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Showing content with the highest reputation on 23/03/15 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    Sammy, I have flown many times since my SAH, both short and long haul. It really is ok. Cabins are pressurised so there is nothing there to alter your condition no matter what height you fly at. Make sure you are adequately insured for your trip and that you have declared your condition and the medication that you take, if any. Also make sure you have a European Health Insurance Card if flying to Europe - You can apply on-line at Gov.UK If you do take medication, make sure it is in your cabin luggage, not in the hold, just in case you need it and also so there is no chance of it going missing. Your doctor or hospital can give you a letter to show as you pass through security at the airports. There is no problem anywhere I have flown, including Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Canaries, Cyprus, Kazakhstan amongst others. Also ensure that if you need to keep your medication chilled that the hotel you go to has the required facilities. I usually go self catering as I know there will always be a fridge with an ice compartment so I know I can chill ice blocks required to keep my medication cool and have them when travelling. My bag will keep my medication at the required temperature for anything up to 48 hours depending on the climate you are going to. In my opinion, there is nothing to be frightened or nervous about. The way I view it is that the pilot is going home for tea so I know he/she will get me there ok! Maybe the first time you go, get an aisle seat so you can go to the loo easily. Also, some airlines run travel awareness sessions for nervous fliers before you go and they will answer any questions you have to allay your fears. Have a great trip, wherever you go Macca
  2. 2 points
    Hi, I also was terrified of flying after I had coils fitted , and was told the same as you. My first flight was to Bermuda and I was a nervous wreck!!! Since then I have flown several long haul flights with no adverse effects and now I am a much calmer frequent flyer. Hope this helps and please don't be afraid... go and enjoy your life!!!
  3. 2 points
    Hi Sammy, Welcome to BTG! Lonely is a familiar word to BTG'ers, even though there are lots of people around. It's because what you have just experienced is a lonely experience and others around you have not so there is an instant feeling of isolation on your part. It's a bit like when you go into town on your own - lots of people around but none you can talk to because they don't know you. Now you have been in 'hospital town' and no-one knows what you brought home! Except fellow sufferers. That's us! So when you need us, we are here. I would advise two things: 1) Keep a diary so you can chart your progress - you'll be amazed at how much you've made. Sometimes people think they're not making much progress, but they are. A bit like when you've not seen someone for a while and they've grown, or lost weight - they don't recognise the change but others do! 2) Delay going back to work for as long as you can and when you do go, make sure it is on a phased return. After an event like this, your body has an abrupt way of telling you that you have done to much! Working, going from nothing to full time, will almost certainly be too much in one leap so doing it in stages is best, in my opinion. Looking forward to hearing of your progress! Macca
  4. 2 points
    Subs, You are a good man, and your post made me cry, just a little !! Glad Wife is doing well and look after yourself so you can look after wife xx Good luck to you both xx Love Winxx
  5. 2 points
    Well that was Mrs Sub`s MRI done on Saturday morning- First week in on the reduced steroid- 1mg Prednisolone- 5 weeks to go-no withdrawal effects so far. INR spiked to 4.4 five weeks ago then dipped to 1.5 - then 1.6 then 1.7 last week- sometimes it can be a slow process to get to the 2.00 target level- hiccup probably caused by the steroid reduction. The joys of Warfarin dependency! Quarterly check-up with consultant 14th April Thoughts are with all you guys/dolls who live with daily meds and pain.
  6. 2 points
    Hello Sammy Also welcome to BTG Just take time to look around the site for topics relevant to you and you will find so much help. My wife had her SAH nearly four years ago- and this site will be a great help to your own immediate family too. Keep looking after yourself and take care and patience to grow stronger and build up your new life- Best wishes in your recovery
  7. 2 points
    Hi Sam, It is scary, my surgeon said to me "No Stress" he insisted that was important. We are the survivors and we can help each other, mind you I do think singing is the be all and end all to problems. ha Welcome to the shunt club along with a few more of us You will be okay and when you don't feel well rest. Others will say drink water as your brain needs water. Ask for a letter from your brain and someone will give you the link xx Now please be sure you are okay before you rush back to work and when you get used to this site I will sing a song for you.. Now there is something to look forward to !!! ha You will be fine xx Love WinB143 xx xx
  8. 1 point
    While on the freeway driving home after working out in the morning, enjoying my birthday spa massage gift at noon and looking forward to my birthday dinner (which was planned for that evening), I felt a "pop" in the back of my head near my neck. My vision went crazy and my head felt like it was about to explode. Fortunately, I was able to slowly keep driving, make it the rest of the way home about 7 miles and have my husband get me to the hospital. From there, I don't remember much until I woke up in NICU at the local hospital about 36 hours later hooked up to many machines and surrounded by loved ones who had been told I may not make it, and if I did that I would likely not ever be the same. I spent 11 days in NICU and was given the best care by their wonderful, talented staff. After that, it was home for a year long recovery and 18 months medicine for pain. During that time, I endured CT scans, MRI's and a terrifying pan-cerebral angiogram. I also spent time with a therapist with whom I could talk freely about what happened to me and what I was feeling as a result. Three years later, here I am ... alive, healthy and knowing that I am blessed and highly favored. God is good ... All the time!!! "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not to thy own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he will direct thy paths".
  9. 1 point
    It was 0750hrs on 25th April 2014, my husband had just left to take our 13yr old daughter to school, then he was heading out for the day to work. I was left at home with my 7yr old daughter getting her ready for school and myself ready for work. Had finished cleaning the kitchen after cooking scrambelled egg for breakfast. What happened next changed my life forever. It is still a blur and I cant remember much. What I do remember was the pain in my head was excruciating never experiencing anything like it before. I remember sitting in the frontroom and calling my daughter, grabbing hold of her and telling her, she has to call 999 for an ambulance and to call Daddy to come home, she asked me if I felt unwell, then i remember saying yes really ill. I remember holding her tight, saying those few words and that was it. We live in a rural area with hardly no signal only at the window sill in my dining room. Four weeks later coming round in the Neuro ward and being told of my 7 year old daughter saving my life, she managed to call my husband back and when he got back home she was on the phone to the ambulance service who had said to my husband not to worry as the ambulance was on the way and that my daughter had been very brave. she was amazing, she was my guardian angel that day, as without her i wouldnt be here today. When the ambulance arrived they rushed me to Exeter A&E and sedated me before blue lighting me to Plymouth Dereford. During my stay in ICU i had 4 brain operations, my anuerysm was coiled and a VP shunt was fitted. I suffered a massive bleed and only now have recently discovered the severity of my haemorrhage was a stage 10, which still to this day shocks and scares me. I still suffer with headaches, fatigue and have trouble sleeping. I find it difficult in social environments and loud noises as my hearing has become more acute and sensitive. im still not back at work but am contemplating in returning next month as I feel the longer i live it the harder it will become. I feel very lucky and grateful to have another chance, although sometimes I feel 'why me' there was no reason for it to happen in the first place. I dont want to sound selfish because I know i'm very lucky and I was called their miracle in hospital. It does seem unfair sometimes. This is part of my story, I hope I haven't bored you too much. Looking forward to meeting some of you on here. kind regards Sammy
  10. 1 point
    I experienced a non-aneurysm SAH on the evening of March 8, 2015. At first I thought it was simply a stiff neck or pinched nerve that caused a huge headache. I went to the local hospital emergency room and waited for a few hours until an ER doctor called me in. They did an immediate CT Scan and the next thing I knew I was in the ICU, saline drip hooked up and several nurses hovering closely. In those two weeks I have tried to do online research and have found most the topics are clinical descriptions. What struck me when I found "behind the grey" was a resource that finally began to describe recovery and what is next. It is still early days for me, but I am thankful for finding BTG and look forward to sharing this new journey with new friends.
  11. 1 point
    Thank you all for your comments and words of support. Being that I am in Los Angeles, it is interesting that many of you seem to be in the United Kingdom. I was looking forward to waking up and seeing if anyone posted back and I was not disappointed! Thank you for the support. In response to the specific question Clare - no, I did not have any drains installed. And yes, I am in the process of learning my stamina tolerance all over again. My main focus is on trying to string together more hours of sleep. I am able to do 2-3 hours but then wake up. I assume I may be able to increase the pain medication to possibly mask, but being an engineer I do not want to give up that level of control. To date my neurologists are advising "wait and see" until they do the next scan and see how fast/slow the blood is breaking down and being reabsorbed. That is an odd sentence to type - but it is comforting to know that this audience actually understands it.
  12. 1 point
    Daffs has flown also Sammy, I haven't yet but if I can get a reasonable insurance I might unless hubby wont take me !! Good Luck Win xxxxxxx
  13. 1 point
    Hey there Welcome to site and to the family. Glad you found us, but we always wish that you wouldn't have had to. Loving the pic by the way - you seem like you have a sense of humour and its important to try and keep that as much as you can - you'll be surprised how much it can help. Chat soon
  14. 1 point
    Hi Sammy Welcome to the site and to the family I was treated at Derriford too (2006) - I had the best care in the world there - they were brill so I hope you had the same level of care. I was on holiday in Devon at the time of my SAH. My fatigue and headaches lasted about a year and then slowly started to ease. I hope we can answer any questions that you may have - they're a great bunch on here and we have a wealth of knowledge and a tonne of experience. Take care of you Sami xx
  15. 1 point
    I have a shunt but haven't flown not because of that just haven't been abroad since. But know there's lots on here that have shunts and have hopefully you'll get good feed back...
  16. 1 point
    Hi Sam A very warm welcome to BTG ! Glad you found us...we are a very friendly supportive group. Look forward to hearing more from you and please feel free to join in the daily banter in The Green Room too. Take care Tina xx
  17. 1 point
    Hi there, a warm welcome to BTG - certainly a good place for the realities of recovery, written by those who have first hand experience of the aftermath of a sah. You will find plenty of good advice on here. This all happened very recently for you, so it's good that you've found this site so early on - it took me over a year to find! Wishing you all the best on your journey of recovery, Sarah
  18. 1 point
    My partner Jane was dropping our son off at church, and I was having my usual Sunday morning lie in. At around 9-40am I started to get up. On swinging my legs out of bed I was rocked by the worst pain I have ever experienced searing through my head, followed by a strange “trickling warm water” sensation in my skull. Clutching my head in my hands, I fell back on the bed. Fortunately my phone was on the bedside cabinet, and I was able to call Jane. I must have sounded a bit scary as I struggled to get my words out – ““bad headache” and “need you to come home”. When she arrived I was lying across the bed on my stomach, unable to lift my head as I fought the urge to vomit. She tells me that I had big beads of sweat on my forehead at the time. The first thing I asked for was a bucket. She rang the NHS Helpline, and told them what had happened. After more or less eliminating Swine Flu, the NHS guy got Jane to take my blood pressure – I was already being treated by my GP for Hypertension, so I have a machine at home - it was 156 over 112. It was agreed that I should go to see the out of hours GP who was, coincidentally, located in a room in the grounds of one of the local hospitals. With minimal fuss, Jane helped me to dress. I could barely open my eyes, and just wanted to lie down. Our son arrived home, accompanied by a family friend. I think that Jane explained the situation briefly to her, and then she led me out to the car. I remember putting on sunglasses as the sunlight was blinding to me. Two minutes into the journey and I began vomiting! Luckily, the ever practical Jane had grabbed a plastic bag as we left the house and I sat with my eyes tightly closed underneath the sunglasses, bag in hand, and slumped in my seat for the entire twenty minute journey. It was a sunny day, and I remember having to position myself in front of the A&E entrance and stumble, with my hands covering my eyes, in its general direction. The sunlight was blinding, and I desperately need to lie down. Jane parked up and joined me. I remember her speaking to the receptionist, trying to convey the urgency of the situation, but all I could do was stretch out on the hard chairs, holding my head and covering my eyes. After a time Jane managed to get me in to see the GP. Apparently the GP was a woman; I have no idea as my eyes were firmly closed throughout. I mumbled answers to her questions, pushed and pulled her fingers as requested, I think I began to cry. She told Jane that she suspected a SAH, and arranged for me to be transferred into the Hospital’s A&E. Cue a series of slapstick events; I was told that I would have to walk there, but I was unable to lift my head, let alone stand. A wheelchair was sought, and eventually found. Jane wheeled me to the A&E and we were shown to a grubby cubicle where an orderly was wiping down a trolley. I was desperate to lie down, but was told, rather firmly, that I couldn’t until it had been covered with a paper sheet. She left the cubicle, and five minutes later I climbed onto the naked trolley. Another five minutes and she returned with a length of paper. Rather crossly she insisted that I got up so that she could “make the bed”. I think that Jane all but ripped it from her hands and shoved it under me as I lay groaning in pain. Some time passed. The pain was still excruciating, the urge to vomit overwhelming. The A& E doctor arrived and started to ask me the same questions and perform the same physical tests. I remember feeling even more pain at the back of my head and neck as he asked me to grasp and push his hands away. He also suspected a SAH, and went off to arrange for me to have a CT scan, and then to be transferred to the Neurology department at The Royal Free. I think someone gave me an injection of painkillers. I fell into an uneasy sleep. I awoke some hours later, and Jane told me that we were waiting for an ambulance to take us to the RF. The pain was still there, but felt “flatter”, somehow less “spikey”, and the light wasn’t bothering me as much. I needed to go to the loo. Jane asked someone about it and was pointed to a door in the corridor. Incredibly, I was encouraged to get up and walk a few yards to the toilet. I say incredibly because, from the minute the ambulance staff arrived, I was told to lie as still as possible and try not to move my head at all. I was lifted from the trolley to the ambulance by the very capable ambulance staff via a board. Their confidence and professionalism was reassuring, and I drifted in and out of sleep throughout the journey. It was around 11pm when we arrived at the RF I think. I remember thinking it strange that the sunlight had been blinding when I left home, and now it was dark. I was admitted onto a HDU ward in the neuro department, and “made comfortable”. Needles were inserted into various veins, blood taken out and drugs pushed in. There was no family room available, so Jane was told that she would have to leave now. For the first time that day I was really afraid. The drugs, however, were doing their thing, and I soon drifted off into a hazy sleep. I was still aware of the nurses and doctors coming and going around me, of various lights, and of the machine beeps with which I was about to become very familiar, but I was able to sleep. And then it was morning again. Jane was back, having made childcare arrangements for the little one. I felt, strangely, better – the welcome input of morphine, I think. My head was tight, my stomach queasy – a bit like a bad hangover – but I was relaxed and able to converse. I was informed that I would be operated on the following morning; a procedure called “coiling”. I understood what I was being told, but it all went in one ear and out of the next. Jane asked questions and took notes. I spent a pretty relaxed day flat on my back, with various doctors and nurses checking on me from time to time, and reminding me to lie as still as possible. The next morning I was taken to theatre for the procedure. I remember asking the anaesthetist to make sure that he put me under, and him winking and smiling at me. I was calm, reassured, and only a little afraid. Then I woke up in the post op area with a pounding head. I started to feel uneasy. It was as though someone had turned the volume up all around me, and had flicked on a double speed button. People were scuttling past me talking really loudly, moving really quickly. I wanted to just slow it all down. A doctor arrived. More questions – did I know my name, what day it was etc? I squeezed fingers as requested, and then fell asleep. I awoke back in the HDU ward, with an ashen Jane peering down at me. She had been told that the procedure would take three hours but I had been away for almost seven. Apparently a blood clot had broken away during the procedure, and this had had to be dealt with. I tried to smile reassuringly, and drifted back into sleep. I awoke some time that evening, or in the early hours of the next day. The ward was quiet and dark and I was in an utter panic. I had awoken from a horrible nightmare where I was lying on my back, with somebody pushing me along the polished corridor floor. They were using my legs and feet as a handle with which to propel me, and using my head to batter open the swing doors. Bang, slide slide, bang, slide slide, BANG! I can’t forget the pain I felt when I woke up, and the utter panic it induced. I remembered the procedure and was convinced that something had gone terribly wrong. After the drug induced calm of the previous 24 hours, I was now propelled back into the pain and panic of the first day. I honestly thought I was going to die. I started to cry. Some kindly person had put the nurses’ alert buzzer in my hand, and I was able to call for help. The nurse gave me a pain killing injection and after about 10 minutes the pain started to melt away and I was able to sleep again. Of this entire experience, that nightmare, the pain and the panic are the things that I will never forget. Sometimes when I’m alone I am seized by a surge of panic; a fear of a return of that pain. The following days were largely taken up with lying still in my bed and receiving visitors. My mum came, looking worried and trying to be cheerful. Former colleagues came, bearing gifts and mass signed cards. My brother, my nephew...and so on. I felt pretty self conscious, just lying there while they all complimented me on how well I was looking and doing. And then one day, about a week after my surgery, I suddenly had an emotional crash. Up until that point I had simply done as I was told without thinking about what was happening to me. Now I was seized by the enormity of the thing – what had happened, what might have happened – and I plummeted to an emotional low. I tried to push the feelings away, but I am left with a mixture of a strange nagging sadness combined with a deep fear – of what I’m not altogether sure – that only leaves me temporarily. I continued to get physically stronger by the day, and looked forward to being released from hospital. Twelve days after the SAH I was allowed to come home. Some days it’s as if the SAH never happened. I wake up, I potter around the house, read, watch daytime TV (!) surf the net, and wonder what all the fuss was about. Other days I have to force myself to believe that the strange stabbing headache really isn’t a re-bleed, or the second ani about to blow. Then there’s the nights when I wake up feeling uneasy, and am unable to go back to sleep. I get up feeling anxious and unspecific ally sad, and mope around the house trying to shake off the negative feelings. My hair has fallen out in clumps, and I have started shaving my head to even it up. I’ve had long dreadlocks all my adult life and now I have to get used to a baldy/shaven woman looking back at me from the mirror. I am probably more concerned with this than with my second aneurysm which will need treatment at some stage in the future! I really don’t know how to “handle” myself post SAH, but I realise that it’s still early days for me. I have adopted the saying onwards quod sursum! and that’s the best I can do, for now!
  19. 1 point
    Hi Sam and welcome aboard! This site is brilliant for support and advice and I'm sure you will gain a lot from it and the people here. Sometimes it's useful to have somewhere to post a question away from family, and to let your guard down a bit, without worrying about what anyone else thinks. Mandy x
  20. 1 point
    Hi sammy Welcome to the group. Glad you found the site and hopefully you will get lots of help here and find some comfort and answers as I have since joining. You share a Similar story to myself. A pretty long stay in hospital and VP shunt to boot and it all takes a good while to settle and adjust to and achieve a state that is steady. In fact that's my ambition even now three years on, I hope for steady days and when they come round then I'm happy. Regular routine in the day is very helpful especially when you are returning to work, if you add something in then give it time to settle and try and do things a bit at a time. Good luck with it. Don't Rush is my advice. I didn't realise how much my confidence was knocked after the time in hospital and post bleed but with time that has improved but I still don't enjoy busy social stuff now when I used to love it but I enjoy oth things more. Others will be along to welcome you, ask anything, the strangeness in recovery post SAH is all something we can help you understand I hope. Take care
  21. 1 point
    Just a little info re my post of 15th January when I mentioned that my wife had no SAH follow-up scans since her discharge from hospital over 3 and 1/2 years ago. She has been told that a MRI scan is being scheduled asap. She is still doing her two days a week AND wait for it- going back for a third day this week to help with the back-log,!! Yes Carolyn I`m pulling my hair out!!! What are you women like!! Not looking forward to the next three months election campaign Louise!!! Think I will lock myself in the garage!
  22. 1 point
    Today, in 2011 was my mums last day alive, as fully functioning human being. I posted on here looking for answers and a miracle and while a miracle never came, the support and love I got from people helped me so much. I'll never forget it. I am at university now, I've moved away from home, my dad and brother now live on their own, my dad is attempting to date which is going horribly wrong but my brother is really finding his strengths, he's doing very well but the relationship between the two of them is shaky at best, so I worry and I felt incredibly guilty for leaving them. It still feels like a dream to me, like she'll come back some day as if its just been a long holiday but it never happens. I'm so happy, I've met the man I want to marry, found a career I love, living in a wonderful house, in a wonderful city but there is still a guilt there, the guilt at not being able to help my father and a guilt at having the life my mother never did. Hers and my fathers marriage was difficult, my father is very demanding and angry, something I wish I would've known sooner but I didn't. How could i? She didn't have the life she deserved but I hope she is now. It almost makes me feel guilty and selfish for wanting her back, but I just wish she was here to talk to. I always pictured her, helping me choose a wedding dress, playing with my kids and growing old gracefully and respectfully. I just miss her. So much, but I am very grateful for the support I received here and wish the best of luck to those going through it. I'm not going to sugar coat it, there are no easy answers. Death is a very strange thing, something we all handle differently, but it does get better, the good days start to outnumber the bad and as you can see from all the survival and amazing stories of the people on this board, many do pull through, so never give up on that idea either. I love you all and wish you all the best.
  23. 1 point
    Hi all, I've been reading peoples stories on here and thought i'd share mine! 26th Oct 2012 approx 7.30pm, i had sold some of my fishing tackle on ebay, ard 2 young lads had came to collect from dudley. I went into my garage with them to sort the stuff out. I remember that i started to feel weird, cant explain the actual feeling but also felt dizzy, the next thing i remember is waking up in Coventry hospital. My partner later informed me that as i was sorting fishing stuff out in the garage, i had collapsed and had a seizure, i was being sick. One of the young lads came bashing on the living room window to my partner and was shouting at her to come quick! She then rang for ambulance and paramedics were then within minutes. She also told me that i had lost the feeling in my right arm and leg immediately after having the seizure. The paramedics were going to take me to the stroke unit at Royal Worcester hospital, they changed their mind as soon as i said that my vision had gone, it may have only been for a few seconds but that made them change their minds and take me straight into resus. It was there where i had my first CT scan which revealed i had suffered a ruptured aneurysm/SAH. All the time that i was there, apparently all i kept on saying was that my head it going to explode, i continued to vomit and was given some anti-sickness meds. Within about 5/6 hours i was on my way to Coventry where i would spend the next 3 weeks of my journey. I was sent straight to the step-down unit which is a high dependency ward, and then was sent for an angiogram during early hours of night which revealed a bleed around the size of a 50p piece. I still dont recall much of this at all and my partner has had to fill in many, many gaps. I was given the choice between having the coiling op or the craniotomy, apparently i gave my permission for the coiling op to be done even though it came with the higher risks, i dont even recall signing the form but i did. I had the op done 29th Oct 12. My family got a phone call from the hospital the following day, to say i had gone a little downhill and were moving me to critical care. Apparently i was very agitated and was suffering from lack of sleep, the doctors decided to put me into an induced coma. I was put onto a breathing machine, hooked up by a tube in my mouth, they said that with them doing this it would give my body the rest it needs to recover. They kept my blood pressure high to make sure the blood forced the vessels in my brain to stay open as they thought i was suffering from vasospasm, which indeed i was. I also came down with pneumonia whilst on the breathing machine. Doctors then changed the breathing tube in my mouth of the trachea tube so they could try and bring me around easy, they tried on the 4th day (3rd Nov) but as i came round i was trying to pull the tubes out so as i wouldnt calm down they put me back under. I finally woke up on the 6th day (5th Nov). It was such a shock to be awake but unable to speak, i was sure i was speaking but nothing was coming out. The nurses gave me an etcha-sketch so i could try and communicate but as i was right-handed and it was that side that i had weakness, i couldnt manage it. I finally had the trachea out on 7th Nov and was moved back to the step-down ward. I had daily visits from the Physio and the OT nurse, i was taking little steps on the way to recovery. It was hard but i wanted to go home to my partner and 2 young children! I was eventually discharged 13th Nov. Even though i struggled a little at home, i was so glad to be back. I knew i still had a lot more of recovering to do but i was on the right path. i still have weakness in my right hand and i have accepted that it will never go back to normal, i also suffered with nightmares, which my doctor prescribed me some sleeping tablets so they have seemed to eased off a little, i also went into depression and am still dealing with that now but I'm just so glad i can look forward to the future!
  24. 1 point
    I had my SAH on August 17th this year. It was coiled the next day at the Walton Centre in Merseyside. I have a smaller aneurysm which is being monitored. A close friend (who actually saved my life by insisting I ring NHS Direct instead of trying to sleep it off) found this site for me and I've been looking in a lot but not saying very much yet. I have a passion for photography and this has kept me focussed (pun) when everything else needs too much concentration and mental effort. Last week I was invited by a local paper (Liverpool Echo) to talk about my photography and recent experiences, and today it was printed (a 3-page spread no less!). As it tells my story I thought I'd post a link to it:http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liver...0252-29743165/
  25. 1 point
    2006 was meant to be a year of new beginnings my darling husband Morris had been given a new lease of life in May of 2005 when he had his quadruple heart bypass. He had been really poorly from the September of 2004 and it was a stressful time for us as a family. For his mother it proved too much and she suffered with a heart attack the day before Morris was discharged from hospital and ended up having a triple bypass herself within days of her son. It was also the year we would celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary. I was running on low batteries and felt constantly tired from about the May. We had booked to go to Majorca for two weeks at the end of August as we would be celebrating our 25th Wedding Anniversary. A couple of days before we were due to leave I noticed that my left eye was badly bloodshot but thought nothing of it as it wasn’t painful just not particularly nice to look at. It cleared up and we had a really lovely and relaxing holiday. I had only been back at work for less than two weeks when I had to take a further two weeks off when Claire was ill. I returned to work at the end of September and life began to return to a normal routine. In retrospect and to be honest I really can’t remember but Morris tells me I was suffering from more headaches but as I was taking quite a lot of Nurofen for tendonitis in my right ankle I just don’t know. It was about the beginning of October when I started getting very sharp pains behind my left eye. I put it down to stress at first after all that had happened with Claire and the fact that I was proof reading training documents at work. I also had quite a severe chest infection and had been sent for x-rays, the first lot of antibiotics failed to clear it and during this time the pain behind my eye was becoming more severe and even more intense, at times that it would wake me up. I had decided to discuss it with my G.P when going back for more antibiotics but because I’m a stubborn person and she wouldn’t let me get a word in edgeways, too busy lecturing me on smoking I ended up leaving in a foul mood without mentioning it at all. It was now the beginning of November and the stabbing pain was happening more often. I had phoned the surgery for an appointment with a different G.P but could only get an appointment with the same G.P for the 3rd of November the Friday. On the Thursday was on a late shift 12 - 8 at work so went in as normal by about 2 p.m the pain behind my eye was quite severe whereas until that day it had come and gone and was mainly a stabbing pain now it had changed. Its quite hard to describe the stabbing sensation was still there but also constant throbbing and pressure. I took some painkillers hoping to ease it off and continued working. I went into a meeting at 3 p.m and it was during the meeting that I felt extremely ill and had to run off to the toilets. I felt really sick but wasn’t actually sick. I splashed my face with cool water and returned to the room and told them I had to go. I must have looked bad as no-one argued with me I cleared my stuff away and called Morris to pick me up, he was painting his mum’s house so said he would send Claire. I didn’t make it out of the building had to dive into the toilets and was violently ill managed to rinse my mouth and face which helped slightly and made it outside to wait for Claire. Don’t you just love sympathetic children she took one look at me and said don’t you dare be sick in my car mum. Claire dropped me at home were I literally crawled up the stairs and put myself to bed with a bowl in tow. Morris came dashing home from his mum’s really concerned it was unheard of for me to go to bed no matter how ill I was but I just couldn’t move, any movement at all and the pain behind my eye got worse and the nausea. I suppose if I had to get ill I had chosen the right time in one respect. Morris had just bought a black cab and was just that week starting up as a self-employed cab driver. Prior to this he was a rapid response driver for a security company working up to 50 hours a week and would have been unable to take time off to look after me. I made Morris go out to work and refused to go to the Doctors as I had an appointment the next afternoon. I just stayed in bed drifting in and out of sleep cringing and moaning every time a firework went off. Morris kept popping in to keep an eye on me and that night I did manage to sleep fitfully. On the Friday couldn’t really move a lot without pain but dragged myself out of bed in the afternoon to go to the Doctors. The Doctor was as useless as usual and not really very interested in listening to the type of pain I was having, merely pressed on my cheekbone asked if it was sore and said it was Sinusitis. I was sent home with Sinutab and told to go back the following week if it was no better. The next morning actually dragged myself downstairs as Morris had been working and when he got into bed every time he moved my head hurt. I phoned work to let them know I would not be in as it was my Saturday to work and tried to lie on the sofa as could not manage to sit up right. Callum had Cbeebies on and the colours were playing havoc with my eyes now realise that I had photosensitivity so put up with it for as long as I could then crawled back into bed. I don’t know what was worse being downstairs with the telly or trying to keep my head still with Morris in bed eventually had to wake him up and ask him not very nicely to get out as he was making me feel ill. My poor husband and children were really worried about me and kept popping up to see how I was. Morris came in about 1 a.m the Sunday morning to check on me and wanted to take me to hospital as my left eyelid was partly closed and my vision had become blurred and double. Morris wanted to take me straight to the hospital but I said I would phone the NHS helpline. One of the Nurses called me back and I described my symptoms and was told to get myself to hospital immediately, they did offer to send an ambulance for me but I said I didn’t need one and Morris took me. We got to the hospital early hours of the Sunday morning thankfully A.E was not too busy and I was seen fairly quickly. The Doctor actually knew there was something badly wrong with my sight but it went downhill from there as the A.E consultant would not approve a scan as they thought it might be caused by Glaucoma. So I had to wait hours for the on call Ophthalmic Registrar to come out and they had no cubicle with a bed for me to lie down on. I was eventually seen by the Ophthalmic Registrar at 8 a.m and she diagnosed a Third Nerve Palsy and stated there was no damage to the eye at all that it was caused by pressure behind the eye. Back to A.E who now had to authorise a scan but as it was a Sunday had a further wait as they only have on call Radiologists at the weekend. It was 10 a.m before I finally had the scan completed and was sent back to A.E to wait for the results. Finally at 11 o’clock they made the decision to admit me. Then began my bed hopping around Arrowe Park, I started off on a Trolley Observation ward until I was eventually transferred to a general observation award about 2 o’clock. Which is when I sent Morris home for some sleep poor man had been up all night and had not had much sleep the day before either because I had ejected him ruthlessly from the bed. I was kept in Arrowe Park hospital for six days during which time I was moved at least three times. I also had an MRI and a neck scan done I was supposed to see the visiting Neurologist on the Tuesday but due to an emergency it was the Thursday before he came. Although I remember all of my time in the hospital I was still suffering with excruciating pressure in my head and the stabbing pain behind my eye. I now know that my Aneurysm was leaking during this period and that sometimes I felt able to move about and leave the ward and at others could not lift my head from the pillows. During all this time I was really hoping that it would just go away Morris and I were supposed to be going away for a long weekend to Santander on the Friday it was somewhere Morris had always wanted to go so I had arranged it as a surprise for him. Morris came in early on the Thursday to be there when the Neuro came. We saw him come in with the scans and he was just holding them up to the light not placing them on the boards to look at them. After about 10 minutes he came across to talk to us and said he could not see anything obvious but would take them all back to Walton with him for the team to look at. At which point I asked if I would be alright to fly to Spain the next day he said no I had to wait for them to examine the scans first then he would let the hospital know the following day. I woke up the Friday and was really bad, the pain had intensified even more and could not bear the lights, noise of the ward and was extremely sick yet again. I buried my head under pillows and covers and didn’t surface again until lunch time but still could not face hospital food. I finally managed to pull myself together and told the nursing staff where I was going down to the Cafe in case Walton got in touch. I called Morris and told him I was off the ward and he and his mother came up early. I was trying to eat something can’t remember what so I must have stayed off the ward for nearly two hours before we went back up. When we got onto the ward the Nurses told me they had been looking for me, Walton had called telling them to get me on flat bed rest immediately as I had an Aneurysm that might go at anytime and they were arranging an immediate transfer for me. No doctor came to see before transfer to explain what it was or what the effects might be and I had never heard of them but did realise that if it was in my brain it was serious. Morris went off to take his mum home and let the girls know what was happening and told me he would then meet me at Walton. I only had to wait about an hour for the transfer and what was then to be the longest few hours of my life. To say I was terrified is an understatement for the whole time I had been in hospital I had been going up and down in the lifts a few times a day and going outside on my own for a sly smoke. My thoughts turned to my family and I was really scared that I might not see my daughters and grandsons again and I certainly did not want to leave Morris, we had promised each others years ago that we would grow old, grey and wrinkly together. The trip over to Liverpool was awful it was through a Friday night rush hour and my poor head hated every single pothole and bump along the way. I got taken straight up to a Neurology ward and whether it was the journey or not I don’t know but the pain behind my eye became really excruciating and I had to wear an eye mask to block the light as it hurt so much. The on call Surgeon came to see us about 11 p.m and explained a little about the condition and said if you get a really bad pain like someone kicking your head hard we’ll whip you into theatre tonight if not a Consultant will see you in the morning. Morris was sent home and told he could come back first thing and I spent the rest of the night in horrendous pain made worse by the fact that nearly all the women on the ward had eaten something for tea that disagreed with them. I spent the night groaning in pain and no amount of pain relief touched it. I made it till 8 o’clock the next morning then it ruptured again the pain was so bad that I was screaming with agony how long it lasted I don’t know probably seconds but it felt like forever. The nurses came running and tried to give me a cold compress but I demanded a hot one and when applied it eased it a bit. Morris turned up just after and I think I just clung to him in absolute terror that I might not see him again. The Consultant came around just after Morris and went through the options with us. He explained that coiling was the preferred and less intrusive method but that it could not be done till the Monday as they don’t have the staff in at the weekends. He then went on to say that he considered that I should have an immediate Craniotomy as he did not think I would survive till the Monday for the coiling procedure. So really no choice at all but I was in so much pain I just didn’t care anyway and told him to go ahead. He did try to explain the risks in both procedures and the percentages but I don’t remember much of that conversation. I think I realised just how serious the procedure was because they let Morris accompany right down to theatre and he stayed with me until I was sedated. I don’t know how long I was in theatre and even Morris is unsure as no-one came out to see him after the operation. The first he knew that I was alright was when he seen me being transferred to the H.D.U. My first memory is when Morris and my daughter Sarah came in to see me but as to the time really don’t know. I do know that later the Xfactor was on as the Nurses asked if I minded them putting the T.V on. I must have drifted in and out as remember the dreaded questions every couple of hours and always gave them the wrong hospital. On the Sunday because I obviously was doing really well they transferred me from H.D.U to a Neurological ward. I remained on the critical care part of the ward until the Tuesday when they got me out of bed and started me walking. Then moved further down the ward as I no longer needed constant observation. I remained in hospital till the Friday and then was discharged with no information at all just a letter for my G.P with my medication listed on it and an appointment for the Nurse to call the following Tuesday to remove my clips. I can honestly say the first month or so doing anything at all just made me so exhausted and it was a real effort just to bathe and dress myself. I would cry buckets for no reason and even the simplest of tasks was beyond me. If I managed to get to the kitchen to make a drink chances were I would forget I’d made it and return several times and each time forget to take it back with me. I also suffered with my grammar and speech for quite some time much to the amusement of my family and friends. I always knew exactly what I wanted to say but what actually came out could be very different indeed and in some instances very embarrassing. I also had a very short concentration span and could lose the thread of conversations altogether especially if more than two people were involved. This still happens even now if I’m tired or in a busy place. My balance was all over the place because of the Third Nerve Palsy and it was really difficult to open my mouth to eat and chew food. In the second month I did start to feel slightly more able to do things but trying to load the washing machine was a definite no as bending made me really nauseous. I would start to cook but trying to keep upright for too long played havoc with my head so needed someone nearby to take over. By Christmas although still suffering badly with the fatigue and head-pain I managed with Morris’ help to cook the lunch. It was while sitting in the dining room after lunch into the evening with just low lights and candles burning that Morris noticed that my lid was opening on my left eye. It was the best present ever even though it caused quite a few problems as the vision was still distorted and double. Over the next two months with patching the vision started improving at the end of February I had my follow up appointment with the Neurosurgeon who promptly discharged me but gave me a leaflet that I really should have been given when I first left the hospital. I returned to work on a phased return in June 2007 and slowly increased this to 30 hours by the December. I did have ongoing problems with head pain and had started to try different types of medication to help control it. In my second year it very slowly dawned on me that I was working 6 hours a day Monday to Friday and was too tired to do much of anything either in the evenings or at weekends. Being stubborn I struggled on till July of this year. After a really enjoyable meet in Cheshire I returned to work on the Monday by the Wednesday fatigue had kicked in and had to call in work sick both the Thursday and Friday. That’s when I made the major decision that I had to reduce my hours back down and work were really good letting me do so from right away. At the moment I’m working 25 hours a week but will most likely be reducing this further still the beginning of next year. Physically I am still suffering with a lot of head-pain in March of this year I returned to my G.P and discussed how I was getting on. The Doctor was unhappy that the pain I was getting was still almost continuous and sent a referral over to Walton for me to be seen by the Neuro he also had another C.T scan done to check everything was still ok. The scan result was alright which was a relief and I eventually got my appointment with Walton who had not received a copy of the scan so had to return 8 weeks later once they had a chance to review it. I had started taking a low dose of an anti-depressant in the October of 2007 for nerve pain but whilst stopping some of the pain it was not getting rid of it all. On my second visit to Walton the Neuro talked about what type of treatment we could use and gave me an anti-epilepsy drug in a low dose to try and explained that they are not certain why some people suffer with nerve pain and others not at all and some can develop it years afterwards. The tablet I’m on at the moment isn’t working either my Doctor wanted to increase the dose but have asked to come off them as they are making me gain weight. I will be going back onto the low dose anti-depressant tablets as I already know they do cut down the pains a bit without making me turn into the Michelin Man. Recovering from an SAH is not easy or straight forward, it is a continuous journey of rediscovery that has to begin with acceptance which is perhaps the hardest thing to come to terms with. Once I learnt to accept and adapt to the new me it did get easier. I still get frustrated and angry about some of the things I used to take for granted. There are also quite a few things I would love to do like returning to studying but I now realise that at the moment my brain is not yet ready for that. I would like to say a big thank you to Karen and her family also Keith (Bogbrush) for creating and maintaining this site and all those who contribute because it has played such an enormous part in my recovery.
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