This is the story of our terrible experience October 2008. Simon 47, came into the lounge and said he was going to Morrisons for some milk and did I need anything at all? As I was talking to him he clasped the back of his head and said he had a terrible pain and thought there was something terribly wrong!! He sat on the sofa and closed his eyes and said he needed to lie down, he went up to bed and I took him some paracetamols as I thought he just had a migraine and he went to sleep. The next morning (Saturday 18th October) he said he felt sick and dizzy but the headache was not so bad, I asked him if he wanted me to run him a bath as I thought it would make him feel better, he agreed but went back to bed soon after.
I went to the chemist and spoke the the pharmacist for advice and she gave me codeine for him. He stayed in bed for the day, with me taking him drinks and tablets. The next morning (Sunday) I had to go to work till noon, so called my daughter at 10.30 to check on him she said he was not making much sense and was worried. This was when i thought this must be something more than migraine. I called the out of hours Dr number and was called back by the Dr, he wanted to speak to my husband so I gave him my home number as I was still at work and called my daughter on her mobile to advise her the Dr would be calling. She called me back and said the Dr was on his way. I left work and hurried home just as the Dr got there.
He checked Simon and told us he thought it was a brain aneurysm and we need to get to hospital ASAP as Simons blood pressure was 240/180. He gave him some sort of spray on his tongue and called an ambulance, he said it would not be long and gave us a letter to give to the hospital., as he had to go to another patient. An hour later still no ambulance, so I called and they said it had gone to another emergency and one would be with us soon! When they eventually came, it was a complete rigmarole being examined and explaining all over again.
We were eventually on our way, but were taken to our nearest hospital but were told that it did not take patients on a weekend!!! so would have to go the a different hospital 15 miles away. At last we were there and put into a side ward, 4 hours later and after talking to numerous nurses as we had still not been seen we were taken to the clinical decision unit, as we were told we were not allowed to stay in A&E for more than 4 hours without being seen, what a joke all i kept hearing them say “Mr White he’s the man with the headache“, I was so frustrated! He did not have a headache anymore i had a letter for a Dr regarding a brain aneurysm for gods sake?
Eventually a Dr came who advised me she was sending Simon for a chest Xray and she thought he had meningitis? I said he needed a MRI as the Dr had said in the letter she had in her hand. She said she was a junior Dr and was not able to authorise a MRI?? I had had enough and said, get me someone who can authorise it!!! it was now 1am. Monday 20/10/2008 (the Dr had come to our house at 11.30am 19/10/2009) A Dr arrived and told me it was best to go home as the people who were going to do the MRI had to be called into the hospital and would take some time, so best to let Simon rest, myself and my 2 children left 1.45am.
We got home at 2.30am to the phone ringing, it was a consultant from the hospital saying Simon had 2 brain aneurysms one of which had ruptured!! He needed surgery straight away, so he asked us to be there ASAP as this was serious. Simon was taken to theatre at 7.30am to have the ruptured aneurysm coiled. He returned back at 11.30am looking amazing!! smiling and saying he felt much better, we were all so relieved. We were visited by the consultants surgeons registrars ect explaining everything had gone well and the 2nd aneurysm would need to be coiled in 6 weeks. Simon had to stay flat and could sit up in a few days very gradually and go home in 5 days.
On the Thursday lunch time visit, Simon was feeling unwell, he was getting his words mixed up flood blood etc. He was being given potassium orally which he thought was making him feel unwell. I spoke to one of the Dr who agreed to give it though his IV. He did not seem himself!!!
We went to the cafe to let him rest. On return one of the nurses called over that he was feeling much better. On walking towards him I saw immediately things were definitely not better. In fact Simons face had dropped one side and he was very confused (I don't think he knew me if I am honest) I immediately spoke to a nurse saying I wanted a DR immediately. Two Dr's and a registrar turned up and said they were taking him for an MRI. They returned shortly and took us off to one side and informed us Simon had developed something called Vasospasm caused by the subarachnoid brain hemorrhage which had caused a stroke and needed to go to Critical care immediately.
Simon was in Intensive care for 3 weeks and lost the use of his right side he could not talk and he had to be tube fed as he could not swallow properly. Also a catheter. He spent most of the time asleep, it was a terrible time for the family as we were getting no information at all, as we were told we had to make an appointment with the consultants secretary to see him, when we did, he did not even know Simon had a 2nd aneurysm but that’s another story.
Simon was transferred to the HD ward 3 weeks later, still very weak, he could slightly move his right leg but not the arm and his speech was still very poor. We were told as we lived in the wrong post-code Simon could not have any rehabilitation there, and would have to wait to be transferred to Leicester (we were in Coventry) what a joke! Simon was desperate to come home as he is the sort of person that does best at home, but he could not walk, go to the toilet and was still being tube fed!
Sheer will and determination got him though the next 7 days!! Food tube out, catheter out and walking, I don't know how he did it but he did! They would not agree for him to come home until he could do the stairs, which he did the following day, very unsteadily but they agreed he could come home!
The day eventually came and Simon was home, it had been 6 weeks. He was very tired and slept all the time for short periods. He ate little at first and found concentration hard. He had speech therapy, OT and a physio visited us at home, but not for long, as Simon thought it was not much use.
We are now 16 months on and Simon is doing great he has movement in the whole of the right side his speech is nearly back to normal as is his appetite just a problem with the fingers really, his personality has totally changed though. He takes aspirin, blood pressure tablets and cholesterol tablets. We are due for an MRI on 10th Feb to see whats going on with the other aneurysm and what the decision is, regarding surgery. We were due to see the consultant 9th March but this appointment has now been changed till May 2010 so a long wait to see if the 2nd aneurysm has grown. We would love to hear any vasospasm stories as we cannot seem to find any, will let you know the outcome.