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Of all the places to have a SAH! by Laura


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Hi, when I tell people the circumstances surrounding my SAH they are surprised and usually delighted. I work for the NHS, and had just left a meeting on a hospital site. After turning on the car engine, and turning up the heater ( it was November) I suddenly felt an overwhelming sensation of weakness. I took some deep breaths and waited for this strange feeling to pass.

It didn't, so I tried to wind down the window but couldn't grip the handle, and began to realise that something bad was happening. I tried to get my phone out of my bag, but couldn't get my fingers to search and locate it. I remember watching the time on the clock in the car as I knew it was important to log this, and then felt myself slide to the side and knew I was passing out.

I came too again 15 minutes later, knew I was in bad shape as time had passed, and the heat in the car was overwhelming. I started tooting the horn to attract some attention, and no one came for a wee while. I had to take rests as I was frightened of passing out again. I started screaming too as no one was coming.

I was strangely calm throughout as if I had every confidence that help must come. Then a doctor, nurse and porter all converged on me and thank fully got me the help I needed. I don't know who they are, but every day I thank them! I was parked in the car park outside the neurosurgical unit, and was in the Neuro Unit in no time getting fantastic care.

I left hospital 12 days later after surgery, and have made a fantastic recovery. All the little niggles that still dog me are all tolerable compared to how things might have been had I left the meeting a few minutes earlier, and had my SAH on the M8, instead of the car park.

14 months later I'm back at work on 30 hours but struggling. I had a big shout for rest from my brain on Sunday when I found it very difficult to get up and about, and have been on house arrest for 2 days as my head feels too heavy for my shoulders, and my face feels like its being pulled up towards my wound, and everything is too difficult, and as for plot lines......even reading is a challenge.

But on the upside I know I will bounce back because I know how much progress I've made in the last 12 months, that it is doable, so I'm not discouraged, I will be back to work in a few days and my fantastic colleagues do not have high expectations of me. My boss said during my first few weeks back-I don't expect you to remember where your hand bag is, never mind where the work is!

I still laugh at that because the whereabouts of my handbag was the only thing I could be definite about ! in a couple of months I've been able to pick up most of my duties, but very slowly, and it is hard. Everything has to be not quite re learned, but done more slowly and thoughtfully.

I get easily confused, mixing people up and having to redo things quite a few times before I get it right. Convinced I'd sent emails, but sent box empty....groan.

I'm hopeful I've still got more recovery to come, but if I don't I can make do like this- the worst thing was realising I might not be here any more. The headaches, tiredness, irritability, forgetfulness, lack of spatial awareness-my husband can't see much difference from before the SAH-lol-I'm used to now, but must stress I see improvement over time even if it now happens more slowly.

As the wonderful letter on the homepage says, the brain needs looked after so when it wants a rest, I will listen-I got a warning this weekend, and will not ignore the next one! This is a great site and I wish everyone recovery x

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