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NA-PMSAH in Canada

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Hello, I am a 42yr old married mother of 2 (5yrs/9yrs). I had a PMSAH at the beginning of November while on a spa getaway trip with my mother. 


It has been very helpful to find this forum and be able to read everyone's stories and symptoms. As many have said, there is not a lot of information about this out there. Most relates to stroke or aneurysm.


It is interesting that many people on here had their bleed while doing exercise or some for of exertion. For me, I was hunched over for a few minutes looking in my bag for something, when I stood back up I started to have a massive headache and urge to vomit. before long I was on the floor in the bathroom at the spa with my head in the toilet retching and my head pulsing, feeling like it was going to explode. 

My mom (retired nurse) called the ambulance who took me to the local hospital, they sent me to a bigger hospital for a CT of my head. The tech came out and said they want to repeat the scan with contrast. I thought to myself 'that means they've seen something and they want to see it more clearly'..many possibilities ran through my mind. I had the second CT and they told me about the bleed. I was admitted.

Those first few days I just lay there, it hurt to move my head, I preferred lying on my left side, it hurt to turn it. I barely ate, I felt nauseous most of the time. After a few days things improved and I was sent home with pain killers and nausea meds, and a requisition to repeat the CT in a week.


Thankfully my mom was able to stay with us to take care of the kids and run the house. My husband works long hours and I'm usually the one managing the kids and house. This was the first time the kids had seen me really struck down. I'm not sick very often, and usually I'll power through. Pretty sure it scared them. 


My follow up CT ended up being 2 weeks later due to delays at the hospital. The day I had it done, they called me back that night and said I needed to come in and be admitted for an angiogram. They were worried about vasospasm and they wanted a more thorough investigation of my brain to look for a cause of the bleed. I ended up being in hospital for a week because the machine was broken. The wouldn't let me go home in the meantime. When I finally had the angio done it looked normal.


I have been a healthcare worker for almost 20 yrs working at the bedside. This whole experience has been very humbling being on the other side. I am not used to being the one in the hospital bed or on the procedure table.


I had another follow up CT done Dec 22 and I see the Neurosurgeon this week. I am hoping he will clear me for driving and going back to work. Not being allowed to drive has been hard on our family. Our kids are in sports and I'm usually the one doing the driving and the grocery shopping ect. I sorta felt like I was back in lockdown doing grocery pick up orders, and ordering everything online for Christmas.


I'm not sure how work will go, I am a shift worker...some shifts are quiet and some can be crazy busy, but I feel I just need to get back out there and try it. I'm going a bit crazy at home.


Some symptoms others have mentioned, that I felt too:


My hearing was off- I wore hearing aids before this happened, but my hearing was worse after the bleed, and the sound was different, like people's voices were an octave higher that usual. Now 2 months later I feel it's back to my baseline deafness.


The pounding pain in my lower back. - at one point I remember getting out of bed or up from a sitting position it felt like a delayed response in my lower back, it would start to pulsate and I'd need to wait a minute and then carry on walking. like others, I felt it must be the blood circulating in the CSF, falling to gravity dependent areas.


Headaches- for the first 2 weeks I was needing Tylenol every 4 hours and then slowly I was able to come off them. Now I find if I do too much in a day...like over the Christmas holidays, I'll have a headache by evening and need to go to bed early.


I've been reading around on this forum for awhile and felt it was time to share my story. 





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Hi :) a very warm welcome to BTG.


Thank you for sharing your experience, it will help many.

It is still very early days in your recovery. I know you really want to get back to work to see how you get on, but make sure you go back on a gentle phased return and gradually build up your hours. 


Good luck with your Neuro appointment this week and hope they give the all clear for driving and returning to work.


Wishing you well and look forward to hearing more from you and how you are doing.

Take care

Tina xx


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I saw the neurosurgeon this week for my follow up. The incident was Nov 3, so I'm 2 months and bit post bleed. They said the repeat CT from December was clear.I am allowed to drive again and go back to work. No set restrictions on activities, just listen to my body and go as tolerated.


For back to work they want a gradual re-entry. I work as a respiratory therapist in critical care at the hospital.

Next week I'm doing 2X 6 hour shifts with a day in between. Following week, 2X 12 hour shifts with a day in between, one is a day shift and the second is a night shift.


The following week back to my regular shifts as tolerated, which is 2x12hr days, followed by 2x 12hr nights.

I put in for vacation for that first night shift, just to give myself a bit more of a break. But with staffing shortages as they are, I'm not sure I'll get it.


We will see how it goes.


Also they are doing a follow up angio MRI in the next few months to make sure nothing was missed.

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