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Dr J Burk
Dr J Burk, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 2639
Experience:  MBBS MRCGP
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My daughter has had a sore head every day for about a ...

Customer Question

My daughter has had a sore head every day for about a month. She has slight disorientation sometimes, but not always. She is still active and lively, playing lots of sports etc. My local doctor has no idea what is wrong and is recommending a neurosurgeon - but we may not be able to see one for months. What can I do? I am worried that it might be a brain tumor.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr J Burk replied 8 years ago.

Can you tell me as much as you can about the headaches?

A full description of the disorientation would also be of help.

Dr Jef
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
The disorientation is more akin to coming into the house on a sunny day, when suddenly everything seems strange and unclear. It can happen anytime, even when sitting and relaxing. It is not the type of dizziness you associate with vertigo for example.

The headaches seem to be spread and do not always occur in the same part of the head. She has experienced occasional nausea and has been sick once or twice, but this is not common. She is a very active girl and in good health. If it has any relevance, I had meningitis as a child, although I believe that it is non-hereditary.

She is sleeping at present, but I can get further information from her when she wakens if you require it.
Expert:  Dr J Burk replied 8 years ago.

Is the headache constant or intermittent?

Is there anything that aggravates the pain?

Is it painful at any particular time of the day?

Dr Jef
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
The headache is always there, but at a level which is tolerable (probably the wrong word), but sometimes, several times a day, she will get severe headaches, which can last for an hour or two.

There is nothing obvious causing the pain and we have changed her diet. Neither bright light, nor television cause a problem.

It is painful from the moment she wakes up and is continuous all day.

It might be a better idea for me to give you more information when she awakes. I am only telling you what I can remember and it may not be absolutely accurate. This is the first time that I have used this or any online service, so I didn't realise that it would be an instantaneous service.
Expert:  Dr J Burk replied 8 years ago.


If you can find out what makes the headache worse - ie is it made worse if she bends over , coughs , laughs, uses the toilet etc.

Also I need to know if she has pain when she wakes in the am.

Any behavioral / personality changes that you have observed?

Dr Jef

PS - the reponse time on the site varies depending upon which experts are on-line.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
The pain is worse if she laughs, coughs etc.

There are no personality changes that we have seen.

She has pain when she wakes first thing. I do not know if she has woken in the early hours with pain. I will ask her when she is awake.

Is it ok if I come back to you in about an hours time. That way I will have my daughter beside me and can answer any deeper questions.
Expert:  Dr J Burk replied 8 years ago.

You can if you wish.

However I have enough info already to make a conclusion.

She needs a CT scan of her head. It is not appropriate that she waits months for this.

You must get back on to your GP - they can easily arrange this through your local paediatric department - all they have to do is lift the phone and speak to the on-call paediatrician.

Let me know how you get on.

Dr Jef
Dr J Burk and 5 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Our GP said he was not sure which type of scan she needed and this is why he is arranging for an expert to see her. However, this is not possible on the Heath Service for months, and I have asked him to find us a private consultant, but this too is likely to take weeks. I think I am confused. Why does he not just do as you say and ring the local paediatrican? Is there some sort of protocol among doctors whereby he must consult an expert before recommending expensive scans etc.
Expert:  Dr J Burk replied 8 years ago.

I'm astonished that your GP is unaware of what type of scan she needs.( in fact I'd go so far as saying that he/she is not telling you the truth about that).

This is a basic test.

She will see the specialist who will order the scan....

Where I practice GPs have open access to CT scans of the head.

A CT scan is not an expensive test..........

If you are considering a private apt then just phone your local private hospital and say that your GP has advised that your daughter sees either a pediatrician or a neurologist - I'd be surprised if she could not be seen by the end of the week.
You would then need to speak to her GP to get a letter to take with you.

However you should not need to do this - A phone call from your GP to the paediatric department should get you a ASAP NHS consultant appointment within a few days.

Dr Jef
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you for your advice. I will start and rattle a few cages.
Expert:  Dr J Burk replied 8 years ago.
Make sure you rattle good and hard!

Dr Jef