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Anne C's Story


I suffered my SAH May 2007. It was out of the blue. I was playing golf and I am grateful that I was with other folk as I live alone.

Before I went to play golf I had lifted a 100 litre compost sack out of my car. As soon as I lifted it I knew it was a daft thing to do and dropped it, and off I went.

A few hours later on our 8th hole I had a weird feeling in my head and in my neck. I couldn't turn my head to right or left. It felt like daggers radiating from my shoulders up into my head.. I have had migraines since my teens including one very bad one and I knew this was different. My friend said should we call an ambulance and I said yes.

Paramedics came first and then an ambulance, very dramatic, I was awake the whole time and was calm and quite fascinated. I have worked in a healthcare profession for over 30 years so have some relevant knowledge. My twin sister was called and off we were whisked to our local hospital.They did a CT scan and said to me "You have bleeding in your brain" and I answered "You mean I am having a brain haemorrhage?" I was also very sick for a while.

They then transferred me to the nearest Neurosurgical Dept. and that was University Hospital Coventry where they were wonderful. I was still awake though this was in the middle of the night. I clearly remember a Doc in greens sitting by the bed telling me this is life-threatening and I thought Gosh no-one knows it's life-threatening ( meaning the family). Wrong!

I was scanned etc., and told there was no aneurysm nor malformation of bvs. Whilst having an angiogram I asked the Doc could it be because I had lifted a very heavy bag, ( it seemed a good time to ask as he was putting pressure on the bv and couldn't go anywhere, I did find the Docs very unforthcoming with info), and he said they do have builders etc who suffer, so could well have been.

I was in for 3 weeks, completely flat for 2 weeks and getting up and about in the third. On nimopidine and paracetamol.. I was more worried about not being able to wash my hair at times.

I was then transferred back to the local hospital where they put me in the stroke unit with 3 very poorly elderly ladies and I begged them to let me out. I was allowed out the next day to my sister's so I had company and stayed for 5 weeks till I was a bit stronger.

I had a special visual field test so I was sure I was ok for the DVLA and they gave me my license back though I didn't drive till I felt a lot better. My distance vision is ok though I now need specs' all the time.

I hadn't realised whilst in hospital that I had problems with my balance and vision. It was only when out and I tried to do normal things that I realised my shortcomings. I also have some cognitive problems which I have found ways round. I recently saw an occupational therapist who questioned me closely and she said I had been very intuitive about ongoing problems and was coping well.

Now I have come to terms with the fact that I have ongoing near vision problems. I have resigned from my profession and have learned to cope and even be happy with what I have. I think in some ways I am even happy all this happened as it has forced me into a new less stressful way of life. I am more laid back and easy going than I was before. I do get tired and have to pace myself.

Recently I have found a new part-time job, the new boss has taken me on knowing I have some problems but they chose me over others and I am loving it. I end up napping after work but I don't care.

I am back to playing golf, wasn't sure that I would be able to hit the ball but I can and some days I hit it well, varies though. I know I am very, very lucky and count my blessings. When people grumble about petty nothings, I tell them off, I think I am more forthright than I was... but so be it. I wish I had found this site 2 years ago, I have found it very lonely and isolating, I am sure you know what I mean.

A lady at the job centre, a disability advisor, (who I should have seen 6 months before I eventually did), said to me "people think you are ok don't they and you are not are you?" She was right, I look OK and folk assume I am but I am a different person now, not as robust as I look, not as able to cope as before, I had been a very independent soul before. Its just a matter of doing the best you can, and making the most of what you have. Not being afraid to ask for help or advice.

I wish all you folk good luck. Patience is everything. I recently found the book: A Dented Image - Journeys of Recovery from Subarachnoid Haemorrhage By Alison Wertheimer, which was well worth reading, it took me a long time but with perseverance I did it.

Bye for now , Anneec

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