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Snap out of it!


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Greater sage and wisdom will follow no doubt but my advice for now is to take each day as it comes and be thankful for each and every improvement no matter how small. Focussing on these small steps makes you realise you are moving forward.

Try and get out every day and look at the big Mid West Sky.

Oh and get Loved one to bring you a decaf Caribou cappuccino with a caramel shot. That always cheered me up when I was feeling homesick in MN , it may be youre feeling homesick for the old you...it'll pass.

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Hi. Did you have your sah 8th may this year? So did i. I was just minding my own business doing my teeth 7.30am next thing my life has changed grrrrrrrr. You sound impatient, just like me- i cant stand the fact that i get exhausted and need to lie down after something simple like getting washed hahaha its driving me nuts- as is the crying all the time. I have 2 kids which is a hanful, was great fun before my sah but now the chit chat starts to irrate my brain although i try my best not to let them know that. This site i think is going to be great help - we have to remember its onky been 4wks and unfortunately its gonna be months and months before we ee get back to'normal'. Heres hoping it flies by

Hope your feeling better today

Lelsey

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Hi and welcome to BTG.

I have found one of the most challenging aspects of an SAH is that each day we are travelling a difficult path with little or no understanding of where our journey will end.

But I have found that with each faltering step I take the future becomes brighter. Yes there will be set backs along the way, and there will be days when you feel overwhelmed with the enormity of the challenges ahead of you, that is perfectly natural.

The brain has suffered a major trauma and the fallout from it is likely to be both physical and emotional. If you are able to recognise that and 'roll with the punches' , then slowly and surely the light at the end of your particular path will grow ever brighter.

Take each day as it comes, enjoy the good days and indulge yourself on the bad days, with much needed rest. Over time you will start to see how your brain rewards you for your patience.

Wem

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I actually say this to myself at times and it works temporarily, but I've found that I can't just 'snap out of it' I had a SAH, for goodness sake! If anyone told me this before...that they had a brain injury, I wouldn't have expected them to just 'snap out of it' so I have to used the same logic on myself.

I am much kinder to myself than I was at the beginning. I was so nasty and hurtful. This took me a while to come to terms with and even realize I was being so strict with myself. Instead, I now like to be that imaginary friend that will hug me when I need it, let me cry my eyes out over anything just because I am doing it...total acceptance of me even as I doubt if it is all really happening still.

Here's to a new life. It has it's uniqueness just like my old one...and is no less valid.

~Kris

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Thank you all for the kind advice. I do appreciate it. I feel better today. I will be patient as you suggest.

Lesley - Yes. May 8, 2013. We both share the same "birthday" then! Working out at the time, lifting weights. All of a sudden it felt as though the top of my head filled with fluid and my temples were in pain. Ten minutes later, the pain shot to the base of the back my head/spine. I told the security guard I needed medical attention. Twenty minutes later I was enroute to the hospital in an ambulance. After an emergency CT scan, the doctor told me I would have been dead in the morning if I hadn't gone to the hospital. It was at that time, my friend (and Catholic Priest), annointed me Last Rites. I never felt more at peace at that moment. Anyway, that was my unique beginning. After that, I think it is a similar story to others. I spent five days in the Intensive Care Unit, and five days in General Population. I was home on May 18.

To your point, it is the little things that get to me. Lately, it is my well-intentioned friends. They ask me if I am back to 100% now and ready to go golfing. I tell them 'no, it is going to take a while'. They seem surprised that I am not back to my old self. I just have to be understanding that they don't and cannot understand.

I am off to my family doctor. This will be the first time I talk to him since the SAH. I want to make sure he is aware and helps manage the pain meds.

Thanks again BTG for all the support and being there.

Brian

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Welcome to BTG!! I don’t think we’ve chatted before, but nice to ‘meet’ you.

When we are ill, in whatever capacity, it really focuses us to consider ourselves in a way we did not when we were healthy.

Pre SAH, many of us had very busy lives and so our focus was on work, hobbies, social life etc. Post SAH, we can’t absorb ourselves into these external distractions and are left pretty much all alone with our ‘selves’ and thoughts.

Many of us have felt depressed after the SAH. It feels horrible, but it is a very normal reaction to having your life turned upside down in an instant. Don’t berate yourself for feeling down. It is understandable that you are out of sorts. Many of us here have worked through our depressions and there are things that can be done to help the process.

I would like to focus on your phrase, ‘snapping out of it.’ This phrase may put undue pressure on you because emotional health is a bit more gradual than that. For example, you did not ‘snap into your depression;’ instead, a combination of factors came together, resulting in you gradually feeling low in mood. Likewise, the ascent out of it is likely to be gradual and will come about through a combination of other factors.

Exercise is proven to help with depression and you would be forgiven for saying at this point, ‘Well, how do I manage that with fatigue?!!!’ I am not suggesting you train for the next Olympics(!) but just give yourself some time in the day when you can focus on your health – be it emotional or physical. My example, is that I do around 10 minutes of yoga / pilates in the morning and then take my baby son for a walk in the afternoon. Nothing strenuous, but it is a good way of releasing endorphins. When I first had my SAH, I bought lots of gentle exercise DVD’s – real beginner stuff – and it helped significantly. Most counselling programmes on how to deal with depression suggest exercise. It really is proven to help.

I am a big fan of counselling these days. Have you thought about this? Receiving help from a counsellor with expertise in brain injury is probably the most helpful.

And as for how to deal with people who don’t understand brain injury; well, that is the million dollar question for us on BTG! I don’t think there are many people here who have not been upset and frustrated with comments by others.

I’m nearly four years post SAH and I’m still finding that one a bit tricky – but I have a plan!!! I’ve got some counselling lined up to help me become more assertive because I’m woefully passive these days. I’m hoping to learn more direct ways of communicating so that I can deal with people’s comments better. I’ll let you know how I get on!!!

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Welcome to BTG!! I don’t think we’ve chatted before, but nice to ‘meet’ you.

When we are ill, in whatever capacity, it really focuses us to consider ourselves in a way we did not when we were healthy.

Pre SAH, many of us had very busy lives and so our focus was on work, hobbies, social life etc. Post SAH, we can’t absorb ourselves into these external distractions and are left pretty much all alone with our ‘selves’ and thoughts.

Many of us have felt depressed after the SAH. It feels horrible, but it is a very normal reaction to having your life turned upside down in an instant. Don’t berate yourself for feeling down. It is understandable that you are out of sorts. Many of us here have worked through our depressions and there are things that can be done to help the process.

I would like to focus on your phrase, ‘snapping out of it.’ This phrase may put undue pressure on you because emotional health is a bit more gradual than that. For example, you did not ‘snap into your depression;’ instead, a combination of factors came together, resulting in you gradually feeling low in mood. Likewise, the ascent out of it is likely to be gradual and will come about through a combination of other factors.

Exercise is proven to help with depression and you would be forgiven for saying at this point, ‘Well, how do I manage that with fatigue?!!!’ I am not suggesting you train for the next Olympics(!) but just give yourself some time in the day when you can focus on your health – be it emotional or physical. My example, is that I do around 10 minutes of yoga / pilates in the morning and then take my baby son for a walk in the afternoon. Nothing strenuous, but it is a good way of releasing endorphins. When I first had my SAH, I bought lots of gentle exercise DVD’s – real beginner stuff – and it helped significantly. Most counselling programmes on how to deal with depression suggest exercise. It really is proven to help.

I am a big fan of counselling these days. Have you thought about this? Receiving help from a counsellor with expertise in brain injury is probably the most helpful.

And as for how to deal with people who don’t understand brain injury; well, that is the million dollar question for us on BTG! I don’t think there are many people here who have not been upset and frustrated with comments by others.

I’m nearly four years post SAH and I’m still finding that one a bit tricky – but I have a plan!!! I’ve got some counselling lined up to help me become more assertive because I’m woefully passive these days. I’m hoping to learn more direct ways of communicating so that I can deal with people’s comments better. I’ll let you know how I get on!!!

Thank you. I so needed to read this. I am going on 8 weeks post NASAH and this was so uplifting.

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I agree Iola, Lin-lin thank you for that response. It is my pleasure to meet you too.

I totally agree that "snap out of it" is an unfair expectation and not realistic. Expecting that will only make me more frustrated. I was just wishful thinking.

I love the exercise suggestion. Given that my SAH occurred when I was exercising, my intention was to cancel my membership as soon as I get back to work. I have changed my mind. Instead I am going to transform my workout from intense cardio and weights, to light cardio. I need to stay active. I am not so sure about the counselor idea for me at this point...however, I would love to hear what you learn in how to respond to other people's comments!

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I totally agree with the exercise too. It took me a while to discover that my idea and that of societies was not at all what I needed. No cardio, no weights, no expectations. When I discovered yoga, it changed everything for me. I started with a beginning class and then went into the spiritual with it. Now, my whole life is one big yoga in the truer sense of the word...union. I am also back to walking regularly and biking or whatever occasionally. No weights still, but you never know. The point I've found is to feel alive and at total peace with it.

~Kris

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hi I think the biggy for friends and family is that they can not see you healing - to use the term "the lights on" I think is fitting - there are no obvious injuries (unless you have had clipping) and they just see the same face that they have done - that also upset my wife as I would be doing jobs around the house and she would get upset telling me not to do it "just because you look alright doesn't mean you are" she used to say - i'm 9 months post now and only suffer when I get stressed or tired - i'm a teacher so that is up and down lol - the thing is you know what you are capable of and just let your friends know (I still get called for light drinking when we go out - but my SAH happended after a night out and hangover headaches are just mental now - so I just take it easy! but i'm told I just use it as ann excuse - and now its a point of joke with them)

take care

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My hubby is a sensitive soul, He always says "well your lights are on but is anyone there " I tell him to go for a long

walk lol .

We will all get better, so keep the faith and onwards and upwards xx

We will get our bad days and good days but keep going and No No Stress xx

Good Luck

WinB143 xx Now Sing xx

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Win,

I too like to joke with husband about my condition. It is a freeing thing that no one else dare do with me, but sometimes SAH is so funny in the way it makes me react to things. For example, I love groundhogs and always have...but now, I REALLY love them. I'm like a child in my reactions and I get so excited when I see one and it is hilarious for anyone to see...even me. I can't believe I am so ramped up over a groundhog! Anyway, my husband loves this and tries to show me pictures of groundhogs when he senses that I am down and laughs when I react in that crazy way...every darn time, I do it too. Now, I just have to get something on him!

~Kris

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I am so sorry you joined our club! But welcome! One of the benefits of being fit when you had your SAH is that you have only one health condition (I assume) to deal with. Imagine if you'd had high blood pressure? It could have left you a statistic. I am fully convinced that my low heart rate, and low BP is why I didn't end up much worse off. I was stupid. I felt the pain and continued on to see a movie, well I sat through a movie willing myself not to throw up wondering why my head hurt so bad. Then I went home and laid down with a pillow over my head. Finally I posted on Facebook something dumb like, "I have the worst headache of my life. Is this what a migraine feels like? I've never had one."

Blessedly four friends posted "Get to the hospital NOW" along with lots of other friends with suggestions for coffee, Excedrin, etc. I still thought I was being dumb, but when my friend Amy started texting me, asking for Roy's number, asking for my address so she could call 911 in my area…I relented and I went out to the kitchen where my husband was making dinner and said "I think I need to go to the ER". He literally dropped what he was holding, and raced me in. I still STILL thought I was being dumb, and was so embarrassed. A CT scan showed a bleed. I was in the hospital for 21 days and it's just been a roller coaster ever since.

I am so glad that you have decided to go back to the gym. You might go early and just walk on a treadmill or use bands. When I got out of the hospital it was important that I do things that were "normal" and that included going to my bootcamp classes, going to my running classes. (I am a teacher and a personal trainer/fitness/running coach and all of my classes had started that weekend I had the SAH). I didn't participate right away, but even just being there helped.

I am about 75% back to my former fitness level. I'm actually running again, but I find that hard core running is way to big a challenge. I ran a 5k today hard, like I used to. Not only did I not make my goal (I have taken 1st in my AG in this race twice), but I have been paying for it with a bad headache all day long. I'm not sorry I did it because I feel like sometimes I need to push the envelope or I'll never know how far I can go. Before my SAH it was not uncommon for me to run 2-3 marathons in a row (Sat, Sun or over holidays). Now I have run 4 halves in a row, but I did them easy. (And I know how that sounds to some people, because I'm always being told I overdo it. But I am out of dealing with neuro issues, and now just have the chronic headaches.)

Wem, what you said was so insightful. I think we need a thread of just great, meaningful posts that we can all go back and read when we need them.

I think when people want you to be better it's because it scares them, particularly if you were very active before, or are very young. Plus you can't see our pain on the outside. I ham blessed to have a much bigger heart for people with chronic pain, and for people with hidden disabilities. The period when I went through memory and cognition problems, really gave me an understanding of my students who struggle to maintain and increase their knowledge. When my headache is bad my concentration falls and I have a hard time expressing myself, but I think that's as much a factor of the pain and just not having the energy to put into the pain and witty repartee at the moment.

Finally, do not be afraid to ask for what you need. For example, I've never been a "hugger" but I understood that people would want to hug me. There was a period of a few weeks where even my clothing on my skin "hurt" so I had to tell people coming to visit that I couldn't be hugged right now. I explained why and they were good with it. I also had to finally put my foot down with one well meaning friend who would scour the internet for "cures" for me. It was a big challenge because she didn't understand and to her, that was how she could help. To me it was stressful. I finally had to have my husband talk to her when even what I had to say didn't get through.

So do not be afraid to say "I need this" or "I can't do that right now".

Here is hoping that soon this is just "something that happened awhile back" and all you have left from it is life lessons and memories.

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  • 6 months later...

This thread has really helped me tonight. I have not stopped crying all day, couldn't understand why as I feel like I'm getting better (NASAH 10th Nov) The more I go on, the more I think I may need some counselling but I've never even considered it before and have no idea where to start.

I'm concerned about work and my future- I'm 40 years old and feel so weak. Don't know where to start with getting better emotionally, I think I may still be in shock.

Love Kate x

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Kate, you probably are still in shock. It's only been a few months and so much to cope with and take in.

I agree with Penny, go and see your GP and tell them how you are feeling. There is usually a waiting list for counselling, so if you feel it will help get your name down. It's good to cry sometimes and let it all out. Take care, hugs to you xx

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It will get better honey. But definitely follow up on the counselling. Not sure what you do for a living but some occupational health teams can arrange it as well as going through GP.

I cried for England a few months after mine with the frustration, grief for the old me , pain , relief...well the list is long isn't it? So if you think about it crying is good and natural . I still have regular emotional moments, I see if as a release now.

This experience we have all been fortunate enough to survive will change us , has changed us and that's a huge thing to digest and needs talking about. We can't pretend everything is as it was but we can continue to move forward in hope.

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Thanks Daffodil

It helps to know I'm not the only one who has felt like this, BTG is a godsend, really it is.

I am a teacher, I was on a secondment as a promotion to deputy head when it happened and that job has now been advertised to start at Easter - it has left me now wondering if I should consider applying or just let it go to someone else and return to my old job once I'm well enough.

The whole situation is frustrating as I loved the job and was doing well- however I realise the school would have to consider me a weaker candidate now that I've been so sick. Anyway enough of me!!! Thank you for your support and encouragement x

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Oh my dear I know exactly where you are emotionally. I cried every day the first three months. I still cry. The doctors tell you nothing and because its a non aneurysmal bleed you are thrown to the bottom of the barrel. You are expected to get better. Which could be considered positive.

Its like wait, I had a brain bleed and I could've died and I am scared and I have questions and I want to be better but my brain is healing on its own time and I still hurt and feel weird. Ugh. I know.

I am 9 months out and slowly coming to terms with things. It has taken longer than imagined. My Dr told me 12-18 months.

God bless and know you are not alone.

I

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Hi Kate,

I am thinking of you, I really am. I haven't been to my doctor yet either about my crying but I am early days (10th October 2013) and suffering the same as you. I know how you feel about working and worrying about the future.

I ran my own company from 2005 and sadly I closed this down on 31st December 2013. I know that I am just not able to be an IT contractor, travel and be confident with multiple companies and new people. Of course, the first problem is that DVLA have stopped me driving so I can't get anywhere :-D And now I have sold my beautiful Freelander :roll:

I have been reading (or trying!) to read the book "The Dented Image" and you know what, I am becoming more positive about my new life. I really recommend it, particularly the last chapter about having a new and different life and being happy instead of fretting and feeling sad about the old life.

Just remember you are not alone and you are supported here.

Alison x

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Thank you brave ladies,

You have come through much worse than me and are an inspiration. I have come through this largely unscathed ( apart from the headaches, fatigue and emotional side of stuff)! I'm going to attempt to seek some advice re work but I'm probably going to have to let this one go - it may be a step to far to go through the whole selection process now, never mind actually do the job! Will see how I am in a week or so.

I will check out that book Alison. I've had no advise- like you say Iola it feel s as though we are pushed to the bottom of the heap- I do understand why in some ways- especially in hospital when there were clearly people in a terrible state, it's the aftercare that is dire, if it wasn't for BTG I'd have had no support what so ever.

I hope you find something else that you can do Alison, it must have been heartbreaking for you :0(

Thank you both for your honesty and encouragement. We will get there won't we? After all, we are survivors!

Love Kate x

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