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Hi everyone

I am feeling old - everyone keeps telling me I am old

Before my SAH I was a very young 52 year old - endless energy, tireless zest for life, incredible self belief and confidence

Now I feel vulnerable, unable to remember things as well, harder to concentrate so much that it tires me to the stage of switch off like a mobile phone when the battery runs out. My zest has gone and I doubt myself so much always thinking I have made a bad choice or said the wrong thing

I find it very difficult to talk about how I feel since my SAH but if I do I am always told "oh yes you will forget things or feel tired etc as you are getting old!!" Noboby would ever have dared suggest I was old before the SAH but now people seem to think this is my problem - old age

From a yound 52 year old to an old 53 with just one headache!!!

So for all you out there the general concensus is we are old not damaged

This doesnt reassure me as I try to stay hopeful that I will overcome these difficulties as I retrain my "damaged" brain but if I am just old I have no chance of improving unless I find a fountain of youth

I really get upset as I feel peoples reactions means I am not explaining myself very well but then I just cry when I do try

It is not their fault either as you could understand this feeling unless you had it and they just try to rel;ate it to things they know

I think I will just go back to the "I am fine thanks" response

Do you get the same reaction??

All the best to you all

Di

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Morning Di,

Omg what's wrong with some people!!?? You dont look old to me, quite a stunner from the looks of your photo if you don't mind me saying! I feel far too yukky to even think about posting a photo of me on here!!

When these people say you're old ask them when their last eye test was.

Alas, I also do get a few comments of ' well you are nearly 40' when I'm struggling with memory etc, or worst still the 'oh yeah I've a rubbish memory too' speech.Which I get a lot. They've no idea.

So you just keep your chin up hun, let's take a note outta Wins wisdom and sing a little song to cheer ourselves up!!

SarahLou Xx

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Hello Di,

I totally agree with SarahLou's comments, you look great & I would never have guessed that you are 53!

I had my SAH at 38 (I'm now 41) and have also had comments like 'yes, well things go down hill after 40'. I'm sure they do but, like you, I went down hill on the day my head blew up. The difference between the day it happened & the day after is enormous. I would think that the problems that come with ageing would come on gradually, one ailment at a time, not hit you like a sledge hammer overnight?

Try not to let it get you down. People will never fully understand how things are unless they are unfortunate enough to suffer a brain injury themselves - you can't force people to see when they choose not to.

Michelle x

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'Now I feel vulnerable, unable to remember things as well, harder to concentrate so much that it tires me to the stage of switch off like a mobile phone when the battery runs out. My zest has gone and I doubt myself so much always thinking I have made a bad choice or said the wrong thing'

Di I feel exactly the same one day I was a strong fit and healthy young 58 with a whole lot of dreams and new experiences to be fulfilled, the next i'd been thrust into old age and am constantly reminded that I am old not getting old!

:frown:

So I have developed my own filtering system and thats to ignore any of these negative comments and not react,of course deep down I am seething:devil: but don't give anyone the satisfaction of knowing this.Cos people just seem to love putting others down! Bad enough we live in an ageist society:roll:

The only advise I can offer is to go back to basics and as you say a short simple response to those who you suspect really dont want to know and concentrate on those who do. This way it avoids the frustrations and hurt that often accompanies the innocuous phrase 'how are you'!

Your not alone Di,its so hard to keep positive when there are so many hurdles to jump, and when others don't seem to understand but we're all here and we do understand:-D

When I get really sensitive about the ageing process I just recall some one telling me (for the first time in my life) ' after all your not a spring chicken now!'...... I was 28yrs old!:lol:

ps. Good luck in your search , if you find the fountain of youth, you will share it won't you?

Hugs Maggiexxx

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I can relate to this enormously. Nearly every symptom which I quote as being a feature of my day to day living, someone will tell me that they are like that too; or alternatively that it is part of the aging process. I feel that it trivialises my experience.

However, the ‘aging process’ in its proper sense, is something which happens slowly, gradually and organically over time. It creeps up on us. Our friends, work colleagues and family members grow old with us. We go through the natural stages with others.

For us, it did not happen like that. In my particular circumstance, I was at the hairdressers, getting ready for a big night when I had my SAH. The weekend before, I was in London, socialising in Camden bars. Eight weeks prior, I ran the Berlin Marathon and had made plans with a friend to return to Berlin in the New Year. In four weeks time, I planned to go to back to London with my boyfriend. He did not know, but I had planned a weekend away for his birthday and I had arranged that we go to White Hart Lane to see Tottenham play.

When I woke up three days later in hospital, my life was different and has still not recovered to its former pace. I did not make it to London that November and there was no New Years Eve Party. (Instead my parents came round to my house with a take-away and even that exhausted me!)

My friends’ lives have continued. My boyfriend, who is fantastic, is nevertheless still able to have big nights out and weekends away. I have missed so many social events that I cannot remember how many, but it is a regular feature of my life to hear of my friends go on shopping trips, weekends away, hen parties, running weekends and for me not to accompany them.

This is nothing like growing old in the natural sense because our peers are not experiencing the same.

When people tell me that my SAH is ‘just like getting old,’ I explain that it is not. I say that it happened too suddenly for it to be measured in that way and that my present pace of life is an unnatural one for my age.

I have not encountered a person who contradicts me when I put it in that way. (But perhaps that may have something to do with the very direct way I deliver it!!)

L xx

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Hi Di! I, too, can relate to this and agree with all the others, in their comments. I was 47 when my head exploded, and will be 49 this year. Prior to the big day, I was working 40-50 hrs. a week as a massage therapist, supervised the staff, was great at multi-tasking, had a social life and was a pretty positive person. I could remember patients' names from years past, lyrics to most songs, on and on. Now, I'm so very different. I've had people say things about "the aging process", and how they forgt things too, etc.., including my GP and neurologist, even!!! My son, who's 27, has said things that've been quite hurtful - "get off your lazy #*# and get a job, you'll feel better then!" It IS most frustrating and realistically, they have no clue!

Hang in there hon, and know we're all right there with you! You're a beautiful and intelligent woman and you're doing the very best you can under circumstances most will never have to deal with or understand!!! It takes all our courage and strength to keep going and accept ourselves as we are now. The acceptance part has been the hardest for me, still working on it - it's a process.

Big hugs,

Carolyn

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Anyone calls you old Di,,,,,,Punch em one lol joke xx

How dare anyone say we are old....just because we forget names or shops etc it makes us special..

Next time someone says about age accidently trip them up...and make sure you have boots on lol and kick em Joke also

No do not kick ...sing a Tina Turner song she isn't young So sing Private Dancer to them ..and walk away whistling

in your Tina dress .... or you could throw a good left hook whatever makes you feel good x

Just kidding

Be Happy Di

Love

WinB143 xx

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For us, it did not happen like that. In my particular circumstance, I was at the hairdressers, getting ready for a big night when I had my SAH. The weekend before, I was in London, socialising in Camden bars. Eight weeks prior, I ran the Berlin Marathon and had made plans with a friend to return to Berlin in the New Year. In four weeks time, I planned to go to back to London with my boyfriend. He did not know, but I had planned a weekend away for his birthday and I had arranged that we go to White Hart Lane to see Tottenham play.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hi Lin

I went to see Tottenham play Barcelona just before my sah, wonder if it is something in the air at Spurs

j/k

Regards

WinB143 x

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Hi Di

I can relate too, it was last year for me i was 41 so not old. My life has never been the same since, ok i have a bit more energy and can drive again but cant remember things, confidence is low and wak around somedays like im in a daze. My head gets a strange feeling like im moving but my brain cant catch up. Ive given up trying to tell my family that i feel strange and need to lay down. So im trying to just adjust to this new feeling as it seems this is the way im going to be.

I spoke to my mum the other day and told her that i hate that i sometimes use a walking stick when i feel wobbly,that people stare at me. All she said was "i know how it feels" she uses a stick. Shes in her 70s people expect to see that age group using sticks, not at 42 like me. She says well as you get older these things happen but im not old im only 42. The only reason i use a stick and need to rest is because of the SAH not my age.

Traci S xx

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Your replies have been really positive as always

I can see I am not alone in hearing insensitive remarks and I will remember all your comments the next time someone says thry know how I feel

We are special and will try my best to move forward with a sense of humour

You are all superstars xx

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Great post! I can so relate to all the comments made here.

When I had my SAH, I was 54 but was still more active and energetic than most people at work who were half my age. I also had a tremendous memory and was known as someone who could recall precise details of cases, names and addresses, etc dealt with over the past thirty years.

Returned to full time work 7 months after the SAH and started to encounter random problems with short term memory, particularly when trying to manage several different cases or investigations at the same time. Every now and then my brain would appear to stall, like a duff computer …. and I’d find myself sitting at the keyboard or standing by a filing cabinet, trying to remember what I was about to do. The harder you’d try to retrieve the ‘lost’ information from the recesses of your brain, the more painful and frustrating it would become.

When I tried to explain the feeling to colleagues, I’d often get the flippant (and annoying) reply that they too were getting more forgetful as they became older. I’d try to explain that there was a difference and that, rather than just being forgetful, I usually knew that information was in my brain but that I couldn’t quite grasp or retrieve it.

Eventually I too gave up trying to explain to people and just adopted the “I’m fine thanks” approach. The one advantage of having had an SAH is, I think, that I’m now more laid back about things and have a better sense of priorities ….. so I don’t really care anymore if others don’t fully understand the memory and fatigue effects of the often slow recovery from an SAH !!!

Good luck to everyone!

Ian xx

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Hi Ian,

I know what you mean about knowing the info is in your brain, you just can't retrieve it.

I often will be in the middle of a sentence and completely loose my words, I know they're there, just can't get them out. It'll often cause me tears of frustration. I also struggle if I'm on the phone, or in a shop. Most of the time I will explain to strangers, 'I've had a stroke and brain bleed, please bare with me if I struggle with my words'.

It sounds like you have a busy and demanding job, you should be very proud of yourself for getting back to it so soon.

SarahLou Xx

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Hi SarahLou

It's comforting to know that so many of us share the same sort of post-SAH problems, even if "the outside world" (including, in my case, the GPs) doesn't understand!

As a result of the local government cutbacks, I actually finished work a few months ago after getting an early retirement offer. Though the finances are tight and I miss the company of my workmates, I'm loving the fact that my brain seems to cope much better without the stresses of work and so I don't have to "Control-Alt-Delete" my brain cells quite so often now!

The only trouble with retirement is that you never get a day off, lol.

Ian xx

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Hi Ian,

Yes, you're probably busier now than when you worked! Although at least you can go at your own pace now.

I'm lucky enough to have a gp who is totally fantastic, actually listens to me. She's been my gp for many many yrs and has helped me through some really rough journeys and very dark times over the yrs.

It's nearly a yr since my SAH, I only worked part time but have been unable to go back to work yet. I worry theyll make me medically redundant. I try not to worry about it, I've gotta concentrate on myself, the here and now.

Hope you manage to get some rest in your retirement, no doubt you deserve it.

SarahLou Xx

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Yup, I'm another one who knows how you feel!! It's true, you can get to the point where you just go "I'm fine thanks" because it's just easier than trying to explain... For people who know me, when I bump into them at the hospital, I tend to go "I'm getting there, thanks"!

Like others have said, I am always getting the comment "oh I forget stuff too" or they tell me I'm getting on a bit. And like the others, I think, heck, I was doing two jobs and could multitask like a demon then one day it all changed overnight. That is NOT just getting old! I remember, also, when my mum had her stroke at 74, she was running the library as a volunteer, doing their accounts, translating and giving speeches for the D-Day veterans, driving here there and everywhere - and every time I spoke to the doctors about her I was saying "you don't understand, my mum is a YOUNG 74, she's dynamic, she's intelligent" etc. I felt they just saw her as this old lady who was practically a vegetable. (I'm proud to say she's now 79 and doing really well, living independently and everything although her speech is bad).

Anyway, not wishing to hijack, but just to say I HEAR YOU, and keep smiling :)

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Hi Ian

I too am in local government and with all the cuts find the job is unfortunately getting more stressful

however, I am like you that I am sure all the information, knowledge, experience is still in my head

but

as I tried to explain to my boss last week with an example

whereas I had it all in a filing cabinet next to my desk before the SAH and I could access it all in seconds

since the SAH someone has moved everything down into the basement storage area.

This means it takes longer to get the info, I cant always find what I am looking for immediately, I get easily distracted by all the other stuff I forgot was there and carrying the boxes back upstairs tires me out so I need to sleep when I get home

It is just harder than before and not due to my age

All your comments have bucked me up no end and I will run up and down the stairs from the basement with renewed vigour.

It might be hard but hell its worth it!!!

xxx

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  • 2 weeks later...

Its great to read so many people's responses to this. Why because its supportive. I think positively that people are trying to reassure us-dont like blaming the SAH for everything so try and make us feel better by saying its "old age" We know its not!!!. My short term memory was so useful!!! Now Im learning not to rely on its so much coz its not that good. We learn new ways, new talents and develop new skills. Surely that shows we are still " Too young"

Stay positive

Stay Focussed

You are special and we are lucky

Believe me!!!

Kind thought and positive vibes to everyone

Love

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Dear di

My name is Samantha I'm 37 I had my sah & stroke. March last year 010 like you I was very active from sun up to sun down. I live on our farm so I was able to throw square bales. Pick up 30kg feed bags no problem then I had the bleed & stroke my life has changed I say for the worst I'm no longer to do things I used to I get worn out just walking around the farm and I have a lot of memory issues I'm no longer able to remember anything or anyone before the bleed and still forget things including

The shopping trolley with food in it or someone tells me something and I go blank I'm no longer able to write my name it's like a two year old writes it the most terrible thing is I forgot my nan had died my mum had to tell me

I have regular mri's as when had bleed they did 5 angiograms on me in the process they ruptured four of five veins leading into my brain so I only have one vein to pump blood to brain if I was to have another bleed the out come wouldn't be good

My mood since bleed has changed I'm more depressed

So I understand where your coming from

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