The week before Christmas I was at home with my son just waking up laying in bed while running a bath when suddenly I noticed a severe headache in the back of my head. I also noticed I suddenly had diarrhea and sweating. I went upstairs and told my son I was not feeling well and he might have to drive me to the ER at the very least he should check on me in an hour or two.
OK I opened my emergency travel pack took, Zofran, Vicodan, Pepcid, Tylenol and curled up in a fetal position for 18 hours. I remember thinking I had a stiff neck thinking should it be worse in flexion or extension for meningitis? and I did think I should go to the ER but they would ask me a lot of questions and it would be noisy with bright lights, I did not want to move from my dark bed, soft covers and fetal position.
After 18 hours I felt a bit better and for the next 6 days went about the Holiday stuff, we even had a family of house guests. I did have a pretty bad headache this whole time and lots of trouble sleeping. I did hear a little voice from a neurology professor of mine from medical school saying "a person who has the worst headache of their life deserves a CT scan". Now the funny thing before I became an ophthalmologist I moonlighted in the ER and if a person came in with a stiff neck and severe headache I would have been very concerned, funny what denial can do.
So finally went to ER and told had bleed transferred to University hospital and had angio negative and NASAH perimesencephalic hemorrhage though that is with an asterisk because initial scan was a week after bleed. Only kept for two days because so far out.
Recovery still that denial thing, went back to work after one week home and it was way too soon. Fatigue, headaches, insomnia were the big issues with me also photophobia and phonophobia. But much better now 6 weeks out mostly things have returned to normal but endurance still lacking also my sense of taste is altered and with it much of my appetite.
There was a good review article in World Journal of Neurosurgery about these types of bleeds and although most people do very well I think if people had extensive neuropsychological testing before and after a bleed (if people had a baseline to compare) it would show that usually there are a few deficits somewhere though these might not be clinically relevant. This is the conclusion of the authors. One example for me is scanning behavior, if I was timed in word search puzzles I am sure I am a lot slower than before. Driving in multiple lanes of busy traffic is something I am sure I would find quite fatiguing.
The one thing I think I share with many posters here is there is really no way to know what your limit is until you have passed it, so this a source of frustration. Since I have recovered well I view this whole thing as sort of a blessing, I realized I have a very supportive and loving family and realize my 20 year old children are adults but more importantly I got a view into what aging is and while denial can be healthy, really it can be overdone, part of getting older is slowing down. It did force me to take a look at my life and what I want to do before I really have to slow way down for good.
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