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Hello from Stephen

Stephen Cockshott

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Well, i just found this website while researching my condition on the internet as im having problems sleeping. Id just like to say hello to everyone and to comment on what a useful website this is :)

ive just came out of hospital (9 days ago) after having a SAH at 25 years old. Its good to find a community where there are people this as happened to as its been a big shock for me and my family. I had a massive pain in my head around 3 weeks ago and was basically in bed for a whole day unable to move my neck or anything and in severe pain.. (thunderclap headache?) i went to a walk in center where i described my condition and was told to take ibuprofen until the pain went (the doctor didnt even check my blood pressure or examine me in any way so off i went)

went back to work for two weeks doing 72 hour weeks popping painkillers and codiene from my parents as paracetamol didnt really ease the pain, then when i finally managed to get a day off work i went to my local gp who i hadnt visited for years as i dont really like to complain and waste valuable nhs appointment spaces and such :P

i managed to get an appointment and went to see my GP and explained that i had been to a walk in center and that i had been prescribed ibuprofen and that these were not having any effect on the pain, nor was i able to move my neck side to side to even look for cars when crossing the road without lots of pain. again, no examination and was also told that the codeine i had been taking was causing rebound headaches and that i should stop taking them. Doctor was actually more interested in cancelling medication i was previously prescribed many years ago for excema and such that i really didnt need anymore rather than dealing with the problem i had came to see her for. (I hadnt been to the doctors for more than 6 years before then.. surely this should have alerted the doctor that i dont really like to complain and that this really was something i was suffering from and in intense pain for weeks) anyway i was sent on my way.

a few hours later i woke up in an ambulance and was told i had a seizure. after scans etc i was told about the SAH and that i would need a coiling operation. Now im at home recovering and have been told i can return to work when i see fit although i dont really think 2 weeks is enough time as im still getting twinges and odd pains in my head along with numb leg as though i have pins and needles in in all the time (im a bit confused as to wether i should inform the hospital of this or wether it is something that a lot of people experience?)

anyway that was a bit of a long one but hello!! and any advice you can give me on my situation would be greatly appreciated from the community :)


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I am Mary and I live in the USA, I think you should inform the surgeon or anyone that will listen. I am not sure where you are from.

I am impressed you are able to write so well and read the post here, you must be doing fairly well. Whatever you do TRY not to push it. It will take time to recover. I am a year next week and have not made it back to full time yet. I work enough hours to cover my insurance. But it is a struggle..

When do you go back for a follow up? Did you get any information on what to expect?

Good Luck, Maryb

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Hi there it's early days for you I had numbness pain odd sensations mine was 10 years ago welcome to btg but sorry you have to be here just listen to your body if your tired rest and drink plenty of water.

Anything you need to know just ask. Jess.xxx

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Hi Stephen,

A warm welcome to BTG - glad you found us while searching - this is a great place to find following a sah as we have all suffered one and sharing experiences/concerns helps so much.

You are very young to go through this, but you sound very positive despite the NHS not being very impressive at the outset. I too hardly ever visited my gp, so when I rang 999 knowing something was drastically wrong the paramedic left me at home saying "well, I could take you to hospital, but you've probably got better things to be doing on a Saturday afternoon"!! I didn't get to hospital until almost a week later. These and similiar stories of other members are really not acceptable.

However, it is very early days for you and I certainly wouldn't recommend returning to work for a while, as work can be very draining on a brain that has just been through so much. Numbness/pins & needles are quite common, but would be worth mentioning to either your gp or consultant (you should have a follow up appointment in the near future)

Sleep problems are also common, but mention that as well - make use of the NHS that is what it is designed for - never feel you are wasting their time. they are there to help us, not for letting us down in the first place.

I wish you all the best in your recovery,

Take care,


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Hi Stephen,

Nice to meet you here. Sadly, I think it's a little bit to common for doctors to miss a brain condition in young people. Obviously, these things are rare when you are younger but as you say, you didn't see your GP for a long time (I had the same situation with my son) and I agree that if you are a very infrequent visitor perhaps that alone should alert them to the possibility that something really is wrong.

Two weeks does seem to be too quick to return to work so ask for more time if you need it. I went back to work after 8 weeks but it was very difficult and the tiredness was quite severe. I was told that 3 months is the standard 'starting' point for time off after SAH but everyone is different - some people need less, some need a lot longer.

It would good to hear how you get on.

Michelle x

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Hi Stephen. Be kind and gentle with yourself in these early recovery days. I found the adrenalin of being alive and recognising i was still mostly myself masked my fatigue and the massive shock the brain and body went through and i probably did too much. My advice is plenty of rest and water. I'm six months on post SAH and coiling but had another complication which mean I'm still off work but My consultant said 3 months is the earliest he had seen a return to work post SAH. You will know what's best for you and be vigilant for how you feel each day and what effects it. I keep a diary so I can work out what situations are better than others for managing tiredness. I'm sad it happened to you, mad they didn't spot it, but glad you're doing well. Daff

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Welcome to BTG Stephen.

Listen to your body. I think all of us here have tried to move ahead faster than our bodies want us to.

I went back to work too soon. I still struggle a little with it

A SAH isnt like a head cold. It knocks the Dickens out of your brain. Many symptoms are masked at first.

Take your time, don't push too hard. You may want to contact Headway. I wish we had headway here in Canada.

All the best. Carl

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Hi Stephen,

Glad you found us x x we ALL understand and any questions just ask x x

I was 28 when I had my sah 4 years ago and didn't return to work for 7 months, not just trying to deal with dizzyness and headaches but also the coping with what I had gone through.... Take your time and listen to your body (its always right) I still don't listen :roll: x x



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Hi Stephen and a warm welcome! :-D

The hospital should have given your GP discharge notes, as you will be primarily in their care now - Although, you can always contact your Consultant via their Secretary.

If you haven't made an appointment with your GP, then it's advisable to do so, as you will need to have at least your blood pressure checked over the next few weeks and coming months.

If you're experiencing pins and needles or any numbness, then you do really need to get it checked out.


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