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What helps the most in recovery? How can I be the best rock for a aneurysm sufferer?


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Hi all :).

I've been reading through the forums for the past 2 weeks and finally decided to quit lurking so I could seek some advice.

My son's father experienced a ruptured aneurysm 2 weeks ago. He was admitted to the ER on a Friday and by Tuesday, he was home. We were never told a grade of his aneurysm and the doctor's were horrible at informing the family about anything but at this point, we're in the recovery stage. We realize how lucky my son's father was; he seems to have no negative neurological effects. His speech has not suffered, he knows everyone, and he's able to move around. In terms of having an aneurysm, he really is on the luckier side of things.

I'm seeking advice on how to help him heal. Two weeks on and his headache is still debilitating. He cannot sleep and he has completely lost his appetite (as far as I know he's eaten MAYBE three meals in two weeks). His legs are sore and walking is a chore. His blood pressure is still high. His doctors (we are in the US) are...awful and do not seem to be worried about this. He is young (mid-30s) and used to working 70 hour weeks so this is effecting him greatly.

To be honest, I just don't know what to say to him. We are very close and have been for 8 years and I want to help I'm just not sure what to do. I absolutely do not want to imply with my words or actions that he's damaged or incapable now but I want to clearly show that we are here for him as he recovers.

So. If you had an aneurysm, is there something you wish people had said to you or done for you? Is there something you wish they hadn't? Other than time (which I understand is a huge part of this), what helped the most?

Any advice would be appreciated :). Thanks in advance.

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First off I am glad you are writing, your son is a lucky to have you as his mother. Your son’s father is lucky you are there as well.

I think my husband and family were wonderful and continue to be. I may work at a veterinarian’s office but even so most of my co workers “get it”.

I needed quite, sleep and darkness. I still do when I over do it. I did not like to be asked a bunch of questions and still do not really like to chit chat with company. It totally wears me out. I needed sleep lots of it. Water I needed someone to push the water in me. I needed a spokes person to write down things like BP (mine too is still all over the place as it was 9 months before SAH) & track my headaches and how I was feeling. MY husband actually kept a journal while I was in hospital. I was misdiagnosed and ended back in another hospital with a Neuro Unit. I loved my neurosurgeon and GP. I cannot stand my neurologist or the one before him. I think having a therapist at some point ( 1 ½ years after) really helped.

Having someone journal would be helpful as I do not do it to this day and life would be so much easier if I did.

I only wanted macaroni and cheese to eat or fruit salad. His taste buds may be off a bit? Pain meds can make this worse. My headaches are worse if I do not drink enough water or eat small meals.

I also think if he is continuing with a lot of really bad headaches and not eating he needs to call the doctor’s office. I do not think this is a time to give up. We all I think came home with horrible headaches- if a 10 is SAH than I say mine were a 6-7 most days for months. I went to ER 3 times in 3 days – lucky me I kept seeing the same doctor but the 3rd time after I had a weekend stay for the stroke – they called the neurosurgeon and he studied my MRI’s etc and found a bleed in a rare part of my brain. So as foolish as I l felt returning to hospital I am glad I did or I would be so much worse off.

If that blood pressure is still up there I would think that is only to add to headaches as it does for me or anyone for that matter. I have had to be on a few meds to try to stablize it. I am still all over the place and working on that one.

Good luck and please keep us informed. Maryb

Edited by MaryB
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Hi Sally

It is really good that you have found this site so early in the recovery of your son's father as there is a wealth of information here that you will not get from elsewhere. Looking back to the time when I was 2 weeks after my bleed I was strongly of the view that I could and should just go back to normal everyday life but this was just not possible.

My immediate thought for your situation is to seek out a good doctor to help with the issues that you mentioned in your post such as headache, sleeping problems and blood pressure. These things need to be sorted out otherwise recovery will be delayed and could lead to other problems if the are not controlled. If you can establish a good relationship with a doctor it will help greatly.

This site will give you access to the experience of those who have worked through the multitude of issues that can emerge - and the people on here are always willing to help, you just need to ask.

Best wishes


Edited by Tina
Line spacing :)
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Hi Sally,

I think you saying that you do not want to imply he is damaged or incapable is a really good thing. I know when I first got ill (and even to this day) I feel offended if people imply that I can't manage things myself. Although I can now sometimes see that I am defeated by a task & ask for help but I really don't like having to do that.

What worked better for me in the early days was not having someone try to take over when I struggled as that would annoy me. My family learnt that reminding me I had been seriously ill & suggesting they help with things, just until I was feeling better worked out well. That felt more like they cared rather than they thought I couldn't do things myself. The words 'just until you feel better' were very important to me as it highlights that they knew I would get better. That makes it easier to accept help.

I would also encourage your sons dad to speak to a doctor about how unwell he is at the moment and his loss of appetite & sleep pattern. It's often part of recovery but there may be some way they can help him with these issues. Also just having someone professional listen to him & reassure that all is normal can help take away some of the worry he must be feeling.

Michelle x

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Hi Sally,

When I woke up I was told by hubby "They said you wont walk again" like red rag to a bull for me.

I asked my Hubby to get me a zimmer frame for Christmas Present, it was hard work but I can walk approx. 60 to 100

yards then my back aches. I now walk unaided (like a stuffed chicken ) but I am walking.

Go for coffee together (decaff of course). It's a hard slog for our loved ones but it is worth it.

Good luck to you All and never give up..


WinB143 x

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Hi Sally,

For me, I needed peace and quiet. I found having conversations, at any level, very difficult in the early stages of recovery it was just too taxing on my poor brain. Like most I believed I was stronger than I actually was and I think it is important that carers start to recognise the signs of fatigue/stress and gently remind us SAHers of the dangers of overdoing it.

I say gently, 'cos we tend to think we know best, we are after all members of an exclusive club. Lots of kindness and empathy are needed, it is simply a matter of finding your feet together through this whole experience. If your son's father was the strong independant type before the SAH he is likely to be the same after SAH and will be going through a whole host of emotions. Guilt at letting others down, fruastration at not being able to do the things he could do before the SAH etc.

Just let him see you are there for him, and offer a guiding hand, shoulder to lean on whenever they are needed, and as others have said seek medical assistance for his ongoing problems.

All the very best to both of you,


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Hi Sally glad you found us.

Just the fact of you being there - an ear to listen - a shoulder to cry on.

and when it gets rough go into the bathroom for 5 mins to calm down you may think that daft but I know that helped my hubby - we dont mean to be cranky but at times its hard to adapt to whats happened.

I would think that maybe seeing a GP/doctor would be a good idea, if he's not eating proberly then yeh his legs will be sore and like jelly/jello Wow 70hrs a week way too much...

Remember have you time when you can, take care

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Hi Sally. Lovely you're there to help.

Things that helped me early on. In a stereotypical way they may not appeal to a man so We may need some more male opinion on this subject! Some of these you may be able to sneak in without any comment of why's it's good, hopefully he will realise that it makes him feel a bit better.

A friend coming over with their book, not to spend time talking but to sit and read whilst I slept and who then made me lunch so that I always ate.

Quiet time. No TV, just gentle calming music. Now I have music playing always and I can take the loud stuff :-D

A hand massage.

The chance to just cry it out and have a cuddle....( maybe not so good a plan with an ex :wink:)

Being made a fortifying milkshake in the afternoons. Not the most pleasing of drinks but helped with the dip in energy that always came.

Family and friends helping me out when I did things on my own for the first time ...walking down the stairs, showering, then later for longer walks out etc.

Earplugs. Still help me. Take them everywhere.

Sunglasses. It takes the glare off the day. Everything is so bright.

Extra pillows in bed. It helped to sit and sleep more upright.

Warm socks. My feet were and are always freezing.

Wheatie bags for unexplained pain everywhere. Heat helped me, but not to hot.

If I think of any more ill come back and add more.

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