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The Day That Changed my Life


I had just turned 40. One month later whilst off work, I was spending the week in Perth at my wee sister's with my two kids and my nephew. On 14 October, they went for pizza and I went shopping because I don't like pizza. Shopping done and in the car I went to the toilet and felt a sharp pain from my left ear to my head. I left the toilet and walked to my car, sweating and panicking that I wouldn't make it. I got inside the car and sat panicking then had to jump out to throw up. People just watched me (obviously thought I had a hangover). I then managed to phone my sister and she sent her partner to pick me up. He took me to her flat and I lay on the toilet floor dying. Because of the pains in the back of my neck I asked her to take me to hospital. NHS24 thought it was possibly a migraine so they treated that and the sickness feeling and I went home to my sister's (no recollection).

My partner travelled from Kirkintilloch to Perth by train and took me to my own house on the Thursday evening (15th) and i spent the night with my 2 wee girls with a sore head and feeling sick. Friday morning (16th) I phoned the doctor and got an emergency appointment, then my 7 year old phoned my sister in law and asked her to take me (I had my last ciggy at that point but didnt realise it would be my last). The doctor did a thorough examination then gave me some medication but asked me to phone back if i wasn't any better in the afternoon. I slept whilst my 10 yr old tried to get me to eat, but I thought it's the weekend and I cant feel like this all weekend so I phoned the doctor she suggested that I go to hospital because she thought I might have a bleed. I when to hospital and spent the night scared.


The next day I had a CT scan which showed nothing, so later I had a Lumbar Puncture. Another night scared not understanding the seriousness of this. Next day results - blood was found so I was moved straight away to Southern General Hospital. The next day I had another CT scan with dye but again, nothing was found so I was told that they might not find where bleed came from and that it might have sorted itself. During the night with the headache in full flow I asked a nurse if the headache would disappear soon and if I could get back to work. She explained that it was more serious than that.

One last test (20th) - angiogram. I had the fright of my life that they where going to put something in my groin. That test was long and warm and I was glad when it was finished. They then approached me to say they had found 2 aneurysms and that they would sort it straight away. I listened in a panic, thinking that I need to get it sorted but I didnt get to speak to my family who it turns out where sitting waiting outside the ward waiting for me to return from my angiogram. The surgeon wasn't able to contact anyone on number that I gave them so no one was aware what was happening to me.

I woke up in HDU with family around me who were delighted that I was talking. Back in ward, I had to deal with facing my children because I had promised that they could visit. That was hard because they just wanted their mummy home and because there were no visible scars the wee one thought "Oh! you're better." I did the usual: gave blood, took medication - as much as I could get, got scans and ate very little. About 4 days later I broke down panicking about my kids and not seeing them, and them having to deal with the big change and live with their Dad. I got my final MRI scan and was told one aneurysm was coiled and the other was too small and too near the big one to touch at this time. I was told that there was a 1 in 5000 chance that it would cause any problems.

I got home (29th) and to date have only had my kids staying with me twice. The shock of the seriousness of it all was my first problem. Dealing with that and the taking of medication daily to deal with the headaches. I have a twitchy left eye and gets worse when im tired, shaky hands sometimes and now the concentration level is at zero. But I'm told it should all get better, so I'm hoping to get my kids back full time very early in the new year then get back to work after that - I can live in hope. Because I am on my own at home I find the days long sometimes and that I get emotional: some words in songs, thinking of the future if anything else will happen, and sometimes thinking what could have happened and my poor kids, but also I think sometimes that I'm so lucky to still be here to get another chance.

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