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I'm alive. I survived!


ADTARIQ
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The day started out just as any other day. It was the Friday after my birthday. My husband and I both took the day off from work to celebrate all day. I got up, walked 4 miles, showered and went to my massage appointment at the spa. When I got up from the massage table, my head started to throb and then it felt as if it was going to explode. I spent a few extra minutes in the room before I came out, went to the counter paid for the services and went to my car. I called my husband to tell him I was on the way home and he said he had prepared a light lunch since later that evening we had dinner plans for celebration with 10 friends at a fine Italian restaurant. While on the highway driving home and talking to my girlfriend about the evening plans, I felt a "pop" in the back of my head near my neck. My vision went crazy and my head felt like it was about to explode. I thought first to pull over to the side of the road, but then I was afraid that I would pass out and die on the side of the road. Fortunately, I was able to slowly keep driving, and made it home. I pulled into the garage and blew the horn. By this time I was sweating profusely, dizzy and seeing a spectrum of colors. My husband came into the garage and I told him to come to the car and take me to the hospital. He asked what was wrong. I told him that something is horribly, horribly wrong and that I needed to go to the hospital right away. Then I began to vomit. He laid me down in the backseat and drove me the 3 miles to the nearest hospital/trauma center.

From there, I don't remember much. I woke up in NICU about 36 hours later hooked up to many machines and surrounded by loved ones who had been told I may not make it, and if I did that I would likely not ever be the same. I spent a week in NICU and then 5 days in a step-down unit. I had the full range of diagnostic treatments during this time (CT's MRI, MRA's, transcranial doppler, etc...) and they could find no evidence of an aneurysm or blockage. They told me that whatever it was obliterated when it ruptured. Just to be on the safe side, I had a pan cerebral angiogram performed a few weeks later which came out great and showed no blockages. At this point, my doctor told me to move on and live my life. I am trying to do just that. I have had come counseling for post-traumatic stress. Also, I have had residual back pain which I have been told is the result of the blood where only spinal fluid should be. All in all, I would say that I all things considered, I am healthy and I am looking forward to having my birthday on March 1st and my new birthday, March 2nd which is my re-birthday since it is the day my life was saved. Although I have never been an overly religious person, I have become very fond of the bible verse "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not to thy own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he will direct thy paths". It speaks to the fact that we often don't know why something happened, or what caused it but faith and hope can help bring you through it.

I have felt like talking about this for a very long time but did not know of a venue to do so. My family was so happy for the ordeal to be over, they did not want to talk about it. They were just happy I was alive and well. I cannot blame them for that because I know it was hard what they went through. When I woke up, it took a while for me to understand the magnitude of what had happened to me and the road that I would have to travel to get better. Nine months later I am still finding my way back from this ordeal but happy to be here!

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Alison, welcome to BTG. It's so very good to talk and family and friends, whilst they love you and support you just can't understand.

People on here will understand so chat anytime. My journey so far mirrors yours slightly as my head pop was 6 days after so I have been treading a similar , albeit different path over the last 9 months. Days are better now for you too I hope.

I'm glad you are doing ok. What a clever and calm husband by the way to drive you to hospital.

I too have developed a greater faith through this experience. It comforts me, I'm glad you found similar and I enjoyed that verse. I found counselling a help, did you?

My very best wishes to you and yours.

Daffodil x

Edited by Daffodil
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Hi Alison,

Welcome to BTG. I imagine most on this site can relate to your need to talk. For me my family and loved ones went through the worst experience when I was lying in a coma in intensive care and they felt great relief when I came around from that coma. For them the worst was over, but for me the worst was just about to start

Finding a way back from my collapse is the hardest thing I have ever had to do and no matter how much my family love me they cannot comprehend what I am going through and dare I say it now, 11 months on, they are tiring of hearing me say I am not having a good day (in a 'when is this ever going to get better' kind of way).

It's good to talk,

Wem

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WELCOME TO BTG Alison :) It's so good you found us. I, too, have two birthdays. My SAH was 3 days before my 50th, and I had surgery the day before my 50th so it was an amazing gift. It'll be 3 years on 9th Feb. I blogged about it (link in my signature) and you can read the Brain Thang posts on there, starting in Feb 2010.

This place was a godsend. To speak to other people who'd been through the same thing was so reassuring. You can come on here and say "today I feel...." and there is ALWAYS someone who knows that exact feeling. People are so welcoming and lovely. After I had my SAH my sister-in-law sent me a link to the blog of a lady who had a stroke just a week before me. She was paralysed down one side, the whole shebang. Reading her story made me feel better because if SHE could be positive then what did I have to worry about?! I also read the blog of an American lady called Catherine who had hers 3 years before me (http://champagneandchocolates.blogspot.co.uk) which really really helped because I could see how well she was doing. We are online friends now.

So it's 'pay it forward' time - my blog has helped others, who now help yet others. Isn't it wonderful?

I have to add, I was a Christian and pretty spiritual but not devout before my SAH. As soon as I was in hospital having scans and then finding out what was wrong, I just started praying. I said the Lord's Prayer, Hail Mary and anything I could think of, but especially the phrase "if you believe, what are you afraid of?". And I say hand on heart that I was the calmest I have ever been in my life! My brain surgeon even said to me once "someone up there loves you" because I had such a bad bleed I think she was not sure of my outcome.

Sorry to waffle, but I have to say, just look at us "oldies" on here and see how everyone is getting on and there's no way you will feel anything but positive and uplifted!

See ya :)

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Alison, welcome to BTG. It's so very good to talk and family and friends, whilst they love you and support you just can't understand.

People on here will understand so chat anytime. My journey so far mirrors yours slightly as my head pop was 6 days after so I have been treading a similar , albeit different path over the last 9 months. Days are better now for you too I hope.

I'm glad you are doing ok. What a clever and calm husband by the way to drive you to hospital.

I too have developed a greater faith through this experience. It comforts me, I'm glad you found similar and I enjoyed that verse. I found counselling a help, did you?

My very best wishes to you and yours.

Daffodil x

Thanks for your response. Counseling helped some but not much. I think that I needed to talk to people like me, not to a counselor. You are right, my husband was cool calm and collected when he drove me to the hospital but he still beats himself up for not acting immediately. When I got home, I knew something was wrong and I would not go in the house because I had the feeling that if I went inside, I would not make it out. He told me come in and lay down for a while. I told him no I need to go to the hospital now. Once I started to vomit, he knew something was really wrong and took me. We only live a few miles away so we got there faster than if we had waited for an ambulance. They took me back immediately as they could tell from the symptoms I described that it was critical. I still credit him for saving my life but he often says that if I had laid down like he suggested, I may not be here now. That is why it is so important for folks to know the symptoms and react immediately.

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Jen,

I have to add, I was a Christian and pretty spiritual but not devout before my SAH. As soon as I was in hospital having scans and then finding out what was wrong, I just started praying. I said the Lord's Prayer, Hail Mary and anything I could think of, but especially the phrase "if you believe, what are you afraid of?". And I say hand on heart that I was the calmest I have ever been in my life! My brain surgeon even said to me once "someone up there loves you" because I had such a bad bleed I think she was not sure of my outcome.

Sorry to waffle, but I have to say, just look at us "oldies" on here and see how everyone is getting on and there's no way you will feel anything but positive and uplifted!

See ya :)

Thank you for your response! My first words when I felt the "pop" were "Jesus, help me". I said that all the way home, all the way to the hospital and even in my semi-conscious state. My mother later told me that I said that over and over all day but I have no memory of it at all. The doctors and all the nurses all called me the Miracle Lady. When I complained of back pain, my neurosurgeon told me, "Young lady, you were just at death's door. Don't worry about a bit of back pain. Everyone has back pain". That is when I realized just how serious it was. Although I had been completely calm during the ordeal, almost in a surreal state up to then, I soon after became frightened but not for myself, for my husband, son, daughter, sister and mother. I thought it's not over and what if I don't make it. They will be devastated. I have a completely different outlook now on life. I tell everyone, "I'm just happy to be here" when they ask me how I am! Like you wrote, I believe and I am no longer afraid. I believe and I believe that the bright, warm, serene foggy feeling that I still remember to this day while I was unconscious was me being watched over by angels while my body healed.

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Hi Alison,

Welcome to BTG. I imagine most on this site can relate to your need to talk. For me my family and loved ones went through the worst experience when I was lying in a coma in intensive care and they felt great relief when I came around from that coma. For them the worst was over, but for me the worst was just about to start

Finding a way back from my collapse is the hardest thing I have ever had to do and no matter how much my family love me they cannot comprehend what I am going through and dare I say it now, 11 months on, they are tiring of hearing me say I am not having a good day (in a 'when is this ever going to get better' kind of way).

It's good to talk,

Wem

Thank you for your response. I agree completely with what you wrote. I actually have a hard time telling anyone that I don't feel good, or I am not having a good day because I don't feel like I have the right to complain about it since at least I am alive. Also, whenever I get ready to say I have a headache, I stop myself because of the reactions of my friends, family and co-workers. They get terrified when I say that I have a headache so I usually keep that to myself. I have good and bad days. I am happy now to have people that understand to talk to.

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Hi Alison!

So very happy you've found BTG. It's been my lifeline since I found it, 2 1/2 years ago - took me abut 4 months to find it, then 2 more of reading stories and posts before I felt I could handle getting on here to post.

The people here have helped me more than any others, we've all gone through the same thing and can relate to one another because of it. We "get it".

It's hard to express our feelings and relay any symptoms we are having because we are concerned about the other's (family and friends) feelings. It's a huge thing we've all been through, family included, and it's scary for all concerned. I do hope, though, you will continue to talk and express yourself to husband and others. They're going through this process too, and the more you talk, the more they will be able to understand and help in the healing process for all of you.

Come in here often! That's what we're here for - helping one another through recovery.

Sending big hugs and healing energy your way :biggrin:

Carolyn

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