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Headaches help? and depression


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I had a NA SAH 4 weeks ago yesterday. My doctors are thrilled with how well I am doing...of course I want to be perfectly well now! One of the things really getting me are the headaches and head pain. I read that hydration helps so I'm drinking tons of water. And I'm taking fioricet or tylenol 3 as ordered. Does anyone have any other suggestions? Foods to avoid? Supplements? Exercise - do's or don'ts? My docs say these should decrease over the next 3 months - sound correct? Not only is the pain horrible, I am perpetually scared it's another hemorrhage. Which leads to....is this depression "normal"? Does it go away? Sure is nice to find you all. My family doesn't exactly understand how I'm feeling.

Thanks,

Shellie

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Hi Shellie,

The feeling of "is it going to happen again?" is entirely normal .... it may take months or years for this to go away ... we're all different. Your life has been turned upside down and it's going to take quite a while to find some sense of normality and to restore confidence in your body.

I think that that minimum that you should allow yourself for recovery is 3 - 6 months, for a lot of us, it's a minimum of 2 years +. The headaches do subside over this period, even though a few of us a more prone to headaches post SAH.

Recovery is an individual thing .... it all depends on how severe the bleed was, if you had surgery etc ... there's no wrongs or rights.

Both depression and anxiety on behindthegray seem to be fairly normal....you can get help from your Doctor.

I cut out caffeine from my diet ... but you can get withdrawal symptoms such as headaches for a little while, but I found that it helped with the headaches. As for exercise you need to seek professional help, but if I had been capable at your stage, then I wouldn't have done it, due to the increase in blood pressure .... I just used to do short walks and then increase the distance etc.

Good luck! xx

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Shellie,

4 weeks is very very soon x x BUT I remember it well x x all the symptoms you had and panic attacks x x x causing my depression x x its hard because you want answers all the time but no ones there (BUT WE ARE)

My Doctor said to me she had never dealt with a SAH patient before so it was new to both of us x x :roll::roll: so I had no answers xx

All my answers I find here and support x x they are my family and I owe everyone my life x x x

At 4 weeks I was still to nervous to do exercise and still do sometimes at 4 years on x x Listen to your body and what it is telling you x x x

My pains got easier and I now deal with them better x x x

I think the worry of it happening again is always going to be with us but for myself its not something I think of daily anymore x x x x

Hope this helps a bit

like Karen said everyone's recovery is different x x x just take your time x x

here any time you fancy a chat x x inbox me also x x

lots love

donna

xxxxx

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Hi Shellie, welcome to BTG.

I had a constant headache for a long time. It felt like a hangover but a little worse.

One of my problems was my blood pressure. even though I was on medication it hovered around 130 135

Then the doc gave me a different med and the BP dropped and the headaches went away.

Yes we all think about "what if it is another" but I have to say the headaches I got after were nothing like the original. I think of them as warning lights, like the ones we have on our car. If I think I need medical attention I don't hesitate anymore. I guess that is one of the good things that happened through this.

I know I should exercise more. That was a problem before SAH too :lol: I found that walking helps. It also allows me the quiet time I need to process all the goings on in my head. Yes I get depressed, I am sure people on here can attest to that :oops:. But given the second chance to get on with life is a good thing, so I try and enjoy what I can when I can.

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I had a 'constant headache' for at least 3 months before it backed off and now, a year later, it has been months since I had one. If the medicos are pleased with your progress then accept that and don't expect too much of yourself - allow whatever time it takes to recover gently. Look for 'a letter from your brain' on here, it does help explain as lot of what is going on.

There are no hard and fast rules about how much better you should be after 1/3/6 months or years, we are all very different. Some days are better than others, please believe that enjoy them when they turn up.

Be kind to yourself, don't expect too much too quickly

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Hey Shellie,

As the others have said, you are relatively soon after your NASAH. The one thing I learned from mine in January 2012 was that it does really take a while for you to feel normal(ish) again. I drank loads of water for about a month after the SAH (around 3 litres a day - which was advised by the doctor when I was in hospital). That really helped me and although I did have headaches for the first month, I think they were less severe than if I hadn't drank so much water (if that makes sense).

For me, the physical symptoms were manageable (though difficult - and I definitely still really suffer with fatigue and memory loss etc), the psychological impact was more tough. I would say I was fairly depressed for a good month to six weeks after I came out of hospital. I'm a psychologist, so I could recognise the depressive symptoms in myself (but also felt like I should be able to 'fix' myself, which is obviously a bit daft, but there you are!). I still fluctuate up and down with my mood and when I'm tired and my memory is rubbish and I can't find the words I'm trying to use to explain myself, I feel rubbish again. BUT, the important thing is that those depressive feelings do not last and you will feel better as you get your head around what has happened. Keep visiting the message boards as they reassure you that you are not strange in feeling the way you do and that there is no recipie for recovery - some people feel better in a few months, some people don't.

Anyway, hope that's vaguely useful for you...

Good luck

Annie

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Hi Shellie

I was told that the blood being reabsorbed by the body can cause headaches for a while after. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day will certainly help. I also found that cutting out the artificial sweetner aspartame and asculfame eased my headaches - all sweetners directly made from sugar were and are ok for me.

As for the emotional side, completely normal. I was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder after my bleed and had counselling (which really helped). I'm six years post SAH in a couple of weeks and can honestly say that, while I still get scared now and again, I'm probably 99.9% back to "normal". Stay positive and listen to your body - it'll tell you when it needs to rest, but take it easy.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi I had a headache for 6 months, when it left it was gone for a couple of months now at 11 months they are back. Often a right side of my head and right eye kind.

OR the back of head or the front of head.

I am probably doing too much thinking? Maybe since I am a bit more normal and I am doing more? I am processing better until around noon.Also have been practicing reading and writing. Should I stop? Anyone in the same boat with me??

Thanks , maryb

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Hi I had a headache for 6 months, when it left it was gone for a couple of months now at 11 months they are back. Often a right side of my head and right eye kind.

OR the back of head or the front of head.

I am probably doing too much thinking? Maybe since I am a bit more normal and I am doing more? I am processing better until around noon.Also have been practicing reading and writing. Should I stop? Anyone in the same boat with me??

Thanks , maryb

Hi Mary. I wake up every morning with a headache,. I try not to take pain killers, as they make me dopey,. I have found eating breakfast and drinking water does help, but I do sympathise,. I also find trying to read is bad news. Love Jill

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Remember if you only drink water it can throw your electrolytes off. Just like after exercise. Our brain is working so hard to recover that it uses extra energy and thus can drain you the same way as physical exercise. Ask your doctor as with anything you try, but it REALLY helped me with pains.

The feeling the initial headache leaves is a huge imprint. It's a lasting impression that lead to a serious diagnosis that you never expected. Any headache becomes a reminder of that...and that trigger can send you on a downward spiral very quickly. As you get more days with the headaches and no repeat SAH, you gradually shift your feelings of anxiety. Your family and doctors may not be able to understand totally, but it seems VERY common here on BTG. Hang in there. This too shall pass.

~Kris

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