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Had an interesting thing happen to me this week. I'm seven weeks or so post SAH and healing has been good.

Monday I had what I referred to as a "normal" day. No real headache to speak of, no cloudiness, feeling really good all day long. I'm a personal trainer and a teacher, so during my teaching day I bopped around the room helping kids like normal, and was a lot more active than I've been. Then, because I have the dumb and can't read a calendar, I had two one on one clients to train which translates into about 2 hours of weights. I used light weights for the first client and a kettle bell for the second. Neither of those workouts were anything that would have caused much concern prior to Spidey-fest.

I could tell after the first client that I'd made a mistake, so I closed my eyes and rested before the second one. Both know my situation so I did modify, but the problem is it's really easy when you're working with someone to forget to take it easy because not only are you demoing the moves and correcting posture, but pumping them up to feel good about their fitness goals.

Finished and I was wiped!

I thought I'd sleep like a lamb that night, nope. I was cloudy and swimming all night. I woke up every hour and would lie there feeling like my head was floating three feet above me.

Tuesday morning I was trashed with a capital T. Exhausted. Okay, lesson learned, right? Don't do THAT again! I called in sick and took the entire day in bed. I slept probably six hours during the day, and made myself do nothing outside of write lesson plans for the day and watch TV and sleep.

When I went to PT last night there was a marked regression in my neuro. My left hand was markedly weaker and I couldn't seem to get it to keep the pattern I'd been practicing. I was on and off with cognition...just fine one moment, then completely losing my train of thought the next. I was still pretty tired, so was more stumbly. I got a firm talking to when I explained what happened the night before.

Today I am still headachy, but not as bad, but very very swimmy. I have my walker at school and I've been using it because I've almost fallen a few times.

Please tell me I haven't done anything permanent...this is temporary, isn't it? It's a little scary to feel I've set myself back three weeks.

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all sounds normal to me, a high then a crash & burn. It comes from doing too much one day & then you suffer for the next day or two.

You will find when you take things slower & more gradually there won't be the highs followed by the dips/lows. Things do even out only when you take it slower even on the very good/normal days.

x

ps I have calendar problems too :-(

Edited by bagpuss
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teecher

you are doing too much please please slow down you need to understand that your body has changed and your brain needs to heal itsself and you need to slow down you will not be able at the moment to do what you used to please listen to your body keep up with the fliuds which helps but you HAVE TO slow down as bagpuss says crash and burn the recovery is slow and at least fairly long term its takes about three months for your body to reabsorb the blood you have outside the blood vessels around your brain i certainly dont want to see you suffering because you wont slow down please take things easy you have to let the brain heal in its own way and time hugs and cuddles

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Well Teechur, I think you hit the nail on the head yourself. You got fooled into thinking you are more recovered than you are, and paid the price.

I am now just over 7 months since NASAH and I'd say I'd recovered pretty well, but its only now that I can look back and know that at 7 weeks post SAH as you are, you have barely started.

The fact that you are physically fit will really, really help you, but it can be a hindrance because you'll tend to think you are more recovered than you are - especially on the good days. So really, really force yourself to structure your diary with much more slack in it than you used to, and if you have a heavier day you can't avoid, PLAN to the following day or two to be slack so you can recover. If you're not tired its an added bonus, but at least you've planned your schedule to accommodate if you are.

I'm a million miles away from where I was even a couple of months ago, but I still can get tired. Even today in a meeting when ther was a ton of information being told to me and the person was speaking fast, I found myself at one point feeling a bit woozy. Was most strange.

So the bottom line is slow down and give yourself time. Don't even try to live your life in quite the same driven way as before SAH.

Take Care.

Mags

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This happens to me all the time. I was/am a very fit person and find it difficult to remember that now just using the computer too long could throw me back. Everyone at Physical therapy seemed to want to rehab me so fast, but it was the fast that's not good for me anymore. Taking things slow is my new mantra.

I'm sure you'll find a new rhythm to your life, Teechur, and maybe it will even be a better one. Mine is sure different, but still very active Like more yoga and less jogging.

~Kris

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Teech, it's early days and you haven't done anything permanent. This is your brain reminding you its still the boss right now. Read 'letter from your brain'. Someone will post it, my head isn't working right now to be able to do that. It explains what's happening.

Back at the 2 and 3 month mark I ignored my symptoms and carried on 100 miles an hour. Arrived at BTG a tearful mess full of stress and all sorts of symptoms. The symptoms are signs to slow down. They start small and get bigger until you pay attention and rest.

Sandi K. Xoxooxx

A Letter From Your Brain - http://www.behindthegray.net/vbulletin/content.php?151-A-Letter-From-Your-Brain

Edited by Karen
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Hi Teechur,

I don't think you have done anything permanent either, but I do agree that perhaps you ought to slow down a little in order for these peaks and troughs to even out a bit for you. Unfortunately, it's all too easy to be misled into a false sense of feeling ok and trying to carry on as before, when in fact the brain, which afterall is the one thing that controls everything we do, has suffered a massive interruption and just can't cope when too much is demanded of it. It is such a common theme amongst us survivors that if we do too much, we can suffer the consequences later on. I know you are a very positive person with a great sense of fun and as long as you know and understand your new limits, without pushing yourself too hard, you should find these dips happen less often.

I hope you are feeling a bit better now,

Sarah

Edited by kempse
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been there, done that, still doing it!!

6 mths post SAH ... and actually today has been one of those 'overdone it' days.

RPM class this morning before work - and felt good so pushed myself harder than i have been doing .... busy day at work,dash home to organise tea then onto daughters netball match which I was asked to ref for .... home, tea for kids, one to get to scouts ...

then crashed and burnt ... worst headache i've had for weeks. Not long woken up, its so frustrating, especially the fitness side as I hate not being able to put 100% into my work outs, but I know if I do push too hard it wipes me out and I have to sacrifice doing something else.

Its tough finding that happy medium between what you want to do and what you are able to do, I'm still trying to find it .... :roll:

xxx

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Hi,

I think everyone has made some good points. I guess just try and take it easy. It's hard I know, The second I feel good I want to do 10 things and get tired after three. You'll get used to knowing your limits and only you know your body best.Be careful with the lifting, my doc said nothing over 20 lbs. I did lift my gas tank yesterday for my grill and it felt funny so I had my friend move it.

At 7 weeks post SAH I was in bed sleeping 14 hrs a day because the headaches were just too bad. You're doing great just be careful.

David

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Thank you. Even though it's being repeated to "take it easy" over and over again, it's very helpful to read and to see other people's experiences. Not making excuses at all, but it isn't easy. I had a busy day yesterday; nothing I could get out of (interviews of next year's students, set up for the fundraising race this weekend, dinner with friends) and I just tried to rest as much as I could in between. During the race setup I was feeling fatigued, but good...happy to be with friends, blessed because the fundraising race is for me and they're all there on their Wednesday night stuffing race packets for me.But when I got home...boom. Not a bad, boom, though. Just interesting. I went to bed really early and got a decent night's sleep.

Headachy and wobbly this morning, but more awake (and the headache is, blessedly, slight).

I was talking to a friend of mine who is also a marathon runner, who is undergoing chemotherapy. We've both, of course, been told to take it easy and were commiserating about how difficult it is to determine what that means, since we're both used to "running through" exhaustion and some pain, we get a lot of mental benefit from our exercise and when you're feeling confident it's easy to ignore when things are starting to go south. So it's almost like we need to say "Okay, I can allow xx minutes of this, and xx minutes of that.

I guess the regression has scared me, although I do feel better today than yesterday, but still not as good as I did the last few weeks.

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Don't forget that its not just the doing that is tiring, noise & movement around you takes up a lot of brain power. I find when I visit my friends on a Tues even if I'm not doing much just the noise & movement of 12 kids is enough to wear me out. You know this is so cos you said the race setup tired you out.I think it's very easy to say I've done nothing so why am I tired & get frustrated but just 'being' is tiring after a brain injury. Some of your filters don't work so well post anni so your brain is processing harder than its ever done before.

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Hi Teechur,

I really believe that you need to put the brakes on and allow your brain the time to heal. I've just had a quick look at your profile and that you had your SAH in January 2012, unless I've read it wrong, as it's always a possibility with me? :wink:

You probably don't realise, that actually what you're achieving at the minute is extremely good in the terms of SAH and recovery, but the brain (okay apart from the skin) is the largest organ in your body. It can take up to 3 months for the blood to fully dissipate via the spinal column, so your brain does need to rest and you need to allow it to recover, so that it can do its job and function for your body and its needs ... you may have to take a step back at the minute, but I don't feel that it's regression at all, you're healing .... allow yourself to do that for a few months longer .....you need to compare yourself, to the person that left the hospital bed and not the person that you were before the brain attack happened.

You'll get there ... xx

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Teechur,

I've run into many of the same issues as you have. I found out that if you just lay down with no stimulation for just 5min, it can give you a whole new wind. The thing about setting up and feeling tiered has been the story of my life recently, sometimes just looking over all the things to do that day makes me tiered or very emotional...literally. However, that runner's high is so great that when I'm feeling it, I don't want to ever stop...but I have to or I'll start regressing as you call it. I've also learned that pushing yourself like I used to do when I was running or something just doesn't work for me anymore. I haven't quite figured out what does work yet, but I know what doesn't because I've done it over and over thinking that it might be different this time or maybe I'm more back to "Normal"...well, I'm not and I have to live with it. It's all part of the denial that we go through...different levels, different stages. I remember thinking that my roommate in the hospital was "Crazy" and the thought hadn't occurred to me that I am too. I hate it, but I'm learning it as I go on another day.

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Teechur,

I've run into many of the same issues as you have. I found out that if you just lay down with no stimulation for just 5min, it can give you a whole new wind. The thing about setting up and feeling tiered has been the story of my life recently, sometimes just looking over all the things to do that day makes me tiered or very emotional...literally. However, that runner's high is so great that when I'm feeling it, I don't want to ever stop...but I have to or I'll start regressing as you call it. I've also learned that pushing yourself like I used to do when I was running or something just doesn't work for me anymore. I haven't quite figured out what does work yet, but I know what doesn't because I've done it over and over thinking that it might be different this time or maybe I'm more back to "Normal"...well, I'm not and I have to live with it. It's all part of the denial that we go through...different levels, different stages. I remember thinking that my roommate in the hospital was "Crazy" and the thought hadn't occurred to me that I am too. I hate it, but I'm learning it as I go on another day.

I'm sure I have read this, but how long was it before you were able to run again? I'm all but being tied down to keep from running. PT says to wait until I have no headache or neuro symptoms at all.

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Hi Teechur

Please do yourself a favour and take it easy. Look after yourself - thats all you need to do.

I understand you need to run etc again. But right now it doesn't matter. Really.

I have a lifetime in sports like you do. My SAH was two weeks after finishing my sixth Ironman. SAH doesn't care if you are fit or not. 9 months later I can swim, bike and run again though I am still making sure to take it easy and I won't race this year - well maybe in November as I have an idea..

Be careful and give yourself the best chance for a great recovery. You'll get there. Good luck.

Bye

Jellyb

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Hi Teechur

Please do yourself a favour and take it easy. Look after yourself - thats all you need to do.

I understand you need to run etc again. But right now it doesn't matter. Really.

I have a lifetime in sports like you do. My SAH was two weeks after finishing my sixth Ironman. SAH doesn't care if you are fit or not. 9 months later I can swim, bike and run again though I am still making sure to take it easy and I won't race this year - well maybe in November as I have an idea..

Be careful and give yourself the best chance for a great recovery. You'll get there. Good luck.

Bye

Jellyb

That is so encouraging, Jelly! Thank you! My goal this year was to run a 100 miler and a half IM (have done one before) with a goal of a full next year. A friend used the analogy with me that this is like the first mile of a 100 mile race and they (my friends) are all my support crew. They can't run it for me, but they can be with me and help as needed. She didn't know I had that goal, so it was very apropos.

I'm having another challenging week. Monday, again, just an amazing day. I worked; no pain, no brain crawl, felt great. Came home and napped, even though I didn't feel too bad. Went to bootcamp and monitored showing a few exercises, but other than that did maybe 1/4 of what everyone else did. (I walked about 2 miles total, but I've done that before and I had the walker.) Today same thing happened. I guess I keep toning it down until I find the sweet spot and add slowly. Hard because I am contracted to teach these classes, and even my husband agreed that I did take it very easy.

Honestly, I know what I need. I need downtime. I need to not be working 40 hours a week. Can't change that. We have a vacation planned next week and I'm seriously considering canceling because it would mean plane travel (I still get bad bad headaches), and a lot of activity and I feel I'd be better served with a quiet week at home. Then it's ten weeks to the end of the year.

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