Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

head injury, hands swollen/numb, died 2 wks. later.

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 3 Replies
  • Posted By: CloudHidden
  • April 6, 2008
  • 04:59 PM

This is just a shot in the dark but I am trying to find answers. My boyfriend died a few months ago at age 23. He didn't have any chronic health problems but he did have a major head trauma about 2 years ago, they had to reconstruct most of his skull and face, but he didn't have any loss of function or apparent brain injury. But his personality did change a little bit. About a year after that he had Bell's Palsy, they gave him a bunch of steroids, it went away.

Two weeks before he died he got jumped and bludgeoned in the head multiple times. At the hospital they did a CT and said he was fine and sent him home. He was acting CRAZY. The ER doctor was adamant that it had nothing to do with his head injury and accused him of being drunk, but I was with him just minutes before the assault and we were not drinking at all. He acted really bizarre for a few days but eventually started acting more like himself. The thing that really bothered me was his hands were swollen and numb starting the day after he got beat up and remained that way until he died. I tried to convince him to go to the doctor but he said he was getting used to his hands being numb (I think his judgment was still affected) and he just took the stitches out himself and didn't go to the doctor.

He died in his sleep. They said on the autopsy there was no apparent cause of death and they would have to wait for the blood tests. He had prescription painkillers so of course that showed up in his blood, so they ruled it an accidental drug overdose on prescription drugs. The thing is he had chronic pain and had been taking that type of medication for a long time and I know he had plenty of tolerance. The guy at the funeral home even told us the ME was really busy and that he had done 4 autopsies the day he did my boyfriend's. So I know he couldn't have possibly spent much time on him. I also don't think anyone even told him his history.

I just feel like it is too much of a coincidence and that the symptoms after the head injury point to that as a more likely COD. I feel like I know in my heart he was murdered. All they did in the ER was a head CT. Could there have been a cervical spine injury that got moved just the right way that night while he slept and compressed the upper part of the spinal cord, which would make him stop breathing? Could this have been missed on the autopsy if the ME didn't know to look for it? Any other ideas of how this could happen??

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3 Replies:

  • Thank you for your reply!They saved a sample of his blood because his parents requested it. I'm not sure what all tests they can do or how much they have saved. But other than that there's not much additional testing that can be done, there's no way we're disturbing his grave, that just seems wrong.
    CloudHidden 10 Replies Flag this Response
  • I am really sorry to hear what happened to your boyfriend. I don't know if a spine injusy could have caused this. But I am sure autopsies can be done that are not thorough and don't identify the real cause of death. My mother in law collapsed at 69, recovered quickly and was taken to hospital. They did tests and found nothing. While they were discharging her she collapsed again and very suddenly died. It was winter so there was a backlog of autopsies and lots were being done every day. We were told she had died of pneumonia. The hospital said this was rubbish as the tests they had done had ruled that out and they thought her death was a sudden brain haemorrage. And the family including a daughter who is a nurse and saw her every day, felt there had been no symptoms of pneumonia. But officially according to the autopsy this is what she died of. I'm really sorry that you may probably never know know for certain what led to your boyfriend's death.
    ruth40 55 Replies Flag this Response
  • Did they take any tissue samples at autopsy to look for the spirochetes that cause Lyme? Lyme can cause all sorts of aches, pains, numbness, as well as personality changes. Blood tests can be negative because the bacteria burrow into tissue. His head injury may have just been incidental - he may have really had undiagnosed Lyme and coinfections. I am sorry for your loss. If there is any way you can still get tissue samples, I would push for them. When to Suspect Lyme:http://www.angelfire.com/biz/romarkaraoke/whento.htm Lymenet: http://flash.lymenet.org/ubb/ultimatebb.phpI'm noticing an alarming number of replies to threads that promote this lymenet site. Surely all symptoms don't lead to lyme???
    nathan69 6 Replies Flag this Response
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