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MissMoneyPenny
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Hello!

I had my SAH on 1 November 2010 - phoned NHS direct and described my symptoms and they said "if it happens again go to A&E!!!!" by the time I finally got a doctor's appointment it was all panic, panic, panic but too late to find any "evidence" but it happened and I'm happy to be alive!!

Just gone back to work (part-time) and it's killing me...back to Doc's on Thursday to see if there is anything I can do...I'm sooooooooooo exhausted :( Any tips gratefully received - I'm basically working and sleeping but waking up yawning...not good.

Only just found this site and haven't had much time to look around but glad to know I'm not alone xxx

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Hi there

Welcome to the site and to the family.

Sounds like you had a brain hem without the aneurysm (torn artery) but don't quote me.:wink:

The tiredness is part and parcel of recovery I'm afraid. It was a good year or so before I stopped needing to sleep during the day. The headaches that follow do ease up but not everyone gets away with not having them at all.

I've been really lucky in my recovery - back at work full time and also doing hubby's accounts, running a household and having a teenage daughter and a dog :crazy:

You're very early on in your recovery and we all heal at different rates so don't compare yourself too much to anyone or anything you see or read on here. What you will find here is a wealth of experience, masses of support, loads of humour and the best people you could ever hope to meet in your life.

The only advice I can give you at the moment is to make sure you listen to your body, rest when you need to and don't fight it, drink plenty of fluids (alcohol doesn't count;-)) and try to accept what has happened rather than fight that too. The anger and range of emotions that you may feel are all perfectly natural after a trauma like this.

Feel free to ask anything you like on here - there's normally someone who has had a similar experience with some part of recovery, but we're all here to support each other no matter what.

Take care and I look forward to chatting more.

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Hi Miss M-P

Glad you have found us, welcome to the site.

I am just over 1 year post-SAH; had my SAH 11th Dec 2009 and coiling op 18th Dec 2009. Went back to work on part-time phased return early March last year and found it incredibly tiring for most of last year! I was pretty soon doing full hours but taking a day or 2 holiday each week. I then reduced my hours by one hour per day during June last year, then back to full time.

I think every day for the first couple of months back at work I had to sleep for an hour or 2 when I got home, then get up make dinner, eat, watch a bit of tv, then back to bed again!

I didn't clean my flat as much as I used to and my washing & ironing was piling up a bit, but I done enough to get by... I found it hard going but am now finally getting back to some kind of pre-SAH 'normality'.

I switched to decaf t-bags after my SAH to help aid my fluid intake, as all caffeinated drinks count against it. I drink lots of low-cal squash and decaf tea all day long and haven't really drank much alcohol for the past year - am too scared of getting a hangover/headache!, and I can feel dehydrated even if I've drank loads of caffeine-free drinks! :roll:

I still get tired but nothing like it used to be.

Please ask any questions of us; there is always someone (or many of us) who will be able to answer and give you advice. (Private message if you don't feel up to posting your question publicly :) )

Take care

Kel x

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Hi

Welcome to BTG.

My SAH was on the 21st November 2009, just over a year ago.

The first year post SAH, is very, very tiring. It's completely normal that you feel the way you do and there is no magic cure around it; but there are ways to make life easier.

I took the very difficult decision to resign from my job last year. I never went back after my SAH. I was a Solicitor, and the environment was far too stressful for me to consider returning. Not only that, my bosses would not offer me a phased return(!!!)

In July 2009, I commenced voluntary work, two days per week at the Citizens Advice Bureau. As a volunteer, there is no contract of employment, so there is no pressure for me to work when I'm unwell. I look upon this as 'work fitness' for when I am ready to consider paid employment again. (Which I'm hoping is achievable within the next few months.)

I am going to start a third working day with the Shaw Trust, a charity who help disabled/ incapacitated people get back into work. I'm waiting for my CRB checks to clear and then I'm good to go. There has been some delay in my starting with them, because I have had bouts of feeling ill; which indicates to me that the time is not entirely correct for me to be in paid work.

The tiredness is nature's way of getting the body to slow down. The brain needs more rest than usual to heal and repair. Pushing yourself will do no good at all. It's difficult, but you've just got to give into it. By 'negotiating' with your brain, i.e. giving it the rest it sometimes needs, it will reward you with feeling better and alert more frequently.

A mistake I made was trying to slot back into my previous life, but it became like knocking a square peg in a round hole.

Recovering from a brain injury, does not mean that you cannot do anything ever again, but it may mean that you cannot do everything the same way as before and in exactly the same way.

For me, the stress of paid employment needed to be removed for me to concentrate on my health. But I say this because of the working environment I was in. The corporate world is ruthless and does not fit the person I am now.

I hope the doctor's appointment goes well.

Lynne

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Hi there

Warm Welcome to the site.

I had my SAH on 1st Nov99.

You are still so early in recovery to be back at work well thats my thought, :roll:

looking forward to hearing more from you.

take care, rest as much as you can, listen to the body, drink plenty of liquids.....

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Thank you for all your advice :)

I'm back at work (part-time) because my GP said I should go back - I'm a teacher so as you can imagine it isn't easy (but is any job)???? I'm completely shattered and I'm just off to see her (GP) now and see what she says...I must admit it is nice to see people and have a bit of normality but I am shattered.

It sounds like my SAH was mild/minor/small compared to some people so I guess that is why she said to go back. I wasn't told anything about drinking water so I've started doing that today although it will take me a few days to work up to 3 litres ;) We're not allowed to leave the classroom so need to let my bladder recover from the shock!!! ;)

I just feel a bit like I'm just working and sleeping - the flat looks like a pigsty again - I had managed to get some semblance of order :( Hey ho...I guess in the great scheme of things it doesn't really matter :)

Thank you again - really glad I've found this site xxx

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Hi MMPenny

Good to have you here at BTG. Glad you found us. You'll find a world of information, support and friendship here. I'm coming up on my 1 year anniversary of my SAH and have to say I have improved SOOOOOOOOOO much, and BTG has been my biggest help.

Look forward to hearing from you again! Sending you healing energy and hugs :biggrin:

Carolyn

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Hey, we must have been typing at the same time. If you feel that your work is just too much right now (which to me, sounds as it is!) tell your Dr. that it is too much for you right now. Ask your doc how much experience he's had with patients who've had SAHs! Most have had none! And may not have the knowledge needed to advise as to whether you should be back at work. Your brain and body need A LOT of time to heal! Going back to work full time can really set you back if your body's not ready. I went back to work, part time, after 7 weeks. Was shattered each day and slept for hours when I got home. Unable to do much else beyond sleeping.

Please be careful and listen to your body and do talk to your doctor. Maybe suggest he join this site so he can become more aware of what survivors' lives are really like post SAH! Couldn't hurt.

Get some rest today if you can!!!

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Hi and welcome!

I just wanted to pick up on the following point .... keeping hydrated does help, but over consumption can also cause serious medical problems and affect the balance of electrolytes in your body, so you need to check out with your GP, how much water you need to consume on a daily basis to keep you hydrated and help the headaches etc.

3 litres is a heck of a lot and I wouldn't go quite as far as that, as you have to remember that most food also contains quite a bit of water and you need to make allowances and take those into consideration as well. As long as you are drinking enough throughout the day, over an even time period and with meals etc and when you're taking tablets, I really wouldn't go too overboard with it. xx

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Well...she (GP)said going back to work after months off (and I had flu at Xmas) would feel bad for anyone so "keep on going"!!!! lol....I did emphasise my exhaustion by putting my head on her desk as a demonstration of my fatigue....she took my blood pressure (which is usually normal...it was 110/69)!!!!

She seems to think I'll be able to do as much as I try to do and that I've got to "push on through"!!! I have to say she has been brilliant - gave me her mobile number and said to contact her if I had the slightest worry - while I was off work - so she has been great to date. She said to just keep monitoring things and I should slowly see an improvement - but not to try to do more hours at work but that it was important to try to get back to work. We had a long chat about "why" I'm feeling tired etc - which I find helpful to understand. :)

So on I go...I think I am going to have to plan some lessons where I can sit down and maybe stock up on some DVDs to give myself a break in a tough lesson now and then!!!!

Thank you for all your support everyone - you are amazing :) x

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Hi Miss M P,

Although I am not medically training I am horrified at your doctors opinion. Not sure how to put it into words but I think others on here may be able to give a better explanation of why her 'just keep going' attitude may not be very helpful.

If you are that exhausted at work some thing has to give until you are recovered enough to do your job without the extreme exhaustion.

Best wishes x

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Well...she (GP)said going back to work after months off (and I had flu at Xmas) would feel bad for anyone so "keep on going"!!!! lol....I did emphasise my exhaustion by putting my head on her desk as a demonstration of my fatigue....she took my blood pressure (which is usually normal...it was 110/69)!!!!

x

I am quite concerned to hear that you are struggling and I wonder whether there are methods which can be adopted to make life a bit easier for you until things get naturally better.

I accept what you say in that your GP is a nice person. I am sure that she is. I am sure that she is a good GP too. However, that does not translate to her getting everything completely correct all of the time.

I saw my consultant four months after my SAH. I insisted upon the appointment because my employers were ringing me weekly asking me when I was returning; and I somehow thought my fatigue was my fault and that I was somehow lazy(!)

I explained this to my consultant and he laughed, adding that to contemplate returning to my kind of work in under six months of a SAH was madness.

He explained that if my job was more practical in nature; perhaps I could contemplate, in time, returning to some light duties. However, if the job requires more reasoning, then it is more difficult to return to it, because the brain is under greater pressure.

He explained that a professor in mathematics at a local university may find that s/he can never return to that kind of work and perhaps search for something else. He said that an anaesthetist at his hospital had a SAH and it took him two years to properly return to work.

Being that you're a teacher, you are in a far better situation that those of us who have worked in the private sector, because you can get more reasonable time off sick - and I would imagine getting full pay initially, (or half pay.)

I have had a few appointments with my consultant and a neuro psychologist, none of whom have advised me in the same way as your GP....

Do you have a local Headway group who can offer you support?

I was very impressionable after my SAH and had a GP told me that I should go back to work soon after my SAH, I would have tried; believing I was the one in the wrong for struggling. In the early months, I felt that I was lazy and how needing to sleep was 'wrong.'

Fortunately, members of the medical profession were strongly against my returning to work, (unless I really wanted it,) but the overwhelming advise I had, was to look after myself and to rest.

Tiredness is nature's way in getting us to slow down. I listen to my fatigue and feel healthier for it.

Would another month or so (at least) off from work, really be that impossible???

Lynne

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Hello again and thank you all for all your good wishes and words of support.

I had my weekly meeting with the person responsible for HR at work and I told her how exhausted I was feeling she suggested I do less - so I am planning to do mornings - Mon/Weds/Fri next week and see how I feel and she suggested reducing it further if by Wednesday I was feeling tired. I am very lucky that I work in the public sector and, like you say, have generous sick pay etc.

I think going back to work has been good for me in the sense I get to see people and it helps me to feel a bit more "normal" but I appreciate what you are saying and I will take it easy outside of work and rest as much as possible. As I said I was feeling right as rain until I went back to work - I guess I had lost track of how much I was resting when I was off work.

Thank you all again :) x

Edited by MissMoneyPenny
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I am so pleased to hear that you have been able to put measures in place to make you feel more in control of things.

You are correct about how the workplace can be good for recovery and it is good to get out of the house and have some structure to the day. Voluntary work at the CAB has been a godsend to my emotional recovery.

However, you must get the balance right. Doing too much work, will leave you feeling exhausted and emotionally drained. This can have a devastating effect upon you psychologically and you feel you're failing in some way when you are not. You're just doing too much!

I force myself to remember that I am in control of my recovery. It is for me to dictate the pace of it, not others.

Be proud that you have attempted to return to work. It is a phenomenal achievement that you have succeeded so far.

Reward your very impressive attempt, with a gentle few weeks/months.

Be honest with yourself and reduce the days even further if you need to. If you feel strong, increase your hours. You are in control of your recovery and you are allowed to steer it as you see fit.

Reducing your working hours is a very empowering step. You are learning about what your present capabilities are and fitting work around your health.

I have learned to be assertive about my recovery. People have had very definite views about what I should or should not be doing. There have been occasions when I have tried to accommodate friends/ relatives views and sometimes it has left me very upset, depressed and exhausted.

No more!

I now work within my capabilities and I feel far better for it.

Best wishes,

Lynne

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Hi Miss Moneypenny! Love your name!

How are you doing with scaling back your work hours? I read some similarities between you and I. Your doctor probably won't ever have another patient who had what you had, unless it's a specialist/neurologist telling you to get on with it. After reading these posts I think we have to educate our family doctors because they have no experience with us. We are special! It's not as if we're getting over the flu!

I needed someone to give me 'permission' to scale back. My husband and mom have told me to rest and stop working but for whatever reason I pushed on too much too soon. When I read the posts I finally realized its ok to feel this way. I am meeting with our HR dept today for the first time and it's been 9 weeks since my event! I've been in denial that something serious happened right from day 1. If your doctor continues to tell you to get back tom your regular routine I can't help but think that additional pressure is not helpful to you.

Please take care, close your eyes and really think about what you are feeling. Let your body talk to you. It's your life and as our fellow NASAH'S say, we really can choose what happens.

Sandi K. Xoxoxoxx

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Hey Sandi glad to hear your doing the right thing....

My doc when I first went to see him after the SAH he told me after 30yrs I had to get all my medical books out last night knowing you were coming into see me today (woo I'd forgotten all about that till I read your post) Its true tho most GP's will never have someone thats had what we have.

Hope things are going ok.....

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