My name is Christian and I am very glad to have found this site. Also, very much relieved to be able to join. I tried many time since I found this site in February and could not get in. Was very frustrated! But, seems it went through. I haven't been on here in a few months.
My story us a little different as I never had all the scary and draining hospital stuff. But, here it goes.
My SAH happened on August 21, 1989.....21 years ago exactly in a few days. I was 20 years old and in Universite at the time in California where I am from, but on summer break visiting family and friends in England and France. My father was American, and my mother is French from Paris and my french aunties best friend is from England, so, I have been going to both place my whole life.
Anyways, it was nearing the end of my vacation and I was in the south of France on the Riviera with my aunt and grandmother for 2 weeks. I'd had the best time in England for a couple weeks, and then in Paris and the north of France before going to the Riviera.
I'd been running everyday, going farther and farther and had reached the mark of 10 miles, right along the water on the board walk. I was thinking about things, my life, how I had to do well in school went I got home as I was finally transferring to a 4 yr Universite from a 2 year one. As I was nearing the end of my run, it happened.
The left side of my head "popped" and felt like I had been hit with a hammer. The whole left side of my body collapsed and everything started spinning and I began to vomit and I think I even pooped and peed. I was down on the ground for what seemed an eternity, but was probably 5 or 10 minutes.....I was surrounded by dozens of people but could not speak, English or French, my language was garbled. They wanted to help, but I shooed them away. I don't remember too much.
Eventually I did stand up and was able to say I was okay and wandered off towards mt aunts flat a few blocks up from the beach. My vision was still spinning though, and I was veering towards the left. I was leaning on the buildings between the blocks and when I got to a cross walk, I used all my strength to lean to the right side of my body and ran across the street until I could get to another wall and lean back on my left side against a wall and slid along.
When I made it back to my aunties flat, I kept throwing up and ended up on the couch, staring at the ceiling and watch it spin and spin.....like a bad movie. Think I was like that for a day or two.
Things seemed to pass and the vomiting subsided, and so did the Vertigo, but something else did not. Tinnitus, ringing in the ear. I have, since that day and moment, had the craziest noises in my ear.....tones, rings, crickets....whatever, every minute and second of the my life.
My auntie took me to a French doctor who looked me over and said I'd probably gotten an inner ear infection from the sea as I was a big swimmer as well as a runner and had been swimming mornings in the Mediteranian. She gave me see sickness pills and sent me on that what. I think I was in shock really and I had to use my auntie as a translator as I was having a hard time speaking french and had never been that good anyways. I was back home in San Fransisco in a week.
I felt fine, but different....and, the ringing in my ear started driving me crazy. I could get to sleep, kept wondering what had happened, couldn't concentrate, started sleeping much more that I usually did....This went on for
some months and I decided to go and see a doctor. He gave me an MRI and said there was nothing and I was fine. Since I was in the states, and turning 21 in the states, my insurance through my mum expired. I was told by my doctor that the county did have a free clinic and he had a friend he did part time work their as a tax right off, (I found that out later).
I went to see this other doctor at the clinic. He was well regarded and had a big practice of his own in another town in the county. I had hearing test done, but that was it. He told me I had ruptured an inner tube and the fluid had gone into my inner ear and caused the vertigo and ringing and vomiting. He told me I should have an operation for a skin graph from my ear lobe into my inner ear to plug the rupture. I hadn't had any vertigo sense, but I had not ran and swan or anything either. I was so excited I had the operation done without saying anthiny to my parents about my decision or see another doctor for one more opinion as my insurance was gone and I only had the clinic.
I had the operation done, and when I awoke, the doctor was there and the first thing I noticed was that my ear was still ringing......my heart sank into blackness. I asked him about that and he said he had never told me the ringing would go away, and in fact, that it would always be with me. He also told me then that it probably cost me 30% of the hearing in that ear and that he hadn't really seen "anything", but he did the graph where he "thought" it may have happened.
I was crushed. I'd had the operation for nothing, so change in anything and I now owed the county about 3,000 pds. which was a HUGE amount of money to me and I refused to pay, so my credit was ruined as well....
I was told not to drive for 6 weeks or two months, so I couldn't go to work or school. I remember becoming very depressed that I would be living with the ringing and began to think about it all over and over.....My life had change, and I knew it, but I couldn't figure it out. I'd missed some classes I needed to finish before I went to 4 yr. Universite so that was put on hold as I had to wait another year to take them...my grades were suffering as well.
I finally went back to work and school and tried to go on with my life like a normal american college student. I also got my own insurance and went back to my original doctor to have more test and another MRI as I was insisting on it and he was the best in the county and told him what had happened. He said he was "surprised" that he friend at county had ran no test and gave me that operation. Everything came out fine and I was sent on my way. He told me if I was bothered by it, I should have an MRI every few years.
I did transfer away to Universite, but a year and a half later than I should, and I struggled through my tough courses and was always worrying that I had a tumor or something. And, it hard to explain, but I felt odd in someway, like I was different from everyone else. I stayed up every night listening to my ear until 3 or 4 am......unless I was ****** which is something that I seemed to do more than I should have. It made me forget though and passing out in bed was much better than lying there listening to the bee's.
I had another MRI when I was 25 and nothing still. Went on my way. Didn't seem like I could concentrate like I could before so I ended upjust doing restuarant work and bartending. I It was fun for a couple years, and I did it in San Francisco, then Paris, New York Ciry, Los Angeles. When I turned 30 I was in Los Angles and I began to think about another MRI.....the ringing and other numbness, headaches when I was tired or exhausted in the same spot twitching in my eye, arm and leg, had made me paranoid....
My father ended up passing suddenly and I went down, mentally. We'd never been that close and I was very angry. Put aside any thoughts of going to a doctor and began to drink more and stay to myself.
After a year I moved back to San Francisco to be closer to my family and put myself through "the process" again. I was working at a high end restaurant in SAn Fransisco and was making more money than I ever had and kept putting the MRI aside. Unfortunately, my brother had a bi=polar experience which was very difficult for my family and me and I Kept putting the MRI off while we dealt and learned about that.
It's about 6 years ago I finally went through it again. I was looked at by the doctor I saw like I was crazy, (of course), and given happy pills for depressed people, which I won't take. The only comfort I was given was a hug from the speech pathologist who did my hearing test. She was a cold as ice Chinese American and it was only after giving me my test she went "Wow.....how long has this been going on? You've got some heavy stuff going on in there". I told her and she got very sad and teared up and hugged me and said "Just hang in there young man".
Fortunately, I have a friend who is a doctor. I knew him from before my SAH and I was sending him my test results and all that. I was very lucky to get his time. We started really going into and he solved the mystery as his memory is keen.
"Didn't you have a bad motorcycle accident when you were 18 and you broke you arm?" I said "yes"....."Didn't you also hit your head pretty hard? And I said "I think so". I'd never put the two together, but he remembered the accident as he had known me then.
I still had the helmet from the accident in the garage from my mums house, and sure enough, there was a huge divet in the exact spot where I have headaches when I am tired....the side the ringing is on.
He then explained to me that I had had a SAH caused by that hit to my head, and when I was running a couple years after that, my blood pressure popped the anuerysm caused by that accident. He told me how lucky I was to be alive, that I should be dead......It had healed by the time I had an MRI months later and that I should have been given a Cat Scan which I have never had or been recommend. There's generally a 72 hour period to get a scan or MRI after the hemmorage.
It was a bittersweet moment....to understand that I did have something wrong in my head, and it HAD been an aneurysm...But past tense.....it had happened and I had been misdiagnosed over and over.
I was in the middle of so much personal stuff between my father death a few year before and my brother episode the year before.....lost a girl I loved as she didn't understand me.....although I had told her everything when we first fell in love. I was drinking too much anyways......severly depressed, not eating of sleeping.
It all came to a head 5 years ago when I was in the middle of moving my brother and mum to Oregon and she went to France and I was left to stay with him for a few more weeks. I was to go to England and France after my mum came back, for a nice, well deserved vacation where I was going to go to the spot on the Riveira where I had my SAH for the first time since.
My brother and I got into a heated arguement. ANd I left to go see friends. I drank too much and then drove and was pulled over and arrested and charged with drunk driving. I've been stuck here since, as I was not allowed to go to Europe or back to California.....The judge was harsh and took my license for 2 years and the money I had was spent on lawyers and court fees and a drug and alcohol course I was stuck in for a year. Oregon is a poor state and without a license to look and drive to work, I have struggled, especially as you all know the economy had been horrible and not really getting better.
I'm extremely sorry for my long article, but, for me, I need to do it. Besides my friend who is a doctor, and a couple other close friends who know understand, there is nothing from anyone else. I've been looked at as odd, different, hypicondriac, over sensitive, "out there", a drunk, which I was. Even my own family does not get it. I ask my sister to look at this site....she has not, and only thinks I'm "messed up".