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Everything posted by Macca

  1. Hey Andrea, Well done on getting to this milestone! All we can all do is carry on, but we have to adapt. Change happens - all we can do is help you adapt to deal with it in the best way you can. The way I'd look at it about your Mum is that she was there and helped get you on the right road to recovery, even though she was battling her own issues. What a lady!! And you were privileged enough to have her as your Mum! What better legacy can there be than that? Your battle probably inspired her to go on for as long as she could - that's what I call an inspirational lady. You? Well you're a chip off the old block! Carry on and enjoy your life as best you can, as your Mum would have wanted. Have a tear now and again but just remember it was your Mum that made it all possible and on those occasions, raise a glass and say 'Thanks Mum.' Here's to year 5 Andrea. May it be a good one for you. Macca
  2. Hi William, Welcome to BTG. Casey raises a good point. Tiredness is usually a factor when this happens. Good rest is as important as good work and play. Also keep hydrated, lack of which seems to be a common contributor to headaches as is well documented on this site.. For sure your doctors are the ones to ask to check things out and provide reassurance. Not everything is linked to SAH but it tends to unfairly get the blame in a lot of cases! However it sounds like your diagnosis has been a bit vague from the way you write about it. So get checked out properly. Short term memory is a common problem but there are ways to combat it, ie by repetition until it becomes a long term memory, writing things down and so on. However, the bottom line is to get yourself to a specialist to check you out. A general practitioner, no disrespect, is not enough - they rarely know enough about brain injuries to give an accurate, or in some cases, the right diagnosis. So go and get checked and let us know how you get on. Better to be safe than sorry. Don't be shy about it, there is a problem you have identified and someone needs to do something about it. Your mission is to get to see the right person that can give you the right tests and information. This is your life we are talking about so don't put it off, get it dealt with, and by the way, well done for opening up about it! Now it can be dealt with! Always here if you want to discuss more - but we can't give medical advice, for a very good reason - we are not qualified - so go and see the people that are - your doctors. Please let us know how you get on. Good man WIlliam! Regards Macca
  3. I think the thing to do I to go to a specialist. No disrespect to your GP, but they are not experts in your condition. Get your doctor to refer you to a specialist. Better to be safe than sorry. Stay hydrated. We can speculate for England but it's best that you get proper advice, which we can't give because we aren't doctors!
  4. Hi Bri, I think the sensible answer is to:- a) get the approval and advice of your doctors, b) start with a walking/jogging machine so that at the first sign of trouble you can sit down and rest and nobody has to come and get you. They know where you are, and you don't have to worry about how to get home! c) make sure someone is with you. It's different for all of us - just take care and don't do too much too soon. Your body will let you know if you have and at first it may seem like two steps forward and one back. Remember that resting properly is as important as the exercise, particularly in the early phases. Any trouble, stop and go back to your medics. Good luck Macca
  5. Michelle, many congratulations on reaching this milestone! Here's to the next five!👌
  6. Hi, I think those comments are a defensive mechanism on their part. They don't know how to handle what has happened to you and so they try to 'normalise' your condition by making light of it. I don't think it is malicious at all. They are frightened by something that has happened to you, that is so close to home, and are worried it might happen to them. So talk to them about it. Bring it up in normal conversation and you normalise it - but with facts and the truth! People are less afraid when they understand it. Keep on talking about it, in little chunks maybe, but keep it near the top of your topic list. As Skippy says, it is a brain injury, not just tiredness. People still talk to me about their memories not being what they used to be when they can't remember where they put their keys or phone. My short term memory is improving and is not nearly as bad as it once was. I am nine years out, nearly! Sometimes not only can I not remember what was said, I can't even remember having the conversation! But I've leaned to live with it now and I write things down if I think I need to remember because it may have some importance! C'est la vie!
  7. Well done Mike, you sound very positive. A lot of the things you describe are what is often considered 'normal.' Maybe it's just you have a heightened awareness of them now because of what happened to you and how you recovered from it. So well done for that. Just get on and keep on enjoying things, bearing in mind that some things are just different to what you may have done before, not better or worse, just different. Change happens to all of us, and at different rates, it's how you deal with it that counts! It sounds like you are doing just great! Good man!.
  8. Hi AMI, You don't say what you do for a living but I have some points in addition to the ones made above which are very valid in my opinion. Your first duty is to yourself, your health and your family. Second, four and a half months out is no time at all in terms of recovery from a brain injury. In fact, you are only just starting. If you overdo it your body will lose no time in telling you. Third, just because you look well, it doesn't mean you are well. A car with no engine in it looks well from the outside. Only when you try to start it up do you realise it's not what it looks like! Fourth, get a letter from your doctor telling you that whilst some work is beneficial to your recovery, too much is directly harmful and may well set you back. Fifth, if your job involves anything that may pose a danger to yourself, your colleagues or the public, then there is a responsibility for you, and the company, not to make mistakes that may endanger them. If your role does that and the company insists on you doing this extra work then they may be held responsible for any mishaps, not you if you have informed the m beforehand of your concerns (so keep a record of that and time and date it). Sixth, if they are already short-staffed, can they really afford to lose another experienced member of staff like you? it is in their interests to keep your skills. If they are to take on new people could you become a trainer for instance - thus putting your skills to good use and giving you day to day involvement, but not directly in the front line? Keep communicating with your colleagues and tell them how you are affected, especially when you are off duty. I suspect from the way you have written that you have not done this in case it shows weakness. It doesn't. In fact, the reverse is true. It shows strength, courage and responsibility. Get your chin up, you are doing remarkably well and have nothing to reproach yourself for? How many of your colleagues could do what you have done in such a short space of time? Being teary, and emotional is a part of your recovery. I remember being like that for quite long periods, but in between there will be periods where you will feel you are making real progress, although it may or may not get back to where you were pre-SAH. However, I would say at this point too, that you can only control what you can control! So, see if you can manage what you do in a better, or at least a different way. Can you delegate, can you take more breaks? Can you organise your time in abetter fashion etc? Good luck, and keep on letting us know how you're getting on. Venting is good, it means you aren't bottling it all up! I wish you well. Macca
  9. Ah Melissa, Fatigue and memory issues (particularly short term memory). these are old favourites of SAH consequences that take a lot of explaining to others, the main problem being that others cannot see the problem therefore they think it doesn't exist! it's like looking at a car, trying to get in and start the engine and then realising it's broken down because there's something wrong with the engine! There is no one easy answer to this. It all takes time, time and more time. it will possibly get better but will not likely recover to its pre-SAH best. I find keeping a diary helps - just bullet points, to help you remember. Take regular breaks, even if only for ten minutes to clear your head, stay hydrated and do what you can - not necessarily what others want you to do. When you feel up to it, sit down with pen and paper and write down the things you do in your job. Consider the following: Can you organise yourself better? Can you organise your job, and individual tasks, better? Ie what you have to do (mandatory), what you could do (necessary but not urgent), what you want to do (luxury, dressing items that would be nice to do but are not essential) Can you delegate anything to others? Can you change the timing of any tasks to when you feel better able to deal with them? (ie in the morning when concentration is best, or when a specialist is in the building that you can ask questions of if needed) Can you make use of a 'dictaphone' to record things you need to do later or remind yourself of? Can you get a PA to help you at all? Not an exhaustive list, but just pointers to help you. As for mood swings they will be helped by feeling more under control of the things that you can influence. Strain comes from things you cannot influence, so concentrate on the former. That is the benefit of what I have just outlined above for you. It might not be the whole answer but I am sure it will help to a degree. Don't bottle things up, talk to people and keep reminding them that though you are improving there are still hurdles to overcome. Keep communicating with people. problems are best nipped in the bud, not when they become too big to handle. what you must guard against at work though is that you don't overdo it to the point where they think you aren't coping at all. What you will demonstrate by doing some of the things I outline is that you are doing your best to help yourself and that you are managing things as well as you can. Managers are always prepared to help those who are seen to be doing their best and are not just waiting for the benefactor's hand to lift them. Good luck! Macca
  10. Hi Kerry, Welcome to BTG. A thunderclap headache is very serious and it should be taken as such. It is dangerous. How do you know you have had one? Well, it's like no other headache you have ever had. It's sudden, it's very severe, sweating and problems with the light affecting your vision are just some of the symptoms I experienced. You demand answers when you get to the hospital, don't just ask for them. Describe your symptoms and hopefully your scan will show what it is. You should have gone to hospital by ambulance, not just up to bed. I am appalled that they were so dismissive of you when what you describe are all classic signs of what we on this site all have survived. You have been very lucky so far but you cannot trust to luck, you need proper assessment and treatment as far as I can see. Make sure you get it. Let us know how you get on.
  11. Hi welcome to BTG. I think the first thing to say is that occupational health is about helping you to help yourself and the company, it isn't about finding an excuse to get rid of you as some people think. They might suggest various things, but ensure your boss who knows you well is an ally in this. Make sure she knows your fears so she can best help you. Also, your new company is showing you some compassion here and responsibility for your welfare. As they have just taken over, it is their business to know what and who their assets are. It may be that they will see you as an asset, just as your current boss does. It is difficult to get people with the right experience and skills that you possess. May be they might see you in a training capacity instead of on the front line. When you see them, make sure you focus on what you can do rather than what you can't. Why don't you invest in your future by paying for a hotel room the night before your interview, so that you arrive in the best condition you can be. It will be money well spent if you present yourself as well as you can instead of stressed and tired from driving and finding somewhere to park. To answer your question, my employer was great and I saw the HR people who also were very good and patient with me. In the end they got a great employee with a lot of experience back, albeit with a few adjustments to working practices. Four years after that I took early retirement at 58. Hope this helps
  12. Hi Kim, Welcome to BTG. If you have questions, ask away, we'll do our best but as has already been said we cannot give medical advice for a very good reason. We aren't qualified, and different things affect people in different ways - OK that's two reasons but you get my drift. There's lots of information already available and by clicking on each thread title on the FORUMS page lots of differing themes will come up for you to explore. However, feel free to ask what you want to and we'll try our best or at least point you in the right direction. Macca
  13. Congratulations Paula, Glad you are doing well and have a positive attitude. I'm just eight and a half years out from my SAH and I have a yearly MOT at the hospital. They've been brilliant with me and I can't thank them enough. Best wishes to you! Macca
  14. Hope you find the answers you are looking for!
  15. Hi, I think you hit the nail on the head when you said there isn't much research out there. Talk to your doctors, ie someone who knows, as Catwoman says above. Either way, it can't be as good as not doing it at all. There isn't a lot of research and even less, if any at all, on whether it would affect us a SAH survivors. With all sorts of chemicals possibly in vaping, are you substituting one peril for another? Speak to the professionals rather than us. Any information you get about this here would only be hearsay and probably very unreliable at that. Sorry not to be of more help, but I think we are the wrong audience for this question. Good luck.
  16. Hi Mike, I'm not laughing - your advice is inspirational to others - we all have to adapt in our own ways, dependent upon how SAH affects us and to what degree. Brilliant advice, and put across in such a positive way. Thank you. Change happens - it's how one deals with it that counts. Well done indeed! I do similar things to help my short term memory. I also find repeated repetition helpful. Best wishes, Macca
  17. Hi, I will give you a slightly different look from the outside at what you have written, laced with a little irreverence, humour and a lot of love! Your credits, not your deficits, your positive changes and increased sense of who you now are, thanks to your nurses and your reflection! I take your points one at a time in the order you made them! 1) Your perception has changed and made you reflect on what is important in life - well done, you made the right choices with regards to work life balance, 2) Keep trying the salsa steps, it will sink in when you are in the right mood and frame of mind - get to work in parrallel with someone who knows the steps and do them at a slower pace until it sticks. Instead of Salsa steps call them Spanish steps - if Spanish is going in call them Spanish! Worth a try! 3) This is part of your brain telling you it recognises things in their familiar place. If it works for you then keep doing it! Your parking space can be called the Spanish spot! 4) This is good - you have their attention! 5) These emotions display a level of honesty, just be mindful that perhaps a little more tact is called for, not a change of opinion. People often blame others when they want to deflect fault from their own actions to yours. They know your weak spot - do you know theirs? 6) We all do that, it's just you are more aware of it now. You remember the important ones but not the ones that are less significant to you. You can't remember everyone, don't beat yourself up about it. If needs be, write their names down and why you need to remember them. If there's no reason, then there's no point to remembering them - therefore no worries so go back to point 1 - laidback! 7)Nothing wrong with that - repetition transfers short term to long term memory thus eradicating the problem at issue! Great! Laugh - because it's a comedy - it's good to laugh! 9) Another good point - why keep up with toxics - getting rid was a good decision - well done! 10) With regards to your Spanish again - buy a Spanish car and then maybe you'll remember where you left it - (in Spanish of course!) Lateral thinking! What's Spanish for "Credits not Deficits?" It's just a different way - and hopefully more positive way of looking at things! Good luck Macca
  18. Macca

    Janet's Story

    Hi Janet, Welcome to BTG. I hope I can give you some answers here but no miracle cures unfortunately! Firstly, two months out from a bleed is next to no time. Please don't underestimate what you have been through. It was a very serious event that happened to you. Yes, a bleed such as you describe is classed as a form of stroke and its classic sign is the thunderclap headache. Very often you won't have the classic stroke signs advertised in the NHS FAST adverts ie Face drooping on one side, Arms, can you lift them, Speech, is it slurred and Time - get you to the hospital asap. Sadly, they don't say H - headache of the thunderclap variety, get to hospital, bluelighted! In my opinion, they should because it is every bit as dangerous as any other kind of stroke. Another problem is that you can't see it - it is internal and you look normal to everyone else so they tend to underestimate it when you tell them! It's not like a broken leg where you can see the plastercast! So you have to communicate with everyone and tell them what's happened. It's like looking at a car without an engine - looks like a car, feels like a car, but it won't start because the engine is faulty! To answer your questions:- 1) How long does recovery take? Answer - it takes as long as it takes. Everyone is different, depending on how bad their bleed was, how strong you are, and how it affected you. Some recover very quickly and for others it can take months and years. In your case you've only just started to recover so don't beat yourself up about it. You could have a way to go yet. 2) Should you quit your P/T job? Only you could answer that in the fullness of time, but give yourself a chance to recover first. You've only just started. How about a phased return to see how you get on? Or a change of duties on a temporary basis whilst you get your strength back? 3) Hit the wall? That will happen, especially in the early days that you are now going through - that's your body telling you that you've had enough for one day - listen to it. You won't need anyone to tell you - your body, remarkably resilient though it is, will do it for you. Heed its advice and rest. If there is no improvement over time or if you are worried then see your doctors again. What you describe is not uncommon after a bleed - it's normal - we've mostly all been there. We know it isn't nice and can be frustrating but there's no quick path - you just have to be patient and listen to your body. Again, if you are worried, keep in contact with your doctors. 4) What caused it? We would all be rich if we knew the answer to that one! My surgeon told me to imagine I was riding a bike - one minute its all ok and then you suddenly, and unluckily, get a puncture. Some believe stress can play a part - but you can't measure that because its effects and causes are variable in everyone so it can't be measured - but avoid it where you can. One last piece of advice - because you can't see it - communicate, communicate, communicate. People can't help you if they don't know what's up with you - so tell them and keep on telling them. Good luck in your recovery! And be patient, the world will still be there when you are ready to face it! I've been there and got the T-shirt!
  19. Hi Joe, I used to sit at a screen a lot. My eyesight was ok, but I got tired after long periods at the screen. You should have a break every half hour, there are plenty of studies that back this up. However, one thing I did do was get my eyes tested and there are three possibilities I know of that will help. One is to see an optician and get them to make you a pair of glasses that are adjusted to your eyes (perfect or not) adjusted for your eyes in relation to the screen you sit at and which take the glare off the screen to make it easier on your eyes. Another is to buy an anti-glare screen that attaches to your VDU, again which takes the glare off and in some cases will increase the font size as well. These days you might be able to change the settings on your screen to do this, so go and see your office computer bloke/lady to see if this can be done for you. Best wishes, Macca
  20. Congratulations Super Mario!! Have a great day tomorrow!
  21. Hi Vicky. Welcome to BTG. Firstly, your health is your absolutely number one priority. You need to keep going back to the team that treated you to seek re-assurances, to ask questions and to be sure the treatment you are receiving is the correct treatment. Then you can follow up your complaint - and if you were unhappy, you were absolutely right to complain. However, make sure you do it diplomatically and in the right way - you don't want to bite the hand that feeds you - nevertheless, they need to know that what they did wasn't acceptable. If, they say that saving your life was their priority, rather than having good manners, then you could cut them some slack. How else would they find out, and improve things if people didn't complain? In terms of talking about it making your blood pressure rise, I think there are a couple of points to bear in mind. 1) The clinical team are there to look after your medical needs, not your social ones, so sometimes it can seem as though they have just turfed you out and cut you off. It's just not their field of expertise that's all. 2) Find a close friend to talk to in a calm situation who can sit down with you and let you talk about what has happened to you, without judging you, or telling you that you may be getting upset too easily. They just need to let you get it all off your chest, and you will feel a lot better for having done that. 3) Set down some questions on paper and then approach your doctors armed with that. It is much easier to do that and talk in a structured way than with an adhoc approach that can get out of hand because of your understandable emotions, in play because of what you have gone through. 4) Although the people treating you are probably very good at what they do in repairing you, in almost all cases, they have not lived the experienced themselves, and so they don't have that social empathy that we have for you, for instance. 5) Now that you have complained, let the investigating body do their job, they are taking the strain for you now, so try not to get too worked up about it. you can only make your next move when you get a reply to it. In the mean time, talk to people, such as your friends and family, who you know will lend you a sympathetic ear. It is very difficult for you, being at the centre of this, not to get emotional because it is without doubt, a very real and terrifying experience to have lived through, However, you will find that their response may feel 'matter of fact.' If I were you, I would get your friend or family member to open the letter in your presence, and take you through it line by line, talking about it as you go, making sure you take in what it says, with their support to hand. Just my opinion, that's all. Good luck and best wishes, Macca
  22. Hi, welcome to BTG! I sense that you are a person who is very independent and who likes to help everyone else, but doesn't like to accept help when the boot is on the other foot. Welcome to the club. There are many of us on here in the same boat. Good advice from Casey. Have a think about that! The emotions you are feeling are quite common in the aftermath of SAH, so don't beat yourself up about that. Emotional turmoil of one kind or another often crops up. In the meantime, just consider what has happened to you. Time for you to think out of the box for a minute. This change has been thrust upon you in an instant. You had no time to prepare, no time to ask for help - it just happened and there you are, plonked in no mans land, up the creek without a paddle. Now what you see is people around you offering to help, whereas previously, in what seems like only moments ago, you were one of that group. You've been tossed out of the boat by a freak wave and these others are now trying to help you to get back in the boat! Accept their help. If you were tossed out of a real boat, you would accept their help without a second thought to get back in - so what is different? I know it is difficult to accept at the moment, but as time goes on and you accept what has happened, you will reflect more and understand what I am trying to convey to you. We've been where you are and we've lived it and came out the other side. You will too. There is absolutely no reason for you to feel guilty - although I know the feeling - but in life everyone needs a helping hand from time to time. You can't get through life in splendid isolation. Humans are social animals - we interact with each other, it's what we do - it's just that now it is your time to take, instead of giving - it's just that you weren't ready for it that's all. You were just unlucky in that it happened to you - but lucky that you came through it relatively unscathed. Your lottery ticket just came up! Grab that second chance with both hands and help your daughter grow into the woman you always wanted her to be - You can still do it - go for it. Watch her achieve, watch her get married and have children of her own - it's all there in front of you and you will be there to see it! No guilt - you still have a massive role to play in life - learn from your experience and use it to full advantage in yours and your daughter's future. So accept help with good grace, and with the love that it is being offered with. They are doing for you what they know you would do for them in a heartbeat. Think positively and make the most of your opportunities and that is the best thanks, and probably the only thanks, that anyone will want from you. Good luck and best wishes, Macca
  23. Hi Maria, My heart goes out to you. You have had a really tough time of it and your compassion is endless. Although you are in a difficult position, it speaks volumes about the kind of person you are and how lucky Paul is to have you in his life. You are doing all you can, and huge respect and love to you for that. You can do no more than you are already doing, so please don't reproach yourself in any way whatsoever. As I said to you in an earlier post, all you can do is deal with circumstances as they are. Yes, they are upsetting, for sure, but you are doing the right things. You can do no more than that. Please come on here and offload when you need to and we will try to help and/or support you in the best ways we can. Macca
  24. Congratulations Julian! Glad you are progressing, still on 'the long and winding road.'
  25. Hi Trish, With reference to your question above, it depends on individual circumstances and treatments given to you by your healthcare professionals. Not everything is down to SAH, but whatever happens, you can't control the past, only the future. Learn from the past and move on as best you can. You may have to adapt certain things in your life, but you've already shown you can do that. With regards to the medical aspects, only your doctors and you can answer them. Some may take longer than others, just try not to let anything stand in the way of enjoying your life. Some things may be permanently changed - not better or worse, just different - that's the way to look at it, in my opinion. Best wishes Macca
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