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Hi - I'm Kelly and I'm new here


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First off, I want to say you guys sound like terrific people. This sounds like a great supportive group!

Well, I guess you could count me the Queen of Denial and the dumbest, luckiest person ever when it comes to my SAH.

I've had headaches all my life, starting when I was a child of 6 or 7. Over the years I've learned what triggers them and pretty much how to avoid them and I'm very familiar with how my headaches feel. Om Dec. 30, a Monday, I rolled over in bed in the middle of night and felt a flash of pain across the front of my forehead. Then I had a bad headache all round my head. I thought at the time "aneurysm", but I thought that was supposed to be the worst headache of your life and this wasn't, so then I thought I had pinched a nerve in my neck. This wasn't a normal headache for me, but I decided to wait and see what happened (1st dumb mistake).

The headache went for three days and on Friday I was finally feeling back to normal. I had just had my computer connected for the first time in 1 1/2 years that morning and was pretty happy. Then, late in the evening, the headache struck again. It was boom! one minute I'm feeling fine and the next minute I was in excruciating pain, just like someone had snuck up behind me and hit me with a brick. So now I knew there was something wrong (still thinking the possibility of aneurysm) and I put things off by calling the advice nurse. When she finally got back to me, she said to hang up and call an ambulance "right now". Naturally, I did no such thing (2nd stupid mistake).

I got myself dressed, gathered a few things, and drove myself to the hospital (3rd stupid mistake). I knew there was a hospital fairly close by, but after driving around a few minutes (and finally realizing this was a very dumb thing to do), I went to another hospital I'd been to before but which was 7 miles and 15 minutes further on (4th stupid mistake - always scope out the hospital nearest you so you can find it in a hurry!). I arrived at this hospital and for my 5th and final stupid mistake, instead of rushing into emergency and insisting that this was, indeed, a real emergency and I should be seen right away, I calmly walked in and announced to the nurse at the desk, "I have a bad headache and I think I'm having a stroke." That got me a two hour wait in the waiting room.

However, once I was seen, I had a cat scan and an MRI and finally a spinal tap. When the doctor saw blood in the spinal fluid, I was sent to Harborview, a hospital in Seattle. That was Saturday morning. I don't remember much about Saturday except eating some godawful dinner that was supposed to be vegetarian chili. Early the next morning I was taken into surgery where the surgeon proceeded to use coiling on my aneurysm. Both my legs were in sheaths and I was totally miserable with those and lying on my back. For some reason, the chili hadn't digested and as they moved me to my room in ICU, I managed to throw up on everybody and everything (including myself) - that was one way of getting rid of that chili, although not a popular one.

I remember the following morning and all through the next day I drove the nurses crazy asking when I could sit up. Finally, at 8pm or so, the sheaths were removed and I was allowed to sit up. From that moment on, I was a healthy, happy person and drove the nurses nuts again because healthy people are usually not in ICU. I volunteered to sweep the floor of my room, I cleaned my own potty dish (which I found out is a big no-no), I got out of bed so often they set the bed alarm on me and when the poor person in the next room was calling for help, I called my nurse to help him. I think those nurses were sort of glad to see me leave (I will say, though, they were absolute angels and never, ever, showed any impatience or any other emotion except that they were glad to be there helping people. Considering that it was me they had to take care of, that had to have been very difficult for them! LOL).

Anyway, I had the coiling done on Sunday and spent a week in ICU. I was supposed to stay another week in a regular ward, but I was bouncing around so much, they let me go home on the next Saturday with some friends that had come to visit.

It goes without saying that as soon as I got home, I had to go out and get something to eat, as I had absolutely nothing in my cupboards. So I went to Burger King that night and then for the next three days, I spent a couple of hours a day shopping for food and fighting with Comcast at their local office - they had turned off my service while I was in the hospital (don't ask!). I learned 2 hours was about my limit then and recently was out and about for 4 hours, my limit now. Otherwise, I am home resting, eating, and gaining weight (not good, I know).

I live on my own and I've been taking care of myself since I got home. I've had no headaches or other problems and am currently off of all medication. I go back in to see my doctor the first week in March, at which time I will have another CT scan. My understanding is that the base of my aneurysm (they called it a berry aneurysm) was too wide to finish all in one go, so I may have to go back in and have the procedure finished. I had a basilar tip aneurysm 7mm by 6mm, and I have no idea if that is considered a large or small aneurysm. The aneurysm ruptured, which I thought was a stroke, but I might be wrong. Is a ruptured aneurysm and a stroke the same thing, and if not, what's the difference? I am also concerned about what some of you said about the DMV not allowing you to drive. I haven't received any notice or anything from them, my doctor didn't say anything, and I've been driving since the day I came home. Do I need to worry about this?

Anyway, sorry for the long story here - I guess I type like I talk - non-stop!

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God love ya, you are a miracle. Truly. To survive what you did and the fact you told the folks in Emergency you were having a stroke and they did nothing. Incredible.

You are in the US and so am I. Many people on the forum are in Europe and that may be the threads you are reading in regards to driving.

Yes, a bleed in the brain is considered a stroke. I am sure you are on the fast track to well again but don't push too quickly. Be careful and rest yourself.


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Hi there

Warm welcome to the site so glad you found us...

Re: driving its different across the pond to here so cant answer that but there are people here in the US, It is a form of stroke the SAH..

take things easy rest, relax and keep the fluid intake up...

take care

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Hi Kelly,

Sorry to hear of your experiences - how scary! I'm glad you're on the road to recovery now and fingers crossed you continue improving.

I'm afraid I can't help with the driving situation in the US as I'm from the UK and I suspect it's very different here.

Hope you feel stronger soon


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Hi Kelly,

Welcome to BTG.

I was so pleased to be alive and see my family when I eventually woke up after SAH.

I also talk ten to the dozen lol.

Good luck on recovery and keep smiling.


WinB143 xx

Edited by Winb143
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  • 3 weeks later...

Thank you everyone for your welcome. I'm sorry I haven't been here sooner - lots going on. But I had an appointment with my doctor yesterday and it looks like all is fine. They nicked an artery during the coiling procedure and that will take about 6 months to heal completely. At that point they will do an angiogram and then they will know whether or not I need to have the procedure finished. I may not need to have that. Meantime, I'm cleared for exercise, swimming and working on my dollhouse. YAY! So things are going great!

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