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When did you feel able to go back to work?

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I had my SAH 12weeks ago. I vaguley remember someone saying I would be able for work mid Jan to Feb at the time I thought yes that sound ok. I had the flu at Christmas and have had a slight relapse but not too bad. Although at the moment I'm still only getting dressed and leaving the house ever 4ish days as this is exhausting. I really don't think I can even think about work yet.

My work are lovely putting no pressure on me but you do start to wonder should I be progressing quicker than this. Let me know what you think!



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Hi Aine,

I tried to go back to work at 3 months post SAH.............lasted 2 hours, ran out of the door and never went back............now 18 months post SAH and I still don't consider myself fit enough to work, due to the remaining physical problems with eyesight and balance.

Everybody's SAH experience is different, some return to work at about 3 months or earlier, others need a longer period to recover and there's a fair few of us that haven't gone back at all.

Personally, I think that you know in your heart what you're able to cope with, so don't let anybody force you into a premature return to work. Everybody is so individual with their SAH and whether it's left them with any physical problems or not. Whatever you do, don't timetable yourself to return to work at a certain stage, as it puts more stress and pressure on you, which I don't think helps recovery at all.

It seems to be that the 3 month stage is probably the earliest that some SAH sufferers return to work. With most people, it's a gradual or phased return that's been arranged with their employer. Nobody should expect you to be able to cope with full time work on your immediate return, especially when you consider the fatigue aspect of SAH.

I also felt the same as you, the pressure that you put on yourself to return to work is huge...........I should be feeling okay to work etc etc.....is it just me, because other people are managing to go back at this stage......what I didn't realise then, was that I was basing my recovery on somebody else's experience or what somebody else had written, who may have had a bleed less severe than my own. If you feel doubt about returning to work, then listen to yourself ..... unlike me!

Hope this helps, but only you will know what your energy levels are like and whether it's feasible to return to work at this stage. If you're finding it difficult to cope with the day to day stuff at home and the fatigue is still a major issue, I would personally think hard and long before setting a return to work date in motion.

Love K x

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I agree with what Karen says.

When I had my SAH I didn’t go back for eight months and then only on a phased return. However, in that eight months I had another set of coiling done, so if you count the time from the second coiling I went back after about three months. I worked for a couple of months at a couple of hours a week but then I handed in my notice. I was then without a job for ten months. When I did get my next job I felt really ready for it.

After my gluing in November 2006 I was told that it should be at least three months before I should go back to work. However, I have already, after five weeks, gone back on a phased return, the doctor is happy for me to do this. This was done in consultation with my local GP.

The doctor, at the hospital, this week said that I should take my time and not rush things as it is not worth it. I think this is true. I just find it difficult to be at home on my own and find the company of people at work is really enjoyable.

Take care,


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Hi there

I'm kind of like Karen I'm not fit enough to work now, but I think when your ready you'll know it we are all different we all have had different sorts of SAH's the hospital told me 4 months but I think they just give an estimate they dont actually know themselves I dont think.

you know just now your not ready so then you'll know when you are I think we all progress at out own pace I wouldnt worry about it at all its what suits you that counts.

Take care, keep warm its freezing today.


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Hi Therese,

Like yourself, I really miss the company now I'm not working......the interaction and gossip etc.........but, I agree with you......it's you that finds the right time to return to work, whether it be at an earlier or later stage. I really don't think that anybody can specify "the right time", apart from yourself, as our individual experiences differ so much.

Louise, you sum it up beatifully, as always.....

K xx

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Hey there

I went back to work three weeks after my SAH, but don't get me wrong it wasn't really through choice. We run our own company and without me there was no invoicing being done and nothing was being logged properly. Its only through my three week absence that my husband appreciates how much I do here.

I'm lucky enough to have a bed in my office so that if I get tired I can lay down and our neighbouring clients all know what happened to me so they're not shocked if they pop in and I'm asleep on the bed.

Like everyone has said - take it at your own pace. Only you will know when you are fit and ready to go back. It really isn't worth making youself ill again for.

Everyone keep warm and well


Sami xxxx

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I returned to work on short hours 3 and a half months post SAH which is far from typical. Going back to work really took it out of me although I didn't think it would. The tiredness kicked back in BIG TIME and I felt I'd taken a step backwards. I'm now working full time nearly 5 months post SAH and find it OK. As I say, this is not typical - there seems to be no typical time for recovery or return to work. Only you can decide, but make sure you are 100% ready and be prepared to take a possible step backwards. If and when you do return to work, make sure you take it easy to start with. I have a very understanding employer, who made sure that I didn't get stressed during the first couple of weeks and allowed me to take breaks as and when I needed them.



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Thanks for all your advice folks. I can't help but measure myself against other people and then I got to thinking I was back to work 6 weeks after the first bleed (Thats when I'd be diagnosed with migraines) Although I was exhausted I was up to it. This time is alot different! I had a wee chat to work today and broke it to them that I might still be a while getting better. They were saying they weren't expecting me back for another couple of months!!

Now feeling alot more reassured and happy. I had a great day today. Got my makeup on, headed for lunch and was compesmentus (can't spell) enough to pay some bills. Isn't it amazing how this brings you back to appreciating the simple things! Still not sleeping but leaving the house today was great.


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Hi Aine and all

We're at about the same stage (1st bleed 21/9/06, second bleed and hospitalisation 25/9/06) and I have, and continue to have, the same questions as you. Rather than post a reply at each topic I thought I'd answer, from my experience, what I can in this post (and hope I can remember them all as my memory is virtually non-existent post-SAH)

1. Sleeping - not good at all so went to my very understanding GP and explained that my brain was bouncing about all over the place, couldn't think 'happy thoughts' or count sheep or blank my mind. He has prescribed non-addictive, non-hangover inducing anti-depressants (which also helps with the general worrying aspects that I was experiencing throughout the day). These really help and because of his genuine reassurances I'm not overly worried (see, they work!) about being too dependent on them.

2. Going back to work - this is a constant on my mind. I too was told 3 months minimum, although a nurse at the hospital gave me some excellent advice - even if you look cured on the outside (scar etc.) it will take much longer on the inside so DO NOT let people rush you, you will know when you are fit and able - My employers are being really, really good too and I know in my heart of hearts that I am not ready to go back yet. I do still get extremely tired and have a power nap nearly every day and when I don't it catches up with me. I also can't make decisions to save my life and, as I mentioned earlier, my memory is worse than U/S. Still undecided about what to do about work but may be in a better position to make a decision after my first neuro appointment next week.

3. Sami - ref the weird head when bending down etc. - my right eye seems to have been affected slightly so that when I'm tired it doesn't seem to fit, if you know what I mean, and feels very dry in its socket. Also get aches and pains behind it and above it. Head gets very lumpy too above and around the scar. Weird and wonderful body!!

4. Singing - strange as it may seem and not wishing to warble about it but my singing voice is much improved since SAH. It wasn't too bad before, I could hold a tune, but now it's (although I say it myself) pretty good. No single deal on the table yet.......

Hope this helps.

Have a good day all, from a very very windy Cheshire

Love Sarah x

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  • 9 months later...

Hi Slim. I Had my SAH in July and the other day I was toying with the idea of going back to work for just a couple of hours a day. The following day I couldn't even get out of bed which clearly indicates that I am not yet ready. My boss also has been great but how long can they carry on like that I ask myself. Anyway as the others have said..you will know yourself when you are ready and wean yourself back slowly on light duties only till you build up your strength and stamina. I too was told 3 months minimum but as my job is quite physical I now really can't see me going back this side of Christmas. If at all if I am honest. So my advice is. Take one day at a time and try not to rush things. xx

Sarah imagine your voice improving.....thats fantastic. Belt it out girl xxx

Mollie xxx

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