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Hi all. Just felt the need to share an episode I experienced Tuesday evening, of which now I can say has taught me some very valuable lessons and hopefully pushed me into taking better care of myself and getting on with life, no matter what! Might be a bit lengthy - but need to get it out.

Tuesday night, while reading and smoking a cig. :nonod:, I began to cough. Was coughing so hard, my chest started to hurt. My eyes began watering, started sweating and feeling a bit nauseated. Went into the bathroom to find my face and neck were beet red. I leaned on the sink. Heart was pounding so hard I thought it would pop out of my chest. Panic set in and crazy thoughts came into my head. My partner had followed me into the bathroom to keep an eye on me and was encouraging me to take deep breaths and relax. Asked him to stop talking, as it was hurting my head! Soon my vision began to blur and I felt out of touch with what was happening. I was terrified of what could be going on. I feared another SAH, heart attack, TIA. Couldn't calm down. I felt Nick's presence behind me and felt as if he were hugging me.

Next I knew, Nick was asking me if I felt like I could stand up. Told him I was standing and asked him what the loud noise was. He told me I was not standing, but sitting on the floor and there was nothing making noise. I looked all around, trying to comprehend what was going on. There was a deafening sound of crickets. I kept looking to see where the sound was coming from and repeatedly asked him if he could hear it. Of course he couldn't! The sound finally began to quiet some and Nick asked me if I knew my name, age, where I was, etc... answered all questions correctly. Yay. Starting to feel better.

He helped me up and we went to living room. Began discussing whether to go to ER or not. I had no horrible headache, just a dull one. Concerned about cost of going to ER w/ no insurance now. Would be several thousand dollars easily, of which we don't have. Fear crept in again as to all of the "what ifs". Took BP - 120/70. Temp - normal. Respirations - normal. Decided to wait it out and if anything else occured, to call 911. Took a xanax. Began to feel better physically and finally went to bed, despite feeling terrified of what might be.

Wednesday morning - woke up. Hooray, I didn't die in my sleep. Called and made appt. w/GP (I first asked what the charges would be). Saw nurse practitioner instead of GP. She was very concerned that I hadn't gone to ER and said I needed to have a head scan and should consult my neurologist or go to ER right then. Also had her check the rash that I thought were the start of shingles. Good news - contact dermatitis! :biggrin: Called neuro and was told to go to diagnostic facility immediately and to have someone drive me. Terror creeping in again. Son was home so he took me to facility.

During the ride, my son began expressing his feelings of how he was furious w/me for not having told him what had occurred the night before (he'd been at work). He was angry at Nick for not overriding my decision to go to ER, angry at me for continuuing to smoke, etc... it went on and on (45 minute drive). I was in tears and trying to explain money situation. This made him even angrier. He asked me if I would rather be dead or alive. Alive, of course, was my answer. He pulled off the road, demanded I hand over the cigarettes and promise to not keep things from him and no matter what the cost, to seek the medical attention I need. I felt as if I was secretly being taped for a segment on the tv show, Intervention.

As I've gone on quite a bit here I'll try to wrap it up! Had the CT scan - Radiologist was given permission by neuro to advise me of results immediately! No bleed, coils in proper place, brain looking good! Followed up w/neuro yesterday - also chastised by him, for not having gone to ER when incident occurred :oops: Have now been diagnosed w/ neuro cardiogenic syncope. Have had many prior episodes of symptoms, without the actual fainting. Will be dealing with this and handling appropriately!

I believe I finally am coming to terms with life as it is now. My son made me realize what is truly important - I am alive and have much to continue living for. I can get through anything that comes my way, and will do so with the help of my family and friends. All I have to do is ask!

This has been one long post :shock: I know so many of us are struggling with getting through each day - I wish to be of help to others here, as you all have helped me.

Love and good health to all,

Carolyn

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Aw, Caroline. I am very sorry that you have had a traumatic time. I have not heard of neurocardiogenic syncope before. I am sorry that you are dealing with another condition on top of the SAH.

I was struck with how positive you sounded at the end of your thread. I wonder whether the SAH has equipped you with an attitude which means you can deal with things courageously. It would make sense. You are probably drawing from your SAH experience and are able to apply the same coping mechanisms to deal with the new condition.

It takes time to adapt, but I do think it brings a more positive outlook. I experienced financial difficulties in the summer, (as do most sick/ disabled people. Isn’t that wrong?) and it did not occur to me to ask my family for help. They were very upset when they discovered that I was going some weeks without buying food and it does seem odd to me now that I did not turn to them sooner.

This didn’t happen overnight. I had to reach a crisis before I learnt to reach out; and when I did, it didn’t seem that bad.

Maybe you have reached your crisis, meaning that turning to family and friends seems more natural to you now. The world can seem a less scary place if we let people help us. No man is an island and thanks for sharing.

Lynne xx

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Oh Carolyn am so sorry. It must be really terrifying when it happens.... if it isn't bad enough having one thing.but to have to go through this too.

I am amazed at the way your handling this situation.You sound so positive and determined.

Lots of love and hugs and big hug for your son too he's a good lad! xxx

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Aw Carolyn! I'm so glad, first of all, that the brain is all ok. I'm sorry that, being in the USA, you have to worry about money in an emergency like that and can't just turn up at A&E like we can :(

Gosh, I don't know what to write next - I keep typing and deleting! Basically, Lynne has put it very eloquently again :D So I second what she said.

Big hugs!

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Carolyn, so sorry you have been through all this:frown: I did notice you hadn't posted for a day or two and was hoping you were ok - obviously not. You do however always manage to contain a positive attitude, even when things are not going well. It must be a worry about the cost of health care and not having the insurance, but knowing your family are there to support you is so reassuring.

I do hope these incidents don't happen often, and that you feel much better today.

Take care of yourself - a big, cyber bouquet of flowers are on their way:-D

Sarah

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Carolyn, I wondered where you were and if everything was ok. I cannot imagine what it's like to have the cost of thousands looming over you for an ER visit and being placed in a position of having to make a choice!!! Thats horrible! Can you get insurance? The cost will probably be high for pre-existing conditions but surely not as high as an ER visit, and emergency surgery and a stay afterward if all that were required. What a pile of stress on top of not knowing what the heck was wrong or how serious it was!! Scary! :frown:

Sandi K. Xox

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I think this thread demonstrates how lucky we are to have a National Health Service.

I cannot imagine having to balance health care against cost.

Those of us who have free access to health care need to be reminded how lucky we are; because we can all sometimes take things for granted.

I watched Michael Moore's 'Sicko' a few years ago and I did not realise how badly some families suffer under the American system.

For my part, I will do everything I can to defend our NHS, particularly in this climate.

Carolyn, I am appalled that Americans cannot have free health care. There are some industries were profit should not feature - and health is one of them.

Lynne xx

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Ditto what everyone has said Carolyn big hugs to you.....& your so right life's worth it....

Glad test showed things were ok,

Lynne we moan about the NHS but think its by far better we're (Scotland) just about to pay nothing for perscriptions which is great but I do worry about not paying - now this may seem very daft but already one of my tabs have been changed for a more affordable one....

take care

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Hi Carolyn

How terrifying that must have been for you. Echo what the others say about insurance etc - I think in the UK we do take our NHS for granted knowing that we can just rush to A&E without worry.

Take care of yourself and listen to your son.

Sending you massive hugs

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Thank you all so much for your support and caring replies. It means so much to me to have a place like this where we can let it all out. Huge hugs to each of you ((( )))xxoo! Love you all :biggrin:

As Lynne suggested, I had hit bottom. I'm only now beginning to really accept the fact that I'm no longer the independant woman I once was. So now I must learn to do things differently and make the best of it. I expect, with each day, it will get better - it is a process.

The syncope issue is a small one, in comparison to what many of you are dealing with. I am now taking salt tablets and WILL be drinking my 3 liters of water daily. If the pre-domal symptoms continue to occur, I'll have to surrender my driver's license. Hopefully, this won't happen. If it does - I'll have to deal with it.

It is atrocious, that in the United States, we have no proper health care for those without insurance. After having been in the health care field for 15 years, I have seen for myself how many have suffered, even died, for lack of care. It is truly shameful!!!

While I was employed, and making a decent living, my insurance premiums were $344 a month - 1/2 being provided by my employer, and this was at a discounted group rate. I am thankful when my SAH occurred, I was insured. The total bills came to $155,000! I also was carrying supplemental insurance, which covered what my regular insurance did not. The MRA I received 6 mo. post SAH, cost $14,500.

There is now and has been for the last 2 years, a huge debate in congress regarding health care reform. As of today, no bills have been passed, as they can't agree on the right way to go about it all!

Michael Moore's movie, "Sicko" was right on target. The government is not too fond of him, as he tells it as it truly is: a horrific embarassment to the government and horrendous injustice to the citizens of the US.

Hopefully things will change as citizens continue to rally for socialized health care system. Until then, we have to keep going in the best ways we can.

Sorry about that rant!!! I could go on and on about it, but will stop here :crazy:

Again, I thank you all for your wonderful support and friendship here :biggrin:

With love and light,

Carolyn

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It is atrocious, that in the United States, we have no proper health care for those without insurance. After having been in the health care field for 15 years, I have seen for myself how many have suffered, even died, for lack of care. It is truly shameful!!!

Michael Moore's movie, "Sicko" was right on target. The government is not too fond of him, as he tells it as it truly is: a horrific embarassment to the government and horrendous injustice to the citizens of the US.

Hopefully things will change as citizens continue to rally for socialized health care system. Until then, we have to keep going in the best ways we can.

Carolyn

Viva la revolucion!!!!! :-D

or in other words, 'walk like an Egyptian!!!!!'

Lynne xx

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I think you are right Carolyn, it is an embarrassment for your US leaders. As one of the richest countries in the world (so we are told) this is a shameful situation.

We need to appreciate how lucky we are to have 'free' (taxes aside!!) health care in Britain. As a single mum who worked part time when SAH happened I would've died on my living room floor if thousands of pounds were needed to get me the necessary treatment - that's a very scary thought:frown:

Glad you are feeling a bit better today xx

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