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Chris - New Member


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I had a SAH on 30th Dec 2012. I had severe headaches, extreme sensitivity to light, some vomiting etc. It seems I had not had an aneurism.

I was admitted to my local hospital a few hours afterwards and the next morning had a CT scan and was transferred to The Walton Centre -a neurological unit in Liverpool. I had another CT scan, MRI scan and Angiogram within a few hours of arrival.

A few days later I went for another angiogram but this was not completed due to the catheter getting twisted. They tried again in my other leg the next day, but this time could not get it in at all and had some trouble stopping my artery bleeding.

I continued to be very tired and having headaches, taking four painkillers including morphine. I was discharged after two weeks with all of these painkillers. I spent the next week in bed feeling completely exhausted, but gradually improving.

After that I started getting up and then getting around, walking the dog twice every day. Headaches stopped after about 4 weeks and I stopped all medication. My leg ballooned as a result of the problems with the angiogram, and a DVT was suspected but ruled out.

Since then its been a matter of slowly getting stronger. I found I had very little mental stamina and got very tired doing anything that needed a lot of concentration. Its now three months on and I feel almost back to normal - just the tiredness.

I plan to go back to work on a phased basis in a couple of weeks. The most frustrating thing is not being able to drive.

The more I read about other people's struggle the more I realise what an easy time I have had -- so far at any rate.

I am surprised to find how little follow up there is after discharge. The GP has given me the painkillers I have asked for and issued notes for work, but has shown little if any interest in my recovery as such. If I hadn't needed the sick notes for work I don't think I would have seen him at all! The prescriptions were issued without a meeting of any sort.

PS used my full name when i registered - is it possible to change this now?

Edited by shricthism
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Good for you Chris to find this place. I hope you phase back slowly as that is often the mistake people do- is not realize how much work it is for our brains to THINK! Take it slowly and drink lots of water! I hope you continue to do well.

December was not to long ago so don't push yourself to hard.

Please keep in touch and let us know how you get a long! Maryb

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Hi Chris & welcome to BTG.

Sorry to hear about your angio not being a good experience. I know Walton are one of the best (if not the best) centres in the country but sounds like even their discharge is sadly laking in information. There is a good booklet by the brain & spine foundation about sah but its only brief & mentions 3-6 months for recovery!!

Drink plenty of water & rest when you can & take it steady are all good advice. Take care xxx

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Welcome Chris. Wow they had a pickle getting you coiled, glad they sorted it and you're doing so well. Hope your leg is fine now.

Driving. Hmm. Know the feeling. Well I'm still waiting after giving it the extra 6 months required from putting my shunt in. It's like pushing treacle up a hill coordinating the NHS and DVLA some days. It has improved my stamina through walking everywhere. I could hardly walk when I came out and now I can do pretty fair distance.

Take it slowly. The brain is truly mysterious. When symptoms flare up its usually brains way of saying rest up, so try and listen. Drink lots of water and drop in to ask anything. Take care now.

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Thanks for the replies all of you, much appreciated - interesting that all 4 of you mentioned drinking lots of water. Return to work date is now set for 2nd April and I have suggested 3-4 hrs. I was only working part time, as a job sharer, before the SAH so that is what I am going back to. We shared a shift pattern rather than the day so that meant working 3 or 4 full days, then having about 7 off, before doing another 3 or 4. So to start with my plan is to work the same pattern of days but making them 3-4 hrs till I am sure I can cope with that.

As it works out the day I go back is the last one of a group of 4 days before 7 days off, so that will be a nice easy start.

Daffodil, thanks for the encouragement - I wasn't coiled though, no aneurism was found. The problems were just in doing an angiogram to check for an aneurism. They did the whole brain the first time, but the second time had problems as described and in the end only did the right side of my brain.

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  • 1 month later...

Well I thought things were going pretty well. Back at work now and did 4 * 4hr shifts this week and found it fairly straightforward - not as hard as the 3*3hr shifts I did the week before. Feeling pretty pleased with things when I went to bed last night. This morning I got a letter from the consultant saying after consultation with a vascular specialist he has decided I should have another angiogram. Given the problems with the last two attempted angiograms, this is not very welcome news. I have to accept his advice that it is the right thing to do, but that doesn't remove the anxiety about this procedure which I know is straightforward for almost everyone, but has already gone wrong twice for me!

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I can totally understand that you're worried about the angiogram ... I've just popped on quickly as on holiday, but I asked for a sedative before the procedure and will ask again if I have to have another one. They won't offer it as the norm, well that's what I found, as a Doc has to administer it and it's probably just a case of time etc ... but it does help to take the edge off the anxiety, so ask them, if you think that this will help you ... Wishing you well. xx

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  • 10 months later...

well its been a long time since I updated this thread and I thought it might be appropriate at this time.14 months now since my SAH. During last year I gradually built up my work hours till by December I was doing my full hours - only 18.5 per week, which is what I did before the SAH. I do work 8 hr days though and at one point in the cycle there are 4 consecutive ones. I found during the year I was very tired and this didn't seem to be getting any better. After I did a few days at work it took a few days rest to recover. I was starting to believe I would always be like this, and in danger of getting depressed about it.

Then one day about a month ago I felt really aweful when I went to work - so tired I could hardly focus and was sent home from work. However after a few days I started feeling less tired than I had at any time since the SAH a year earlier.

That was a month ago and I have carried on feeling like that. I have started doing more things away from work, and coping much better with the 4 day stints - in short I feel like I did before the SAH, I am just over the moon with it.

It was as if that few days ilness was something letting go inside my head and letting me return to my old self.

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