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Two years approaching - how my life has changed

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I am approaching my two year anniversary and for people who did not know me before you would never know that I had suffered an SAH in November 2009. I have been very fortunate in my recovery but I have had too learn to moderate my life and the things I try and do.

I have returned to work and managed to get back to five days before realising that that was too ambitious and I have had to drop down to four days. My role has changed dramatically at College and I do not travel as much as I used to before. Tasks take longer to achieve and have to be completed one at a time. If I try and do more than one thing at a time I forget details and my memory is not as good. I never used to take breaks during the day before but now I leave the desk for a coffee or screen break at regular intervals. I always stop for lunch and leave the desk. The days of working through lunch or having lunch while I am working are a thing of the past. My work now stays at College and does not come home with me. These are all changes that have had to be made to enable me to recover to the level that I have.

I want to be able to work for another 10 years if I am able but it will be at a reduced rate. I also had to learn that it was no good pacing myself during the week at work if I then spent all weekend doing something and not having any rest before returning to work on Monday. You do not know what limitations you have until you start to live again. It was something I would never before have suggested pre SAH to reduce my hours to four days, but I was finding myself tired at the end of every day. Work have been fantastic and very supportive. My line managers and Team Manager have been great and continually monitor my workload and ensure that just because I am in the Office I do not get jobs loaded onto me by others.

The decision to ask for reduced hours had to come from me; it was no good anyone telling me to do it as that would have had the opposite effect. I still get days when I have a niggling headache and I think, “Hello” what is this going to turn into? It is not helped by the total lack of memory of the event and following five weeks in Stoke hospital. I am waiting for my letter from Stoke to go for my two year MRI check up, to ensure the pesky annie has shrivelled up, the coiled annie is behaving and the shunt is still where its supposed to be and working well. Like a lot of fellow sufferers you do worry when there is an appointment looming, but there is nothing I can change about what happened and what I have been left with.

I still think I have been fantastically lucky and wake up every day thinking so! Too all of you who may read this, stay positive the Brain is a marvellous organ and has tremendous powers of self recovery and rewiring capabilities. I have to believe this as the Doctors told me I should not be here, but here I am. But I have had to learn to be more sensible and listen to my body!

Be safe and be well!

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What you have achieved over the past two years, is excellent.

Your positive attitude has no doubt helped many.

Knowing when to take a break, is a massive plus. Your body knows when it needs a break!!

Setting yourself a goal, is great. Once you reach it, move the posts!!

Getting support from your employer, is great, many don't have that.

I,like many wish you all the best for the future.

Knowing that you are getting back-up from the Hospital, must also help.

Well done John, looking forward to future post

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Hi John,

Happy-almost-2nd anniversary.

You've come so far, you should be proud of every step you've taken.

Your posts are an inspiration.

I hope you do something special for your anniversary, it's a date to celebrate.

Best wishes to you.

Take care,

SarahLou Xx

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John - I have always enjoyed reading your positive and inspiring posts. You seem to have reached a sane & balanced approach to handling work and setting good boundaries to ensure you remain strong and well. I hope your recovery has much further to go, and that you always keep to a positive mental attitude. You are a star!!

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Hello John,

I found the hardest part was accepting limitations. It was beyond frustrating to want to be able to do the same things that pre-NASAH seemed so easy, and then seemed impossible or possibly not worth the headache and fatigue that would come afterwards. But I am sure you have realised that the best advice comes from your own body, and to listen to it when it says "slow down and be kind to me :-D ". Congratulations on your upcoming anniversary and live each day to the fullest!

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Happy 2 year anniversary John! Thank you for sharing your experience with us. I think it's great that you recognize and accept that some things are different and you seem to be fine with that. What an inspiration to someone like me who is still struggling to fit into the old pair of shoes! Your words mean a lot. You are making me think about my own situation and what I want for the next 10 years.

Thank you John.

Sandi K. : )


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Well done John,

Like you John this year was my 2nd Anni....it came I was hesitant...but I survived lol .... phew !!!!

Like everyone has said ~ Well Done and as I say, we are survivors. So keep smiling and singing.

All the Best

WinB143 xx

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Congrats to you John!!! I think you've done remarkably well and sharing your thoughts and insights as the time has passed has been helpful to us all.

Keep up the good work and attitude! Look forward to hearing more from you - whenever you pop in :biggrin:

Sending hugs,


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Hi John

Congratulations on nearing your second anniversary.

It's good to hear how well things are going for you, you've worked hard to get here. I too am at the stage of accepting my limitations and the changes in me. It really is true what the others say that the first year is all about healing. I found during the second year I was more able to push things and subsequently reach my limits. It's also so good to hear how supportive your colleagues are, this is so important for us when we return to work.

What a difference each year makes!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well my 2nd annie versary has come and gone today. Spent it at work and it felt a bit surreal when I tried to remember how far I have come since the memories of Christmas 2009. They are very vague and I do not recognise myself at all on pictures.

Big decision day yesterday I had to make my drop down to four days a week official and that felt strange. I also asked about Phased Retirement which can come in when I am 55, in February.

BTG has been a big help in my recovery and the messages and points of support have been brilliant. Everyone who experiences an SAH would do well to join and benefit from the wonderful community. Thank you all once again for all your continued help. :-P

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John, congratulations on your ani-versary today. Sounds like it was a big day with the commitment to a 4 day work week and the consideration of phased retirement soon. Your acceptance and willingness to work with the changes since your SAH are admirable and I appreciate you sharing your experience with us.

Sandi K. Hugs.

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