at the age of 21, I was involved in an Industrial Accident in which I received a Head Injury.  Several months after this Head Injury I began to have unexplained symptoms, I would Hallucinate (events from my past would appear in front of my eyes, I would even recognize them) and Dry Heave terribly.

I began to see doctors who could find no explanation for these horrific events that now took over my life.  Doctors performed every test Imaginable, but with no results.  Now in 1988 nearly a decade from my first Head Injury, I was working up on a deck some 6 feet from the cement floor, took a Granmal Seizure, fell back, Head first causing numerous injuries including a second Brain Injury with a Subdural Hematoma.

Now in 1990, I finally began to get some answers, the period between the two Head traumas (1979 to 1988 ) when I was Hallucinating and dry Heaving, I was taking Complex Partial Seizures, Doctors have estimated that I took over 35,000 of these seizures.  The 1979 Head Injury had given me Epilepsy that went undiagnosed for 11 yrs, not one Doctor ever asked me if I ever had a Head Injury.

I have Emotional problems, mood swings, night mares, and a balance problem. I take 3 Antidepressants and Anticonvulsants daily.  In July of 1998 I was walking down my street with my wife, I suddenly lost my balance and fell on my right arm.  It was fractured so severely that I was in surgery with in 12 hrs, they had to drill 4 pins into my bone coming up thru the skin all hooking to a metal bar for some 90 days.

Now the last week of February of 1999 I thought I developed a cold in my neck, so I put hot and cold packs on it for a week or so. Then I began to notice that my left arm was beginning to go numb and was loosing strength, so my Doctor ordered an MRI of my neck.  When he received the results of the MRI, he immediately phoned my wife and I and said to get to his office as soon as possible.

When we arrived he told me to sit down that he had terrible news, he pointed out that Vertebrates C-4 C-5 C-6 and the disc for C-7 had degenerated away so badly that he did not know how my neck was not broke in a standing position, this being a result from my 2nd TBI accident 11 yrs earlier, he ordered Emergency Surgery.

I was 3 weeks from being in a wheel chair for the rest of my life, or worse.  In March of 1999 Doctors performed the Surgery, they removed what was left of the degenerated vertebrates, they replaced them with 3 inches of bone taken from my left leg.  I had to sit and sleep in my living room chair for 90 days, I had to be sponged bathed for over two months, I wore 6 different neck braces for over 6 months 24 hrs a day 7 days a week.

Several months after the cervical surgery I still could not speak right
(very hoarse) That operation had put a lesion on my right vocal cord, In August of 1999 I had to have laser surgery on my vocal cords to help my voice return to normal. I thank GOD everything worked. Both operations came to 160,000 dollars, a small price to pay to be Wheel Chair Free.

I have always said:

A Head Injury Comes With A Life Sentence.
                                                                         Blaine Stanziana
                                                                          Pittsburgh, Pa

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