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Hello from new member Pauld31


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Guest Pauld31

Hell my name is Paul and in March of this year my 44 year old wife Mandy had a Sub arachnoid Haemorrhage .

She has made a remarkable recovery and is back at work full time as an hospital ward clerk. However things at home are far different as she seems emotionally cold to my 3 sons and myself.

I sense that she is withdrawing into herself as time goes on and I know she must be feeling frustrated with her new unexpected sitution. I hope i dont sound selfish but it is like living with a stranger as she rarely talks to us ( me in particular 0 unless it is a complaint or a direct instruction.

She refuses to go anywhere with me even christmas shopping but will go out with a couple of her friends - 1 in particular but the rest of her friends and family are treated with almost contempt as though she is angry at us for carrying on as normal.

I would do anything to help her but she just says " what are you going to do , wave a magic wand ? "

Any help or advice would be gratefully recieved.

I can see just by looking on this web site that many peoples lives are torn in 2 by this all to commomn medical problem

Thanks for listening

Paul Davies

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Hi Paul,

Welcome aboard x :-D

I myself had a SAH in July 2007. I returned to work, full-time after 5 months off.

It was difficult to assess in my own mind at first what had happened, and then to comprehend how the rest of my family was feeling was very difficult to cope with too. My family wanted to wrap me up in cotton wool, this drove me nuts!! ha! I had to constantly prove that I was back to my old self, not just to everyone, but also to myself.

Paul, it does change a person, we realise that our old life has gone, suddenly we realise life can be very fragile. Given time, your wife will embrace the new life that she's been given, but not until she comes to terms with what she has experienced. This I believe I went through myself. Do you have any Support Groups in your area?

I really feel for you, as you seem such a caring person, and your wife is very lucky to have someone so understanding, so well done you for seeking support, and remember we are all here for you too.

Take care,

B x

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Guest Pauld31

Hi Holly

Thank you for that lovely reply that has made me feel so good.

I think the way you have described that is Exactly how Mandy must be feeling

She has always been so in control of everything and it must be endlessly frustrating for her to now having us all Fussing after her as you say .

Imagine her horror when for the first time in 18 years of marriage I have had to make decisions of my own about the boys ! I think she is horrified I have always been a bit useless in a typical man sort of way of organising the family !!

I take great comfort in your reply and in time maybe I could persuade her to look on this web site but Mandy has always felt that any kind of support counselling etc is some kind of weakness

Thanks again Holly

Kind Regards

Paul x

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Hi Paul and welcome to behindthegray.

You've come to the right place and there are other carers here who have experienced just what you have described. Holly is right, it can take a long time to come to terms with what has happened and I know that it has changed me in all sorts of ways. I had a few family issues early on but I didn't realise until much later how much it had affected and was continuing to affect my family. Thankfully, I received some wonderful support from the people on this site and I've come through the other side. SAH can be a devastating illness and whilst the surgeons and doctors can sometimes fix the immediate physical stuff, a lot of people seem to be cast out of the system when it comes to recovery and left on their own to cope, but you can guarantee that you and Mandy are not alone here. Yes, Mandy has changed and it could take some time for both of you to accept that.

You might like to have a look at Headway, a very good organisation that gives help and support to people affected by brain injury. A few people on here have found them to be very beneficial in helping them to come to terms with the changes caused by SAH. You need to get Mandy to accept that you both need some help to overcome what has happened. Easy to say, I know, but not so easy to do and I don't really have any advice on how you might do that. It's definitely not a sign of weakness. I would never have believed that I would need any kind of support (being a bloke ;) ) but I found it here.

Regards

Keith

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Hi Paul

You could almost be describing me to an extent. I'm the rock in my family. I'm the organiser, I'm the one my sibilings (there are 5 of them) or our 3 children come to for advice. Almost everybody leaned on me. My youngest sister once told me that I was the strongest person she knew. Even at work (I work in a hosptial too) I was very organised and always hitting targets.

This devastated my family. It was normally me they would turn to in a crisis. We were all

trying to come to terms with what could have been. I feel that I now have to step back a little and let them find their own way through this. I beleive I am a little colder (sounds horrible, I adore my chlidren!)I am a little bit more distant. But I can't comfort them and tell them that everything is going to be fine because as Holly said we know that life is fragile. They have to navigate this themselves and I beleive they will be all the stronger for it.

My husband and I have had problems. We've been married for 24 years. I went through a period of not wanting to be anywhere near him. I couldn't see this from his point of view, only my own. There are all sorts of thoughts that go through your head. If he hadn't weathered the storm then I don't think we would still be together. I was angry at him for not being as strong as I think I would have been in this situation. Yet how do I know how I would be if things were reversed?! But things are finally starting to sort themselves out but we both agree, that counselling will be a good place to start. We both have to get to know the new "me".

In our hospital the job of a ward clerk can be very demanding, so maybe she's tired when she comes home. Is she on a phased return? But you have done the right thing finding this website. You will find support and lots of information. I've been working my way through all the posts and can't count how many times I've thought OMG that's me! Finally I wasn't alone.

Gosh I've rambled on a bit but hope it helps a little.

Take care

Liz

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Hi Paul I too am a carer to Merrill my wife sahwas inMarch this year, she too has changed in many ways, and i was told by the rehab clinic that you must never compare the new merrill with the old one, well i think thats a pretty impossible thing to say to someone as for 40 years she was one person and now she is different but different does'nt always mean worse because in many ways she is a nicer person now, for you it's different you find some of the changes not positive one's,but merrill has constantly changed over the now 8 to 9 months, a few years ago i came very close to death and i know afterwards i was not a very nice person to live with, until a couple of years later Merrill sat me down and gave me a talking to and i had to look at things and realise that i'd become difficult to live with. I'm not saying sit her down and put her in her place but maybe as time goes on she will become more approachable and you will be able to sit down and have a chat, not easy times for you we know but things do get better but I've found nothing happens fast so give it time and hopefully things start to improve, another thing is physicaly fit and mentaly fit are 2 different things and maybe she needs to get her head around what has happened. Good luck to you both Rod

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Hi Paul

Warm welcome to the site.

I think that the hardest thing is trying to understand how to cope with the fact that your life has changed. Getting back to work so quickly is great but that can be so tireing in itself.

I think headway is a good start I do think that she maybe needs some councelling and there's nothing wrong with that I can tell you I had a phycologist when I was in the rehab hospital and boy did that help me (tho didnt think I needed to be at the time I was SO wrong once I realised that is) they know how to approach things like that......

we're here when you need.

take care

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Hi Paul

Welcome to BTG sounds like you are having a rough time of it at the moment. As the others have said it can take a long time to accept that life as we knew it has changed completely. Mandy maybe trying to forget what has happened its very hard to acknowledge just how close you come to death with an SAH.

It can take a lot of time to accept what has happened and as one of the others have said if Mandy is already back to working full-time it may very well be that she is extremely tired which wont help with the moods. Some people do experience quite drastic changes in their personalities. Maybe Mandy is scared of getting to close to you and your sons because of the pain and anguish she knows the SAH caused you all.

Try and get Mandy to have a look at the site it might help her to talk to others who have been through what she is going through.

Look forward to hearing more from you.

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Hi there Paul all you can do is be there for her when she feels ready to talk, I know its difficult being shut out, but sometimes thats what it takes to sort it out in our own heads. She will open up one day just don't push her to hard like my husband did to me as that causes alot of resentment. We are here whenever you want to talk. Jess.xxx

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Hey Paul

I had my SAH over 3 years ago and it can still affect me emotionally at times. Like you, my hubby (also called Paul) felt he couldn't do anything for me - but the belief that he had in me to make a full recovery drove me to do so.

I also saw counselling as a sign of weakness but it was the best thing I ever did. I was so eaten up with guilt that I withdrew from my friends and family, didn't want to let them in, convinces they would be better of without the person I had become The counselling helped me realise that it wasn't my fault and that nothing I could have done would have stopped it.

Now my hubby and I have a fantastic relationship, I'm even closer to my daughter than I was before and my relationship with my parents has become brilliant.

It's very hard when you're the one always in control and organising things family wise, to suddenly become rendered what I felt was "useless". Once I stopped being angry and what had happened and stopped fighting who I'd become, it did get so much easier. I actually like who I am now and my daughter says I'm not so grumpy (don't know if thats true tho lol).

Bear with her Paul, don't take it personally. She has an awful lot to come to terms with and it'll take a while. If you could get her to look on here it'd make her realise that the way she is feeling is completely normal given the circumstances. There will be days when she feels like she's going crazy, but she's not, it's recovery and it's normal.

Sending you my best.

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hi paul

you have all gone through a nightmare and things will take time to calm down and settle it seems like mandy is in denial and hasn't accepted what has happened to her it is a life changing situation for everyone my lin had her sah last august 2008 it blows everything out of the water and life as we knew it ended and we have to start all over again i understand where you are coming from re the family you haven't said which part of the country you are from

are you in a position to be able to talk to the neurosurgeon or staff at the hospital i believe mandy to be possibly suffering post traumatic stress in which case is it possible to get a refferal to a neurophysiology to help mandy come to terms with everything or as Keith has mentioned headway who have a good support and understands sah and i believe do counciling the fact mandy is back in full time work may also be doing more damage than good most people do go back in staged amounts i would have a word with the human resource centre at the hospital as well

your not stupid or weak you care about mandy and want what is good for her and like all men me included didnt have a clue about running the household but when things like this happen we learn b********y fast:lol: because we have to every one is suffering because of what has happened and mandy being in denial doesn't help maybe if you could talk to one of the drs or secretary they may be able to arrange mandy and the family to attend a meeting with the neuro physiologist please give it a go you have nothing to lose and hopefully mandy will appreciate how you feel you can always pm me anytime and as everyone has said we are here to help if we can take care and remeber your not alone in this situation take care and keep in touch

Edited by paul99
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Paul, I don't feel as though I can add much at all to what has been said already by various folk:) They are spot on though ( I know I have changed) The one real positive I can offer is that when you and Mandy are able to work through this each knowing that the other has needs (try to get Mandy to see you need help too!) then you both may find this new person is kind of nice and worth getting to know;) It's a hard old journey but it is very worthwhile. What I can do is welcome you and say read all you can of the posts on here, talk about them to Mandy and come back with more questions when they arise, there will be someone here who has the answer, that's a promise :-D

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Hi Paul,

I had a SAH in October 2006. And started back at work in April 2007. I since realised that this was far too soon for me. But I wanted to go back to show everyone that I was still the same old Ern. In fact I had changed in a million subtle ways. deep down I am still me, but my perspectives have changed. I find it impossible to explain what I am feeling to those around me, I struggle with my emotions (I once cried watching Kindergarden cop, for crying out loud!) but given time all of this will ease. My wife is incredibly supportive and did not deserve the misery I put her through, so I am sure that Mandy is feeling the same as I did, and she is probably exhausted but still wanting to show that she can cope.

Hang on in there! Things will ease it's still early days yet.

Ern

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Welcome to the site we are here to help in any way..well i dont think i can add much to what everyone else had said...although i was in denial and its hard to figure out why, what and who i am and knowing i feel different but i what do i feel like and i was also asking am i different and what is different about me...its all very confusing and it took me ages to sort through in my own mind and difficult for me to put into words, i did use to stand and look at my face in the morror trying to see a differences...i also went to rehab like Louise and i didnt think i needed to be there...that proved me wrong i was there for nearly two weeks and i know now it made a huge difference...

I have a neuropsychologist and she is wonderful i felt so safe talking to her and she listened i do think it should be considered standard practise after SAH/stroke for everyone.

I dont know whether anything i said has helped but please ask

Mandy to have a look at the site we are here to help keep posting and take care.

Love luck and laughter

Michelle c

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Hi Paul :-D a very warm welcome to you.....as the others have already said, it changes your whole life....turns everything upside down. I hope that Mandy might have a look on here.....there is so much help and support. We are here for you...take care love Tina xx

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