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Hi - I'm Suzie


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Hi, my name is Suzie (Suzanne) and I am a 32 year old woman from a suburb of Chicago. I'm married and the mom to a 3 year old little boy amd 6-month old baby girl. I am very active, workout 5-6times a week, work full-time as the Director of Marketing for a nationwide healthcare staffing company and overall am very healthy. I don't drink or smoke, I'm not overweight and don't have high blood pressure.

I was sitting at my desk at work on 3/24/11 when I felt a headache coming on. Seeing as I have suffered from migraines in the past I assumed that was what I was having until the pain started radiating from the front of my head to the back, then I had shooting pains in my neck and spine followed by extreme nausea. My co-worker took me to the ER where a CT scan was performed and my bleed was found. I was transported by ambulance to the #1 facility for neurosurgery in Chicago and the state of Illinois. Upon arrival I was admitted to the ICU and within an hour had a CTA scan, which came back inconclusive. I had an angiogram on Friday morning, which led to my final diagnosis of a benign SAH. I was moved from the ICU to a step-down floor on Saturday and then after daily TCDs and a repeat CTA scan on Wednesday 3/30 I was released from the hospital.

I have suffered from almost daily headaches...some days are worse than others. My first week home was probably the worst seeing as I wanted to be back to normal and care for my kids, but wasn't really able too. I was on Nimodipene for 21 days along with steroids the first 5 days as well as Fioricet for my headache pain. I started going for short walks about 2 weeks after my SAH and have slowly increased my activity level. I had my follow-up with my neurosurgeon last Monday and was told I was doing great and could return to "normal". I had a repeat CTA scan last Thursday to determine that the blood had cleared and no aneurysm was present. I was cleared to return to work as soon as I was feeling up to it.

Due to the fact that I carry my family's health insurance and limited income from my STD through work I made the decision to return to work on Monday of this week. So far, so good. I am definitely tired by the end of the day and notice that my thought process is slower than before. I have also noticed that sometimes I have a hard time finding the words to answer questions, but eventually they come. I am hoping this improves over time. I am so happy I visited this site to understand more about SAH, my long-term prognosis and just share my story.

My neurosurgeon is one of the best in the U.S. and I do like him, but I am interested to know if all of you got second opinions? I have followed-up with my primary doctor and even after meeting with my neurosurgeon and being told my chance of reoccurrence is 1%/year but no additional testing is needed. While I am thrilled with that, I am also a little concerned as to whether that's right. I would have thought that I would need additional CT scans on a long-term basis.

I am grateful to be alive and to be this fortunate considering what happened. For now I am living life one day at a time. Thanks to everyone for sharing their stories.

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Hi Suzie, welcome to the site!

Our stories are similar in that I had a NASAH (non aneurysmal SAH) and my report says 'benign' on it and I started working from home around 3 or 4 weeks after. I pushed too hard at first and was back to work in the office 2 months after the event. It was too fast for me and I developed symptoms such as double vision, dizziness, felt like I was walking on a boat, my brain felt too big for my skull, I became very emotional, made some strange decisions at work, and began losing my self confidence.

You may experience none of the above. It's early days and we all recover differently. I thought I would write it out in detail so you watch for any of this stuff and go back to the doctor. It might be your brain saying 'slow down'.

I went home on Feb 10th and I'm not back yet. Its almost 6 months for me since the event and Im getting better, my symptoms have improved significantly and I hope to begin a gradual return to work soon.

Listen to your brain and if you feel well then keep going! Good luck with your recovery and I'm glad you found us!

Sandi K.

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Hi Suzy,

I had my SAH 2 weeks after you. I too, was fit and healthy, and they couldn't find any reason for it happening. I've been out of hospital since April 19, and am still too tired to do much more than a slow stroll with an old dog, 30 minutes, twice a day. Sleeping 11+ hours a night, and napping. From what I've read on the site, it really does seem like everyone's recovery is very individual. I'm drinking heaps and just paying attention to my body's messages..that niggling headache starting up again means I've been on-line too long :)


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Hi all,

Thank you for the warm welcome and for sharing your personal stories. I appreciate your suggestions and information as this is exactly what I've been looking for over the past few weeks. I too believe that each of us have different recoveries and I don't think the doctors know enough to give us information for our long-term prognosis. This is scary and frustrating as I was expecting specific suggestions or instructions on what I should do going forward. Unfortunately that didn't happen. Life is precious and we were all given a second chance...my goal is to make the most of it and just keep going one day at a time.


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Hi Susie

Warm welcome to you. You seem to be doing really well.

I never had a second oppinion just told to get on with life. Ive too noticed a problem with words sometimes when im talking. I know what i want to say but find the words hard sometimes and im nearly 10 mnths on now.

Hope you find the site as helpful as i have.

Take care

Traci S xxx

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warm welcome to the site Suzie

I'm glad you are doing so well, i had my NASAH 10months ago and im 35 years old. Just take yur time and listen to your body, rest as much as you can and drink plenty of water for the headaches. I suffered alot with them in the early days and still get headaches most days but not as bad as the early days. I to somtimes can't get the words out, i think this is fatigue and the brain telling us to slow down. Take care and any questions just ask us all.

Take care Rhiann

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Hi Suzie! Welcome to BTG - this is such a helpful site and full of wonderful, supportive and caring people! While my SAH was due to a burst anuerysm, the after affects it seems, are the same. Many of of us were released from hospitals with no real specific instructions or help. It's funny, I was told my neurosurgeon was one of the best in the US too :lol: Wonder where they get these statistics! Mine was very kind and I liked him, but after being released, I was referred to a neurologist as the neurosurgeon had completed his part - and wasn't on my insurance plan! As far as 2nd opinions, if you've got the coverage for it, it certainly can't hurt and may set your mind at ease a bit as well.

Do get plenty of rest, your body will tell you when you need to sleep or have overdone. And you'll here about drinking water - 3 liters a day seems to be the standard: it is necessary and REALLY does help. You've got your plate full with work and little ones on top of recovering from SAH! You've got a really positive attitude that will help see you through this. And BTG folks are here to help too :biggrin:

Looking forward to hearing more from you,


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Hi Suzie,

Welcome to BTG. Well done for finding it so soon - took me a while after getting out of hospital to even look! You'll find lots of useful information and lots of lovely people to ask any questions you might have.

I haven't heard about getting 2nd opinions, but i was coiled and had a CT scan hours after the procedure and a MRI a couple of days later due to complications with my eye. Things work differently in different countries & even different health boards, but i'm being checked (scanned) for the next 3 years.

Take care, please don't do too much too soon.

Juliette xx

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