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Hello,

I just had an SAH, non aneurysm on May 2. Although I am somewhat medically competent, I am feeling a little overwhelmed right now. I am hoping someone can help me with a time frame for recovery? My doctors say I can go back to work on May 24, but I feel emotionally ragged, am having excruciating back pain (which all the nurses thought was unusual) and I feel totally unready to return to work in about one week. Is this normal? Should I be feeling better? The headaches are better, but the back and leg pain are disabling.

I just want to make sure I am not just being a wimp. I am scared to death to be dependent on pain pills.

Thank you if any body has advice.

Carolyn

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Hi Carolyn

Warm welcome to the site.

Feeling overwhelmed its unusual but going back to work so soon your body is telling you its not ready listen to your body (it knows)

No your not being a wimp not at all you'll find by reading posts that we've all felt like that at some point but honistly it does get better......being medically competent is good but dont think its the same as being there done that sort of thing....

sorry if I rambled look forward to hearing more from you.....

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Hi Carolyn

Welcome to BTG. Unfortunately there isn't a time frame as such with recovery from a sah as everyone's case is so different, but I think trying to return to work so soon is probably not such a good idea especially as you feel like you do. There are several on here who have attempted going back early on and it has set them back somewhat. Even I didn't return to work for 5 months and I came out of sah relatively unscathed, ie no pain anywhere, other than the initial head pain. The tiredness and emotional side of things are not always easy to deal with, so if I were you,I would think hard before deciding on a return to work so soon - the decision has to be yours, after all you know how you feel, not anyone else. You are certainly not a wimp - reading posts on here will give you a great idea of what recovery can be like following a sah, and it's not always as plain sailing as we might have imagined.

Best wishes and

take care,

Sarah

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Hi Carolyn

Welcome to the site!

You should not be made to feel like a wimp.

I think it is highly optimistic of your doctors to think you will be okay to go back to work after just a few weeks!?

I was told I would need to be off for at least a month, and then my doctors extended my sick notes by 2 weeks at a time - I think this may have made my employer & some colleagues believe I might be playing on it somewhat...

I went back to work 11 weeks post-SAH and I believe even that was too soon. I did do a phased return, although not as phased as I would have liked...

If you read the Brain & Spine Foundation information regarding SAH it does state that people are usually off work for at least 3 months.

Feeling better takes time, but no-one can say how long really as everyone is slightly different.

I had an aneursym related SAH but there are many on here who have had non-aneurysm SAH who will provide more answers for you.

Take care

Kel x

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Hi carolyn welcome to BTG. there is def no set timescale for recovery although my nuero phych says its 1-2 years! I am almost a year post clipping & not back to work yet. I too ahve backpain (from a different cause) & the occasional bad headache but my main problem is fatigue. i reach my saturation point anywhere between 2-5 hours depending on what I'm doing,

As much as I hated to hear it you do need to take things slowly & not over do it, drink lots of water & rest as much as you can. please don't feel under pressure to go back to work too soon, it really won't do you any good at all xxx

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Good Morning Carolyn, from another Carolyn - also in the states! Glad you found this site so quickly. There is a lot of information to be found here along with many wonderful people to help with any questions and support.

My SAH was due to a burst aneurysm, but there are many here who've had non-annie SAHs and I'm sure they'll respond as well.

I had excruciating back pain while in the hospital and for a good 2 weeks after I was released. While in the hospital, the nurses thought the pain was probably from being in the bed and not able to move around much! It wasn't until the day before I was released, that the neurosurgeon came in to check on me and explained the pain was due to the blood being absorbed (from the hemorrhage) and was unfortunately part of the process. So, even staff (including dr.s) in the hospital are many times unaware of what happens to our bodies after a SAH because they've never dealt with it before.

I was told after release I couldn't drive or go back to work for a month, possibly longer. I did go back to work at about 5 weeks after. For me, I know this was waaaaaaaay to soon. I thought I should and I wanted to get back to life and some sense of "normal".

In actuality, this slowed my healing process. It was good to be among co-workers again, but not good for my brain/body.

As the others have said, there is no definitive time frame for the healing process and we are all different in that, however; I would definitely talk with your dr. again before making a decision. Most of us weren't given any information regarding recovery at home and have had to search out the help through sites like this.

Hope to hear more from you and how you're getting along!

Carolyn

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Hi Carolyn and welcome!

Re: Back and leg pain - I had excruciating pain and was told by the hospital consultant, that it was the blood dissipating down the spinal cord and irritating the nerve endings .... absolute agony, but mine did eventually go.

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Hi Carolyn

Welcome to BTG.

I had a ruptured aneurysm which caused my SAH and subsequently a brain stem stroke. It took me 10 months to get back to work, on a phased return, that was expected to take 6 months for me to work up to my 35 hours per week. But I only lasted 11 weeks and had only just worked up to 12 hours per week. But I had a very unsympathetic manager and office supervisor who put me under a lot pressure to return to my full hours within 12 weeks of returning. As a result I was signed off agin for a further 4 months with sork related stress.

There is no fixed time on our recoveries, we are all different. If you do not feel that you are ready to return to work on the 24th (I'm still a bit gobsmacked by this!!)then you must say to your docs. I too was told, by the professor of neurology who attended me, that I was not to attempt my normal routine for 12 weeks, I took this at meaning I should be back at work by then until my GP told me otherwise! It can take up to 12 weeks for your body to absorb the blood and drinking lots of fluid will aid this. Your kidneys have to process the blood, so the more you drink the better. I was told 2 litres of fluid a day.

My gosh you are in no way a wimp, it's only been 15 days since your bleed! I think you are doing really well. But you must listen to your body and if it's telling you to rest then you should rest. You have certainly come to the right place for support, this is a wonderful site full of wonderfully supportive people. Take care.

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Caroline - I had non aneurysmal SAH in Sept. I can assure you that your back pain is totally normal. I could barely walk for 2-3 weeks after mine SAH and the lower back pain lasted for about 3-4 months. I still have upper back muscle spasms 8 months later.

Your recovery time will vary but I suggest you not worry or stress about how long it will take and just focus on each day and resting and go slow.

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Hi Caroline, welcome to BTG, you have come to the right place!

I also had a NASAH, mine was November 10 and I didn't find BTG until mid January. It was such a huge relief to find BTG and finally get some answers from people who were going through the same experiences.

I had excruciating lower back pain for about 3 weeks after the main event. It was so horrible, almost as bad as the big headache which kicked everything off! I would apply heat, I had a hot water bottle 24/7. I would also walk through the house every couple of hours for a half hour or so. Even through the night. I found this helped. Not everyone would be comfortable with this idea but I also reached out to a chiropractor. I could barely walk when I first saw her. In tears of frustration of not understanding what happened to me and feeling abandoned by the medical doctors and I explained to my chiro that I was afraid to have any work on my neck or head but begged her to please relieve the pain in my lower back.

She was very caring and very careful and very gentle. After my first visit she read everything she could on SAH and a couple of months later after I'd been going twice a week she flew to another city to learn craniosacral therapy to help me even more.

We still don't manipulate my neck and she advises that I never allow anyone to manipulate my neck.

Once I started going to chiro she recommended I apply ice or a feezer bag and then heat. Both worked to relieve the pain.

I also didn't want any pain killers because I found it so hard to detox all the hospital meds out of me. I wasn't in withdrawal or anything like that but I just felt so medicated and constipated and overall awful that I didn't want to take anything else!!

The worst of the back pain lasted about three weeks but I carried on with the hot water bottle and then a heating pad for 6 weeks as the pain had faded but was still there.

Like Surfer, I still have upper back spasms along my spine. This pain is nothing like the debilitating lower back pain though. In fact, sometimes I don't know it's there until someone touches my back. My chiro loosens up the upper back now when I see her once a week.

I'm just over 6 months now. I returned to work first from home about 4 weeks after the event. In the calm and quiet of home I was able to convince myself that I could work. I returned to the office 2 months after the event and 6 weeks later I was in a dire place. I had double vision, was dizzy, I fell for no reason, I would drop things, I made scary mistakes while driving, I couldn't retain information, I wasn't able to work with numbers, and I was so tired and teary!! I had fatigue which I didn't understand. My arms and legs were heavy and sore and following a conversation was too much.

I still have these symptoms when I'm tired and overdo it but I feel much better now. I can read and retain info and my math is coming back as long as I'm rested. I havent worked since Feb 10 but I should be able to begin a graduated return soon.

My neurologist told me that everything I've experienced is normal but everyone recovers differently depending on where your bleed was and the size of it. He said that the blood in the subarachnoid layer mixes with cerebral fluid and creates a toxin which inflames and irritates your brain and causes all the symptoms.

Luckily I'm expected to recover fully except for some minimal right eye damage and the symptoms will come and go while fading for an expected timeline of 2 years. That timeline is always followed with 'everyone recovers differently'.

We've had some members here who have successfully returned to work quickly, so we are all different.

Sorry if I've rambled, I know how important it is to find info so wanted to give you as much as I could!

I'm in Las Vegas for four days, today being the last so must go get ready for my day! We came from BC looking for sun but the clouds followed us here!!

Sandi K. Xo

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Hello,

I just had an SAH, non aneurysm on May 2. Although I am somewhat medically competent, I am feeling a little overwhelmed right now. I am hoping someone can help me with a time frame for recovery? My doctors say I can go back to work on May 24, but I feel emotionally ragged, am having excruciating back pain (which all the nurses thought was unusual) and I feel totally unready to return to work in about one week. Is this normal? Should I be feeling better? The headaches are better, but the back and leg pain are disabling.

I just want to make sure I am not just being a wimp. I am scared to death to be dependent on pain pills.

Thank you if any body has advice.

Carolyn

HI

Everyone is different and only go can say how you are feeling. I took months to go back to work and had lots of pain in my head and leg. It took time for this pain to go. So just take each day as it comes and your not a wimp.

Take care

DAwn

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Thank you Sandi for sharing. It is the leg and back pain that are almost unbearable. I was thinking of a chiropractor, but worried it might do damage, but I can see it has helped you. I think I will try it. I wish you a speedy recovery. After reading all of the posts, I have decided to give myself at least 6-8 weeks before attempting to return to work. Thank God for support groups like this.

Hi Caroline, welcome to BTG, you have come to the right place!

I also had a NASAH, mine was November 10 and I didn't find BTG until mid January. It was such a huge relief to find BTG and finally get some answers from people who were going through the same experiences.

I had excruciating lower back pain for about 3 weeks after the main event. It was so horrible, almost as bad as the big headache which kicked everything off! I would apply heat, I had a hot water bottle 24/7. I would also walk through the house every couple of hours for a half hour or so. Even through the night. I found this helped. Not everyone would be comfortable with this idea but I also reached out to a chiropractor. I could barely walk when I first saw her. In tears of frustration of not understanding what happened to me and feeling abandoned by the medical doctors and I explained to my chiro that I was afraid to have any work on my neck or head but begged her to please relieve the pain in my lower back.

She was very caring and very careful and very gentle. After my first visit she read everything she could on SAH and a couple of months later after I'd been going twice a week she flew to another city to learn craniosacral therapy to help me even more.

We still don't manipulate my neck and she advises that I never allow anyone to manipulate my neck.

Once I started going to chiro she recommended I apply ice or a feezer bag and then heat. Both worked to relieve the pain.

I also didn't want any pain killers because I found it so hard to detox all the hospital meds out of me. I wasn't in withdrawal or anything like that but I just felt so medicated and constipated and overall awful that I didn't want to take anything else!!

The worst of the back pain lasted about three weeks but I carried on with the hot water bottle and then a heating pad for 6 weeks as the pain had faded but was still there.

Like Surfer, I still have upper back spasms along my spine. This pain is nothing like the debilitating lower back pain though. In fact, sometimes I don't know it's there until someone touches my back. My chiro loosens up the upper back now when I see her once a week.

I'm just over 6 months now. I returned to work first from home about 4 weeks after the event. In the calm and quiet of home I was able to convince myself that I could work. I returned to the office 2 months after the event and 6 weeks later I was in a dire place. I had double vision, was dizzy, I fell for no reason, I would drop things, I made scary mistakes while driving, I couldn't retain information, I wasn't able to work with numbers, and I was so tired and teary!! I had fatigue which I didn't understand. My arms and legs were heavy and sore and following a conversation was too much.

I still have these symptoms when I'm tired and overdo it but I feel much better now. I can read and retain info and my math is coming back as long as I'm rested. I havent worked since Feb 10 but I should be able to begin a graduated return soon.

My neurologist told me that everything I've experienced is normal but everyone recovers differently depending on where your bleed was and the size of it. He said that the blood in the subarachnoid layer mixes with cerebral fluid and creates a toxin which inflames and irritates your brain and causes all the symptoms.

Luckily I'm expected to recover fully except for some minimal right eye damage and the symptoms will come and go while fading for an expected timeline of 2 years. That timeline is always followed with 'everyone recovers differently'.

We've had some members here who have successfully returned to work quickly, so we are all different.

Sorry if I've rambled, I know how important it is to find info so wanted to give you as much as I could!

I'm in Las Vegas for four days, today being the last so must go get ready for my day! We came from BC looking for sun but the clouds followed us here!!

Sandi K. Xo

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Hi there and welcome! Gosh, I'm so glad my doctors didn't push me - they told me it could take 18 months to 2 years to be better, and I didn't believe them.... but 15 months in I'm still suffering from memory loss, problems with concentration and understanding, and crippling fatigue. So take it EASY!!!

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