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Hi all

So pleased to have found this forum!

I had a SAH in December. Luckily, post A&E I received excellent treatment and ultimately had very few residual symptoms. I am back at work and apart from tiredness, some short-term memory loss/confusion and the occasional headache (inability to drink wine like I used to :wink:) I am doing exceptionally well. I consider myself very blessed and I have no complaints.

I am due for my angiogram on Wednesday which in itself scares me enormously, although I fully expect that all will be well. I went in to the hospital about 3 weeks ago for my pre-admission check. Since then, I have been suffering panic attacks (one whilst I was driving my daughters on the M25!). I think they were probably triggered by going back to the hospital and no doubt, the fear on my angio is playing on my mind. I think, however, that they are really linked to the enormity of what happened to me.

Has anyone else experienced anything like this? How have (any of) you dealt with the emotional fallout from the SAH? All stories/ comments gratefully received.

thank you

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Hello Kate,

Welcome to the forum. You sound very positive about your recovery in your post. Hope you will continue to be that way. :-D I still have bouts of confusion now after two years and am struggling to accept it. Luckily I haven't had to have any angiograms so am unable to advise you there., But I know lots of the others have and will surely call in later with helpful advice. I do suffer bad anxiety though as I always feel I am being scrutinised. Perhaps this is just in my head, but I can't seem to shake it off.:frown:

I'm also finding the emotional stuff the hardest to deal with, but I've always been a worrier so I guess it may be just because It's in my nature.

You are still very early in your recovery journey and I think the 'enormity' of SAH does take time to dawn on us all. Take things very slowly and allow yourself the time to recuperate at your own pace.

I hope you get the advice you need to make you feel less anxious about Wednesday.

Come back and tell us all how you are progressing.

Take care

sally x

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Hi Kate

Welcome to BTG. Your recovery seems to be going really well and that's great news.

I used to get panic attacks. They started when I came home. At first they happened when I was sleeping and I would waken up whilst having one. They slowly got worse. I had my SAH in a very cold and icy February and was very frightened to go out in the cold. I waited until the weather got a bit milder and then started to go out. My GP gave me beta blockers. These helped reduce the sweating, pounding heart etc which meant I could concentrate on mentally counselling myself, telling myself that all was well and nothing bad was going to happen! I also found that my first visit back to the hospital brought on anxiety. It brought back a lot of memories of my time in hospital. My blood pressure shot up and I was shaking. My husband was really taken aback at my reaction.

When I was going in for my follow up angio I was a trembling mess! I told them that it was bringing it all back to me. I was told to take my beta blocker and they also took me first. I arrived at the hospital at 7.30am and was on my way to theatre at 8am. The staff were wonderful and worked hard at keeping me distracted. Tell them you are anxious and if you can see your GP before Wednesday all the better. But if you are unable to see him before, go and speak with him after the angio and tell him about your panic attacks and ask for help.

I found this site 9 months post SAH and really wish I found it earlier. The people on this site helped me find my way through the emotional turmoil. I also found counselling helped me understand that what I was feeling was completely normal for what I'd been through and that I wasn't having some sort of nervous breakdown.

Good luck for Wednesday.

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Hi Kate

Welcome the panic attacks and anxiety does get better with time. I can't help you with the angiogram as haven't had to have one since straight after my SAH and don't really remember much about it. As Sally has already said there are lots of members who have had them who I'm sure will be able to set your mind at rest.

Good luck for Wednesday and look forward to hearing more from you.

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Hi Kate I suffered with terrible panic attacks they get better with time. But never let them stop you doing what you want or need to do. I did an online course 6wks just for about 2hrs a wk and it really helped. Hope it alĺ goes well at your appointment.

And the course was. Epp online. Jess.xxx

And welcome to btg

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Hi Kate

Warm welcome to the site.

first your not alone in feeling panicy there was no-one who was more panic stricken than me I can tell you, after wards I though how stupid was I but its human nature honestly....

Sometimes councelling really helps never be scared to ask for help.....

hope to hear more from you

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Thank you all for your welcome, support and kind words. Although i'm still very anxious about Wednesday, it really helps to know that this is normal and that I'm not headed for a nervous breakdown!!

I really appreciate all your comments. All the best to all of you on your own recoveries


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Hi Kate!

I've not had panic attacks but I have had an angiogram!

My NASAH was on November 10th, the 11th is 'Remembrance Day' in Canada so most hospital staff are away with a day off, my angiogram was on the 12th when everybody was back. I was stabilized and heavily drugged so waiting until the 12th was ok.

I remember feeling nervous and was still nauseous when the morning of the 12th came. My nurse was concerned about the nausea, she didn't want it preventing me from getting the angiogram. Everyone was intent on finding my aneurysm-I had all the classic symptoms but my bleed had stopped so there was lots of confusion about what was happening to me.

After taking 3 or 4 meds for nausea over those days the nurse stomped into my room with a needle in hand and said come hell or high-water the nausea was going and angiogram would happen. Whatever she gave me worked and an hour later I was wheeled down to Medical Imaging.

I was really nervous but so ill that I knew I just had to do this and that's all there was to it. The team was fantastic. There was the senior technician who was a lovely lady full of funny stories while she was setting up. There was a student and the radiologist. The senior technician asked me lots of questions about how I was feeling. Was I nauseas? Did my head hurt? Was I scared? By that time I was mostly nervous so she gave me a shot of something that took all my anxiety away! It was wonderful!! I don't know what it was but some have thought maybe Valium when I've described how I felt. I was perfectly content and it was the best I felt since my head exploded! I was laughing and talking and asking questions of the very serious radiologist like 'how much does one of these machines cost'? :lol:

The test itself didn't hurt. They explained the process as we were going through it. I couldn't feel it. I was fascinated by how it worked. They would tell me my face would feel warm and in seconds it did. But only for a few seconds and it wasn't painful. It would have been disconcerting if they werent telling me to expect it. I was quite calm. When the pictures were done they had to apply pressure to the entry area for 20 minutes. They press hard and they took turns.

The neurosurgeon came in and held my hand as we and the radiologist viewed the results while I was still right there on the table. I felt like I was participtating. The pictures were fascinating! I thought the whole thing was so cool!

Next thing they were all excited and doing high fives. I was confused and they said they couldn't find the cause of the bleed. I was still confused and they never really explained but I know now that they were happy there was no aneurysm and that my bleed was likely from a leaky vein that blew up and wasn't likely to happen again. I wouldn't need surgery.

The next 3 hours I had to lay flat. Honestly that was the hardest part. This is the best advice I'll give you. Make sure you PEE before you go in and don't drink a lot of water prior to the test. It's agony! Finally I had to use the bedpan. :oops: Oh it's so embarrassing.

Good luck with your test. I hope all this helps to ease your anxiety. Tell them you are anxious and ask them to give you something for it.

Sandi K. Hugs. Xo

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Hi Kate

welcome to the site. I started getting anxious and panicking about 4 months after my SAH. I had to have beta blockers for awhile and had councelling which really helped.

As Sandie said before angio go to the toilet as i didnt and half way through the procedure they had to stop so i could use a bedpan. My neurosurgeon was very good an calm which helps.

Good luck for Wednesday, take care

Traci S xx

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Welcome to BTG and I'm sorry for the anxiety you are feeling. I haven't had an angio since the emergency one, because I was clipped so they say there is no risk of it happening again. I hope Sandi's description is helpful - it would certainly reassure me ;)

I remember after my SAH being told it would be 18 months to 2 years for recovery - and I thought no way! I have the same issues as you, and they were really quite debilitating for a long time. The more I pushed myself, the worse they were. I learned, and listened to people on here, and took it easier. And now, nearly 16 months on, I'm finally feeling a lot less confused and my memory is better. I still have the fatigue that descends out of the blue, but I've got better at pacing myself so it happens less. I'm still not back at work, so I think you've done amazingly well!

Take care :)

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Hi Kate, I don't know if you had an angio while you were having the bleed? I did and it felt horrifying - my memory is of a shakey old lady who didn't know what she was doing and got very stressed, barking orders at the other staff present - I have since learned that it was a young(ish) man and it had all gone smoothly!!!

I've had several angios since and all of them went well. It is very daunting and scary but I have found all of them interesting. I got to look at my 'triplets' on the scan (I have 3 coiled annis). Tell yourself to stay calm because it WILL be ok. I also found the staff were fantastic once they knew I was nervous, they spoke to me throughout and helped to keep the panic at bay. They explained where the warm feeling would appear next (I assume it is in different places as the angio goes along).

The advice to pee before is very good! I had to use a bedpan afterwards & had held it in so long, the bed pan overflowed :lol: Again the staff were fantastic even about this & the jokes were flying!

Good luck, Michelle x

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Welcome to behind the gray

im sorry i cant help with panic attacks but ive had 3 anigios and apart from been sore they have went pretty ok.

i still suffer with been tired and have some memory problems as jaykay said it can take up to 2 years to recover im 12 months in now and am alot better than 6months ago as everyone says take it easy and dont push yourself to hard

look forward to hearing from you

donna xxx

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i suffered panic attacks starting at about month 3-4. they have mostly gone away but i think they were more chemically induced than emotional. the brain is very reliant on chemical balances and the blood dissolving in the brain has to cause imbalances and misfires.

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Hi Kate

I had a 12month follow-up angio in December last year, and was really nervous beforehand.

Luckily I went on holiday the week before to help take my mind off it! Which did help a little.

I found the procedure okay in the end. All the nurses, technicians and the surgeon were really calming and explained what would happen. The surgeon even spoke to me before I went in, to explain exactly what would be happening and re-assure me.

During the procedure they were talking to me and like Sandi said, they tell you when you will feel the warmth in your face/head as they flush the dye through to help show up the vessels for the pictures they are taking.

The surgeon then stood on a stool and leant on the entry site for 10minutes or so to seal the entry site.

I was taken out to a rest area within the vascular unit and had a cuppa through a straw, which was well needed! :wink: and I was then taken back up to the day ward to lay flat for 4 hours, after which I was discharged.

They had not thought to book lunch for me though, so I ended up having a plain ham sandwich but having to smell the roast dinner that everyone else was enjoying!

It is quite an interesting procedure to be part of.

Good luck for tomorrow

Kel x

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Hi Kate

You're certainly not headed for a break down. Panic attacks and anxiety are all part of normal fall out for SAH sufferers. It's partly down to the trauma and you could well be suffering from post traumatic stres syndrome - I know I was and was very very panicy. I was referred to a counsellor and it helped me enormously - it might be worth looking into.

Can't help onthe angio side though I'm afraid - only had the one during the emergency operation - but I'm sure, judging from other stories on here, that you'll be fine - it's more fear of the unknown and the fact that you'll be back in hospital.

Take care of you

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Hi Kate! Welcome to BTG, so glad you found this site.

I have panic/anxiety attacks and currently I'm on several medications, which help quite a bit. Counseling is very helpful as it teaches you how to get through the panics when they happen. I'm 14 mo. post SAH and for me I think the emotional stuff has been the most difficult to deal with. Still working at it.

I had an angiogram 6 mo. after my SAH. I was nervous and scared - it felt strange going into the hospital again. Some of the staff in the radiology dept. were the same as when I had been there during the surgery. The nurses were great, explained everything and all went well. I was under a twilight anesthesia during the angio. A little bit of tenderness at the insertion site, but nothing really bad!

Will be thinking of you tomorrow - sending good energy your way!!!

Hope to hear more from you.


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