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Hello all,
My first post. I just got back from the hospital 3 days ago, trying to learn what I'm in for.

I fly a private jet, and had a very busy week...lots of flying, weather, early days...and finally had a break in Indianapolis. Still had a busy day, but starting late. After breakfast with my co-pilot, went to my room to change for the gym. I never get headaches of any kind, so when a very bad one radiated from the back/bottom of my head I knew I was in trouble. I'm sure you can all relate...but something about the pain told me to worry. I immediately unlatched my door, and called John, my co-pilot, to my room. (He is my new hero, awesome person..)

 

Initial CT scans showed blood, so they transferred me (via ambulance with sirens on...uh oh!) to another hospital with a better neuro ward. I was pretty scared, which means I get very sarcastic and turn into a comedian, until the angiogram showed my arteries where fine. No clues as to where the bleed cam from.

 

The neurosurgeons where very surprised at how quickly I was recovering. After 2 days I was sitting up, and by three was walking. The nurses said I was the easiest patient, as I begrudgingly turned down their sponge bath and did it myself on day one. (What was I thinking!). The three neurosurgeons together decided to wave normal hospital procedures that dictated a one week stay in the ICU followed by another angiogram, instead opting to release me whenever I felt ready.

 

My biggest challenge was the airline home, but I did it on day 4!
So here I am, 8 days later. I'm very tired, am able to just use T3 to keep headaches mostly away, and only get slight queasiness at times. Whenever I do too much, I pretty much shut down and sleep.
I know I'm very lucky, as it was only a small bleed and non arterial.

 

And I wasn't flying.
And I was in Indy, at IU Methodist, one of the best.
So, pretty incredible timing if one has to have such a thing.

Not sure yet, but the FAA will most likely revoke my medical for a year.

 

My biggest question is, and I know it varies, but considering the minimal nature of my SAH, and that I'm in otherwise excellent health (low blood pressure, exercise regularly), what am I in for?? (I've gathered that hospitals don't really prepare you).
Thanks in advance, and I hope you are all coping well today.
Dan

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Dan You are very Lucky !!

So Lucky (your new nickname) good that you are well and welcome to BTG.

I had mine in 2009 and still have trouble walking.

Keep positive and laugh always be happy and all will be okay, we get tired easier and some suffer more than others.

Always keep calm and no stress as we are the lucky ones.

Good Luck and Best Wishes

WinB143 xx xx

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Hi Dan

Warm welcome to the site, glad you found us.

I think your our first pilot.

When you shut down and sleep thats your bodys way of saying rest so listen to your body we're always quoting that one to people.

drink plenty fluids, rest and relax.

hope to hear from you again soon.

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Hi Dan

Warm welcome to the site, glad you found us.

I think your our first pilot.

When you shut down and sleep thats your bodys way of saying rest so listen to your body we're always quoting that one to people.
drink plenty fluids, rest and relax.

hope to hear from you again soon.


Thank you both. I've gleaned pretty quickly that I am lucky in how mild mine apparently was. I am a very high energy person and frankly scared I may not get that back.
Funny you mention listening to your body. Just got "shut down" after very little getting around. Everyone keeps telling me to take it easy, but that seams to be pretty automatic!

Thanks for the warm welcome! After seeing the rarity of it, it's nice finding a place with understanding ears. The hospital was basic allying telling me to take it easy, and I will fully recover. Not much more than that. Of course, I always tell people hospitals are good for fixing, but not healing...good to be home!

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Hi Dan ... Or Lucky as Win has renamed you!

Welcome to BTG, it's great that you've found us so early following your SAH.

My brain still goes into shut down two and a half years after my SAH when I've done to much!

I recommend you read 'a letter from your brain' on the home page under inspiration, it's a fantastic bit of writing and I still read it often.

I wish you well with your recovery.

Take care,

SarahLou Xx

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Welcome Dan!!

Oh you lucky man! You have so much to be thankful for, one is you were in Indianapolis where they have a great Neuro Unit. I live north of there and that is where I would be for surgery. I hope you have continued good fortune and continue to get along so well.

Please however keep us inform as we will all be curious how you get along. I am sorry about your pilot license I have no idea how that works.

I say drink lots of water and listen to your body. Pushing yourself only a tiny bit at a time, we all tend to over psuh to see what we can do - maybe that is the nature of some of us to see HOW much we can do in a day!! If I had to start this journey over I certainly would be journaling along the way. AND really meditating or at least get therapy sooner. I am poor at doing both of those because that part of me that is still hyper active stops me but it would of benefited me greatly if I could of made myself do it. I need to be in a class to be accountable! That is why maybe a therapist helped me to focus and knowing i had to go back and report to him makes it better for me to behave and be mindful.

Good Luck & I look forward to hearing more from you!

Maryb

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Lucky,

There are many here who recover fully. They drop out from writing, unfortunately for the rest of us, so we don't here their voices often. From what I've read, and I read journals as I was a neurophysiologist...The condition you are when you first seek treatment predicts your outcome fairly well. Since, I was completely paralyzed and couldn't talk or swallow, that is a worse indicator than what happened to you (I also had no known cause). That being said, the length of recovery can be variable. I am 1 1/2 years on and when I think about it logically, I am doing way better than I should be doing. BUT, I still have deficits that plague me every day.

It is good from my perspective that you don't attempt to fly too early as you don't want to put anyone's life in danger. I found driving at first to be VERY tiring as you have to constantly scan and adjust and be alert. Take whatever steps to get back, but don't try to push the timing. You'll definitely get back to flying, I can guarantee it. Take this time to get yourself in a better place. Don't waste the gift you've been given...a do over.

I like you was a go getter. Now, I do meditate 2X daily and do yoga (both are really yoga). These two things have helped me way more in my life than anything else. I never did them before SAH.

Find your own personal way, it may look completely different than what you've done before. Be open.

~Kris

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Yes, sounds like you are lucky. I was lucky too and dodged the bullet. I'm not sure if there are lots like me as I know they likely don't stick around to post, but get back out to a regular routine of life and work, tend their families etc. I know the gals I met and keep in touch with offline still suffer symptoms.

I'm 14 months out. I am in the category with no side effects, albeit a small change to my hearing, which does not affect my quality of life. I was told recently that it's likely nerve damage. No biggie.

Your post caught my attention as I did resume flying small aircraft three months after my bleed. I flew twice a week at between 1500-2500 ft with no issues in an unpressurized cabin. I had no effects from that. My biggest challenge was getting back to all the activities I enjoy and having to remember that my neurologist told me to take it easy for the first year. Well.... I have just passed GO!

And you will too. I credit my "luck" on seeing the glass as half full. At times I felt overwhelmed as I was undergoing treatment for cancer when my NASAH occurred. I needed to get strong enough in order to withstand further treatment. I did it and came out the other side. I figure I have survived two of Canada's major killers and am still here to tell the story.

You'll be fine.

Sue

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Hi Dan,

Nice to meet you and welcome to the site. I guess lucky is a relative term eh. Lucky to me would be living to be 90 with no health issues and a great family. But I suppose with your SAH, you have been somewhat lucky and had a good outcome.

The aftercare in the US is rather minimal. My doc said, you survived, you're going be great, move on. Not exactly. The most common symptoms are headaches, fatigue, nausea and short term memory loss. I would suspect that you may have minor cases of each. Fatigue is the most common and most debilitating. They may keep you out of flying for a while but think you'll be back.

It sounds like your immediate recovery from the SAH has been well. Like Kris said I think that bodes well for the future. Being in shape helps too. I'm a fat moo so maybe that's why I didnt recover well. Although my brain surgeon said that had nothing to do with my recovery.

It seems like we don't hear much from those "fully" recovered because I don't think there are many and those that are move on. I don't fault them for that. This is an SAH support group and if you don't have symptoms of SAH why would you come. I myself have made many friends here and if I ever did "fully" recover I would still come back and support those who supported me when I was down.

I'm sure a positive attitude will help and you seem to have that. As far as glass half full goes, my glass isn't half full. It's overflowing with positivity. The water just keeps overflowing the glass. I work full time, manage a home, a family, offer support at this site, volunteer at the homeless shelter and take care of an elderly friend. So a full life can be had but it doesnt guarantee a full recovery.

You seem to be doing great at this point. Drink lots of water (Sarah Lou said so) cause brain needs it. Rest when you're body tells you too, visit here often and you'll be flying in no time! Pleased to meet you.

David

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Wow you guys are all so great, informative, and supportive. It is a strange place to be, trying to explain to everyone what happened, trying to justify my pajamas in the afternoon and my lack of shaving! I am forcing myself to drink almost ridiculous amounts of water, after hearing that from all of you. I think I actually feel better when doing so too.

Today was my best day yet. I had to keep reminding myself to slow down, and here I am in the afternoon and not sleeping because of the few things I did.

MaryB...you are fortunate to live near IU Methodist, I keep hearing how lucky I was. They were awesome...the neurosurgeons spent a lot of time with me, and the nurses where very attentive.

Sue..glad to hear from another pilot. Did you lose your medical? It will be a while before I know, but expert consultants think 1-2 years with no medical should be expected. I have a little Luscombe I restored and love to fly with my boys ( my avatar)..and hoping I will retain my 3rd class.

Thank you everyone for your feedback. I'm learning more from all of you than I can quantify. I have to admit when I saw so many on here with struggles after a year I got depressed, but like David and I think Kris said, the well ones probably move on and don't post. I really feel for all of you, literally, that still struggle long term....as the fatigue has to get old! I'm only a little over a week out, and until my "good" day today I was getting scared. Nice to hear from everyone that regardless of pace, you all are getting better.

Thank you everyone for sharing your time. Just writing this makes me wanna nap!

-Lucky

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Doing some searching, and got confused.

Apparently within NASAH there are two categories defined by the type of hemorrhage; perimesencephalic And aneurymal. The first being the most common, especially in young males. (Turning 40 this year, I still qualify right?)

Both are under the NASAH classification. I guess it has to do with the location of the blood? Anyone know? Is one worse off than the other?

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Hi Dan, welcome to BTG!

I think it's true that when people get back to work full time and are having active social lives again they just don't post here much anymore because they are busy and active. Some actually say a sort of 'goodbye and thank you' before they go. There are people who either recover very well or become very good at coping with any changes due to their SAH.

My SAH was perimesenchephalic (sp!) no known cause. I'm not sure if its any worse or better than other types. Regardless of what type of bleed we have it seems we all share experiences. The one good thing about this type of bleed is that it's not expected to happen again.

Good to read you are resting and drinking lots of water. Breathe in fresh air and walk a little when you can. A little at first...one step at a time.

Sandi K.

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Lucky, welcome to BTG.

I'm sure you will be back to flying in no time.

This is an honest place to come when you have unexplained feelings or symptoms, someone will help you if they can.

I'm a year on and honestly I'm a world away from where I was 11 months ago. My fatigue is so much less, my headaches are not as constant and the irritating niggles and pains are not as breathtaking.

The reality of the trauma though has to be faced and that's part of the recovery, accepting the shock of the event and the aftershock of having had blood in the brain. ( i think it's that's a bit like sand in your engine, never a good thing.) you will come out of this either a little or a lot different but healing will come at its own pace for you.

For right now my best advice is to turn down your speed dial and go at a new pace. It'll be a change but they say it's as good as a rest. Be kind to yourself. Ask for help if you need it. Let the emotion flow and be proud you survived.

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That is a great analogy! Back in high school, a friend sandblasted his intake manifold on an old Bronco, didn't clean it right, and proceeded to lunch his engine. I guess in a way I too will need a complete rebuild!

Thank you both for the nice welcome and great advice.

Funny thing, I always really limit video games with my boys...30 min/ day max only if they are doing well in school...but I find it a good way for me to force myself to relax, and not think about strenuous activities! I think the are kind of mad at me now.. They are surely looking at me funny because I never play on the thing.

BTW, the last 3 days or so I've developed a bad pain in my lower back. It hurts to stand up. Almost feels like a pinched nerve or something. Anyone else have that? Not sure if it's a brain issue, or from lying down so much or what.

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Lucky/Dan,

I have bad backaches ie lower back pain which stops me walking that far, but never give up Dan as you are Lucky also.

j/k

You are my Lucky mascot so keep walking and so will I, deal?

I asked my Doc, "what is it Doc"? he touched my back and said "hmmm have you seen OT" ? I replied "Yes" he replied

"Oh okay" thats all I heard.

Good luck on flying again, I'm sure you will do it as "Lucky by name Lucky by Nature" now song is needed lol

Come fly with me

Good Luck Lucky/Dan

WinB143 xx xx

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Hi Dan and welcome to BTG, you sound to be doing really well.

The back pain may be as a result of the bleed. Before I was even aware I had had a bleed I suffered severe back pain, I was fine when I was sitting, but I experienced severe pain on standing, a lot like how I imagine sciataca would feel.

My GP couldn't find a cause for the pain and as it disappeared a week later, almost as mysteriously as it had appeared, I did not think any more of it. Consequently the bleed went undetected for quite some time.

Almost 4 weeks later I collapsed from a further, more severe bleed. The back pain it seems was as a result of the initial bleed draining down the spinal column and aggrevating the nervous system - it cleared up once the blood had drained fully, maybe your nervous system has been aggrevated by the bleed? If the pain continues, might be worth getting it checked out?

Take care,

Wem

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BTW, the last 3 days or so I've developed a bad pain in my lower back. It hurts to stand up. Almost feels like a pinched nerve or something. Anyone else have that? Not sure if it's a brain issue, or from lying down so much or what.

I've had this!!!!!! It comes and goes and it started off slow and then all day for months and then it died down. Now, I only get it if I don't move around much and stand up or if I'm doing a yoga position using my back and forget to flex my stomach muscles to counter it. I hope your never gets as bad as mine did. I think it must have somethings to do with the CSF levels and the blood that poisoned it.

~Kris

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Dan I had that lower back pain about 2 or 3 weeks after the bleed. At the very bottom of the tailbone. It was uncomfortable in any position for very long. I walked through my house every couple of hours with a heated bean bag held against my back. Then I would ice. The pain lasted a few days, maybe a week or two. I understand it's the blood making its way from your brain down through your spine. It's a step toward healing - but a painful one!

Sandi K.

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That makes a lot of sense, glad I asked, and thank you everyone. Don't tell my wife, as yesterday she was trying her darnest to adjust my back! It never offered any relief. Here I am getting around to responding at around 3 am (11 am for my UK friends..good morning!) as when I turned in bed the pain almost made me yell out..

That's the bad. The good is I've been off pain meds now for almost 2 days. No big headaches, only a constant dull reminder that the blood is still there, with a slight ring in my ears too.

Winbe143, I will keep walking, and I'll cherish the "Lucky" name. Some day you just might ~fly with me~

Thank you so much for sharing with me on the back pain. Just another great benefit of this forum. I called the hospital and talked with the neurosurgeon, and he said it was most likely just a coincidental unrelated issue... The hospitals really are behind the curve on the healing process arent't they!

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Lucky / Dan Hi again

Yep lots on here say about hospitals fix your brain and send you off and we have to sort it out, thank goodness

for BTG.

Keep your spirits sky high (pilot talk lol).

You will get better and better just don't overdo it and always think happy thoughts.

Be well pal and your back.

WinB143 xx I am doing sit ups in my mind Ready hup..down...hup...down enough of that, shattered now lol

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Hey Dano,

This site is certainly invaluable for many things that the docs may not mention .Just to chime in on the back thing. My neurosurgeon told me that the bleed in my brain would travel down my spinal column and slowly dissapate (sp) over the course of 2-3 months. He did say to be careful with any movements or activity with back and to watch for leg pain.

I had some back pain after SAH probably due to being in a hospital bed for 2 weeks and also the blood in the spine. Please take it easy and BTW the doc did say no bungee jumping ok?

Take care,

David

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Ah man! Was just about to jump! I'll stick to skydiving then..

My back is already doing better. For a couple of days, every time I would stand up, a shocking pain would put me back down. I still feel it, but the pain is pretty much gone. Have to stick to my "Lucky" monicker!

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I had my SAH one year ago on March 2nd. I am blessed that I have fully recovered, am back to my normal routine including back at work. It took me about 6 months to begin to feel really normal again to some degree. I think I tire more easily and I still get headaches. I am due for a one year follow-up CT scan within the next few weeks. My quick action, my husband's and the excellent neurosurgeon and hospital trauma center that I went to all factored into that recovery. I wish you all the best as well.

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