7th December 2012 started like any other day, little did I know what it had in store for me.
I was standing in street chatting, and my hearing went very muted followed very quickly by a sudden and extremely painful headache. There was no collapse or any other symptom. I managed to get in my car and drive home, in the hope that whatever had happened would clear by itself. It didn't!
I phoned my GP and got an immediate appointment, I drove myself to the surgery and explained what had happened to my Doctor. Now I'm the kind of guy who is never ill, the odd cold but nothing more. My BP measured 210/130 and my headache was pretty bad. The Doctor decides that I have a migraine, and offers to refer me to a migraine clinic (he is no longer my Doctor).
I return home still no feeling to good, by this time my wife is home and can tell instantly that something is wrong. After a bit of arm twisting she talks me round and off we go to A&E. I feel like a bit of a fraud as I'm walking and talking and 'only' have a headache.
Doctors in A&E examine me, but apart from a high BP and a headache they find nothing else. It's now late afternoon and they decide to keep me in over night. I have a very poor night with little sleep and only paracetamol for the pain. In the morning I am taken for a scan. I feel ok except for the headache, so after the scan I rest back on the ward. My peace is soon shattered when two Doctors come dashing into the ward looking for me.
I'm told that I have suffered a SAH and that I would be transferred to a Hospital in Newcastle, an ambulance was already on its way to collect me. I'm thinking what is a SAH? Out comes the phone and I google SAH, I don't read to much as it isn't good reading.
I arrive in Newcastle and immediately started on Nimodipine and given a more in depth scan. It's decided that I need surgery to coil a ruptured aneurysm. All goes well and I spend 10 days in Hospital. The pain at times is pretty bad, in fact it's the worst I have ever experienced, even morphine doesn't help at times.
The scan actually showed two aneurysms and I was to return at a later date to treat the second.
I was called back in March 2013 to have the second one coiled. Unfortunately that was not successful, and a craniotomy and clipping was recommended.
The clipping was carried out in August 2013, this was without doubt the most daunting time of my life.
Thankfully I have come through all of this virtually unscathed. In February 2014 I even returned to my full duties as an operational Firefighter, something I thought would never be possible.
So many people to thank along the way, Family, medical staff, my employers and friends.