I collapsed on Christmas day 2007, although I didn’t know it I’d stopped breathing and my husband had to take a crash course in CPR to get me breathing again. You see I’d suffered a subarachnoid haemorrhage and without CPR I would have died.
From that day I went from being an independent confident person to a person I didn’t recognise any more and couldn’t even stay awake all day. I had a severe short-term memory loss and of course as with any kind of brain damage there is the stigma that goes with it.
But going back to the beginning all I can remember is basically – nothing, absolutely nothing. I lost consciousness, stopped breathing and no memories at all!! From my husbands point of view he probably wishes he had no memories but he does he remembers me collapsing and having to dial 999, explaining that I wasn’t breathing properly and having to take and carry out a crash course in CPR.
Although I don’t remember it now apparently when I arrived at hospital and the doctors started to cut off my clothes (dressing gown and nightdress) I apparently took exception to this and started to fight the doctors, so subsequently I had to be sedated. Once they realised I had had a haemorrhage they decided to transfer me to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.
Three months on, my memory has slightly improved, my vision and hearing are impaired and it’s quite scary not knowing whether these will be permanent disabilities or will get better with time.
My husband has been a complete rock and keeps reassuring me that no matter what he will be there for me, his love and reassurance has made this easier to deal with and accept. I now realise what and who is important and understand that life can be taken away in like just a split moment. Have realized that I am one of the lucky ones – I survived and am determined to make the most of the rest of my life no matter how long or short that may be despite any/or no disabilities. My dear daughter’s love, patience and support has been truly amazing, we want to believe that our children will be there for us in the same way that we try to be there for them and it’s a really amazing feeling when the roles are reversed!!
I am only three months on past SAH and understand that these are very early days and look forward to seeing what life holds for me in terms of recovery. Of course some days are better than others – days when I want to be the person I was, have my life back but of course I know it’s never going to happen, going through this has changed the way I see things and think but maybe for the better!!