Jump to content

Can't believe it has happened to me!

Recommended Posts



My name is Jo and I am 52 years old. I have twin boys who are 21 and I am a primary school teacher specialising in PE and Sport.


Three weeks ago I was in the gym and suddenly I experienced pain up the back of my head and over into my forehead. I went home, took a few painkillers and rested for a few hours. Over the next few days I continued to suffer with a headache, developed pulsing tinnitus and then my lower back/hamstrings completing seized up so I couldn't pick anything off the floor. 


Stupidly from Thursday until Tuesday I continued with normal life (trip to hairdressers on Friday, food shopping on Saturday, work on Monday and Tuesday and even went for a run thinking I would shift the headache and it might loosen things up..........I know!).


On Tuesday I realised the headache, tinnitus and general feeling of being unwell was not going away. I tried to contact me GP but there were no appointments so on Wednesday my husband persuaded me to ring 111. I was advised to go to A and  E.


After a CT scan, lumbar puncture and angiogram I was diagnosed to have suffered a NASAH.  I stayed in hospital for a week and was then discharged gripping my NASAH leaflet and not quite believing that the last few weeks had really happened.


I am a very fit 52 year old. I have been a runner all my life and 3 weeks ago I was running 3 times a week and going to the gym 3 times a week. I have never smoked, I do not drink and I have a healthy diet. I am finding it really difficult to accept that this has really happened.


It has been a week now since I was discharged. Having read some of the posts on this forum I know I should be grateful for the how well I appear to be recovering..........since Tuesday I have been walking 2/3 miles every morning and 2/3 miles in the evening. I have not taken any painkillers since Monday and I am not feeling tired.


My main symptoms are ongoing tinnitus (now just ringing not pulsing), hearing loss (my ears feel full and hearing is muffled) but also really sensitive to noises like a bin lid closing, a saucepan clattering, paper rustling or my husband coughing!  I also just have a feeling of being slightly out of it/out of body feeling and really struggling to sleep. 


I know I must be patient with my recovery but I am finding it hard to accept that this has happened. I am worried about how I will return to my job if my hearing and sleeping does not improve. How  will cope with a noisy class of 6 year old and the screech of a PE whistle?!


Thank you for anyone who reads this and any advice would be greatly appreciated



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Jo :) 


A very warm welcome to BTG, glad you found us.

As you have already found there is a wealth of helpful information here and also friendly caring support from those that understand what you are going through xx


It is very early days in your recovery, you are doing really well. Hopefully the Tinnitus will continue to improve, just horrible for you. Here is a link to some posts re Tinnitus that may help:




I was very sensitive to noise and also bright lights too. I think its because your brain is trying to repair and function as normal which also causes the feeling slightly out of it. The not sleeping very well is a nightmare. Can you have a nap during the day at all ?


You say you know you have to be patient with your recovery but finding it hard to accept. Totally empathise with you, I was the same. Your whole world has been turned upside down and a huge shock and trauma for you and your family. Dont rush things, if you push too hard your body will let you know. ( speaking from experience ) 


As for returning to work and the worry of being able to cope etc. One step at a time, you will get there, things will improve  :) Most on here that feel ready to return to work, do so on a phased return to see how they cope. As for the screech of a PE whistle 😳 and noisy 6 year olds.... maybe earplugs that take away alot of the background noise. and a medal ;) 


For now just try to rest up as much as you can. We look forward to hearing more from you.


Wishing you well with your on going recovery.

Take care

Tina xx


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Jo, as Tina says warm welcome to BTG.


You are really early days and I hope you are not thinking about returning to work anytime soon? Most people are recommended to take 3 months and then a phased return.


I too was quite fit when I had my bleed at 55 in fact I was out running when it happened. It took me several weeks before I was able to go out walking alone and a few months until I ran again. I am now running up to 5 miles 3 times a week and attend a couple of gym classes too. I really think that the running has helped my mental and physical health though many people ask how I can run after having a bleed during running!


Things will hopefully improve with time though maybe your current symptoms are are caused by you doing too much too soon. Try and make sure you get plenty of rest in between those walks!


Take good care and keep us updated with your recovery.


Clare xx

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you so much for your responses.  It has been really comforting to hear that other people who were fit and healthy have also suffered from a NASAH and great to hear that symptoms improve with time. Also, really reassuring to hear that activities like running will hopefully continue to be part of my life once I recover. 😀


My recovery continues to go well. My hearing/tinnitus is definitely improving but still very sensitive to certain noises......one of the worst remains my husband coughing! 

Sleep problems remain but last night was a little better. Also, I didn't sleep that well before all this happened....I put this down to the dreaded menopause!


I am still finding it difficult to come to terms with the fact that it has happened when there is no real reason why. I can't help but keep questioning why it happened. Also, I find it difficult to explain to people what has happened. Several people have asked if I have had a Stroke. Is a NASAH a stroke? 


Once again, thank you for your advice.







  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi there


warm welcome, glad that you found us...


I think we all must think that 'cant believe it happened to me' know I did for a LONG time - 


take things slow and easy keep well hydrated.


take care

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Jo.. I'm also Jo :)


I'm 33 and the same thing happened to me whilst I was doing a CrossFit class at 6am in the morning on 5th Jan.


I haven't yet done an intro on here and must do so. I gave a quick explanation of what happened on Karin's intro story if you come across it, but know that I have had very similar symptoms - some of which still persist but I'm learning to adopt them in to my lifestyle.


After my back spasms disappeared I too started walking a lot and have not stopped since. Walking was the best thing for me both mentally and physically as I felt really lost without regular exercise and no real structure to my day. It sounds like you're doing exactly the same - just remember to listen to your body.


I have done no exercise for 2 months to give myself time to rest (the doctor told me I could do crossfit again after 8 weeks, but I am too anxious to do it yet) and I am only just starting getting back in to cardio. My cardio was excellent before the bleed (I could hit a sub 22 mins 5k run) and now it's a bit of a struggle, but I have accepted this as a challenge to get back to full fitness and perhaps even better than I was before!


I first used earplugs to help with noise sensitivity. I also tested going to coffee shops to get used to sounds and my brain adjusting to focus on a specific conversation. This has definitely improved over time.


Rest lots and try not to worry about going back to work too soon.


Take care,



  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites



Once again, thank you to everyone for responding to my message. In these early days of recovery they have been a great source of comfort and information. 


I have been reading through lots of the posts and everyone is so amazing. I feel a little bit of a fraud as my symptoms are minimal  compared to some people. My headaches have settled and are bearable without painkillers. My hearing is improving slowly but I still have tinnitus and painful oversensitivity to certain noises. I have just purchased some Loop Earplugs after reading Jo_S and Karin's posts.  I hope they might help and perhaps save my marriage as my husband coughing still appears to be a problem!


Jo_S is was great to hear that you are back running.  As you said, walking in these first few weeks of recovery has really been the best thing for me mentally and physically. Before this happened,  my  body was used to running and gym 6 days a week, no medication (can't remember the last time I swallowed even a paracetamol) and  very busy days as a teacher. With suddenly no physical activity and all the medication whilst in hospital I don't think my body knew what had hit it.......especially the codeine and laxatives!!


I am not really suffering with fatigue but I am very aware that since leaving hospital I have not really done anything other than walk. I will continue to take try and take everyone's advice and be patience and take things slowly. The school I work at is not putting any pressure on me but as I said earlier I do feel a bit of a fraud when I am out and about walking. Yesterday I bumped into a parent of a child who attends my school! Didn't really know what to say other than look guilty and a quick 'Good Morning!'. 


I feel very lucky to have found this site and grateful for the recovery I appear to be making.....keeping well hydrated definitely helps but I also wee soooo much! 


Many thanks for all the advice









Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Jo,


Please do not feel like a fraud.  Everyone's event and recovery is different.  We come here because of what  we share and how we can support each other.  


I am so happy reading that you are doing well and yes doesn't keeping hydrated help.  I was always terrible at it and can get in a rut even now but I am better drinking water.


 Take care and so very happy you found BTG.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Jo, 

Glad to hear you are doing so well! As everyone is saying you are definitely still early days but it's great that you can be walking so much.


I'm also glad you've got some loop earplugs! I love mine now, they definitely seem to help when I suddenly feel the need to muffle some of the sounds around me - have been using them in the office back at work this week. I also use them on public transport and will almost certainly even use them at my own wedding in a few months!! 


The tinnitus is such a drag. I also have ringing since the bleed in my right ear, definitely worse / more noticeable after a day where I might have been exposed to loud sounds, e.g. got the Tube without my earplugs. I've had the pulsing tinnitus quite a lot since too, which had been stressing me out a bit but it tends to be when I'm tired or have done too much -- and it's probably that I'm just hyper sensitive to all the sensations in my head and ears now. 


Also -- definitely don't feel guilty about going out for walks but being off work. It is definitely very different to be back at your job, compared to taking walks for your healing.


I have found this in the last 2 weeks returning to work -- have found the brain-work and teamwork / social side of my job so much harder than I expected! So am having to really take it slow and be patient.


I've been doing half days, but this Tuesday I did my first full day and I definitely overdid it, should have gone home a good few hours earlier than I did and suffered with such weird headaches, and ear sensations and just feeling a bit weepy and emotional by the time I got home. Lesson learnt! Take it slow. 


All the best and hope you continue to find this forum as helpful as I've done and lots of others too, 


Karin x 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...