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Forever Changed


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Hello, On August 25, 2010, the eve of our family vacation my life forever changed; I had the worst headache of my life; I suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage. I was fortunate, after several CT scans and 2 angiogram, the doctors found no aneurysms to clip or coil.

Day six in the Neuro Intensive Care Unit (NICU) I had a mini stroke that left me blind for a couple of days with most of the damage to my central vision. My vision has been returning gradually, I can see in the distance, but as objects get closer I lose sight of them. I am unable to read, drive, and go anywhere by myself. My short term memory was also effected.

After reading each post, I realized I am not alone. I’m also experiencing anxiety attacks especially when in stores; these attacks occur at least two or three times a day. Night time is the worse, waking up every night around 2:00 a.m. in a panic which takes me nearly 2 to 3 hours to relax and go back to sleep. If I feel any kind of pain, automatically I think something bad is about to happen. It is very frustrating living life like this. Any suggestions on how to get pass these attacks will be greatly appreciated. Breathing and music therapy is not working.

Thanks to my partner for typing and posting this message.

Best regards,

Pamela

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Hi Pam & welcome to BTG. Gld you got diagnosed quckly but sorry to hear about your vision, there are a ew of us who have /or have had vision probems after an SAH & they can improve in a lot of cases.

Thanks to your partner & hope the site will be some support to him too

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Hi Pamela,

Go and see your GP, they should be able to prescribe you something for the anxiety attacks, especially as they're so severe. I was the same as you and anxiety attacks are a huge impediment on your day to day life and will stop you from wanting to go outside of your own back door. I was prescribed a beta blocker called Propranolol and it has helped, although not what I call a "magic" answer either, as it does take time to re-build your confidence and to be re-assured that nothing awful is going to happen to you again.

All of what you've described is normal for many of us that have had a SAH ... it will calm down and eventually pass over a period of time.

Good luck xx

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Hi Pamela :) a very warm welcome to you. Karen has said it all :) ...i also had panic attacks and sight problems...to the point i did not want to go out at all. I went to my GP and had counselling. This did help but what helped more was BTG and all the lovely friends i made here that gave me support. It will get better in time, but it is a life changing thing that has happened...sending you hugs...look forward to hearing more from you...take care love Tina xx

Edited by Tina
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Hi Pamela, I so understand where you are coming from.

I have been taking my "anti-excitement", as I call it pill for about 13 years now. It alows me to cope with anxiety and stress. I take it because basically 13 years ago I had a severe illness that took me nine months to recover from. This was followed a few years later by a heart attack that I did not know I had had, again another nine months. Finally my SAH last November.

Each of these events in themselves were traumatic enough but with the help of my pill I able to cope with the feelings of uncertainty. You no longer trust the slightest twinge, headache, chest pain.

Like Karen says you fear going out, believe me it can get better, it has for me, on each occasion I returned to work in time and this time I am again looking forward to going back to work of some description. It does mean I take a pill but it also gives me back control. Go see your GP and talk to them about your fears, thay can help. I balance taking one pill with being able to carry on a normal life!! :-D

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Hi Pamela, sorry to hear of your probs, my wife was very much like you, waking during the night and very anxious,as have been said it is very early days and you are doing well to be posting.

Merrill my wife still has anxiety attacks 19 months later but they are nowhere near as bad as they were and sleep patterns most of the time are ok, we realised sometime later that when she wakes during the night that her anxiety at night was caused by the bad hearing she has been left with and once she got hearing aids (even though she does not wear them at night) the night time anxiety settled down a bi, also she spoke to the doc about the anxiety and he prescribed her something for it,which has deffinatley helped. Good luck Rod

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Hi Pamela

You are still vey early in your recovery. I had my SAH February 2009 and was in hospital for two weeks. The day of the aneurysm's rupture was very cold and frosty and then I had a sequential bleed 4 days later. When I came out of hospital I was too scared to go outside because it was cold. I would stand behind the back door to let the dog out into the garden! But I was still sleeping for most of the day too then. My GP did say to me that I would have to make myself go out but I knew I didn't have enough energy, at that point, to do it.

So it was about the end of April early May before I ventured out and that was only to go out of my backdoor and stand in the garden! But that was a start and I would do that everyday, then it was a walk to the end of the road and then a walk down to the shop. Be kind and patient with yourself and set yourself small targets at first, something that you know you can do and slowly build up your confidence.

I also had anxiety attacks in the early days. I had to sleep with the light on, in the spare room because I was not only disturbing my husband's sleep but he was getting anxious when I would wake up, very upset, thinking that it was happening again! But again with time these got less and less. Remember you have been through a major trauma and maybe it would help to speak with a counsellor. It was my counsellor who told me that it was post traumatic stress that I was dealing with and that sort of put things into perspective for me and I put less pressure on myself.

I hope this helps a little, take care.

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Like Liz I did it in baby steps at the time I lived 3 flights up so just getting down those was a challenge in itself, then a little further then further reminding myself what I walked I still had to do it in the reverse (on the way back)

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Hi Pamela

Welcome to BTG, you will find anxiety is common with many of us. I am four years on and still take medication for anxiety although it is better. I frequently visit optician due to my short sightedness which varies all the time.

Things will ease honestly.

Cheers

John

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello everyone,

Thank you for your advise and words of encourgement. I have finally been given a low dose of Ativan for my anxiety and it is helping. My vision continues to improve, still have my partner typing for me as I am still unable to read. Each day is getting better; but I wish the doctors had discussed the mental healing as they did the physical healing with me.

Take care,

Pamela xxx

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Hi Pamela

Welcome to the site :)

Glad you have some help with your anxiety and that you are improving. I was told by a doctor before I left hospital that it would take a long time both physically and emotionally to recover, and he was right!

I hope things continue to improve for you

Vivien x

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