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My husband - Ross


BernieH
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Hi,

My husband Ross, aged 40, had his SAH in the early hours of Christmas day 2012, on a scale of 1- 5, his was a grade 1.

I know I'm extreamly fortunate to even have him here still with me, and 3 months on he has just started to go back to work. Unfortunately he his a self-employed kitchen fitter so things have been difficult 1) without his wages and 2) his job entails lots of heavy lifting.

I think because it was low graded bleed, and to see him and talk to him, he is completely normal, I almost forget that thinks could be so different and he is a different man than he was before.

We have been together for 22 years, married for 14 and have had a excellent relationship, until today, we have had a big argument which has been brewing up all weekend. I have been so upset to hear him say he wishes he was dead. That the constant headache is driving him insane.

Basiclly, I know it's still early days, but have any other carers got any good tips on how to cope with my un-certainty, my fears and general day to day life.

I know i'm not the victim in this, but help in being brunt of the black moods would be appreciated.

I don't know how i can help him when i feel so low aswell.

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Hi Bernie, welcome to BTG. I'm not a carer, I had a SAH. I can only speak from my perspective but maybe it will help.

Fatigue is a common problem for us and the more fatigued I am the worse everything else is. Especially in the first year our brains demand a lot of rest. When I feel fatigued (mentally and or physically) everything becomes louder, lighting is brighter (annoyingly), conversation is difficult to follow, tone of voice and words are misunderstood, I don't retain information, and decisions become almost impossible. Decisions about simple things 'what do you want for supper?' seem overwhelming.

The best thing my partner can do for me when I feel like this is say to me 'you need some quiet time' and he leaves me alone. Sometimes for 15 minutes, sometimes for 3 hours. Whatever it takes for my brain to settle and allow me to manage again.

Your husband will need your support, especially with going back to work so soon. It can be hard and it's going take all the energy he has to just work. Things like managing the house will likely fall more on your shoulders for awhile. When I was working all I could do was work and rest.

Good luck to both of you. Ross is very lucky to have you, you've come searching for information which shows how concerned you are about him.

Sandi K.

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Hi Bernie,

Sorry that you and Ross are going through such a difficult time. SAH is a traumatic event for both of you. We too needed answers after Tony's haemorrhage and fortunately we found this site. (We found the Patient Experiences of SAH Video sums up people's experiences very well.)

On the 16th May 2012 our life changed. Tony had a SAH and I have never been so scared in my whole life.

We had at that time been happily married for 25 years with 4 wonderful children. Tony was a fit, healthy 51 year old and then the bleed. It was just a little bleed, they couldn't find it with all their tests. After 6 days in hospital he was given a medical certificate for a week so naturally we thought recovery would be quick.

He went back to work and tried to push through the headaches and fatigue. He wasn't sleeping well at night and was falling asleep during the day.

It wasn't easy for him to admit he wasn't coping although all around him could see. Finally we went to the GP.

The GP was surprised that he had returned to work and gave him more time off and recommended a phased return to work. The panadol wasn't working well enough so she prescribed painkillers that could be used alongside the panadol and also help him sleep at night. She also warned us that depression was common after such an event and to let her know if we thought it was a problem.

Over the last 10 months we have learnt that we need to measure each day with activity, rest, sleep and medications. That you have good days and bad and if you do too much you pay. He is now working 1 day a week and travelling 400km once a month for meetings. In January he had 4 days of meetings away and took some weeks to recover.

The headache has never gone away but the intensity is less and the fatigue still stops him from doing too much. If he went back to work full time at this point his life would be miserable.

We have learnt to be patient as the recovery is slow but we are heading in the right direction.

We feel for you both and hope that this is of some help to you.

Regards Jenny

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Hi Bernie and Ross,

We do get a bit sulky (for want of a better word)

You and hubby have been through it. Both of you.

I feel for myself but I also feel for my family who thought I might die.

He is your hubby so have a chat wth him. xx fingers crossed as we are hard work lol shhhh

Good luck

WinB143

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So lovely to see loved ones supporting each other on here.

I alway think it's harder for people trying to support and understand as a observer of what's happened. As a survivor of something like this you have no choice but to deal with the hand you have been dealt but I certainly have become more selfish since my SAH as I often i had to focus just on me to get through stuff. Probably doesn't make me very easy to live with at times.

I'm a year on. I don't talk much about my bleed as the severity and location of it meant odds dictated I shouldn't have survived, they are still quite bemused I did. But survive I did and I am learning to accept the changes it has brought to my character, to my pace of life, my working ability. I'm not there at acceptance for any of them yet but it has got easier and it's really hard to explain that to a partner , the sense of loss and grief but also the fear. Stereotypes probably mean that's even harder for a bloke to talk about. Male sense of achievement is so wrapped up in providing and strength it's blooming hard to take the fragility of that ability to continue to do what you've always done.

Give him some space but keep reassuring him. Help him see that change is ok. A cuddle, a kiss, a gentle touch on the hand. My experience is that these small acts are So healing. Equally as someone else has said I'm sure your taking on sme of the chores that may have previously been his to ease the load. My hubbie is a dab hand at washing now even if he will never fold it how I used to! Do I care? No, just lovely he does it for me out of love.

Great you're on here. You guys are our rocks although we are probably pretty hopeless at telling you that. Note to self. Tell hubby he is amazeballs!

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Thank you for all the support, just reading your letters to me make me feel so much better and hopefully more able to be in control of my feelings so I can help Ross.

I think I will be reading your responses every day for a while to keep us going.

I'll keep you posted on the progress

Regards,

BernieH

So lovely to see loved ones supporting each other on here.

I alway think it's harder for people trying to support and understand as a observer of what's happened. As a survivor of something like this you have no choice but to deal with the hand you have been dealt but I certainly have become more selfish since my SAH as I often i had to focus just on me to get through stuff. Probably doesn't make me very easy to live with at times.

I'm a year on. I don't talk much about my bleed as the severity and location of it meant odds dictated I shouldn't have survived, they are still quite bemused I did. But survive I did and I am learning to accept the changes it has brought to my character, to my pace of life, my working ability. I'm not there at acceptance for any of them yet but it has got easier and it's really hard to explain that to a partner , the sense of loss and grief but also the fear. Stereotypes probably mean that's even harder for a bloke to talk about. Male sense of achievement is so wrapped up in providing and strength it's blooming hard to take the fragility of that ability to continue to do what you've always done.

Give him some space but keep reassuring him. Help him see that change is ok. A cuddle, a kiss, a gentle touch on the hand. My experience is that these small acts are So healing. Equally as someone else has said I'm sure your taking on sme of the chores that may have previously been his to ease the load. My hubbie is a dab hand at washing now even if he will never fold it how I used to! Do I care? No, just lovely he does it for me out of love.

Great you're on here. You guys are our rocks although we are probably pretty hopeless at telling you that. Note to self. Tell hubby he is amazeballs!

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Hey Bernie

Although you didn't have the SAH, you are just as much a victim - it has affected you too.

The early days after are very hard for both parties involved. I felt the same way as your hubby did and often wished that the blessed thing had killed me - its a natural reaction to have to something so severe. It basically strips you of who you were before and you have to adapt to being a whole new person with a different range of abilities. All you can do is be there for him and let him know that whilst you don't what its like for him, you are there to support him and help him through it.

Plenty of water will help with the constant headaches - sometimes its due to the blood dissipating back into the body. make sure he rests when he can and, I know it's hard, be patient but strong.

We're all here for you any time you need us - both of you xx

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