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  1. ADAPTED By BTG member Subzero Onward sharing or publication by his permission only. There`s no going back To your previous abode. No, SAH has led you On a different road. There`s no going back You`ve a new life ahead Confusing, upsetting And at times full of dread There`s no going back There is no quick fix But you`re building your new life With different bricks. There`s no going back BTG wants to help you Their message is clear Rest-drink whatever else you do. There`s no going back We go forward together Each day in our posts We give help to each other. There`s no going back With these highs and these lows And our will getting stronger The end result who knows But we are going to adapt Our work may need to change Take account of our brain Our schedules rearrange But we are going to adapt House work can wait As I negotiate with my brain On how much it can take But we are going to adapt If I take too much on Fatigue will soon hit me And I won`t get it done. But we are going to adapt Each day helps I feel. I must not be impatient Give my brain time to heal. When will we arrive there? We are all different you see The road that you take May not be for me. When will we arrive there? I`ve come to accept That each day brings new meaning Things I didn`t expect When will we arrive there? Please..family…wait and see I`m confused and uncertain Please be there for me. When will we arrive there? There is no way to know Just hold my hand tightly Where ever I go
    19 points
  2. I think I have shared that I started a blog , pogoestifty when I was back in hospital again post my SAH waiting to hear whether I needed a shunt which did. I found it great therapy ever since and it allowed me to track my progress and share with family and friends how I was doing. I blog less these days but have just posted for New Year and I thought I would share some of my list on that post here on BTG which as a forum helped me so much to make my adjustment and peace with what happened. "So as we head to the start of another year I thought I would share my lost and found list of living and adjusting to life post my SAH bleed and the subsequent surgeries for that and my shunt James which has left my brain changed forever. I lost brain a lot of brain cells 8/3/2012 due to the severity of bleed and through the surgeries and hydrocephalus but I have learnt , regained and found new ways of learning since then and I now treasure and treat my brain a lot more kindly and tread a little more gently through life. I have lost touch with some friends since that time but have gained an understanding of what true friendship looks and feels like. I am blessed to have the people that I do and I don't ever take their friendship for granted. I just hope I can one day help them the way they have helped me . I have lost a lot of worry and fear, it's strange how an event that forces you to know your own mortality can do that but I have found I am much more at ease and accepting of situations and really don't worry about much. I lost a little of my ambition. Well I think it's safe to say I have realigned it to the possibility of achieving whatever my current state allows but in doing that I have found I enjoy just doing what I do, for now anyway. I have lost respect for people that just moan and witch about everything and everyone without doing something to change but have found courage to walk away and distance myself from that. You don't ever need that stress in your life and it appears my brain hates the effect of it therefore I do not allow it in mine. I have lost a lot of social fun times and this has been hard to adjust to as you see I liked a bit of scene, a party, a loud concert but I have found I adore a 121 conversation just as much these days , it requires less energy and booze than dancing on a table and I don't care too much about the subject on offer as long as it's one that interests, intrigues or inspires and is with good company. I have lost living for tomorrow or in the past. I have found I can only do what I do and live in today and with a bit of luck and a fair wind I will have another one tomorrow and if it doesn't well I can say,'well today was a good sort of day' I have lost the ability to sleep completely flat due to the effect of my shunt at night so now sleep Barbara Cartland style propped up on cushions but without the pink nighties and feather boas but have found that you really can get used to and adjust to anything if you keep a positive outlook. I mean every time I forget and tip my head to far or back I get to hear my gravitational valve work and move, how cool is that, I get to hear the internal workings of the rubies at work with the hamsters. I have lost count of the pills, procedures, scans and doctors I have seen but I have found that progress is best measured by looking at your lowest point and then where you are today, nothing else really matters. I have found it always good to try help someone else no matter what your struggle is and so I have the lost the inhibition to offer help if I think it's needed. I have lost the feeling that I have to go it alone for something to matter or be worth something and learnt it's actually better to #lean in , you can take the corners better and it makes it easier to hug other people if you do. " What did you find and lose? Happy. Healthy 2016 to you all.
    17 points
  3. A letter from your brain Hello, I’m glad to see that you are awake! This is your brain talking. I had to find some way to communicate with you. I feel like I barely survived WWIII and am still not quite all in one piece. That’s why I need you. I need you to take care of me. As time passes and you and I feel better and better, people, even doctors, will tell you that we are fine, “it’s time to get on with life.” That sounds good to me and probably even better to you. But before you go rushing back out into that big wide world, I need you to listen to me, really listen. Don’t shut me out. Don’t tune me out. When I’m getting into trouble I’ll need your help more than I ever have before. I know that you want to believe that we are going to be the same. I’ll do my best to make that happen. The problem is that too many people in our situation get impatient and try to rush the healing process; or when their brains can’t fully recover they deny it and, instead of adapting, they force their brains to function in ways they are no longer able too. Some people even push their brains until they seize, and worse… I’m scared. I’m afraid that you will do that to me. If you don’t accept me I am lost. We both will be lost. How can I tell you how much I need you now? I need you to accept me as I am today… not for what I used to be, or what I might be in the future. So many people are so busy looking at what their brains used to do, as if past accomplishments were a magical yardstick to measure present success or failures, that they fail to see how far their brains have come. It’s as if here is shame, or guilt, in being injured. Silly, huh? Please don’t be embarrassed or feel guilt, or shame, because of me. We are okay. We have made it this far. If you work with me we can make it even further. I can’t say how far. I won’t make any false promises. I can only promise you this, that I will do my best. What I need you to do is this: because neither of us knows how badly I’ve been hurt (things are still a little foggy for me), or how much I will recover, or how quickly, please go s-l-o-w-l-y when you start back trying to resume your life. If I give you a headache, or make you sick to your stomach, or make you unusually irritable, or confused, or disoriented, or afraid, or make you feel that you are overdoing it, I’m trying to get your attention in the only way I can. Stop and listen to me. I get exhausted easily since being hurt, and cannot succeed when overworked. I want to succeed as much as you do. I want to be as well as I can be, but I need to do it at a different pace than I could before I got hurt. Help me to help us by paying attention and heeding the messages I send to you. I will do my part to do my very best to get us back on our feet. I am a little worried though that if I am not exactly the same… you will reject me and may even want to kill us. Other people have wanted to kill their brains, and some people have succeeded. I don’t want to die, and I don’t want you to die. I want us to live, and breath and be, even if being is not the same as it was. Different may be better. It may be harder too, but I don’t want you to give up. Don’t give up on me. Don’t give up on yourself. Our time here isn’t through yet. There are things that I want to do and I want to try, even if trying has to be done in a different way. It isn’t easy. I have to work very hard, much harder, and I know that you do too. I see people scoff, and misunderstand. I don’t care. What I do care about is that you understand how hard I am working and how much I want to be as good as I can be, but I need you to take good care of us, as well as you can do that. Don’t be ashamed of me. We are alive. We are still here. I want the chance to try to show you what we are made of. I want to show you the things that are really important in life. We have been given another chance to be better, to learn what is really important. When it is finally time for our final exit I would like to look back and feel good about what we made of us and out of everything that made up our life, including this injury. I cannot do it without you. I cannot do it if you hate me for the way being injured has affected me and our life together. Please try not to be bitter in grief. That would crush me. Please don’t reject me. There is little I can do without you, without your determination to not give up. Take good care of us and of yourself. I need you very much, especially now. Love, your wounded brain ©1996 Stephanie St. Claire May be reprinted for personal, not for profit use.
    15 points
  4. With a big thank you to Les' wife Sandra, to his sons, family and friends for the amazing and very generous gift of £1,100 to help support and run Behind the Gray. This amount was raised after a donation fund was set up by the family as a tribute to our dear friend Les. (Macca) With this gift it means Les (Macca) leaves a legacy of this site continuing to run for years to come allowing us all, old and new members alike, to honour the gentle kindness of our friend, moderator and fellow SAH survivor but continuing to follow his example. Les always came ready to listen, he gave hope where it was missing, kindness and understanding to all and some of the best advice this forum has known. If you ever read a post from Les you knew it came from the heart. Let’s honour that. Les knew how valuable it was to be supported and he knew instinctively to be caring and imparted the knowledge of his own recovery experience and how much it mattered to help make someone else's day that little bit easier. Les will leave his digital legacy with us ... his words of wisdom, kindness and humour will stay with us and will also bring much comfort to those who in future years come to the website for help and support. Myself and all of the staff/team at Behind the Gray hugely miss the presence of Les. x Thank you so much to all of his family and friends for helping Behind the Gray and ensuring that we can provide the help and support to future survivors. We are totally overwhelmed by your generosity. xx
    15 points
  5. 12 years ago today my life and that of my family's changed in a split second. After recovery I had to cope with disability which also affected those around me. I now look on the SAH positively in one respect, no point in brooding, it happened and you can't turn the clock back. A teenage girl once said to me that I have made a new life. How true that is. The SAH afforded me to live my life as I wanted, without any work constraints doing what I want when I want. That is the bonus. Because I was no longer able to continue in my job I was retired early, leaving me with the opportunity to continue my love of travel without being restrained by holiday entitlements. Travel I have done, to places I could never have thought I would visit mainly due to high prices. Now I can pick and choose the most affordable. My whole attitude to life changed 12 years ago, there is more to life than work, work and more work. My motto now is "Live life to the full to the best of your ability, blow tomorrow, it may never happen"
    15 points
  6. It's not often I write or start a new post these days preferring to respond to other posts but on this dull and dank Autumn morning in the UK it has got me reflecting on how my brain and lifestyle has changed since my SAH and resulting hydrocephalus and I guess I want to get that out there into BTG land. Prior to my SAH I ran life like many of us; at full tilt, leaning into the wind and busy busy busy. I am mum to two young girls , I worked near to full time and managed a fair social life into the mix but much of that description is different now I sit and reflect nearly three and half years on from my 'event'. I am able to work part time these days, I am fortunate I can do this mostly at home over video calls and computer with occasional trips to the big city. That helps money wise. I drive again, not far and not long but I am mobile. I can walk at length but nothing 'spinny' or high velocity so I have a little exercise routine that works for me , I don't drink at all and am in bed by 9.30 most nights as my battery runs out but then. I feel my brain acutely most days. That's a strange thing to say isn't it but I imagine most of you will get it. I know most of the people I come into contact with Day to day won't give a moments though to their brain and how it's doing but having spent some serious alone time doing nothing but watching and observing my brains thought, it's pain, it's changes since SAH I can honestly say I feel I know my little grey neurons a lot better these days and so I give it more attention and consideration. If I don't it just knocks me to my knees anyway so respecting the limits is an important part of my new mode of operating. The pain , discomfort and fear that sat with me in the early years are really reduced these days but I carry the weight of my personal change of capacity and ability and it sits quite heavy some days. I miss the old me, the reliability of knowing I could just do something without having to weigh up or make a choice of what I can do today. Understanding and judging my capacity , pace myself, is something I have begrudgingly had to learn to do but I'd be lying if I said I had fully accepted those limits, it's more I know I need to do it that way if I don't want that pain , discomfort and fear to notch up. I miss being included in things, people don't ask me so much these days as they know I probably can't manage the travel to a venue or to a big noisy event without bailing early so our social life has shrunk. I still have great friends, don't get me wrong this isn't meant to be a sad post it's just one from someone who is still adjusting, still changing and can't help but occasionally looking back. I celebrate how far I have come , I really do, my consultant thought I would never work or be independant and thankfully I am able to be both but like most I guess we never stop wanting more progress, more advance. Greedy really. The thing I struggle with still is that my brain never gets fully wound up no matter how much I rest, how much I pace, how much water I drink, I still always wake tired. I'm like a clockwork toy that you can't keep wound up. In fact most mornings I have to be woken up . The family have a routine, my daughters and my hubby are all getting ready but I am left sleeping and you know what I don't hear a thing of the noisy morning bustle and then they wake me with a cup of tea It's really sweet of them and it's a gentle start to my day but with you I can share I feel guilty that I just can't manage to wake up any earlier and when I do wake I sit with what I only describe as hangover head for a while, no bounding Out of bed for me unless I want to fall. My hydro team suggest this is more the shunts effects than SAH but it's a hard legacy, a small legacy really to swallow all things considered but I start each morning with renewed reminder and knowledge of my limits for the day. Oh it's a strange thing to live with a rearranged and damaged noodle but it's is glorious to have that challenge of life and be one of the lucky ones. Onwards. Keeping hope. And singing of course.
    15 points
  7. It seems a long time ago when my brain sprung a leak but my memories from that day, the days in hospital afterwards, and at home recuperating, are still very strong. I had no concept at the time of a long term recovery. In fact I thought 'no problem, I'll push through this' and get back on with my life like nothing has happened. Wrong, very wrong. I don't think anyone told me that a long recovery was going to happen, or I wasn't listening if they did, but I certainly wasn't prepared for it. Here I am three years later and my life is definitely not the same as it was. But actually I think the positives now far outweigh the negatives. The bleed was an unwelcome circuit breaker for our lives but about a year or so down the track my attitude changed. I found it much better to focus on what I do have rather than what I don't. And I am much clearer about what is important in life and what isn't. One valuable asset that I didn't have pre-bleed was time because my life was so jam packed. Soon after the bleed I had time because my doctor told me to stop work. I wasn't coping due to the head pain and fatigue but was just pressing on. Bad move. However I don't think I knew what to do with the time at first. And that is understandable in the sense that I was still thinking that I was dealing with a short term problem and therefore I would be back to 'normal' in a few days or weeks. And maybe that is how it is for some but I would be surprised if that is the case. So if I had the opportunity to plan my recovery and do it again from scratch what would I change? I would teach myself to get to know my boundaries and remove all those things that have a negative impact on my recovery. And I would reflect more on who and what are most important in my life and put more energy into them. And I would more quickly accept the hand that I was dealt. And I would learn to say no. Yet again I can confirm that the wise counsel of our experienced BTG'ers is, perhaps unsurprisingly, spot on. Key for me are the messages to be kind to your brain, listen to your body, and pace yourself. I was slow to learn what these messages actually mean but the sooner one works that out the better. My recovery is a work in progress and I expect that there is more to come. But if this is as good as it gets then I am fine with that too. I figure that I have little to gain from stressing about it. Best wishes to all on BTG, especially to Karen and her band of wonderful helpers.
    14 points
  8. Well, I am ecstatic on this cold, bright and snowy afternoon. I have just come in from decorating my daughter's new flat and find a letter from the hospital saying, "I write to advise you that the scans you had on 14th January show everything is stable" It then goes on to say "Dr. Dyde has arranged a further scan to be performed in 18 months and we will write to you with the results when they are available. Currently no further treatment is planned" I am so happy, I could cry! In fact I didn't just get one letter saying this, I got two - an identical letter which must have been sent just to make sure I'd read the first one correctly!! I dread to think how many months I have had all this hanging over me, so the relief is immense. I realise that things may change in the future, but 18 months respite is not to be sniffed at in my book Sarah x
    13 points
  9. Well, I made it! Ten years to the day since my 'event' and I'm still here. It just shows it can be done! It is also eight years to the day that I married the lady that saved my life, my wife Sandra! It is hard to believe that all that time has passed. I am eternally grateful to my surgeon and his team. Well, the weather is fine, the sun is shining, it's a clear blue sky (not often you can say that in Salford!) and we're going for an Italian tonight. Here's to the next ten and thanks to everyone who has supported me through these last ten years. I have learned so much from others 'who get it' on this site and your experiences, strength in the face of adversity, and your downright humanity, humbles me. I wish everyone all the very best in your recoveries however long it takes and just say from me "Thanks for being there!"
    13 points
  10. Apologies in advance it’s bit long winded but then it has been 20 years seems a bit surreal really, but thought because it was that long I’d share a bit of how far I have come since that time a long LONG way so many up’s as well as down’s on here I use the phrase ‘swings and roundabouts’ and that is true of my recovery for every few steps forward there was the same and lots more back the way but eventually there were no steps forward and this is it. Keeping a diary is a good way of knowing how much things improved something I didn’t do at the start I kept forgetting to write things down (memory) or I did write them down but in the begin I’d miss pages out it was hard to find what I’d last wrote or I’d turn the notebook upside down and write thankfully that’s not the case now So there’s an improvement in itself. And I now use the computer so that really helps. Day before my 2nd Ani-versary on of all days Halloween my Dad passed away that was a challenge I have to say and the fact would I cope, well simply I muddled through about all I can say there, waded through some horrific times with his neighbours, all this brings you so low but in the end makes you so strong. So really since the first Ani-versary I don't really do anything and the reason for that mostly I have my Dad’s aniversary on 31st Oct, my Ani-versary on 1st Nov and my Mum’s anniversary (also the day my Dad was cremated) 6th Nov. But as the years go it’s gotten a lot easier, although this year has been challenging with the constant mention of 31st October. In 2006 I stumbled on BTG I hadn’t been using to using a computer long and the search would have been limited I think it was something like ‘people recovering from a Brain Haemorrhage, so the basic of the basic and the first thing I saw was Behind the grey had a nose and have never looked back Karen and Sami were so friendly and that was that, I am so grateful to them for just basically being there. When I got here the site hadn’t been running all that long but I was 6 years down the road at that time in recovery bobbing along, but Ronnie’s young cousin Candice had died of a SAH caused by the shrinkage of a Tumour she was one of 6 all girls I first meet her when she was 4 or 5 she was 18 when she passed, we went to Stevenage for the funeral OMG! That was hard and on my return I was I guess suffering from ‘survivors guilt’ I was doing a computer course at college for people like me with challenges so used what I had to find out about this feeling of no one else understanding how I felt and how it was to have a Brain Haemorrhage feeling so alone. And finding BTG found I wasn't the only one feeling isolated and alone at last there were others who knew just how I felt-they got it. I am eternally grateful to Karen for this site. There was a support group at the hospital I was in, met once a month first Monday of every month at 7pm – what why can’t it be in the day, I don't do evenings!! I mean I just found this strange having chronic fatigue all the time and having to go to a support group meeting in the evening just seemed daft! Needless to say I never went. In 2007 we decided to move house could I have done that in the early early years No I couldn’t I can honestly say hand on heart I don’t know what I was thinking about, but the thought of not having to climb 3 flights of stairs was alluring I was willing if not actually able to move. It took a long time to get used to the new place, surroundings, and people. I now live in the village my Dad was born and brought up in and in the early days of living here I was sure this place was my Past, not present nor future, but it’ll be 12 years at the end of November since we moved here so always hang in there give it time, don’t throw the towel in till you’ve tried, that’s me anyway thankfully I have a lot of my Mum’s traits and that was one hers. There have been many challenges since but if there’s one thing having had the SAH you have strength in other ways. Last year I lost my Uncle after a very long battle cancer and then Dementia took hold. I took my first flight in well over 20 years, and tried to be as much support to Ronnie as he’d been to me over the years I think I wouldn't be the person I am without his love and support and the massive encouragement he’s given me time and time again.. It’s a bit of a surprise really to find that its 20 years since I left work at 5pm on 1st Nov 1999 I barely remember getting home that night then simply life changed. But I feel very blessed to have what I have and I never take things for granted I have two pictures on the wall in this room; ‘When the world says give up, hope whispers try it one more time’. And the other says: ‘We create our tomorrows by what we dream today’. Thank-you to Karen and everyone on the site. xxx
    13 points
  11. I had a particularly good session with my Headway Occupational Therapist yesterday. The topic for our session was helping me with strategies for helping others to understand what my strengths and weaknesses now are. One of the things my OT shared with me was the article in the link below, and I though I would share it with you all as I thought was quite good. http://www.brainline.org/content/2011/07/lost-found-what-brain-injury-survivors-want-you-to-know.html Not all will be applicable to us all, but some of it may be, it was for me. I will share some of this with my dearest and dearest to try to explain things a bit better. I've abstracted one of the points below (I didn't quite agree with all of it, but I felt this bit was particularly apt) Hope folks find this helpful Greg. ------------------------------------------ Please don’t confuse Hope for Denial. We are learning more and more about the amazing brain and there are remarkable stories about healing in the news every day. No one can know for certain what our potential is. We need Hope to be able to employ the many, many coping mechanisms, accommodations and strategies needed to navigate our new lives. -------------------------------------------
    13 points
  12. Hi Victoria, Welcome to BTG, I`m so sorry you are feeling such despair, what I`m about to say I have not said to anyone apart from my doctor. When I had my SAH in June 2014 my partner was fantastic, he really did take good care of me, always reassuring me that everything would be fine, no matter deficit I was left with we would get through it together, When I left hospital I had left sided weakness, couldn't walk unaided, had a lot of head, back and leg pain, the hospital gave me pain meds to take when I was discharged home. I`d been home about 4 weeks when out of the blue he told me he didn't want me taking anymore pain meds, I told him I had to take them because I was still having a lot of pain, he then told me if I didn't stop taking them he wouldn't love me anymore, as you can imagine this totally shocked and horrified me that he could say such a thing. The following morning he took all of my pain meds back to the pharmacy, telling them I no longer needed them, I wasn't strong enough to fight back, what I did do was go to see my doctor, when I got there I totally broke down and just poured everything out, she was great. She actually phoned my partner and explained to him that I needed pain relief and she was prescribing me some more, he was not to stop me taking them and if he did then there would be consequences for him, I was dreading going back home but when I got there he was fine, I don't think he expected me to tell her what he had done. Jumping forwards 10 months into my recovery, I had managed to get onto arm crutches and get on my feet, while I was waiting for some physiotherapy he said he wanted me to stop using crutches, I told him no way was I doing that because I would just fall over, when the physiotherapist came I told her in front of him what he wanted me to do, she told him no way was I to go without them, not until I was confident that I wouldn't fall. When I had my 6 month follow up with hospital, he nearly fell off the chair when the Professor said I should start to see some improvements over the following 2 years, he said " how long " years, I thought she would have been back to normal by now, that's when he was told I would probably never be the same as I was before SAH. I was so glad that he was told that because it made him realise there would be a new normal for me, well both of us actually. I hope when people are reading this they don't think I am horrible for telling this storey, I actually typed it 3 times and deleted it because I was worried what people would think, we have been together for 18 years and I love him dearly he has been my rock through all of this. He now understands more about what I can do and what I can't, I do stand up to him more now that I have the strength to do it. I know this has been a very long post, I`m sorry, but please Victoria try and talk to him, talk to your doctor and maybe they might be able to explain more to him about what your limitations are now. You will become more accepting of who you are now, like Macca said you cant change what has happened in the past, you can however be in charge of what happens in the future, start loving the new person you have become, that's what I have done and I actually quite like the new me. This is a fantastic place to come to when things are tough, it`s also the best place I know to make new friends, with lots of advice and so much help and support, it`s perfect. We are here for you, I`m sending you a big hug as I think you need one, Good Luck Love Michelle xx
    13 points
  13. Subs and All xx I met my Hubby at work, at first I thought he was a bit rude/bighead. 44 years on I still think he is the best thing that ever happened to me. (still a bit quiet but he doesn't get a word in with me ha). I cry when I talk about him as I love him so much, but when we first got married life was tough, so we lived with my parents until we could afford our own house. We've had some good rows but I still Love him so much xx We worked together running our own business, ate and drank(lots) together. He is my best Pal. My Sisters all said "my husband wouldn't do what yours did for you" (when ill) So without our Carers we would be lost. When I couldn't hold a cup Hubby got me 2 cardboard cups, he knows me so well. He knew getting out would do me the world of good. Love to All Win xxxxxxxxxx
    13 points
  14. The 21st of august will be the first anni-versary of my SAH. I'm writing about it now as I'll be in Portugal on the day, so hopefully I'll be in the sun and near the sea with a glass of (non-alcoholic) bubbly to celebrate. ? It's hard to believe that a year has gone by - flown by. I still find it hard to believe that I survived two ruptured aneurysms and one unruptured one, and that I've managed to go from being unable to even make a cup of tea to returning to work. But that's exactly what I've done. So on the 21st I'll be raising a glass to all the SAH/stroke survivors out there and applauding the resilience we have to just keep on going. So happy anni-versary to me and to every SAH survivor! Xx
    13 points
  15. Once of the most distressing things for me post SAH was my ability to cope with cognitive demand and sensory overload. It was painful. In time that’s passed since, 7yrs, I have learnt more about my triggers but also how to pace and rest in ways that’s right for me but I still know flooding can and does happen. I still wear sunglasses and earplugs on many occasions and still alway carry them. lots of people come to site and struggle with the sensations and how this feels And I think this is a great education video that explains it credit to Northern Brain Injury Association
    12 points
  16. Hi Carolyn, Great question. I'll answer from my own experience and I'm sure others will add theirs. firstly 6.5 weeks is virtually nothing in recovery terms. Months and years is more the order of the day. What I did, and it was completely wrong, in my opinion, with hindsight, was to set myself a goal of getting back to normal. What's wrong with that, I hear you ask? Well, what was 'normal?' In my head, It was back to being the old me, where I was the day before I had the 'event.' But then, that was all I knew. I realised later that was never going to happen. What I failed to realise when I woke up, was that this was the new me and was the new normal. I just had to find out what that was, and what it meant, for me. If you look at old photos of yourself, you see big changes in yourself that you took in your stride as they happened over time, almost without you realising. It was only when you looked at the photos you realised how much you had you changed and you probably had a laugh about it with your family and friends. At your haircut, your height, your weight gain or loss, your shoes, the car you had then as opposed to the one you have now. They all evolved over time. What you have now is sudden change foisted upon you, in a surprise attack that damaged you, but didn't finish you off. You survived, and what you now have to do is take stock of what happened, how much damage was done and try to adapt and get on with life as best you can. To put it into a context, think of any military conflict where a commander has insisted on a surprise attack and what the response was. The Japanese commander, Yamamoto, planned the attack on Pearl Harbor in WWII. They surprised the fleet there. The American response was to dust themselves down, assess the damage and set about repairing themselves ready to strike back. All the battleships were sunk, but they survived the attack and planned their return strike by using what they had left - the aircraft carriers! This might, at one level, sound absurd, but what I am saying to you is that you have suffered a surprise attack on your body, you have survived, you have to assess the damage done, and you have to find a way to strike back by getting on with your life, adapting to what you have left of your faculties, bodily strength, circumstances and so on. You will find what your new boundaries are by assessing what you can and cannot do. Those you find difficult you will delegate, or avoid, or change. but you will adapt. You will find what works for you. You mention several things in your post. This is how I look at them: 1 Your brain was attacked 2 You survived and got that 'wake up call' and still have your optimism (a great tool in these circumstances) 3 You recognise you are overweight so you have started to assess - now find the right diet and exercise regime with the help of your doctors - maybe that will help you get your 'mojo' back 4 You have realised recovery takes longer than you anticipated - so plan in the time to give you the space to do that 5 You have friends and family - use them to help you in your recovery - you will be surprised how many people will want to help - but you have to let them know you need that help - so tell them - all you need to do is ask! You can't live in splendid isolation all the time. Look on it as how much have you done for others - now it is time for them to give a little back - so lose any guilt complex you might have after being independent for so long. 6 Keep a diary and write things down - including progress and your assessment of where you are, what you need and where you want to be. review it regularly. Embrace the fact that change has happened, deal with it and move on. Learn from the past but don't let it rule you. It sounds harsh, but it is reality and like it or lump it, none of us can turn the clock back. yes you may need a period of recuperation and going through the 'Why me?' phase, but eventually we have to get on with it, so make the best you can of it. All our journeys are different in some way, so why not make it as fun and as useful as you can make it? You have a positive and optimistic attitude - that will make a big difference. Life is worth living, making a few adjustments won't change that in your case. I hope this helps, Best wishes, Macca
    12 points
  17. Thank you everybody for the kind sentiments, gestures and comments for my mum, our family appreciate it very much. xxx
    12 points
  18. When I was back in hospital in 2012 I was pretty destroyed if I am honest. I had my grade 4 event, grand mal seizures, acquired hydrocephalus , EVD surgery, coiling surgery and , endured the weeks of intensive care, of hospital stay. It was a long 7 weeks before I was allowed home and then when I did get go to home I could do nothing. I had sitters, I couldn't Cook, wash, sleep normally, let alone do any of the grown up things like look after my young girls or cook, work, or drive. I was 39 years old. But I tried to start putting the pieces back together but three months afterwards ended up blue lighted back up the M1 to my treating hospital with dangerously high level pressure of hydrocephalus. Numerous lumber punctures followed, some falling out of my hospital bed, the odd bed pan hilarity all led to my then having further surgery on my traumatised brain and a VP Shunt fitted. It was awful. I remember this time vividly. I have never felt such pain tbh, I was so ill, fair few near death moments, but again I was one of the lucky ones, I came home. That time, that new birthday started 8 years ago today. International women’s day. A time for looking forward and so have always tried to do that since. I started blogging after having my Shunt placed and still in hospital and found BTG not long after I got discharged before that I couldn't read a screen or at all if I’m honest, I had hidden the effects of the hydro so scared I was of going back in. So I blogged today about a few learnings. https://popgoestifty.blogspot.com/2020/03/annie-versary-post-transformation-and.html I have regained so much my fellow BTGers from that day but have also adopted a new style of being. No rush, try not to ever worry, about what I can’t change, lean and try and accept the pains in life and hope they will pass and mostly just enjoy this day. Even if all you can do today is wash your hair then that is an achievement as I know how it was not to be able to. Celebrate and see the good and the possibility and go steady. And reach for Help. BTG has been here for me along the way, someplace I could ask those question that’s filled me with fear, where I could tell someone else, hey that ‘s ok or me too , and where I allowed myself to adjust to a life’s that changed forever in the instant and go on from that. Privileged to be part of the gang. As Win would say I think, I gave myself permission to sing again...or maybe she did!! Go steady everyone Daff x . Postscript, my post SAH life continues to unfold, twist and turn, in the years since my girls have passed exams, with one about to start to drive, I have lost my darling mum, two aunties and countless friends through illness, I am back at work doing a job Im good at but done to my limits and I have got three dogs now, and the latest is a corgi puppy ( cuteness overload) into the mix so I walk everyday with them and am better for it. I struggle with memory but have prompts everywhere and by phone an day have retrained my brain to remember stuff differently, I am kind to myself, if I mess up that’s ok and I struggle daily with fatigue. But on the whole still Improving and a complete transformation from 8 years ago. Keep on keeping on
    12 points
  19. The "Letter from your brain" inspired me to write this: Dear family members, I know you had a huge scare, could have lost me and just want to protect me, however, I have a few requests that would help me feel better: Please don't shout" you forgot to turn out the bathroom light AGAIN!" Or "this time you left the butter out of the fridge!"please try not to give me huge sighs or disgruntled noises because I left my cell phone downstairs again and could use your help to get it. I know that my memory is not what it used to be and believe me, I am harder on myself about that then anyone else about that! Pointing out every mistake just makes me feel worse and makes me feel worse about myself . In fact, it makes me feel like a dummy! Please don't keep reiterating how hard this was on you as well. Yes, you had to drive long distance to visit me, sit in traffic, etc. and of course this made you extremely stressed out as well, but, telling me about all that just makes me want to say, "sorry that my stroke inconvenienced you." It makes me feel Like my illness messed up your entire life, and it may have,however, it's not like I planned it out! Please don't continue to ask me what I got accomplished today, which just makes me feel like I should have gotten a list of chores done, even if they are contraindicated with my injury. Please, please don't compare your past surgeries or injuries to mine! you can't compare and no two people have the same recovery even with the same surgery! please don't assume that just because I am sitting in my recliner watching tv that I must be depressed, even tho I may be, but there are certain people I talk to when I get depressed, and I know what to donfor hat. Most of all, please don't tell me how"cute" I look. With my new hair cut. I had my husband shave the half of my head that the doctors did not, so it's 2 inches long on one side and 1/2 inch long on the other. It is also now more gray than ever! I also weigh much more than I would like too so I don't feel "cute" by any means! Thank you all for your constant support, but please remember that my personality is different and I cannot help that! I am moody, I have to express my feelings now instead of holding them back, and none of it is personal! My moods are the same for everyone in a day! Thank you for reading this far. I will do my best to be pleasant if you can do your best to accept that this is the new me and I really have no control over that!
    12 points
  20. So many things I could mean by that title, it could be the amount of tears I have shed over the last five years or it could just be the fact that here I am arrived at the five year mark wth almost a feeling of awe and amazement and so much water has gone under the bridge in that time. 5 years ago I was working at a busy work event in London to mark IWD. That proved to be my saving. Surrounded by people to whom when I remarked there was something "terribly wrong in my head" they acted, they got me help and by the time the bike paramedic arrived I was having a grand mal seizure. Big brain stem bleed, Hydrocephalus to boot and let's just say the thought of those days still makes my family and loved friends go grey. Me? I remember nothing until I finally shifted from HDU and I figure that's a good thing because I definately remember a lot of the rest of those long weeks , of that year of further operations. My good fortune was prompt attention, amazing surgeons and angels on my side but I didn't leave the party without my scars and deficits. So now, today, how do I feel? So much is in the rear view mirror for me but I have grown stronger mentally and physically with passing days. I can do so much more but choose to respect my new limits which brings me and my brain more peace. . I carry my SAH with me as an experience that has shaped a new version and I still get frustrated with my new operating mode that was created that day but to be honest in those early days I felt so broken, well I was broken, nothing worked as it had just days before that I honestly never thought I could reach as far as I have so on the whole I just feel very privileged to be here and always find something to marvel at in each new day. And so this 5 year anniversary post is to say that. To say keep dreaming, keep looking up and forward , not to far, not to farback and just always try to pick yourself up after those shocking and dreadful 'head' days and nights that we get. Try to stay with the moment of now and enjoy it for what it is. Every day will brew change I find so be open to that and you just never know what is round the next corner. thankyou BTG for all the helping words, hands and friendships. You have held me up,
    12 points
  21. Tomorrow will be my 2 year anniversary but as I have a neuro-psych appointment at 8am followed by work from 9am -6pm, followed by an evening with an old work colleague I thought I would post now. ( I'm exhausted after reading that let alone living it ). I look back over the last 2 years and consider everything that has happened in that period. Some has been good, some happy and a lot sad. I had to leave the job I loved, I lost friends I loved but I kept my life. I'm lucky that I now have a job that suits my lifestyle, that causes me minimal stress and I have friends who care about my welfare. Saying that , I do miss my old life and all the friends I had in it. All my losses would not have happened if my brain had not exploded that day. Do I wish I could turn back the clock? Well yes I do in certain respects but no in others.- and seeing as I have no choice in the matter I need to focus on the no's! I have a family that love me and try and understand the new me. I have a job that is less stressful in many ways, even though I need to addresss the day to day pressures. I have new friends who understand me as I am now but I do have some old friends who accept the new me too. We cannot change our destiny and although I yearn for my old life I am accepting my new life and my new 'normal'. One of the most positive things in my new life is BTG and all the new friends I have found since being a member. Thank you to everyone who has been with me on my journey, I hope you will all be with me in my future travels. Clare xx
    12 points
  22. I think that many of you have perhaps heard about or you've seen the Stroke Awards publicised on Behind the Gray. https://www.stroke.org.uk/what-we-do/life-after-stroke-awards I would just like to say, that I believe that everybody, who's suffered any type of Stroke/SAH, is completely worthy of an award and over the years, I've seen a lot of courage and humanity on Behind the Gray. There are so many members who've had to go that "extra mile" and who still give support to others and that includes our Moderators, who are a complete joy to work with and I'm blessed! I applaud all of you, for your support and the help that you give, despite your own problems .... You're all very special and valued. I've had the privilege to see many members move forward from the very beginning of Behind the Gray and I've watched them struggle, trying to find answers and at the same time, re-build their lives and find their new "normal"... We also have Carers on this site, supporting their partners and family and that's been an extremely humbling experience too. However, if there was one member to pick this year, for the 2016 Stroke Awards, it was our Win ....I can remember Win's daughter joining Behind the Gray and how very poorly Win was and still in hospital .... I just look at Win now and can only say "Wow!" I know that Win still struggles, but "way to go girl!" Win was nominated by Behind the Gray but unfortunately she didn't win her category ... but to us, that really doesn't matter as Win is a winner and will always be a star in our eyes! Macca wrote the following as a tribute to Win and how we feel about her .... "You are an inspiration to us all. When I first joined this site, forlorn and feeling sorry for myself, you made me realise there is life after these events and that there is always someone worse off than ourselves. Your bright and breezy, lemon squeezy attitude brightened my days then and it still does now. You always have words of encouragement regardless of religion, colour or creed or status. Also, it matters not where anyone is in the world, you are a very giving and selfless lady and you command my utmost respect. Your humour with CarolynUSA is reminiscent of Victoria Wood and Julie Walters or Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders. It injects laughter where otherwise tears would flow and that can only be a good thing. You are always pleased for improvements in other peoples' situations but never moan at your own. That is so special Win and I just thought you ought to know it. Bless you just for being you - you just don't know how much the rest of us appreciate the values and humanity you bring to us all." On behalf of the Team at Behind the Gray, I would like to wish Win, a very happy SAH Anni-versary! .... and to also thank you all, for your kindness, humour and support.... You're all truly, very special people. xx
    12 points
  23. Eureka!! I have returned to this site hoping to find information/confirmation/reassurance that I am not over-reacting or looking for problems that aren't there - as this is what I know those around me think! I have spent time reading through posts and advice and find this one. MO5....I am truly sorry to hear of your situation & YOU should be proud of all you have been & continue to deal with, humbling indeed!! Furthermore, your original post mentioned so many things that I have been 'struggling' with over the last few years and recognise,. But have been told by my GP that I am depressed, suffering from stress blah, blah, blah but ignoring or not listening to what I feel are my real issues....memory, language hesitation (verbal & written) confrontation fear, social engagement incompetence, utter fatigue and above all else "I am devoid of all fluffiness. I feel nothing, long conversations bore me, little to no empathy" So, I am probably not simply an "attention seeker" (how I've been made to feel!?!) It has been so long since my SAH (2008) & stent (2010) that I no longer believed that this & my mental state could be linked. I have found work more than challenging, my ability to cope deteriorating until I finally left in October 2015, the financial pressures and feelings of failure have plagued me since. My 3 children are now all grown up, happy, secure & working abroad, so I don't have that responsibility but the belief I am not the person I used to be has finally hit home - but how do I explain this without sounding like a 'whining child looking for excuses?' In conclusion, I would like to thank you for posting so honestly and wish you well for the 28th, hoping you get the answers, support and help you deserve and are entitled to! Your post & this thread has convinced me to tackle my GP again and ask him to take me seriously, so it has helped at least one person. In fact, I may just copy & take this with me........thank you!!
    12 points
  24. This time four years ago I was sitting down after a wonderful but busy day with two of my dearest friends and enjoying a chat and catch up over a couple of cheeky drinks and coffee. One was my job share partner in the role I loved and the other an ex colleague going back to my early days at work. I had another busy day ahead so was staying up in London but it's my very last memory from my 'old brain' and so I cherish it as the following morning at my work event, surrounded by hundreds from my company I was felled by my SAH. I have zero memories other than those I have been told since. I was a lucky lucky girl , people recognised it was a brain event and I got help for what was a big SAh , grand mal seizure and hydrocephalus and i was just round the corner from the National in London . My work wife stayed with me throughout for the ambulance ride to uclh and then the national and remained until husband and mum could get to me but I just have the odd flash back but no true recall and I really am pleased as the events I experienced later on were already enough to trigger PTSD later in my recovery. It was four days before I came around properly and even then it was to total bewilderment and having ground hog day moments as to why things were so odd, and what on earth was that tube in my head for, and who are you again? Those following days are pretty clear and unpleasant to be honest but I don't dwell on those memories that often now, they played with my fears for far too long. It was a fairly significant stay in hospital , a return of three weeks for yet more surgery to have my shunt placed , no driving for 15+ months and two very sad scared young daughters ( not to mention traumatised hubbie with all my blue lights trips I had before shunt got Put in). Together We weathered a pretty big life hurricane. That year was really hard , full of pain , trauma, set backs and fear but throughout it I was loved, supported and never lost hope that things could get better. And they did. Slowly and surely I have reached my new life goal of ' steady for the most'! BTG played a big part in that process so I really do thank you all. Karen and founders for creating it, Paul and Lyn whose story left me humbled , Win whose singing reached my darkest moments and made me realise you just have to carry on and find the smiles in each day , SM showing me travel with shunt is possible, that's just a few but many of you have helped me get this far so i thank each of you for giving time to me and others and for all for the reassurances, the shared experience, the encouragement , fun comments and banter and the hope for better you gave to me. My colleagues still carry the memory trauma of that day as do I and will for ever but thankfully like my scars it has faded for them as I, we all tracked my recovery , noted my progress and in time over those four years since I have been able to regain and return in part to some of what I did previously. Tomorrow, I'll hug my girls and chap, I will work from home differently and for less hours than my old style but I will enjoy and manage it. I will smile and sing a little I expect and most of all I will be thankful for the day arriving and for that day four years ago when I Survived. I'm different today but then who isn't, I take each day as it comes some better than others and enjoy as many moments as I can. Have a happy International Women's Day everyone, I plan to celebrate this and all the other SAH woman tomorrow!
    12 points
  25. I couldn't make up my mind whether to post something to mark my "anniversary" but came to the conclusion that if I was giving it that much thought then I probably should. This time last year, I was just thinking about the last half an hour or so of work for the day, before closing the laptop and getting in the car to heading to the gym. Little did I know then that within 20 mins or so of being in the gym things were about to change quite so much. It is a cliche, but also true this last year has been such a journey for me (and for my family). In some respects I feel that the last year was probably going to seem easier than what is to come this year. For me, I will try at some point in the not too distant future to start a VERY gentle phased return to work, but I think everyone is realistic about this. It's hard even for those close to me to get the deficits I now have. I am lucky that the deficits aren't as obvious as they could be as they aren't that severe. Some of this lack of understanding I think in part is my fault. I haven't yet, and am still not quite prepared to change my mind set, tempered slightly for sure, but I am still want to seize life by the scruff of its neck and go for it. And in those quiet moments, when the fatigue is at bay I can feel just the way I used to, not invincible but full of energy and determination. That's what this SAH malarky has taken from me (just for now!). I would be foolish not to take the opportunity that this has also given me and not make the most of it. It might be a strange way to look at things, but sometimes having the pieces of life thrown up in the air and rearranging themselves, does (if in moderation) reinvigorate and allow us to re-evaluate life, something I know a lot of which is discussed here on BTG. I have been fortunate to have the support of some great people both here (so thank you all) and in my family, friends, work and support workers. Those that really matter and care come to the fore in our lives at times like these, and for them I am and will be eternally grateful for their love and support. Not my most positive of postings apologies, hopefully reflective more than maudlin (you are welcome to give me a metaphoric kick up the backside), but it fitted the day at hand. Again thank you all. Keep well.
    12 points
  26. Excellent letter to the family - can totally relate. I have a woman at work who is ten years older than me and all I get from her is "well when you get to my age, you don't remember everything..." Her age is an excuse for everything, so I turn round and say "I'm lucky I reached my age, let alone yours and my brain is still recovering!" It shuts her up - which suits me fine lol,
    12 points
  27. I don't think that Win's post was intended to make you feel upset or to make you feel personally offended. Nobody is telling you that you can't have a bad day.....we all have those. The above comment from Win was well intentioned and I think that you've perhaps misread it or taken it out of context, as Win always ends her posts on a positive and light hearted note as that's how she deals with life. Win's had it tougher than most of us on here physically and it's a miracle that she can even type a response on this forum from the early days of her daughter posting on here when Win was in hospital and the outcome sounded extremely bleak. I've seen Win's progress since she first came on to the site with her typing and posts ... and it's been personally uplifting to see her positivity after such a traumatic brain injury and to see the kindness that she's offered to others with her support, even though her own life isn't at all easy.
    12 points
  28. Well here I am posting a day late, yesterday was my 7th Anni-versary and I had a really good day. My day started with a lovely phone call from Jan, as always it was lovely to hear from her, i had tried to call her on Monday as it was her 6th Anni-versary but didn't get to speak to her, so we had a lovely catch up yesterday and made plans for her and John to come to see us at some point, we missed out on that last year because of Covid, so it will be nice to get together again. I had a really nice day, i had a lovely walk around a little village called Cartmel, not far from our holiday park, in 8 years of coming to The Lake District I have never been there, i was in the company of my lovely friend Mary and my little Molly. There is a beautiful Priory in the village and I had a lovely walk around inside of it, i did sit in quiet contemplation for a little while and said a very big Thank You to whoever was watching over me on the 8th June 2014, I am truly grateful that they were, i then lit a candle in gratitude for my life and in memory of my mam, which was a little emotional. Then we had a lovely walk around the shops, had a nice cold drink in the village Square, then we headed home. It was just lovely. The last year has been a bit strange, what with Covid going on and everything. The worst parts of the last 12 months were losing 2 very special people who both helped me so much when I first joined BTG. Both Win & Macca were in my thoughts yesterday as I sat quietly in that church, then of course my dad being diagnosed with prostate cancer, that came as a big shock, he is however doing quite well at the moment, although i worry about him, I am not stressing to much. As for me, well i have started walking to try and get myself a little fitter, over the winter lockdown I have to admit i was struggling a bit, i think the dark days made it worse, i only walk for 1 hour every night, it has had a massive impact on the way i feel, both mentally and physically, my blood pressure has come down considerably from 157/75 to 120/ 65 which is about where my GP wanted it, so i am over the moon with that. I have also taken more control of things in my relationship with Verdun, some of you are aware of things that have gone on in that area of my life, well I have stepped up and I seem to be making good progress in not allowing myself to be bullied and abused anymore, still a little bit to do yet, but i feel more able to stand up for myself, i am determined to get things back on a level ground and for the first time in a long time, I feel I am getting my confidence back and some self respect along with it, which can only be a goid thing. I know i haven't visited BTG much in the last couple of months, i have made the decision that if I am going to moan, I won't visit, I feel like i have done a lot of that in the last year, so i thought it would be good to give you all a rest from me. I have been looking in, just not posting much. The one big thing I do want to say is this, Thank you Karen, i know I say this every year but I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for this wonderful safe haven you created for us all to come to, i found this site at a time when I still felt like i was not going to make it, with the support and help that I received when I joined, I am where I am today, I will be forever eternally grateful to you and every member of this group, for every bit of advice, for every note of concern and for the empathy, love and support that we all have for each other. I love my BTG family, I have gained 2 very special relationships from this forum, Jan and I are especially very close, love that lady to bits, Andrea has become a very close friend too, i am blessed to have them both in my life, just as I feel blessed to have you all in my life, my world would be a much sadder place without you all. Thank you, thank you, thank you for always being there, you have all helped me through so much, i will be forever grateful to you all. Here's looking forward to the next 12 months, let's see what it brings, hopefully everything good. Love Michelle. Xx😘😘😘🙏❤
    11 points
  29. Seems mad that six years ago when I woke in the morning little did I know how much my life would change within 12 hours. There have been many ups and downs, job changes and friend changes, life is similar but different. I can’t say it’s worse as I now can’t remember what life was like pre-bleed lol! But I do know that life is slower. Will take a run this morning, something I was doing when I had my bleed. May even run past the spot where I first felt that awful headache, confident that it won’t recur today. For all of you behind me in your time line, remember life post bleed is not all bad, just different 😉 Clare xx
    11 points
  30. Good morning all hope that you are well and have a great day xxx Well it's my 18 year anniversary today and what an 18 years it has been xxx I was nearly 5 years in when I found behindthegray and I will always be glad that I did I have found some lifelong friends here and no matter how down I am feeling you are always here xxx I still have problems brain zaps lightheadedness heart palpitations but it's a part of who I am now but the good things I now have outweigh the bad my two boys 17 next month 13 this month my job being able to go on holidays now I can't walk as far as I could anymore partly because of the sah (and vertigo) but mostly because of fibromyalgia (unrelated) but my kids don't want to go out with their mom anymore (which suits me fine) so I have managed and got by xxx Well not going to ramble on anymore got to get up get myself dressed rush the kids along so we can all leave for work and school just wanted you all to know you can have many years of happiness after sah xxx
    11 points
  31. Hi All I haven't visited this site for some time, now I've acclimatised to being a SAH survivor, but you all spring to mind at every anniversary.😀 After all, who knows better than a SAH warrior what it's like to live with the affects of having a SAH? Well, today is my 5th anniversary. Every year is a blessing for me. When I recall how it was straight after my haemorrhage compared with how things are now, I realise that I have come a long way. Yes, I still have some challenges- my memory still stinks, my balance is poor, I gained a lot of weight, I suffer from fatigue, and I get irritable extremely quickly - but I've also learned so much from my experience, such as empathy and compassion for others, which has instigated a change in career for me, from being a teacher to being a trainee psychotherapist. I just wanted to say to all of those people who are still at the early stages of their recovery, things really do get better, so live in hope and dont give up. Happy anni-versary to me! X
    11 points
  32. Thank you all very much for your kind words. I really find it difficult to believe how long it has been since this awful event happened to me. The silver lining though is that I came into contact with all of you. From my point of view, I think you underestimate how much of a help you all are to me with the inspirational things you do, sometimes in the face of terrible adversity. I think this group is a kind of push me pull you type of thing where we all bounce and thrive off each other and long may it continue. Just for the record, my wife and I had a fabulous meal last night in a superb Italian restaurant to cap off a lovely day. Once again, thank you to everyone for 'being there' for me. Macca
    11 points
  33. March 6 is the day. It feels like a lifetime ago (so many changes) and yet, also only like it happened yesterday. I am just now starting to adjust to the "new normal" and taking more command over my emotions. My faith has kept me hopeful. I am thankful for my family, friends and BTG folks who have surrounded me with prayers, support and love ~ and patience. It's been a difficult recovery. I think more so because during this time I lost my mother while I was still in the hospital (April 2018), my father this past November 2019 and my aunt (mother's sister) just on February 15, 2020 ~ she was a second mom to us. But, a new little grand-daughter was born April 8, 2019. I am so glad to be here to celebrate her upcoming first birthday! We have four grown adult children and spouses and have four wonderful grandsons as well 10, 8 and twins 7. Now at 62, my husband and I are raising our adopted 2 special needs children 10 and 17. This keeps me insanely busy. The oldest joined our family just 6 months before my event! After my SAH, I retired early from part-time teaching. I miss being a teacher : ( I have appreciated EVERYONE of you who have written about your lives, joys and frustrations and EVERYONE who has responded ~ it encourages so many readers ~ like me! My heart is full of gratitude, Kathy [Thank you Karen and team for keeping this website going]
    11 points
  34. It is15 years tomorrow since my life was changed. In fact it is so long ago now I tend to forget the date of the event, I have to look it up. So far back, the date has almost disappeared from my memory. Looking on the positive, my life has changed for the better once I recovered the best I could. No point in looking at the negatives, you can't change what has happened. Grasp what you have with both hands and move forward the best you can under the circumstances. May take ages just to make a little progress but determination will help. There is a future after SAH, maybe not the future that was planned but a different future. In my case I feel that my life now is much better than I envisaged pre SAH
    11 points
  35. As a healthy sixteen year old being told that you need life saving brain surgery is a little more than unexpected to say the least. In April of this year I collapsed with friends and was rushed to hospital. After many different scans and an extremely Ill teenager who had never had an issue in the past, let's just say I left doctors puzzled. However, my medical mystery wasn't left without an answer for long. My family and I soon found out that I had a ruptured aneurysm which is otherwise known as a Subarachnoid haemorrhage. Within 48 hours I was having life saving brain surgery as my aneurysm was coiled. I can't remember much about collapsing or the sudden shock of pain, but I can remember and always will remember the excruciating pain that I woke up to which I can only explain as my head exploding and my entire face becoming numb. I have since found out that 3/5 people do not survive a ruptured brain aneurysm which has since been extremely difficult for me to deal with as being faced with death at such a tender age is possibly the most frightening thing I could think of. I was keen to share my story as it is extremely rare for someone of my age to have had a ruptured aneurysm, this has been made very clear to me as I can find nobody close to my age that understands what I have gone through. Thankfully my story has a happy ending and with the wonderful support of my family I was able to make a full recovery. However, I feel that I have done a lot of this alone, through this life changing process I have had no one my age or older to talk to about my experience as empathy seems to be lacking in almost everyone I know. I wanted to write this to support any young person like myself, who feels like they are the only teenager with this condition, as I know that this is exactly how I have felt and still feel.
    11 points
  36. Hi Robert, Welcome to BTG. I wasn't going to reply or join in with this but in the end I couldn't resist. The opinions I give below are entirely mine and I base them on what you have said, and your style of writing, and your responses to others above. They are given with the best of intentions, but I hope you can get something from them, even if you don't agree, if only you get some clarity on how you see things in order to move forwards in your recovery. Please don't keep beating yourself up about this. I have identified a number of issues here and I think to help your understanding, it is better that they are broken down to help you find the appropriate answers. 1] You were badly assaulted. Even without a brain injury, this was a very traumatic event for you and is difficult to get over. You will have had a mixture of anger, upset and shock. You will have replayed that incident in your mind a hundred times and more. Shock usually kicks in after the event when your mind starts to wonder what might have happened, over and above what actually did happen. Stress builds because of that, in my opinion. 2] You suffered three injuries - two haemorrhages and a fractured skull. Any one of them on their own is a major trauma which could take a long time to get over, let alone having three to deal with all in the same time frame. Everybody on this site, just about, recognises that brain injuries take time to fix and that there are no instant answers. We have to accept that and so we have to adapt. Change happens, it is how we deal with it that matters. 3] You probably went back to work too soon. Not easy for you and not easy for your family, but I bet you wouldn't be told. 4] You took on a more pressurised job when really you needed a time-out to attempt a proper recovery before attempting to move on. Looking at it from outside, you probably set yourself back a bit there. 5] With more pressure, your relationships with your wife and children took a bit of a hit. These are the most important - not your work. 6] With some of the therapy sessions you probably went in too early and took on too much. It sounds to me, from your own words, that maybe you were still railing against what had happened to you and were not receptive at that time to those trying to reach out to you. In therapy you said you felt insulted. For you to engage, it is vital that the therapist fully explains the aims and objectives of the sessions in great detail at the beginning - and with brain injury at the beginning of each session - for you to get the most from them. Did you fully listen to the therapist or was your mind still arguing 'Why am I here?' with itself? Had you come to terms with your injuries and accepting that these incidents had happened to you? Or were you still fighting them? 7] Is it too late to go back and admit you were perhaps wrong to leave the sessions? Reach out to those trying to help you. In my experience, they are always willing to reach out to those who are prepared to help themselves. It isn't a matter of pride - it is a matter of getting you well again, and cognisant of the fact that you need help to get well again. All of us need help at various times, you are no different, and at times you will reach out to others in the future. You cannot change or control what has happened to you in the past, but you can accept it and then alter what happens to you in the future. 8] A big issue for you seems to be recovery time. Let me tell you that, currently, you see time as your biggest enemy, because you want to be like the old you as soon as possible. Sadly, with brain injuries, the reality just isn't like that. Time is therefore your biggest friend, not your enemy. You survived, and so time is what will allow you to address all these issues but one at a time, not all at once. Time is a healer, but it needs help from you, your wife and children, your friends and your work colleagues. But you have to let them. Talk to them and interact with them. Do it in short bursts and let them know when things are becoming too much and you need a break before resuming. They will be as distressed as you are but if you let them help you they will respond. If your bag of shopping drops on the floor, you pick up the items one by one, you don't try to pick up all the items together because you will keep dropping things again. So pick up your issues one by one, methodically, and put them in the shopping bag that is your life one by one. You will find it easier to deal with things that way. 9] Your job is obviously important to you, but your family are more important. Your kids don't care what job their Daddy does. You could be a street sweeper (no dis-respect intended) for all they care They want a happy, relaxed, Daddy that comes home to them at the end of the day, to talk and play with them and read them a bedtime story. If you have a Mercedes, they wouldn't mind a Mini - as long as their Daddy, the best man in the world, is the driver. They don't want to see Mr Grumpy. 10] Stay in touch with your doctors and therapists. Their guidance will be vital in your recovery. Work with them, not against them. You cannot be an autocrat when your result depends on what they do - you need them onside. 11] Pride comes before a fall is the old saying. It is also the wrong emotion, in my opinion, to have in this circumstance. What you need is dignity and you have that in spades. There is no disgrace in getting or seeking help from others. Your parents helped you when you were growing up. Your teachers did, too. If you ask help from others in getting things done at work, what is the difference in getting them to help in your personal dealings? The answer is 'none.' The only thing is your perception. In fact, there is a lot more respect to be gained in reaching out than in trying to go it alone. What you are probably finding is that you are like two north or two south poles of a magnet - repelling each other rather than working together to attract each other and dealing with the problems that currently, that you see, blight your life. 12] Stay in touch with us Robert. We have all had brain injuries, or know someone who has (in the case of carers). Accept that the injuries are there and nothing can change that. Resentment is a wasted emotion. The best way to fight this is to get better and you can best do that by using all the resources (doctors, nurses, family, friends and colleagues) at your disposal to get well. Help us to help you. I wish you well, Macca
    11 points
  37. I wrote the following a couple of months ago. I think some of you will identify with it!I it gave a couple of my family members an insight as to how I was feeling THIS IS ME losing Things I've lost......... a chunk of my life My confidence My Independence My Stamina My motivation My identity I look in the mirror I don't know the person I see,who is this looking back at me? The 'old Jan'has gone, I miss her, I mourn for her People look at me differently now. I have to accept the 'new Jan' can you too? I am angry and sad inside but I can walk and talk so must be ok? I will be.
    11 points
  38. Jan -This is you! Lost 5% - there's another 95% to play with. Confidence - you just need some temporary reassurance - you're doing just great! Independence - it's still there, you just have someone to help now and again until you do it yourself again Stamina - catch the bus - it's just a different route to the results you want. Motivation - the doctors and nurses who helped you and your family who stood by you and cared for you. Identity - you've just added some new facets, familiarise yourself with them and you'll see the old you is still in there too! You are ok - you're just wearing a different coat that some don't recognise, but that's their problem not yours. You were a child once -your childhood has gone but you don't mourn for it, you remember with fondness and a smile. Do the same now. You've progressed in life and taken some new steps, that's all. The 'old' you is in a photograph album. Bring it out and laugh and recreate some of the situations you pictured. The new you is here and now. Don't beat yourself up about it - enjoy it. Life is for living, change happens, it's how you deal with it that counts! Love yourself and everyone else will love you for it. Best wishes Macca
    11 points
  39. Hi Nat As you can see from above how you feel is entirely normal but that said it is really horrid and unpleasant living with this level of fear and so I think all of us are united in saying don't suffer it alone. Go to you GP, ask for counselling and in the meantime do things that help you relax and let the panic and worry subside when that feeling comes upon you. Survival is a funny thing. Our adrenalin kicks in and that helps us deal with the unpleasantness of our trauma in the early days but that wears off and then we are left with the legacy of knowing and feeling the trauma of the experiences, it reaches into your soul and has changed us all, all that takes some getting used to. Time helps but also so does talking about your worry. I had counselling after SAH! Once in the first year and then again when my fears intensified for no reason, I was then diagnosed with PTSD so was able to learn some techniques that helped and still help me get past that fear and feeling when it grips. Main thing Nat is when you are at you most worried is to just sit, watch and wait. like Win says if you can hum a tune, or look at a nice picture or suck a mint, basically concentrate on something small and then just notice whether your pain has shifted or moved. The reality is if we have another bleed that is not within our control anyway but trying to stay calm will help the blood pressure which is a good thing and get help. As Karen says it's incredibly rare as far as I know but the fear of it is incredibly common. It is a viscous circle, the more you stress, the more you get headaches, the more you worry, so the more you stress....try to break the cycle. Worry is normal but in the end it will change nothing . Sorry if that sounds harsh, I really do get it but I have had to let my worries go( and they can still grip me four years on ) Yes my shunt could need replacing or block, yes I could re bleed but I could also fall down the stairs, get knocked down by bus, worry won't keep me safe, you get the picture. Life is for living lovely lady. Yes In an adjusted and different way but we have to choose to accommodate our new fears and knowledge of our fragility and then we can smile more broadly and enjoy our days. Go talk to someone x
    11 points
  40. Daffodil, so eloquent thank you. Gemma, you are on a similar time line to me so perhaps in a number of ways my thoughts are similar to yours. However, not quite a year in, I'm not sure if its delusional but I don't yet want to think what I may have lost. I will keep on trying things and see if they get better or easier (perhaps not too frequently). Back in early March a bought a ticket for a gig this December, and had to give it away. At the start o this journey I thought I would be OK by December, but this year not. I will buy another ticket when they come on sale next year, and we will see, I'm not quite ready to say good bye to that quite yet. I think one of the things that I have gained, is a perspective on all the really good friends and people locally that have come forward more in my life thanks of this SAH malarky. Anyway, I've side tracked myself. I logged in tonight as I wanted to wish everyone here all the best for 2016. This time last year I had no idea what SAH was, but in just 20 days that was all about to change. I've have had the fortune to meet a great bunch of people here at BTG drawn to gather through our experiences. I may not be a regular inputer to the discussions but the support both in just being able to read what other people are going through and in participating in some of the discussions has been some of the most important support over the past year. Here's to a happy and healthier 2016 for us all Cheers!
    11 points
  41. Hi all Nine year anni-versary for me today. My daughter realised that she has lived with me living with this for half of her life, and whilst she is an amazing person and has coped so well with it all, it does make me sad. Just want to take this opportunity to thank Karen and her family for setting up BTG - it was the best thing to aid my recovery and it helped so much knowing that I was not alone with all the fear, anxiety and anger that I had in the early days. I've made, and met, some very good friends through BTG and it is a privilege to be a part of all of your lives - although I wish it were under different circumstances. Take care everyone xxx
    11 points
  42. I've been in two minds as to whether I would write something or not. I had my SAH Anniversary on July 25th. Firstly, I would like to thank the fabulous team that I have on BTG, who help to support me and the site and who also write with great wisdom and support all of you guys on the forum and all have had a SAH and going through the journey with you. So, here we go!... much thanks to the very lovely team that I work with and who give up their free time and energy to support BTG.... Sami, Tina, Jess, Super Mario, Daff and Macca ... all incredible people and it's a complete pleasure working with them and who give me the respite that I need too!.... I've personally met a few of them and I can tell you, that they are an inspiration and continue to be so and that helps drive me forward with the site ... xx Without the help that I have, I couldn't run this site alone now. I would also like to thank (if they're looking in) the Moderators who helped me in the early years and to Keith (Bogbrush) who helped me with the Admin and who also helped to develop the site and kept me sane...as I probably wasn't very sane post SAH! Love and thanks go to Chris, my son .... and without him, this site would not have been born ... and to who, I still go to, when things go wrong with BTG and I don't know what to do!... Bless him, as he sorts it out for me ... I couldn't be any prouder of either of my children, as both Chris and Lauren have supported me with this site and still help me on a personal basis when needed. Love them both. x Well, where to start? I can't say that it hasn't been a tough ride for me....because it has. I still have some bad days, my aneurysm isn't totally fixed and I'm monitored... I still have problems with fatigue, but life is pretty good and it's what you make it. I never managed to return to paid work in the same capacity that I did pre-SAH, but managed to do temporary work. I also think that I made a choice not to return to that lifestyle or try to juggle so many balls. However, if anybody gives you that 3-6 month rule, as in being totally okay, going back to work or that's all the recovery that you will have .... well, all I can say is, it's totally rubbish, but I respect that they have to give you some sort of timeline. I'm still experiencing recovery 10+ years on .... I'm also getting older, which you have to factor into the equation, experiencing the menopause that comes with being in my 50's and which also mimics the SAH aftermath with it's symptoms .... so it's a double whammy at the minute. However, I'm doing much more than I did this time last year. If it puts anybody's mind at rest, we haven't lost a single person on this site who's been operated on for an aneurysm or suffered a non-aneurysm bleed (NASAH) .... well, not that I know of in the last 9 years!....so, please don't waste time worrying and I hope that you take comfort from this fact and go and live life. It took quite some years to restore my own confidence, but time is a great healer and I'm okay now. Over the 9 years of BTG being in existence, I'm still reading the same problems and I find it so frustrating. It's often a postcode lottery as to what help you will receive in the UK. Don't suffer anxiety or if you're feeling low and a bit depressed, please go and see your Doctor. You don't have to endure it, seek help. If you don't ask, you don't get and the earlier that it's treated, the earlier you will recover. Not everything is down to the SAH fallout, so please always seek medical advice and don't suffer. A big thank you to all of you, who support others on this site with your own experience and I know that it's not easy, but much comfort is received ... and it's great to see so many Carer's on the site, offering support too! I really wish that something like BTG had been in existence when I was in my early months and first year of recovery. I think that the support and knowledge would have perhaps helped me to heal a little faster. Keep well and love to all. xx
    11 points
  43. A letter from your brain Hello, I’m glad to see that you are awake! This is your brain talking. I had to find some way to communicate with you. I feel like I barely survived WWIII and am still not quite all in one piece. That’s why I need you. I need you to take care of me. As time passes and you and I feel better and better, people, even doctors, will tell you that we are fine, “it’s time to get on with life.” That sounds good to me and probably even better to you. But before you go rushing back out into that big wide world, I need you to listen to me, really listen. Don’t shut me out. Don’t tune me out. When I’m getting into trouble I’ll need your help more than I ever have before. I know that you want to believe that we are going to be the same. I’ll do my best to make that happen. The problem is that too many people in our situation get impatient and try to rush the healing process; or when their brains can’t fully recover they deny it and, instead of adapting, they force their brains to function in ways they are no longer able too. Some people even push their brains until they seize, and worse… I’m scared. I’m afraid that you will do that to me. If you don’t accept me I am lost. We both will be lost. How can I tell you how much I need you now? I need you to accept me as I am today… not for what I used to be, or what I might be in the future. So many people are so busy looking at what their brains used to do, as if past accomplishments were a magical yardstick to measure present success or failures, that they fail to see how far their brains have come. It’s as if here is shame, or guilt, in being injured. Silly, huh? Please don’t be embarrassed or feel guilt, or shame, because of me. We are okay. We have made it this far. If you work with me we can make it even further. I can’t say how far. I won’t make any false promises. I can only promise you this, that I will do my best. What I need you to do is this: because neither of us knows how badly I’ve been hurt (things are still a little foggy for me), or how much I will recover, or how quickly, please go s-l-o-w-l-y when you start back trying to resume your life. If I give you a headache, or make you sick to your stomach, or make you unusually irritable, or confused, or disoriented, or afraid, or make you feel that you are overdoing it, I’m trying to get your attention in the only way I can. Stop and listen to me. I get exhausted easily since being hurt, and cannot succeed when overworked. I want to succeed as much as you do. I want to be as well as I can be, but I need to do it at a different pace than I could before I got hurt. Help me to help us by paying attention and heeding the messages I send to you. I will do my part to do my very best to get us back on our feet. I am a little worried though that if I am not exactly the same… you will reject me and may even want to kill us. Other people have wanted to kill their brains, and some people have succeeded. I don’t want to die, and I don’t want you to die. I want us to live, and breath and be, even if being is not the same as it was. Different may be better. It may be harder too, but I don’t want you to give up. Don’t give up on me. Don’t give up on yourself. Our time here isn’t through yet. There are things that I want to do and I want to try, even if trying has to be done in a different way. It isn’t easy. I have to work very hard, much harder, and I know that you do too. I see people scoff, and misunderstand. I don’t care. What I do care about is that you understand how hard I am working and how much I want to be as good as I can be, but I need you to take good care of us, as well as you can do that. Don’t be ashamed of me. We are alive. We are still here. I want the chance to try to show you what we are made of. I want to show you the things that are really important in life. We have been given another chance to be better, to learn what is really important. When it is finally time for our final exit I would like to look back and feel good about what we made of us and out of everything that made up our life, including this injury. I cannot do it without you. I cannot do it if you hate me for the way being injured has affected me and our life together. Please try not to be bitter in grief. That would crush me. Please don’t reject me. There is little I can do without you, without your determination to not give up. Take good care of us and of yourself. I need you very much, especially now. Love, your wounded brain ©1996 Stephanie St. Claire May be reprinted for personal, not for profit use.
    11 points
  44. Hi and Welcome to BTG. Wow!!! You sound like Wonder Woman! However, in reality you are not, so stop beating yourself up. But you are wonderful. You are one of those wonderful people who looks after everyone else before yourself and often to your own detriment. Now that you need help, it is time to re-appraise somewhat and be a little more selfish in your outlook for a change, at least until you are better. Let's look at this a little more critically. You are only four weeks out from a potentially life changing event - no time at all. Change has been thrust upon you suddenly and before you were ready for it. If someone had warned you it was coming you could have put some measures in place, but that did not happen. It was unexpected and caught you by surprise, like the rest of us. Welcome to the club! What has happened, has happened. You can't change it, but you can change and shape the future and how you deal with it. Change happens, just usually more gradually and you absorb it and evolve as it happens. In this case, the change has been sudden and caught you napping. Look forwards not back. Learn from it, don't dwell on it. There is much to be positive about. Understand that your brain has undergone a major trauma so don't underestimate what happened, or its effects on your daily living. You are back from the brink of oblivion because a surgeon was able to save you from crossing the threshold. Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it didn't happen. Go to a local garage - there are plenty of cars there that look ok on the outside - they still look like cars - but that are not ok because they don't run - that is car hospital! I didn't go back to work for six months and that was too early. You are back there already and I would say you really need more rest - four weeks is nothing and is not enough, in my opinion, to repair yourself, but you must consult with, and stay in touch with, your doctors and follow their professional advice. Probably the two most critical organs in your body are your heart and your brain. They are your core as far as functioning as a human being are concerned, so when they've come under attack, they need nurturing and nursing back to health not cajoling and bullying! Fatigue, short term memory loss, headaches and nausea are common in people following SAH, so follow doctors advice and don't worry too much about that unless they become abnormal, Hopefully they will ease in time. Just keep in touch with your doctors and manage those issues you have as best you can until your body heals itself - over time. Experience tells us repairs take time, they are not instant, sadly. Are you in a position where you can re-appraise your responsibilities at home? Your family sound great so can you call on them for a little more assistance, at least in the short term, to give you the space to get better? It's a chance to see if you can de-clutter your lifestyle rather than plod on in the same old way! If you do what you always did, you get what you always got - so change it if you can. You may need to be quite ruthless about some things, but as I said earlier, you need to do what is right for you now. You've given all you can and now it's time for others to roll their sleeves up and give a little more and some respite to you. Those are nurses? I feel like I want to shake them by the throat! They above all, should know better. It is clear from what you say, they know nothing of the experience of a SAH. If you were to go into your local supermarket and pick up a box of eggs - it looks great from the outside doesn't it? - but before you put it in your basket, you open it up and find one egg is broken and the yolk is spilling out into the box. What do you do? You close the box and put it back and get another box. You don't close it and put the box in your basket and pretend nothing is wrong, do you? That is what has happened to your brain, but you can't put the brain back and get another, it is the only one you have, so you have to repair it instead. It takes time to do that and the repair has to be given time to set so that it is as fully functioning again as it can get! I would say to your nurses that they should have a look around this site and understand what a brain injury really means to the patients and their families! As for your co-workers - they are probably just ignorant of the facts as this is quite a rare event - so educate them, and keep on telling them. Just because there is no plaster cast doesn't mean there is nothing wrong. If they can't - or won't understand then that is their problem, not yours. Remember colleagues are not necessarily friends and you can cut them out of your life if necessary. You are right - you are lucky to be alive. You were lucky to be alive before your bleed, you just didn't know it then. Now you do! So embrace it, look for the new opportunities that are coming your way. They aren't always obvious but they are there if you look for them. Every day is a bonus for you now so take advantage of it and never take life for granted. it is what you make it - so make it good! I wish you well, Macca
    10 points
  45. Hi Verna and welcome. We've all had the feeling of being scared that it's going to happen again. I can only say, that time is a great healer and your confidence does return. However, if your anxiety is severe and it sounds as though it is, go and visit your GP. Be honest with them as to how you're feeling, you don't have to cope with this alone and without help. You're not a failure to ask for help and the aftermath of a SAH is hard to deal with. Anxiety and depression are common post brain injury. Unfortunately, I wish I'd had the BTG info and hindsight and the knowledge that I now do about anxiety and if the brain has been injured it can also affect all parts of our emotional well being too ... chemical/hormonal imbalance which can lead to anxiety and depression. I struggled with everything and wouldn't give in to it .... However, I did eventually speak to my GP and I was put on a beta blocker to help calm things down. It really wasn't enough and I still struggled. I also had family problems and the menopause was giving me a severe kicking too. The menopause can give symptoms that mirror the fallout from the SAH, so if there are any ladies of a certain age who are finding life more difficult, please speak to your GP. HRT didn't work for me and it increased my headaches, so I tackled it alone for quite some time. I decided to go back to the GP this year and I've been put on an anti depressant called Sertraline. It took a while for it to kick in and you have to be patient with it, but I haven't looked back .... it's given me a better quality of life overall and I wish that I'd taken this route sooner, rather than being stubborn and thinking that I had to cope with it all .... I've learnt that taking medication isn't the sign of failure and to stop struggling with my faulty brain ... I also know of men on this site who struggled with anxiety and depression after a SAH who thought that because they were a man, that it was weak to admit that they were struggling. However, they did eventually see their GP as for some, they were the major wage earner and it was affecting their work and their personal life. For most of these members the medication helped to get their life back on track and to actually be able to enjoy life again. xx
    10 points
  46. Well here I am, 1 year down the line and glad to be here. I often wonder if I had not gone running that night if I would have had my NASAH, something I will never know. What I do know is that this event in my life has had enormous consequences for me, some good, some bad but mostly positive. When I parked up that night I could never have imagined that I would not get behind a steering wheel again for 9 months, that I would not work again for 3 months and that the following day I would undergo a lifesaving operation. All a little hard to believe now but true all the same and I am eternally grateful to the people who saved my life. From the running group leader who suggested an ambulance, the sweet ambulance girl who was so understanding to the Surgeon at Wessex Neuro who I don't actually remember! Through all of this year my family have been fantastic and we have all become closer. Strange how events such as this bring everyone closer together. You find out who is really there for you and sadly who is not. I am about to embark in a new phase of my life with a new job in the near future. I will find out if my rearranged brain can cope with learning new things. I am sure I will forget peoples names and where the toilet is but luckily I have my son working with me so will have to rely on his help! I know I am lucky to be alive and celebrate that fact today and everyday. I also know I am lucky to have found Behind the Grey and all the wonderful people within it. My husband bought me flowers and wrote me a poem today. So sweet and caring, he knows what a big day this is for me! Clare xx
    10 points
  47. Well a year ago today I was probably sitting in the GP's. I had stupidly drove myself there after experiencing the most horrific pain in my head whilst showering. I thought someone had assaulted me over the back of the head with a baseball bat which knocked me to the floor. I now know that an aneurysm I had, had probably bled. This year has been a tough one, whilst I know from this site how lucky I have been coming away with some mild memory and physically problems it has still been a hard journey. I have looked today at texts sent on that day and can still feel how fearful I was. My aneurysm which was large was successful coiled later that week by a marvellous team whose care was second to none. I remember the angiogram and lying on that what I can only describe as an "ironing" board - not great but knowing that that amazing technology would be what could either save or end my life. I have to say I was thankful when they did the coiling I would be sedated. What a lot I have learned both about me, my family and friends. Seeing my son fly from Akron to be with me was excellent as I worried I may never see him again if coiling went wrong, my daughter came with me to the emergency ward after I was sent there by GP. They were terrific support, my husband and sister were amazing and bless they really have had the most to deal with as have been the brunt of my roller coaster of emotions. This site has helped enormously offering an understanding ear, a safe place to share feelings and of course some fab singing and small insight into other people lives. Today I am going to enjoy that I am alive x
    10 points
  48. Daff, what a very eloquent and thought provoking post, I like you have learned to distance myself from stressful situations, simply because I can`t handle it anymore. That`s why we spend so much time at our caravan, it`s my sanctuary. I have also learned how fragile life can be, you just don't know what`s around the corner for you, I used to worry about stupid little things, not anymore I don't, life is to short. I`ve had some difficult times with the problems post SAH, I`ve had a wonderful GP, I have been able to go and talk things through with her, sometimes it helps sometimes it doesn't, I find talking to Verdun about the way I am feeling quite difficult now as he thinks I should be over it by now, which has made me quite sad at times, I have however still got memory problems which I still find very frustrating, the loss of words still affects me sometimes, I am learning to live with these things as time goes on. I still don't like being alone in the house, I still find that quite unnerving at times, silly I know. I want my life to be more worthwhile, I don't take anything for granted anymore, I want to spend more time with the people that I love, especially my parents with my mam being ill, I feel that time will run out if I don't do it now. I also have to thank everyone at BTG, without this forum I would not be where I am today, the support and the friendship here has been a god send to me, no one understands more than those who have been through it, we are a unique group of people, each having a story to tell about our recovery journey, what we have lost and what we have gained during it and the fact that this will help so many other people during their recovery journey is a great thing, it`s a nice place to come and let off steam, have a chat and have a good laugh also, I feel very grateful to you all. Love Michelle x
    10 points
  49. Thanks everyone for your kind words ,I'm so much better thanks and all symptons have now cleared ,I'm even going for a drive today as I've been allowed to keep my licence ,covered in bruises from the blood thinners but two and a half weeks on I'm feeling fab ,thanks again xxxx
    10 points
  50. My Rememberer's Broke My Forgettor's getting better But my Rememberer's broke To you that might seem funny But to me, it is no joke For when I'm "here" I am wondering If I should really be "there" And when I try to think it through I haven't really got a clue! Oft times I walk into a room Say "what am I here for?" I wrack my brain, but all in vain A big fat zero is my score At times, I put something away Where it is safe, but Gee, The person it's safest from Is, generally me! When shopping, I may see someone, Say "hi", and have a chat. Then, when that person walks away I ask myself, "who's that?". Yes, my Forgettor's getting better, While my Rememberer's is broke And it's driving me totally crazy And sadly, that isn't a joke. This post has been promoted to an article
    10 points
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