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So Glad I Wasn't Alone ....


Hi everybody,


I'm so glad to have found this! It's so confirming, gives some comfort that you're not alone with all the after SAH problems. Like so many others I've been reading plenty on the internet, but I hardly ever came across what you're offering.


On 28th of November 2014 I had a SAH. Like some, I was so lucky that I wasn't alone. I had had a headache for about a week, as if my skull was too small for the brain. But, since a famous headache specialist had told me in April it was all between my ears and most probably stress related I took Ibuprofen, as he had advised me to do so when the headache would recur. In April my GP sent me to the Emergency Unit because she didn't trust it. I saw a lot of nurses, assistants, doctors, professors, they all made me do the same exercises and sent me home after 6 hours of noise in the emergency unit...


Now, it could have been stress related since I was waiting for a back surgery. In September I did have two new intervertebral discs, then the necessary rest and then finally I was allowed to start rehab. During the 5th session, the physiotherapist had just started ultrasound treatment, I had that terrible headache. For me it felt like an uppercut from the back of my head. The physiotherapist was at a loss, I was her last patient for the day, she had to go and get her kids from the kindergarten next door. She told me not to go anywhere while she was gone. But she called the GP who arrived only minutes later.


The doctor tried to get my mind of the headache and started to talk, talk, talk. And it hit me again, I got nauseous, got really sick. I didn't know the GP had already called the ambulance. I realised something was really wrong because my vision was really blurred when they were shining that bright light into my eyes. I got really scared. After my arrival in the hospital I had the third horrible headache attack. I heard the doctors explain to my husband - I don't remember them telling me -what had probably happened and what needed to be done,


The next thing I remember is me asking my husband if I had returned home in the ambulance. But apparently the SAH had already been coiled. From then onwards I got very very sick. My body reacted heavily to yet more pain medication. Since I had been taking a lot of pain medication before and after the back surgery I guess I had too much and my liver reacted. But, I really had very good treatment in the hospital, I'm so grateful for what they did for me.


Christmas was nearing, the rehab for my back was on hold and I had survived this sudden thing. I was given a joker in life. Will I get another one? It scares me, the future is indeed now! But what now?


At present I've been away from work since February 2014. I'm a language teacher at a university college in Belgium and I'm stressing about work. We have groups of 50 students. Teaching languages is pretty intense, even if you know the languages pretty good. It's all about concentration, memory, quick responses, being alert for what the students are saying and writing. Anyway, teaching is not just sitting there and watch what the students do, you are involved S their trainer. The direction and the colleagues want to know now when I will come back. I don't know.


My concentration is bad, my short term memory is very bad, noise is bothering me a lot, bright light is annoying, sometimes I cannot find the words I need in the language I need them (I'm lucky to know more than one language, I can switch into on other one when I cannot find the right word) which is not really a good thing for a language teacher... Reading is difficult since I cannot concentrate for more than 15 minutes. Studying is a catastrophe which is bad. I also have a problem sleeping, I feel tired most of the time but I try not to sleep during the day because I'm afraid not to sleep at all during the night. And then the doctor tells you you shouldn't stress! I'm not there yet, not to stress.
However, I'm so very fortunate that I've been given this second chance in life!


Rainy greetings from Belgium



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Carina. Welcome and well done on not only writing all that down but in a second language! I'm glad you found us but it sounds like you had a tough time and the fall out from the bleed is not uncommon in how your describe it.

I would really suggest getting yourself referred for neuropsychology assessment as it can really help you understand your deficits post SAH and to come up with coping and plans to help get back to work in a way that works.

Teaching and teaching languages no less is a demanding cognitive occupation and it s going to take time but be kind to yourself and maybe look at ways of doing things differently to how you used to teach, just a thought. Take care now

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Thanks for your comment. I had MRI checkup today, see what the doctor tells me on Thursday... Change the way of teaching sounds great and would indeed be a solution, but the fact that classes are so large cannot be changed, students are also less present (mobiles, computers, chat, Facebook all while you try to teach).

A lot of them just want to spend time cause they feel too young (18-19) to start working. They feel adult, we cannot force them to listen and work On top of that, since I've been absent for such a long period, I'm given all new subjects to teach = need to study first... And that is exactly my problem.

I need to be able to study and remember what I read The main thing is, I guess, that we can all still write about what has happened to us, we are all still here, aren't we? Aren't we the lucky ones!

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Yes we are Carina, (Lucky) xx


Do not ever doubt it xx Life gets better but it's a long haul.


I had my SAH in 2009 and had Ventriculitis and Sepsis.  After having a shunt put in well it was like a light going on.


We are so lucky, I understand your problems but we are always here for you if/when you need to chat.  Life does get better but not overnight


I was told I'd never walk but I am doing little walks until my back decides to give me pain. The OT's said to my hubby "have you thought of putting your wife in a home, cheeky so and so's  ha thank goodness he said "We will look after her ourselves" phew !


Good luck and Welcome BTG xx  Never give up xx


Winb143 xx

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Hi Carina,

I was a training instructor and had similar issues to you with regards to memorising things.


I had to write things down to use in lessons and re-learn things I already 'knew.'  It isn't easy, but keep going over things you are supposed to know and you will probably find that when in class people will say things that trigger your memory, but you will also be re-assured by your notes.


Not easy but it can be done, and your confidence will return, I'm sure.  When you do go back, do it in stages and don't agree to more work until you are sure you can handle it.


Life is more important than work!


Good luck 



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Hi carina, I also had my SAH November 2014 & seen my consultant 2 weeks ago & informed me that all my symptoms were "normal" ! I am also not back to work as it involves multi tasking etc. sometimes I can't even remember my own name when I wake up.

I also have been Recommended a neuro psychologist but there is a 9 month wait! I have been assured that we will get better, but we just need to rest to give our broken brains time to heal x

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