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My name is Andy


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Hi,

My name is Andy, and I'm here because my wife has had a SAH. The haemorrhage happened just 5 days ago in the evening of Monday 8th October. On Tuesday morning she had a coiling op, which was successful with no issues. Since then she has been making a good recovery and her short term memory has improved a lot, but she has had a few complications along the way and is still in neuro HDU for the next few days at least.

I'm here because I'm frightened about how her condition will develop over the coming days/weeks. Her specialist nurse has mentioned earlier today that she is now entering a period with a high risk of developing vasospasm and that today's ultrasound showed a big increase in the speed of blood in her arteries. So far she seems to have made an excellent recovery from the haemorrhage itself so I'm worried about what that might bring, although I am trying to wrap my head around the fact that there's not much point worrying about things that might never happen.

And I'm also here because I want to know more what to expect on the road ahead. I've already learned so much by reading some of the posts here, and it's really helped put my mind at ease having been scared witless earlier in the week after getting bogged down in the minefield of statistics that are out there on the internet.

My wife is 34, fit and healthy, but smokes and drinks a lot, and has a stressful job. In the longer term I've been hoping that the SAH may turn out to be a blessing in disguise and force us both to re-assess our priorities, and particularly to find more fulfilling (and less stressful!) work for her. We've been together 6 years, but our wedding was just 4 weeks ago and today my 30th birthday so the timing couldn't possibly be any worse!

Anyway, I'll stop rambling now. I hope this gives you some insight into who I am and why I'm here. I look forwards to finding out more about your experiences!

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Happy Birthday Andy....I am sure tghis is not how you intended celebrating it.

So lovely to see you working hard to find as much information as you can to prepare to help your wife through this. Its early days yet but looks like they are looking after her well and will be givinh er drugs to prevent the vasspasm that can happen at this stage so dont worry.

There are so many new words you will be hearing that you have never heard before and its difficult to compute it all to get the relevant facts together but you are doing the right thing checking here as you will get lots of advise and hear experiences that will help you and your wife.

She is very lucky to have you there ready to help and I love your positive attitude that this could be a blessing in disguise to help you both realise the most important things ib life

In fact you have just reminded me of that and I sometime selfishly push on without thinking about my husbands fears and needs.

Thank you for helpng me and I hope we can all help you both

All the best

Di

PS what is your wife's name??

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good morning andy

welcome to btg im sorry for the reason you have found the site but wish your wife a speedy recovery you have raised a lot of questions which are normal which many on here will help you put your mind to rest

i will try and answer some of your questions

i know very well how you feel as i went through the same four years ago with my lin

however your wife would have had an anurursium for a long time in fact most of her life unfortunantly when the blood pressure gets to aa certain level and if the walls of the anni thin enough it will let go hence the bleed so please put out your mind any thoughts of its your fault you couldnt have prevented it letting go

the vasospasm is caused by the brain being irritated by the blood surounding the brain the blood vessels with supplying the brain sometime consrict reducing the supply to the brain the risk area is for or about twenty one days but drugs are normally given from post surgery for that time as a precaution and as a preventitive because its a very well known side effect

the fact your wife as you say is making good progress and her short term memory has and is improving is a very very good sign and im very pleased to hear that

please try not to dwell on what could happen at this stage you can only take one day at a time i know its easy to say but so much harder to do but keep her relaxed and happy and let her do all the work as such only can she heal herself at her own pace and hopefully she will be home soon only time will tell what if any damage has been done hopefully none take care and good luck we are here should you need us or you have any worries or questions many on here will come on later to support and help you take care regards to your wife

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Morning Andy. I am glad to hear your wife is responding well, it's early days but the fact she has been coiled so quickly is good news. She will probably be taking nimodopene for the vasospasm risk but only need to do that for a few weeks. We had high fives around my ward the day I took my last one of those.

I imagine you've been through a scary time the last few days. The first time I got off ward post my SAH in march my husband showed me all the places he had had a little cry! We did laugh later at his water tour later.

Seriously though I just asked him what helped him cope 5 days in. He said to focus on the uniqueness of your wife and the situation, not to listen to stats, and take comfort in each small progress. Oh and to laugh when you can. He sends his very best wishes to you both.

Have you got family support? That will be very important , 7 months on from mine I know how much I rely on my family. How is your wife reacting, I know the drugs mask some reactions but I actually was pretty peaceful after mine and that inner peace is with me still, I hope she has the same. Please ask any questions on here and people will try and help. it's a site I am grateful for every day. I hope today is a good day.

Daff x

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Hi Andy

Warm welcome to the site, so glad you found us.....

wise words as ever from out Paul a guy that understands only too well your fears Andy....

by the way Happy birthday (no timing sucks) but you'll always remember your 30th ok for all the wrong reasons & congrats on your marrage....

things are scary at the moment but mines was nearly 13yrs ago so there is life after all the gory stuff.

take care, & remember lookafter yourself because without you guys where would 'we' all be....

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Thank you all so much for your kind words and advice so far. It's so comforting to know that there are other people out there who have been through the same thing, and that makes me feel so much stronger.

Apparently my wife (Donna) has had lots of rest last night, which it great news, and they're letting me come down a bit earlier today in case she wakes up in the morning. As you say, it's a matter of taking each day as it comes and being thankful for each tiny step along the way. Of course you're right that each day she does get a little better - yesterday she managed to eat for the first time all week, and I can't tell you all how proud I was of her for that.

One question for you all - the news spread very quickly that Donna was very ill, and there have been dozens of people asking after her. It seems that everyone wants to come and see her. She's had some visitors already - her mum, and a couple of her closest friends, but the visits really do tire her out, and I've found that people are needing quite a strong nudge when it's time to leave. Today her dad and sister have shown up unexpectedly and want to pay her a surprise visit, which is frustrating because I was hoping to have a quiet day alone with her and not have to worry about looking after both her and her visitors for a change. Perhaps that's a little unreasonable of me, and perhaps I'm feeling too much that it's my responsibility to bear, but that's how I feel.

Anyway, how did you handle visitors during the early stages? She is lucid enough to hold a conversation and says she wants to see people, but I get the feeling that she wouldn't really care whether people came or not at this point. Did you appreciate the visits at the time, or was it just something that happened? Or would you rather have just been left alone to rest up? I've put together a scrapbook with all the messages (emails, facebook messages, etc) and cards people have left for her, which she enjoys looking through for a few minutes if she's awake in the night, but I kind of get the impression that the visits themselves are more beneficial for the visitor than her..

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Hi Andy and a warm welcome to BTG.

It is understandable that you have concerns/worries as this unexpected event has suddenly thrown your life into turmoil. Your wife is obviously in the best place where they will be monitoring her carefully and like others have said be given drugs for any vasospasm issues. Whilst vasospasm can cause problems, I'd like to try and reassure you that it doesn't always - I am only saying that as I had severe vasospasm and came out perfectly ok.

I've just seen you've posted again and what I did when I got too many visitors was fall asleep! -I think they must have got the hint because they weren't there when I woke up! Perhaps just explain when they arrive that Donna will be extremely tired, so don't expect her to chat as if nothing had happened. Having an sah is exhausting.

Take care and I hope Donna continues to improves and perhaps you could celebrate your birthday another day when you're both feeling more up to it.

Sarah

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Great question about visits. It's tricky because they do help. As I was in London where I worked people were tempted to pop in so My family Took charge, they posted on my Facebook page that if anyone wanted to visit then to contact my sister first and then she coordinated it. Friends and family were asked to bring specific things which they liked being asked to do but also not to stay to long. I found it really difficult to judge how tired I got in the early days post the HDU so having visitors who could see I was getting tired , and who then left or were quiet really helped me. I watched a fellow patient when I was back in a few months ago receive visit after visit and lots of people around her bed. After they left she was very poorly indeed as all the effort to receive them drained her. Getting a balance is important and its ok to ask people t be considerate, they all love and care for her and thats the most important thing right now. Is there someone who can coordinate it for you Andy? explain you want to make sure that she has someone each visit and not overload her. Knowing someone is coming each time is great, also my husband took most of the late visits, that way he was able to get to work some days in the later weeks and then spend the time in the evening with me. hope that helps.

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Andy a scrap book is a fab idea for the future when she's trying to understand all thats gone on well done.

visitors Im sorry I dont remember my time in hospital but Ronnie my husband has told me they tired me out a lot, I would try so hard to be aware/alert but it just excausted me, sometimes you have to explaine to people just whats happened & someone to 'pay a surprise visit' can be all to much for the patient...

hope there's more impovemts from Donna...

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Hi Andy & welcome to BTG

On the vasospasm front I didn't have a bleed but I did have vasospasms on 3 different occasions, during the op, directly afterwards & my blood flow peaked about 10 days after the op. It was a scary time for my hubby more than me I guess as I don't remember being pretty poorly. I looked like I'd had a stroke with left sided weakness & slurring my words. I think I was taking nimopodene at that time but they also had me on a gelafusin drip which is a steroid which dilates the blood vessels & improves blood flow to the brain.

I have some remaining left sided weakness but it is minimal, my vision problem is down to the pressure of my anni on nerves at the back of my eye & not to vasospasms. I think it reallyis a case of having faith in the experts, just because Donna is in the danger period does not mean she will have vasospasms. I would however say that rest is critical & maybe the nurses could help with ejecting visitors once she tires. At wessex they would have a quiet period in the afternoon when the blinds were drawn & the lights went off, I ignored it once cos I had suprise visitors & the peak of my blood flow was 2 days later!!

I was told that smoking is the biggest influence on strokes & anni's, drinking certainly doesn't help. I think you both really need to face that fact & make some changes. The anni would def have been there as a weakness in a blood vessel since birth, its the raised bp that makes it more likely for it to burst.

Take care & send Donna our best wishes & tell her to drink lots & take things slow xxx

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Hi Andy

I think the scrap book is a great idea or even a brief log of how you feel/what's happened at the end of each day. I have large blank spaces that people do their best to fill me in on but they themselves get confused over what happened on what day so it's still not entirely clear to me the chain of events. I would also encourage your wife to keep a log if she feels up to it. My neurosurgeon was on the mark when he told me I would only appreciate what had happened to me when I got home. Away from the hospital ward when you don't have to do anything much at all, real life was scarey, confusing and upsetting - all the 'why me' questions etc. I have found it invaluable to look back on those first weeks at home and appreciate that on the days I feel low I have a record of how I felt at the time and understand the improvements I've made to date.

I would also encourage you to get hold of a copy of A Dented Image to read over the coming weeks. It has been very useful for myself and my family to understand the journey that we are all now on.

I wish you and your wife the very best of luck.

Gaynor

Edited by Gaynor1071
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Hi Andy and Happy Birthday

With regard to visitors, I recall that I could only manage visitors for very short periods of time. Some days, I could only do about 10 minutes of visitors as I felt so ill. I appreciated the visits, but when I am ill, I tend to like to just hide away. Fortunately I could just say, I am tired and I can't manage any more and people appreciate that and were not upset at all. This is a situation where the patient really has to put themselves first.

Your wife will be treated, as everyone has said, with fluids and the drug Nimodipine to lessen the risks of vasospasm which is where the blood vessels become tightened up. Almost everyone gets some degree of vasospasm because of the blood spillage in the brain irritating the blood vessels.

Everyone's recovery is different. I had my SAH 8 weeks ago and this week went out cycling which even a few weeks ago I couldn't imagine being well enough to do.

So best wishes to you and your wife, I hope she makes a speedy recovery.

Vanessa

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hi andy

i would resrict the visiting for donna's sake even if you have to set up a rota but as you have said you want some you time with donna so be strict and tell them short time only does donna have a particular person she wants to see let her choose who she wants to see for short periods but she will sleep a great deal its the bodies way of healing

a diary and scrap book is a brilliant idea im now on volume eleven take care

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Andy,

I had same as you with visitors , I never knew it as I was totally out of it.

Family came and my Hubby said I was creamed and fell asleep. Good company...lol.

Anyway your wife will need rest and time to heal, naturally her family need to see her but be picky..lol.

My husband was told to cancel visitors until I got stronger, mind you I used to sing to anyone who passed my bed.

When I started to heal my Sisters came up and we sang together poor other patients..

Be strong Andy for wifes sake, she will need you as I did hubby, now he says I talk too much, cheek !!

Be Well and Good luck to you both

Best Wishes

WinB143

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Hi Andy,

I was 'lucky' in that I was transferred to a hospital 200 miles from home so only my immediate family came to visit me. My memories of them being there are mostly vague, there is a lot they tell me that I do not remember at all. When I came home the visitors were overwhelming and exhausting but I remember someone (no idea who!!) saying that it made them all feel better to see me for themselves as they had all had such a scare over what happened & wanted to know that I was still me & doing ok. SAH is so scary & I understand why it was important for them to see me - but it really was hard going. Even having florists turn up with flowers would disturb the sleep I so desperately needed at that point. It is so important to see friends in the early days to help your morale but it has to be limited to allow the patient to get better.

The visits & offers of help will be so important when your wife comes home, especially if you return to work and she is alone during the day. Perhaps for now you could tell people they can only visit during the day (as you, your wife & the staff feel she is up to it) & have evening visiting just for yourself and your wife to spend time together? It is hard to say things that you feel may seem rude to others but the exhaustion really is a massive issue especially in the early days and recovery time is the most important thing.

Also, while alcohol, smoking & high blood pressure are the 3 'recognised' triggers to SAH, it's worth remembering that a lot of people who go through this are not in any of those risk groups. This might be important for your wife to know as she recovers and goes through the stages of 'why me'. Her life style may need to change but it is not always accurate to blame yourself for what has happened to you.

Wishing you both all the best, Michelle x

Edited by goldfish.girl
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Welcome Andy,

And happy birthday and congratulations on your getting married recently. Donna is a very lucky woman to have a caring man like you in her life.

I don't remember the first month or so after my SAH personally, but I do know that I had a lot of visitors. I didn't talk much because I was still on a breathing tube, but my husband says I was pretty happy to see people. I know you want to spend time alone with Donna, but I'm sure it's very important for her family members and friends to see her and know for themselves that she will be 'ok'.

I hope she recovers quickly and comes home to you to start your lives together.

Stephanie

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Hi Andy,

What a wonderful man your wife has married. My husband ( bless him) wrote down everything everyday, and came home and typed it up. It ended up working out well as I did not recall most of my hopsital time. Cute things her wrote " Mary ate mashed potatoes today".

Anyway with visitors only my closest friends came, I can recall just them having enough common sense to say things like "I just need to sit by you, you do not to visit with me." I have no family around so my friends are my family and maybe they know a person better. I have at times when taking care of people in the hospital, take that time to take a walk or make a phone call or ask if it is ok if I rest with my eyes closed in the chair etc". I think they get the hint you are not up to the task of entertaining them. But I am not much of a small talker anyway!

Glad Donna is feeling better. Best of luck to both of you,

maryb

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Hi Andy

welcome, i like you are new to this, my husband (48) had a brain heamorage followed by a stroke 14 weeks ago tomorrow, he is a non smoker, no high blood pressure, no high cholestral and only went for a couple of pints on a saturday night n maybe a few sunday dinner, i am so glad he had not gone out that day, i hate sundays now. my hubby had vasospasm on the left hand side heamorage was right sided.

i am as blind as you in all this but have had lovely messages of support from all the lovely careing people on here.

its a long hard road and i dont think i have any tears left to cry, our lives have not stopped they are just taking a different route now.

i wish you a belated happy birthday Andy.

you will get all the advice and support you need from here

take care xxx

karen x

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Hi Andy and Donna

You've had some fab advice so far, and you have found this site early which is brilliant.

It's been 11 weeks since my SAH, and I'm doing pretty good.

Best advice I can add is for Donna to sleep whenever she feels the need and for both of you not to try to rush her recovery.

Give us a shout if either of you ever want a chat.

Take care

Claire

X

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Wow - thank you all so much for taking the time to reply. It's really quite overwhelming, and I'm feeling much more confident for knowing that you're all out there.

I'm lucky to have a job that allows me to be with her every day so regulating her visitors isn't a problem, just a little stressful as there are so many people wanting to come visit. So far I'm only allowing her closest friends and immediate family to visit, and then only a couple of people a day. In between visitors I'll go and sit with her and help her to relax and/or sleep if she wants to. Over the past couple of days she's started sleeping more through the night and she's been awake through most of the afternoon providing her visitors remember to remain calm while they're there. It's really hard to know how much is too much at the moment, but it sounds like her body will probably let her know if she's overdoing it.

Her consultant said yesterday that her ultrasound shows signs of vasospasm on the right side of her brain, and that she has a slight weakness on her left side, but that the weakness is improving and she shows no symptoms of reduced blood flow to any part of her brain so far. He seems happy that her body is doing what it needs to do to protect itself for now, despite the vasospasms. She is very alert and chatty, and yesterday was giving the nurses relationship advice for most of the morning. So apart from low sodium levels she is very stable and has very little pain/sickness at the moment, which is fantastic news and I hope she will have another good day today.

Thanks again for all of your help and advice so far. I'm sure that once she is released from hospital she will take as much comfort from knowing BTG is here as I do!

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Hi welcome to BTG.

I was the same age as your wife (34) when I had my SAH. I had only began dating Luke three weeks prior and so I am familiar with the rotten timing of things! Incidentally, Luke was the same age as you too. So Donna and I clearly have a thing for younger men(!)

Skip forward three years and Luke and I celebrated the birth of our first child, a son, in August 2012. I gave up my very stressful job after the SAH and now I am a very fulfilled full time Mum, albeit with lots of family support – thank goodness! Life is more meaningful. I appreciate what I’ve got and live in the present. An insight I never possessed before being touched by illness.

Managing visitors is essential after a SAH and you are doing a good job, not only in managing it, but in recognising it in the first place.

After a SAH, the brain is doing so much healing and even the act of conversing takes a lot of energy. I had my visits organised at the hospital and it was essential. In some instances, some friends / acquaintances were asked if they wanted to write me a letter – (but to expect no reply for some time – no point people getting shirty about these things when you’re ill!!)

Having my family read out letters, or having the hospital ‘postie’ deliver them gave me a real boost. It was contact with the outside world, but at arm’s length, so it felt comfortable and didn’t place a stress upon me. It also gave friends the sense that they had made contact and had expressed their good wishes, which is what they wanted to do through visiting anyway.

Writing letters gives people a sense that they have ‘done something’ and people can often express more heartfelt sentiments in writing. For the patient, receiving Get Well Soon cards and letters of support is a positive experience; and can help with emotional recovery when time in hospital seems long and not much fun.

Best wishes to you and Donna,

Lynne

Edited by Lin-lin
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Hey Andy

Welcome to the site and to the family.

So sorry to hear about your wife. I was 35 when I had my SAH - I also drank and smoked a lot and had a very stressful job working 8.45 until 6.00.

I was lucky in a way as I wasn't in hospital long but when I wasI never tried to stay awake for visitors and, to be honest, they didn't really expect me to. Just explain that its her brain thats trying to heal and it can't do that if she can't rest. The scrap book is an excellent idea and maybe a "visitors" book who can write her a message if they've not managed to see her. It would be beneficial to you both to keep a kind of journal of her progress so that, more than anything, she can see how well she is doing and how far she has come.

I always say this, but it's a long road to recovery and your wife is allowed to make as many pit stops along the way as she needs to.

Sending you both best wishes and love

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