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  1. Hi there I've just joined 'behind the gray'. Late November I was teaching my Grade 12s when I got a sudden, severe headache. I went to get painkillers and luckily one of the office staff realised I needed more than paracetamol. An ambulance was called, a CT scan was done and I was told I had a bleed on the brain as I was pulled out of the machine. I have to admit I had pretty much come to that conclusion myself. I then had to be transferred to another hospital where I needed immediate surgery. You all know the way I was feeling I am sure as my blood pressure was through the roof and my limbs were numb. I thought, "this is it....". But to make things that much more difficult we had only just moved to Japan (from New Zealand) in August. English is not widely spoken where we are and I had not really had a chance to learn much Japanese. 'Diajoubu' was said to me a lot by the doctors and nurses.... I was diagnosed with SAH caused by a ruptured aneurysm. The doctor explained (through a translator) to my husband that it was right in the middle of my brain so a coil was much safer option than trying to do a clip. He was also told all the other terrible statistics. Luckily, I came out of the surgery with little obvious damage. They said I would need to have spinal taps every day for a couple of weeks but in the end I only had to have them about 5 times. They decided to stop them for some reason. I did have severe headaches for a couple of weeks. The Japanese tend to dish out far less painkillers than Western doctors..... After a few weeks I had more MRIs and a catheter exam. This exam showed a remnant of the aneurysm that the coil was not covering. I've been home for about 2 months now and have had another MRI recently that seems to show that the remnant has gone but they won't know for sure until the next catheter exam. My eyesight is definitely worse. I have had to get glasses for computer work. I am also starting to realise that my short term memory has been affected. I still get headaches at times but I only take the painkillers now as needed. Anyway, so that's my story in brief. I would love to hear from anyone else who has gone through this in a non English speaking country. Although the medical staff have been lovely in both the hospitals I was in, it has been frustrating and difficult either making myself understood or understanding them. A lot of my questions went unanswered. Thanks for reading! Joanna
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