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Hi all I'm Mat and new to this site - please help.


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I was off work on December 1st 2012 replacing my bathroom when all of a sudden I felt the worst pain ever in my head, I was very hot, queasy and felt sick with flashing lights behind my eyes. I slid down the stairs and into my living room where my 13 year old daughter was and told her something was not right with me and to get me the phone. I called 999 and collapsed to the floor.

My daughter finished the call to emergency services and that is all I can remember until I woke up in hospital the following day. Paramedics were not helpful as they diagnosed me as suffered from dizziness caused by tile adhesive and It took them over 4 hours to get me to hospital where after a CT scan I was diagnosed with a level 2 subarachnoid haemorrhage. I had Endovascular coiling on 3rd December and stayed on the intensive care ward in Frenchay hospital for 2 weeks being treated for vasospasm with 15 minute obs.

At this point I would like to say how fantastic the treatment was from everybody in Frenchay hospital. After 2 weeks I was down graded and moved to a different ward and discharged from hospital just before Christmas. The head pain was constant and almost unbearable throughout my stay in hospital and I still get headaches now usually at the end of the day.

After over 4 months now I feel pretty good most of the time but I have changed. I now get really angry at this most ridiculous things and struggle to control my temper. I get upset and secretly cry over nothing and argue a lot with my partner over daft things who has been there and supported me throughout which is really putting a strain on our relationship.

I am really struggling being around my children and the slightest thing sets me off. I know what I'm doing is wrong when I'm doing it but can't stop. I am really worried that after surviving the subarachnoid haemorrhage it has turned me into a horrible person that is gradually pushing anyone close to me away and destroying my family. Has anybody else suffered in a similar way to me after a subarachnoid haemorrhage? Is this going to be permanent or will I gradually go back to the way it was before?

Thanks for reading and any replies would be great fully received.

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Welcome to BTG.

A few of us here do feel that we are different after the SAH. Not all change is a bad thing however and I can confirm that some previous unpleasant traits of mine have been replaced by nicer ones!

That said, some other traits can surface which may not be helpful to our relationships with others. Feeling irritable and anxious, which are common after a SAH, can cause unhappiness.

Many of us here have had counselling, myself included and it is very helpful.

Here is a link to Headway (a charity for people with brain injuries,) who can offer counselling and help family members too.


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I am sorry about your situation but if you are feeling well for the most part that is great! I Never had the anger thing but believe it should be discussed with your dr and your general dr. I am most annoyed at noise and cannot even watch loud programs on TV with arguing or sports. I like quite. But I have read this is common what you are going through and others will follow soon with helpful support.

I started therapy at the 14 month mark and although I did not think I needed it sooner or as I tell my therapist I really do not need to be here it helps me so much validation of my emotions that I need/needed. Also worked though my anger areas of working in a loud chaos place.

Good Luck and feel free to ask away all your questions. Kind Regards, Maryb

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At least you know you are not behaving right, give yourself time and talk to her about how you feel.

It takes time, I have never been a calm person, but after SAH we all need to be stress free, impossible isn't it.

Give you and your partner a break ie take her out for a coffee and tell her how you feel.

Crying is good for me, my hubby goes "Uh Oh ya mums off again" when I start blubbering.

Men are allowed tears, it is okay to give vent.

Just think you are alive, step 1 ticked

You know this is not the real you, step 2 ticked

Look back in say approx. 4 weeks see if you feel better then give yourself a tick

Good luck on the road to recovery

WinB143 now cheer up xx and you will get better give yourself a break or I'll sing !! lol

Edited by Winb143
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Hi Mat and welcome!

I would say that you really need to keep the lines of communication open with your wife and don't shut her out. You both need each other, as she will have her worries too. Talk to her, tell her how you feel and don't bottle things up until they become explosive. If tears flow in front of her, let them, as I'm sure that she will have some to shed too...it's a natural process after what you've both been through.

My kids were teenagers when I had my SAH .... dealing with teenagers isn't easy when you feel okay, let alone after a SAH. Is this a problem that can be fixed by sitting down and talking to them?

Emotions post SAH are all over the place, dealing with the trauma and what's happened, will it happen again and feeling totally vulnerable and frustrated are pretty common. I know that a lot of people on here, have experienced some type of post traumatic stress .... looking back, I can see that I should have probably asked for help, but recovery information just wasn't available or it didn't cover what I was going through.

You're not turning into a horrible person, as you've taken your first step to try to do something about it, by posting on here .... honestly, life will and does get better.

The following video link may be of help to both you and your wife and it may be something to watch together so that it can open up the conversation as to how you're feeling....it may also be good for your children to watch. It's called Patients Experiences of SAH - http://www.uhs.nhs.uk/OurServices/Brainspineandneuromuscular/Neurovascularservice/Neurovascularconditions/SubArachnoidHaemorrhage/PersonalExperiences/Videopatientexperiencesofsubarachnoidhaemorrhage.aspx

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Hi Matt,

This has really struck a chord with me. I have always had a short fuse but only when others deserved my wrath! Since SAH I do blow up over stupid little things and have the foulest mouth ever when I get started. I am always ashamed of myself afterwards but when the button is pushed, I seem to have little control over what I say.

I think it would be really helpful to explain to your partner & your children that you know your reaction is not always good, that you will try to contain it but more importantly that you do not mean some of the things you say & do & that you know they do not deserve it. Momentum/Headway are great charities that can supply information booklets to family and some specifically aimed at children to help them understand why you may be different.

Also, you are in the very early stages of recovering and things usually do improve over time. Keep talking to people, maybe tell them what you have written here to help them understand that you know you are not quite 'right' yet but that you are looking for ways to make it all better, for yourself & your family. When people understand why you are behaving out of character and realise you feel bad about it, it can help them to deal with it too.


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Hi Mat,

I struggled with temper for a few months after sah. I've always had a lack of patience anyway, but I found the way everything was ten times harder than it used to be so deeply frustrating! Also irritating was the way my partner used to tell me things weren't so bad. They seemed awful to me! But then I had to remember that he thought I was going to die, so not being able to write or thread a needle must have seemed very small to him in comparison.

That did all ease off after a while and I actually prefer my life the way it is now. I have come to accept the changes (they are not all bad) and I have so little temper these days that my partner often jokes that I've been body-snatched by aliens rather than suffering sah :lol:

What I'm trying to say is that it does get better, honestly!

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Hi Mat

Glad you are physically starting to heal but the emotion of what has happened is a rollercoaster and keeping any of it hidden will just hurt you more I fear.

I used to try and hide my tears and worry in the early days for fear of further upsetting my kids ( aged 9 and 7) and husband further. I tried unsuccessfully to pretend I was ok. Then I would explode with anger over stupid things. So much for that plan. :roll: So I stopped trying to hide, to cope on my own with the enormity of what happened and asked for some help.

I talked to Headway. I got myself a counsellor. I spoke to the GP. I opened up to my husband, my family, my friends and it was really hard to do all that, to make myself even more vulnerable it felt. And then it felt safer.

I know that bottling the tears up is not good for a brain trying to heal. We have all had to face the truth that SAH brings us of our own mortality and fragility. Thats Never an easy journey and any emotions that prior to SAH you could just ' deal with' now take so much energy it's no wonder we get cross easy.

Once I started talking and not trying to cope with this all on my own the outbursts stopped. If I get very tired now then I am defnately shorter tempered but im actually probably overall a calmer person now than prior to my SAH .

Please talk to someone. You're talking to us but you need to have someone close to help you navigate this choppy water. I hate to think of you crying in secret. Everyone needs a cuddle when they cry.

Take care.

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Emotions are still one of my biggest considerations in my days. Some days I don't cry. Most I do. I, like you, can see that I'm crying over nothing when I'm in the midst of it and yet can't stop. It is not typical for me as I never used to do this. Thus, I concluded that I needed to go to counseling. I had PTSD and every emotion from happiness to startled to despair was written across my forehead. I still jump sky high at the silliest things that someone else wouldn't even notice. However, I know how to deal with the crazy emotional ride. My mood remained good throughout so there was no depression with me. Seek professional advice if it gets overwhelming. The only thing I was sorry for was that I didn't seek it right away.

Take care and keep posting as it helps a lot.


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Very Interesting read Mat. You should take a look if you haven't already. I was diagnosed with PTSD and was referred for counselling which helped me enormously with coming to terms with what happened and to stop feeling guilty about it. I would recommend it to anyone who can get it.

Take care

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