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I almost feel a bit of a fraud by Gwilym


I've only just found this site and, reading some of the stories, I almost feel a bit of a fraud.

I had my SAH on 19 October last. I was getting up and felt a massive 'explosion' inside my head. I didn't pass out but fell to the floor telling my Wife that 'something was happening inside my head'. I staggered to the bathroom like a drunk from a cheap cowboy movie and was violently sick. We were setting off to visit our Daughter, Son-in-Law and Grandchildren that morning and my Wife had the day off work. That was my first bit of luck. I didn't want to make a fuss but my Wife insisted on phoning the GP's surgery. The GP phoned back after about 15 minutes and after asking my Wife and I various questions said that we should call for an ambulance as, from the symptoms described, it may be that I had had some type of stroke. My second bit of luck, a tuned in GP.

The ambulance came, took me to the local A&E where I had a CT scan. A SAH was diagnosed and arrangements to transfer me to Leeds General Infirmary which is the regional centre for the treatment of such things were made. Within 3 hours of suffering the SAH I was in the High Dependency Unit of the Neuro Dept. at LGI and arrangements for coiling were being put in place. This was done the next morning. It would have been the same afternoon but Staff were not available being busy dealing with the victim of a RTA. Third bit of luck, a good local A&E and a specialist Dept at LGI less than 10 miles away.

After the surgery, I remained on the HDU for a further 7 days before moving to the general ward for 3 days after which I was discharged home. I was deemed to be making a good recovery and went home with residual headaches, tiredness and general lethargy. These issues gradually reduced and, by the end of November the headaches etc. had gone and I had completed the various courses of medication. I had my follow up appointment with the Consultant at LGI on 13 December. By this time I was feeling very much as I had before the SAH and my Consultant confirmed that, from a medical point of view, he had no objection to me re-commencing driving but that, obviously, the final say on that should be from the DVLA.

I phoned the DVLA that afternoon and they confirmed that if that was the medical opinion then they too had no objection to me re-commencing driving. I confirmed the conversation to them in writing to cover myself and, whilst the Consultant took rather too long to submit his report to the DVLA (and had to be reminded three times before he did), the paperwork is now being produced. I have to say that everybody I've dealt with at the DVLA Driver Medical Unit have been most helpful. Perhaps that too is another bit of luck.

Why do I feel almost a bit of a fraud? Reading some of the stories on here, some people seem to have been much, much more poorly than I was, have taken a lot longer to recover and have been treated so badly particularly in the time leading up to diagnosis that has often taken an extended time.

My experience has been entirely different and, less than 4 months after my SAH, I'm back to my normal self (whatever that is!), doing the things I always did, suffering no residuary issues that anyone is aware of and very grateful it turned out that way. I am in no doubt that I was lucky in so many ways but maybe my case proves that, given that none of us signed up for an SAH, you can have a positive experience if you are to suffer one.


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