Jump to content

How do you refer to your SAH when talking to other people?

Recommended Posts

As I keep saying in posts tonight, I'm back at work on Monday :( One of the things that I find strange is referring to my SAH with friends, family or people who ask me about it. And as I work in a large office I know that loads of people will ask over the next few days and weeks.

I hate using the terms "I had a subarachnoid haemorrhage caused by a cerebral aneurism" as it is such a long sentence to say and I have been know to call it a subarachnoid haemorrhoid lol. It also sounds too specific and I don't want it to sound to medical....strange I know but I want my colleagues to understand what I went through without having to explain the terms.

But is it fair to say that I had a brain haemhorrage? is that the best description

What is the best way to refer to pre-SAH - before my brain exploded? Before I went off work sick? Before my brain haemorrhage?

I guess some of you will have worked this out and might have some good suggestions. I hope so!

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I would use the term 'brain haemorrhage" if I were you - I think more people can relate to that rather than subarachnoid haemorrhage which quite often needs more explaining. It can be exhausting after a while if you have too many people asking lots of questions. When I returned to work my work colleagues were great, understanding, sympathetic etc, but there were only four of us in the office so it was ok in that respect. The problem was that it is a bank in a village and most the customers had heard about me and were continually asking me questions which I found a bit hard going. I don't work with any of the staff that I did then - the staff I work with now know what happened to me, but to them it's as if I had a cold!! When I asked last week if I could have time off for a neuro appointment next month they seemed more concerned that I wouldn't be back in time for them to have their lunch!

I hope all goes well on Monday for you,


Link to comment
Share on other sites


Welcome to BTG. You'll get lots of good support here and there’s a helpful ‘Back to Work’ thread.

I refer to my SAH as a brain haemorrhage when talking to others, but will say subarachnoid haemorrhage when talking to medical professionals.

In the early days, I would emphasise that I was ‘recovering from a brain haemorrhage.’ This was for people to appreciate that I had health issues irrespective of how ‘well I looked.’ It has often been necessary to do this because of the demands people can unwittingly place upon me believing that I am back to normal.

Hope this helps!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome and great question!

Most often I say brain hemorrhage (spelling is different in Canada) but sometimes I say brain bleed. When they ask further I say 'a blood vessel in my brain blew up'. I hold up my hand with fingers and thumb spread and explain that my fingers and thumb are the blood vesselsl. I explain that an aneurysm is a bubble or balloon on a vessel that bursts. In my case I hide one finger and say the vessel blew up.

People usually say 'oh! I get it'.

I don't know if that's the absolute correct way to describe it but it's close enough for me. :-D

Sandi K.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have just realised that not one of my colleagues has asked me about it, so I haven't got a very good answer for this! I did bump into a chap the other day that I worked with years ago and he said he'd heard that I'd been seriously ill. I told him I'd had a brain haemorrhage and he understood that. With friends and family it's 'when my brain blew up' and with neighbours, old colleagues etc it's brain haemorrhage.

Dawn x

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tell them you can tell them but only over lunch, on them of course..lol

I just say I had an SAH and am lucky to be here and glad to be back in land of the living xx

Tell them what you want even exaggerate its your story..lol

Good Luck


WinB143 xx

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey there

I just say I had a brain hem caused by a burst aneurysm - and refer to to pre SAH as "before my brain popped". You'll be surprised by how many people will a) be surprised B) tell you you're lucky (ironic but true lol) and c) ask what it felt like.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I try to avoid the topic whenever possible...but, when I have no choice, I usually tell people in a joking voice that 'my head exploded, but I'm doing fine now'.

None of them can really understand what I've been through, that's why I come here :)

Skippy, I get the same things from people. Shock really from most. I get the 'your a lucky person' ...it's a miracle you survived. Most days I agree but there are days I don't feel so lucky

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi there not sure if I’ve said hello if not welcome gladyou found us...

Just say I had a brain haemorrhage (AKA brain bleed)

I hope you got on ok today try not to work out what tosay just say what comes naturally at the time you say I had a brain haemorrhage,they say what’s that you say brain bleed they say Oh! And that’s usually enoughI’ve found..

Stephenie, Dont avoid it honey, it happened maybe you need to speak to someone like a councellor think that might be good for you..

Ofcourse they dont understand its not like having the flu the majority will never know what 'this' is like so we have to explain & if we dont explain then they will never know what its like.

ok ramble over sorry I have that tendancy:roll:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Subarachnoid Brain Hemorrhage & stroke is what I say, of course they never know what that is so it is their job to look it up! I will tell them what that is. I follow it with I am very lucky & thankful I am doing so well. I forgot until Saturday about my little brain tumor as well. So I may add that.

I find most of the people I "have" to tell seem to react pretty well and seem interested. Although I get some "You look fine!" AS most people only think of any brain issue to do with as phyical sign of disability. I usually say I "just " get really tired about mid day. For me with memory loss, reading and writing loss and some visual blindness some care. I don't seem to have to tell anyone that reacts poorly.

To me it seems weather it is the check out clerk, waitress, bank teller or whom ever I get courtesy and I think it leaves that person with some knowledge and may act a bit more patience with the next person fubbling around looking for their money in their purse. Or if and when I had some confused days I tell that person I am dealing with right off the bat so they just cut me some slack.

Maybe it is becasue that is how we treat our clients are work. We give that extra patience to them when we know they are goign through chemo, a loss of a loveed one or some health issue.

I am not embarrased (SP) but it at all. I think it is speading knowledge and making people think a little befor ethey react.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I usually just say I had a stroke.

But, I love the sound of I'm recovering from a ______ (fill in the blank) because people don't seem to get that I am still impaired. In the beginning, I got so upset when people would refer to my aneurysm...because I actually didn't have one...mine was non-aneurysmal SAH...but now I understand that the general population has no idea what that is, or a subarachnoid hemorrhage in gerneral, so it's been easier if I just say 'stroke' even if it really wasn't -because it's something that maybe they have an idea about.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...