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Alison Q's Story


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Hi Everyone

My name is Alison and I'm 49 years old. I have a husband and two grown up sons, a little Grandson and I also have 2 horses, 1 dog and an elderly cat.

My life changed on 9th October 2013 and I would love to hear from everyone. It is such early days for me and I am very anxious about what has happened to me and what might happen next! I will tell you my story ....

On Wednesday 9th October I was at home in my kitchen. I had a total knee replacement back in June, then another operation end of August so I had not returned to my working as I was still struggling with pain and walking too far. However, I had planned to visit my yard and have another small ride on my horse as I had just started riding again after many months!

Suddenly I had a severe headache which made me scream and lean over. It lasted probably a minute but then gradually reduced and felt like a migraine. I didn't know what it was but I was able to walk around. I took 2 Paracetamol and 2 Tramadol (given by my Doctor for my knee pain) and thought it was just a migraine. And no, I have never had migraines!

Rather stupidly, I drove my car, picked up my friend and drove to the yard. My friend said I looked pale but had also said I seemed "strange" and very quiet. We sat in the field with my horses and everything seemed fine. We went for a sandwich but I didn't fancy eating anything but felt fine in the afternoon and had a ride on my horse for 20 minutes. Funnily my knee was really hurting and I thought this was the problem. I was quiet driving home but I honestly did not see anything major going on. Again, was quiet and didn't eat dinner so told my husband I felt tired and had a migraine so went to bed.

The next day my head was still hurting so had a quiet day at home but I did notice some dribbling on my jumper!! I could not understand about this and I thought looking at a mirror my right face and eye looked sore. In the afternoon my oldest son came back from work and said I wasn't answering properly - but again there didn't seem to be anything major. I didn't eat dinner again and said I was still tired but my oldest son kept saying I needed a doctor. I said no because I still had a migraine! Eventually my son decided to call a paramedic who came and saw me then called an ambulance for Calderdale Hospital - I didn't seem to understand why! I was ages at A&E and asked me loads of questions but I was still sure I had a migraine!

Eventually they decided I need a CT Scan and CT Angiogram - and then I finally understood after their neurosurgical discussion. The doctor confirmed: "Large Acute infarction of Middle Cerebral Artery territory, 13mm aneurysm of left MCA bifurcation - thrombosed". Basically they say it was an aneurysm that ruptured causing a subarachnoid haemorrhage and I also had a stroke.

I was taken by ambulance to Leeds General Infirmary which seems to be the expert place! I was 1 day in Intensive Care, 8 days in High Dependancy then 3 more weeks for the Neuro Ward. They did loads of CT's, ECG's and a Nimodipine 60mg every 4 hours for 21 days. However, they haven't done any operation yet and there seems to be lots of discussions and debates over what to do! They told me I was rare - I have stopped bleeding and have a clot but for the moment it just "stays the same" for 4 weeks. I was told I was stable, GCS15, moving all limbs normally, clinically well. Go home! So I was discharged on 4th November 2013.

However, I have been home for 3 weeks and my headache is permanent and I take paracetamol and codeine every 4 hours. It is awful and I feel nausea. My neck hurts, my eyes hurt, I am dizzy and kind of spacey, I am tired all the time. I have problems with my speech and short term memories and just lose loads of words. I can write well and hear fine - but seems to be reading and spelling too. They get worse later in the day. I am seeing a speech therapy lady who is lovely! Of course, not allowed to drive and to be honest I feel ill anyway so stay indoors. This is not me - I had my own company, rode my horses, played my cello in orchestra and loved my life. And at the moment I am worried about my life.

I am to have another CT scan and angiogram in 6 weeks then 2 weeks to my Neurosurgeon so he can "make a decision" as I think he was still debating "clipping". I saw on the web though that this Left MCA territory might be a problem with operation? Unfortunately I have anxiety - mainly because I just don't understand why nothing was done to me or why they didn't sort me out and make me better! This means I am scared of it happening again because I feel exactly the same as I was in hospital. I just want to get better and I am not at all. I think noone has really explained everything to me!

Thank you for listening to all this - really appreciate this site and I hope that many of the friends on here are able to give me some advice and information and make me feel better. I am useless - I know nothing about all this and I just don't understand about helping myself to get better. Thank you for helping me!

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