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Trying to figure out what to expect


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Hi everyone. I am new to posting on the forums here, but I have been "lurking" around since I got out of the hospital in September. Here is my story...I was driving home from work and as I was traveling on the interstate, my right arm went completely numb (dead numb) for a couple of minutes...then turned to "pins and needles"....I had pulled off the road and called EMS...by the time the Ambulance arrived, I was completely back to "normal". Trip to my doctor office (had to see another doctor, not my normal doctor...QUACK!) he indicated he thought it was nothing serious and sent me home. I then went 2 more days with no symptoms at all except fatigue. The third day woke up dizzy and with a dead arm again. At this point I had had NO HEADACHES. I went to my doctor and he recommended I have an MRI. I no more returned home and I recived a devistating phone call indicating I had a SAH and was to immediately go to the hospital. After a CT scan learned that there was no annurisum, so they ordered a angiogram. Angiogram did not show any residual bleeding with no indication of why the bleed occurred. They also performed a doppler, an eeg and two more CT scans. Nothing showed up. All the symptoms I had were the "pins and needles" feelings on my right side. I never had a headache through any of this.

Now I have been out of work for 5 weeks with little to no symptoms (a frequent annoying headache here and there..mostly sinus due to the weather changing...but I have chosen not to take any pain killers -advil, tylenol, etc.- so I know if anything major happens). I returned to work on Monday working 3 days a week for up to 6 hours a day. I worked Monday and Wednesday and today (thursday) and I having periodic numbness and I am exhausted.

I am coping fairly well emotionally, but can anyone give me some feedback as to whether this periodic numbness is just my body saying "you over did it this week"...slow it down and relax??

This whole not knowing what happened and what symptoms to watch for. I did not have the "classic" symptom of headaches and I still don't get anything that I would even call uncomfortable...but the momentary pins and needles feelings I am getting today worry me a bit.

UGH!

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I also had a SAH with no known cause. I was more severe than you, not being able to move, speak, or swallow etc. Everyone progresses at their own rate. It is totally normal to have reoccurring sensations when you've 'overdone it' or just when you haven't and your brain decides on its own accord that it is tired of letting you sense and move normally. Darn that brain! I found that doing the exercises that my Occupational therapist recommended helped a lot with the sensations in my hands. I no longer have any abnormal feelings there. My legs are still strange at night and if I walk too much or work out too hard, but the symptoms do get better as time goes on. Do what feels right to you. Sometimes the professionals don't really know...they suggest things that they've suggested for decades to many types of stroke survivors and it might not work for you. You know best. That's scary, but also liberating.

I hope you find some comfort here on BTG.

~Kris

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Mine did have an accompanying bang-o of a headache, but I didn't go into the doctor right away. I went to a movie (I was at the theater and we'd already paid for tickets, so even though I felt like someone had literally shot me in the head, I closed my eyes and sat through the movie.) I went in later in the evening when a friend from across the country threatened to come over and beat me senseless if I didn't go to the ER.

No known cause for mine either. I had two angiograms in the hospital and no aneurism. Had doppler daily for about two weeks, and then was released after all fear of vasospasms was passed.

When I got out I was in a lot of denial and planned to go right back to working full time as a teacher, and part time as a running coach and personal trainer. Apparently the brain damage I suffered took all my common sense.

I had serious memory issues where had I not had an iPhone 4s and Siri, I would have burned the house down multiple times because for some reason during my sick leave at home, I felt the need to make 2-3 loaves of bread every day. There are two of us in the house and we don't eat much bread.

I had a lot of tingly feelings on my head as if water or spiders were crawling or trickling over my brain. Very odd sensations in my arms and legs to the point that my clothes sometimes hurt. I had to tell people not to hug me because it was such a disconcerting feeling. My skin was hypersensitive. I had a massage (as an endurance runner, I have a standing appointment monthly) and it felt horrible, like someone was...hard to explain, but rubbing me with sandpaper. It wasn't really that sensation but it was a very rough and uncomfortable feeling.

I still get serious headaches, mine was Jan 28 or 29...can't remember right now. Odd. I still lose words, but not nearly as often. The odd sensations are mostly limited to my head now, and generally only during bad headaches. For example right now it feels like my brain on my right side "itches" and I can't scratch it. Or it'll feel like I'm wearing a hat, when I'm not.

I feel very very blessed to be alive and to have returned to mostly normal life. If I could just get someone to figure out the headaches, I would be ever so thankful!

I'm not sure if that helps, but I did also find that tingling feelings were worse when I was over-tired. I think there is no one straight path that says "When you are recovering from an SAH or any TBI, this is what happens" and that's probably, for most people, the most frustrating thiing of all. Brain injuries are not like orthopedic injuries. I break a leg and I get it set, I'm in a cast, it will ache and hurt, but every day heal a little more, and after x weeks, cast is off, I do a little PT to regain strength and bam, back to normal life.

Here is what others on here used to say to me, "You are still very early in your recovery, so take it easy and let your body heal." It is very hard for me to take it easy (although I'm better now), but truly that's what is needed. Rest, low stimulation, and permission from yourself and others to call your own shots. (Oh and if you can make others not give you constant unsolicited advice, that would be a bonus, but good look there!)

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thank you all for your advice...I have been MIA lately on here...things were going really well. I had a very "brain intensive" weekend this weekend (my daughters are competative cheerleaders and we had a big competition this weekend...LOTS OF STRESS!)...I had what I would call a bad headache (I don't get headaches at all "normally")...but nothing like anyone on here has described as the one that caused their SAH...and I was out of town and scared to go to a hospital I didn't know...so I went to sleep (one of those if something bad is going to happen, let me be sleeping things!). I woke up yesterday morning and felt fine. A little headache in the afternoon after driving for 4 hours, but I took a nap and felt much better.

I am the sort of person who doesn't take ibuprofin unless I feel like I really need it and I haven't taken but maybe one or two since I came out of the hospital 2 months ago. So I just tell myself that since I don't seem to need to take anything to get over these headaches, they must not be that bad.

So tough just trying to become normal again...I just hate the headache thing when i never used to get them before. Just scary.

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