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About disorientation and confusion

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My mother (67 years) suffered sah last November. She has been in the neurosurgery unit since as she only didn't get vasospasm but meningitis aswell due to lumbar drain. According to the doctors she was already dependant on lumbar drain before the meningitis, but because of the illness the drain had to be removed for several weeks to cure her with antibiotics. Almost two weeks ago she finally received a shunt, but now i'm so worried. I'm worried because 2 weeks after sah she was almost back to her old self, although she was forgetful but then came the meningitis and the worsening of hydrocephalus and everything got a lot worse..She was without the lumbar drain a month before the shunt operation.

Before the shunt operation she was very drowsy, trembling and eventually lost her abilty to speek. Moving was also very difficult and she had cognitive dysfunction, couldn't remember a thing and was very confused and disoriented about everything. Now after the operation she stays awake no problem and trembling has disappeared. But she's still very confused and disoriented. I can understand that she suffers a memory loss due to sah, meningitis and hydrocephalus, but the fact that she's still very confused and disoriented disturbs me a lot! She has advanced physically a lot since the shunt operation but i'm worried if she'll ever comes round the disorientation and confusion..?? Does anyone have similar experiences? How long does the confusion and disorientation last..?


Edited by Mariella
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Welcome to BTG Mariella.

Your mum is still in the very early days of recovery. Confusion and disorientation is usual after a SAH plus your mum has had other problems to contend with. Recovery can be very slow and hopefully she will improve over time. She must drink lots of water to keep herself hydrated. Everyone is different.

After having a shunt fitted recovery is not instant, her brain will have to heal itself and that takes time.

Others will be able to give you more advice.

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Hi Mariella,

I had ventriculitus and sepsis after SAH, my family would not leave me alone so one was always there with me but

I did not remember a thing. My Family used to sing to me (I remember nothing) lol

I then had shunt fitted and was okay, well could not walk but was back in the real world.

Try singing to Mum and talking to her that's what my family did with me, Good luck and hope Mum

gets well very soon, now go and sing to her and let her sing to you also.

As after I had shunt fitted I sang to a nurse lol next day!! Keep talking and singing to Mum xx

Good luck

WinB143 xxxx

Edited by Winb143
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Hi Mariella

Welcome to the site.

I had viral meningitis too, you’ve more of less explainedme it is early days I suffer from short term memory loss, & I don’tremember a thing (even now) of being in the hospital or those early recoverydays. I still have no memories of mypast, but have made new memories.

Yes things will be slow but you'll see that it will get easier, rest & keep the liquid intake up.

take care.

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Hi Mariella, my best wishes to your mum. Hope you're coping ok, I'm sure it's been very hard.

I dont remember much about my SAH experience. I also developed hydrocephalus when i had the SAH, i had a drain placed which i was weaned off and then i was discharged after 6 weeks in hospital.

However my hydro returned and I had a VP ajustable shunt placed four months later.

In my experience Any change in spinal fluid levels can play havoc with a body so my best advice is gve it some time. Your mum will have had high pressure feeling for a while , for me that manifests by slowing everything down. My movement, walking, talking. i guess that makes sense when your brain is bascally getting squeezed.

After going very low pressure ( post Lumber puncture and again after shunt surgery ) I experienced dizziness, sickness, confusion, eye pain, my list goes on, the like of which I hope never to have again. Then you have the gradual adjustment to a new level. Also my shunt is adjustable and the 'factory' setting wasn't quite right for me. I can honestly say that it took at least three months post surgery before we reached a setting that worked for me that my brain was happy at. Its still early days for me and I have good and bad days depending on a variety of factors.

Please feel free to message me as I'm happy to share with you what I've learned about the shunt process and recovery with an SAH.

Edited by Daffodil
Got my weeks mixed up
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Thank you all so so so much for your responses - made me feel a lot more relaxed :) I guess mum indeed needs time to adjust and recover after everything now and I need patience...!! :) The past few months have just been such a roller coaster and as mum and I have been super close all my life this all has therefore hit me very hard and can't wait for her to get better. But baby steps taken every single day! Forward said granny in the snow :) keep well all!


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