Its was January 19th 2015, I had been to the gym, then off to see a friend. Rushing about and running upstairs, I had a sudden pain the the back of my head which instantly became a sharp nerve pain in the front of my head. I felt sick, had a stiff neck. I knew it was a SAH. I'd worked on Neuro ICU for 7 years and did 3 years on the Neuro ward prior to that.
My then 17 yr old daughter drove me to hospital (i just couldn't ring an ambulance- the poor NHS is so stretched, omg). The ED doctor wasn't sure what to do.....I had no focal neurology, just a headache which had rapidly gone from intolerable to bearable in 2 hours. Nausea had gone but stiff neck persisted. She got the ED consultant, he told me I was paranoid because of where I worked. I was discharged home with migraine.
Over the next 4 days the 'migraine' hadn't improved. I saw a GP who said to see how things went over next few days! I went to work on the Friday night - was in considerable pain- but continued to look after my SAH patient throughout the night. I dragged myself out on Saturday night and drank to numb the pain....the next morning I had fuzzy vision blaming the booze.
Monday, at a course I fainted- overwhelmed by pain- my manager wheeled me upstairs to ED. A CT scan revealed nothing- by now I had blurred vision and incredible cheek/eye pain. I was given IV antibiotics and sent home with a diagnosis of sinusitis. 2 days later I couldn't lift my head off the pillow to attend my sons school play.
I phoned my ex and asked him to go....he came and saw how sick i was and took me to GP...I vomited in the surgery. I couldn't hold my head up and had double vision. He said for us to go ED....my ex drove me up. I couldn't walk, he carried me in....I knelt on the floor, head on the chair. A nurse took me to a trolley.
I awoke in re-sus following a seizure. One eye wouldn't open....I was going for a CT. A large SAH was revealed. A colleague recognised me and called one of the sisters where I worked....she came and sorted out nimodipine, antiemetics and catheterised me. I was admitted to the ward and had a coiling the following morning.
Being looked after by my colleagues on icu was amazing, they are brilliant nurses. I know how lucky I have been. I left hospital 10 days later with a complete ptosis and severe pain.
It took 3 months for my eye to open and the double vision to stop. In this time, I had moved forward with a man I had been seeing casually- he was my strength and became my best friend and the love of my life.
I forced myself to work the following month....
My 2 follow up MRIs have shown the coils are good and I have a tiny remnant and the neuroradiologist is perfectly happy with this.
Life has been ok (a house move, a new job I just didn't enjoy Neuro ICU anymore, two new stepchildren and, a massive court battle to keep custody of my children-as my ex tried to turn them against me, my eldest son refuses to see me still (since June 2015) but last month I was awarded full custody of the youngest two). I am thankful to be alive and try to be happy but my energy is easily sapped and I am reminded almost every day....
Today 20 months later. I feel fatigue. I have a new sensation of pins and needles in my right leg and hand and the pain in my face has returned although intermittent and mild, vertigo can be tough somedays, I seem to have periods of anxiety linked to extreme exhaustion. I gave up with my GP...who really couldn't offer any advice.
I decided to find some support and joined this forum.