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Hi, my name is Sam


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Hi. My name is Sam and I have just discovered this site, 10months after my SAH. It's great to read other people's experiences so thought I should share mine.

I was 43 and fit and well at the time of my SAH, although working very long hours - I am Deputy headteacher at a primary school and also teach a year 6 class three days a week.

I had been out for a football club dinner and had had a few drinks. I was just getting into bed when I suddenly had the most horrendous headache and was then violently sick. My first thought was that it was too much alcohol, although I had only had a few glasses of wine and a couple of shorts. I was sick again, so began to think it was food poisoning. Each time I was sick, the pain came back with avengence and I was crying with the pain. My husband was putting cold flannels on my forehead as the pain was so intense. We took my temperature as we thought it could be meningitis (which has very similar symptoms I have read since) but this was normal.

My next though was migraine - my Mum suffered these and I remember she used to be sick and the doctor would come and give her a morphine injection. I needed something for the pain as it was so bad, so we called the hospital for advice. They weren't that helpful and said it was up to us. We could come down if we liked! So we rang our GP. He suggested paracetamol-which I promptly threw up! After being sick 5 times, we called the doctor again and he came out at 5am. He said he would give me an injection to stop the vomiting, but was not prepared to give me a morphine injection. He told me he wasn't happy and said that although it might only be a virus, he would like me to be checked in hospital.

As we had both been drinking, he called me an ambulance and I was having a CT scan by about 8.30am. My husband had gone home while I had the scan, as we have two children and they told me to get him back as they had found the cause of the headaches. When he came back they told us that I had had an SAH and that they needed to fly me to Southampton Hospital to the Neurology ward. I was gobsmacked as the painkillers were working by then! My husband went home to get bags packed and by the time he returned, I was lapsing into unconsciousness.

I have no recollection of the trip from the hospital to the Air Ambulance, and the next thing I knew I was waking up in Southampton with a drain in my brain and half my head shaved. I had the memory of a goldfish and kept asking my husband the same questions over and over.

I stayed in Southampton for two and a half weeks. I don't remember much of the first week at all. Apparently I went downhill at one point as I suffered a vasospasm and ended up back in the high dependency unit.

It was a terrifying experience for my husband and family, but the care we received was amazing and I was definitely one of the lucky ones!

10 months later, I am back at work full time, my hair has almost completely grown back and I feel fit and well, with no after effects, except perhaps getiing tired more easily. Sometimes I ask the same question twice or tell my husband something twice - but that may just be my age!

I'm really pleased to have found this site and realise how lucky I am when I read other people's stories. Thank you all for sharing.

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Hi Sam and a very warm welcome to BTG! This is a great place to share experiences and learn from others. Everyone is so supportive. I was lost and felt blindfolded until I found this wonderful group of people. I'm glad you have joined us!

I read your story with interest today, you are indeed one of us 'lucky ones' in that your doc sent you to hospital. I read on your other post that you want to create awareness and I think that's fantastic. Most of us had no idea what hit us and many clinicians don't recognize what's happening to patients experiencing the symptoms.

I look forward to hearing more from you. :-D

Sandi K.

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Hi Sam, a warm welcome to BTG. It sounds like you have done really well, returning to work - full time after 10 months is a praiseworthy achievement. Returning to a class full of Year 6 children, in itself must have been quite tough. I have one Y6 in my house and that's plenty!!

I also read that you are trying to make awareness of sah which can only be a good thing. It concerned me when I rang the emergency services (when I was actually having my sah) that even the paramedic who came didn't recognise it and left me at home:frown: Anyway, despite another few other medics missing it too, I did eventually get treated and like you, despite severe vasospasm, came out of it all remarkably well and consider myself to be one of the lucky ones too.

I wish you all the best for the future


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Hi Sam! Welcome to BTG - glad you found us here and thank you for sharing your story. So glad to hear you are doing so well! :) That's always encouraging to everyone!!! Yes, we are the luck ones! Any help toward awareness is great!!!

Hope to hear more from you.


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Wow! I've just logged on again after a week and can't believe how many of you have posted me a message! Thanks so much. I'm glad I found this site. You are all so welcoming! I told my OT (from the stroke team) about your site as she hadn't heard of it. :wink: so hopefully more people will be able to benefit from it.

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