An account of my recent SAH (pre through to my present circumstances)
My account probably does not differ too much from many here. I am writing this partly for myself too help me get over what has been the most harrowing period of my life so far. I am also writing this in the hope that there maybe something within this that could help others as I have found that reading others accounts (although very distressing)has in a major way helped me understand more about this condition.
It all began on the morning of 19/04/13, I had just had an intimate moment with my wife (politest way to say it) when I felt an almighty pain in the back of my head, I went slightly dizzy. I thought nothing of it at first.
The next thing that happened was that I passed out momentarily during which time I wet the bed ( something that never happens). I knew something was wrong then and asked my wife to call the doctor, I then was sick. In the moments that my wife had picked up the phone I tasted blood coming from the back of my throat and spat out quite a bit.
This made me realize that something very bad was happening to me so I told my wife to hang up the phone and call 999 (the first time I have ever requested that) this told my wife that something must be wrong if I was asking for an ambulance.
The ambulance crew arrived around 10 minutes later and by then I was very dizzy and unbalanced. After discovering that I had had a few pints of lager the night before and that I enjoyed socialising twice a week the ambulance crew decided that what had happened to me was alcohol related and concluded that I was having a hangover coupled with an alcohol induced stomach ulcer or that I simply had a hangover and had caught a sickness bug as well!
I explained that I certainly didn't have an alcohol issue and that the symptoms were not of a hangover. They looked at the blood I had spat out as it was still in the bathroom sink and concluded that it was consistent with a bleed in my stomach because of excessive alcohol.
I told them the blood had not come from my stomach and that I had only had 5-6 pints the night before but they wouldn't have any of what I was saying but said I had better go to the hospital anyway.
Because of this I was labelled low priority at the A&E department and was not allowed to use the toilet because they would have to close it down to clean it!
To cut a long story short it was 6 hours of looking at the ceiling (my neck was so painful I could only look upwards) before I saw a qualified doctor who decided to send me for a ct scan, I was adamant that this was no hangover.
I cannot remember much about my first 6 days in intensive care after 7 coils were inserted into the aneurysm other than being sick and for the unbelievable pain in my head. Also I kept having hallucinations due to the oxycodone (I think) I was given.
I was not told a great deal about what my condition meant or prognosis most of the time it was me saying that x was happening and they would say that it was normal.
It was after being discharged from hospital that I realised all my safety nets had gone and the frightening fact of living with/getting used to all the horrible symptoms that occur. It was now down to my wife and I to decide what was normal and what needed medical attention. This was a task in itself considering a whole world of new experiences was about to come my way.
Since leaving hospital from the discovery of my SAH and the coiling of the aneurysm I have been admitted to hospital (the stroke unit! It was only then I realised that anSAH was a type of stroke!) because I felt that the pain/sickness was not right added to the fact that my neck was very sore again (I thought I had had another bleed). I had a ct scan, blood tests and a lumber puncture, the result of this caused the doctors to diagnose viral meningitis. I spent a further 4 days in hospital as a result.
It is still early days for me and at the moment I have acute headaches virtually every day when I wake up at about 6am right the way through until the early afternoon. I get extremely tired throughout the day. Most evenings I tend to shy away from going to sleep because I know what I am going to wake up with the following day.
I can mange to walk 3/4 of a mile or so but get bouts of instability. In my right ear my hearing has deteriorated to about 60% of what it was before and I have constantly got this horrible buzzing/low pitch noise in it that sounds like a car with a loud subwoofer booming, it drives me mad.
Short term memory is a big problem for me eg I take my tablets then 5 minutes later I can't remember if I took them or not. My wife bought me a pill box for thus reason - a godsend! Sometimes I feel detached from life and myself. The best way to describe it is that my brain has been totally rewired but the wrong way but it still works! very weird feeling!
I am lucky enough to live on the seafront so most days I can relax on the beach for a couple of hours and just watch the world go by. Incidentally time seems to have no meaning for me anymore and hours can just pass me by without me realising - actually not a bad thing at all!
I am not sure what the future holds but I can feel myself getting stronger everyday physically - mentally is a different story however I am happy most of the time so I am just going to 'chill' for a bit until I know which of these symptoms are here to stay!
I will not be on here for a few weeks as I am going to stay in West Bay, Dorset at my mother in laws park home.
Take care all and if my story can help just one person I will be happy, writing it has helped me - I hope I will stop going over it in my head at night now!
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