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Tell us what you've found useful as an aid to your recovery (such as relaxation techniques etc.) and discuss natural diet advice/healthy living tips. This is also the forum to post in, if you need or can offer advice on Benefits that can be claimed after a SAH/Stroke
Hello, I had a non-aneurysm SAH almost 5 months ago on 20th May 2019. I spent 16 days in ICU plus another week in the ward before returning home to continue my recovery.
On the third day after my bleed I developed Hydrocephalus and had surgery to insert a temporary "brain drain" which stayed in place for 13 days draining excess fluid from my brain. There were a few other little complications (vasospasm, collapsed lungs etc) along the way but I won't go into all that now.
My wife joined this forum shortly after I returned home. She shared her experience on the forum of what had happened to me and shared with me the responses she got from others on this site. I have found the information and experiences that people have shared with my wife to be very helpful and encouraging so thank you.
Three months after the bleed I returned to the hospital for an MRI and a review with the neurosurgeon team. They were happy with my recovery and were reassuring but did tell me that the MRI showed I had enlarged ventricles or larger than normal ventricles. They were not particularly concerned about this as they said they could be normal size for me but if I showed signs of altered cognitive functioning then I should seek urgent medical attention for Hydrocephalus.
I have a question which I am sure has been asked many times on this forum but I will ask again specific to my concern. I had bad headaches for several weeks after the SAH which I took paracetamol for. Over time the headaches reduced rarely requiring pain relief. Five months later I still constantly have a very dull headache, I describe it as feeling thick. If I bend over or squat I get pain in the head especially if I have been active and tired.
I spent several weeks after my SAH just convalescing, walking to the back yard to pat the dogs was my first big outing. I have gradually increased my activity over time. Now I physically feel as if I can do anything as normal but if I do exert myself physically I get increased headaches and fatigue which last for several days.
For example, three weeks ago I did a couple of days gardening which involved mowing lawns, trimming hedges. This resulted in bad headaches and fatigue and I needed to rest up to recover. More recently I shared the driving with my wife on a long distance holiday. Prior to SAH I could drive long distance i.e. 500-800 kms in a day with normal fatigue safety breaks without any ill effect.
However, after 2 days of driving about 500 km each day I have had bad headache and fatigue which has taken three days to ease with help from paracetamol and daily sleeps. I am finding difficulty in working out the balance of what I can do or how much I can do.
My concern is that if I overdo it I will delay my full recovery. So my question is; if I work, drive or do activity which causes me to be fatigued and have increased headaches is this likely to delay my full recovery if there is such a thing? This question is important to me because I am a locomotive driver. I am currently not allowed to drive a locomotive until at least 6 months after the SAH and not until assessed as fit for work by my employer's medical advisers. I want to make a successful transition back to work so I want to get the balance right in regards to how much I can push myself.
How do I figure out what my limits are? Sorry about the long story, but hard to give context and make brief. Any suggestions, advice, opinions are welcome. Thanks again to those who supported and encouraged my wife Veronica. When I was in ICU and very unwell Veronica was amazing and kept a vigil by my side keeping me connected to the earth when at times in seemed so easy to just slip away. I wake up every morning and think "it is great to be alive". Wishing you all the best in your journeys of recovery...