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Guest Domestic Goddess
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Guest Domestic Goddess

Hi!

I had a SAH on the 31st May 2007. I'm 35 and married with two daughters. My daughters were on half term holiday and were glued to the TV, I was upstairs lying on my bed, reading a book. Suddenly an agonising pain engulfed me. I almost thought that someone had bludgeoned me on the back of my head. I felt dizzy and sick and in great pain all at once. I've had migraine since childhood and assumed that this was a particularly bad one. I crawled to the medicine cabinet and took some painkillers, but threw them up straight away. Not wanting to panic my daughters, I lay back down on my bed and hoped that the pain would ease. Several hours later, I was still feeling awful, I rang my Dr's surgery and asked for an immediate emergency appointment. I then rang a good friend and asked her to drive me there. My this time I was photo sensitive and was convinced that something was seriously wrong. I explained my symptoms to the Dr and he diagnosed severe migraine and prescribbed me stronger painkillers and anti vomitting pills. My friend drove me home and summoned my husband home from work while I lay in bed. While I was conscious, I have no memory of what followed. My husband tells me that I was crying from the pain and vomitted up all the pills I'd been prescribed. I didn't get a wink of sleep and continually moaned and writhed.

The following afternoon, I begged my husband to make another Dr's appointment as things were not improving. We saw a different GP, who very quickly told my husband to drive me to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham, near Portsmouth. I was immediately put in a observation room and given paractemol which I threw up. Various Dr's came and saw me. They tested my reflexes and performed other tests, but were not sure what was wrong. I was screaming in pain and begged for stronger painkillers, which they were reluctant to give me. I was questioned about previous drug use - My husband thinks they suspected I was faking in order to get strong pain medication to feed an addiction. The next day I was moved to a ward and continued to beg for pain relief. I was terrified that I was going to be sent home as they didn't seem to know what to do.

I was moved from ward to ward for several days and was eventually sent for a CT scan (6th June). I was later told that they had found an abnormality and were consulting with specialists at The Wessex Neurological Centre at Southampton General Hospital. Finally, I was given some decent pain medication and fell into a deep sleep. The next day I was moved to another ward while the specialists decided what to do. That evening, I was told that I would be transfered to The Wessex Neurological centre and was put in an ambulance straight away.

I arrived at about 10pm and was given a bed on Neuro Ward D. The following morning I was told that I had an aneurysm on my brain and that it had haemorrhaged. I would require brain surgery to stop the bleeding as soon as possible. The procedure was explained to me and I signed the relevant forms. The next afternoon (7th June 2007) I went into surgery and the neurosurgeon used the coiling technique to stop the bleeding. The operation was a success and I returned to the ward.

Now that I was on good pain relief, life seemed bearable again! Exactly one week after the operation I was sent home to be cared for by my husband. He was signed off work on sick pay. I felt exahusted and spent most of my time sleeping. I couldn't bear noise and watching TV or reading was torture. However, my husband took care of me and let me recover at my own pace.

Two weeks later, on the 16th June, I experienced another sudden agonising headache couple with vomitting and photosensitivity. My husband wasn't home, so I called an ambulance. I was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital and this time they took me seriously. I was given morphine and sent for a CT scan straight away. The scan revealed that the coils where correctly in place and there was no sign of any other abnormality. I was then given a lumbar puncture and the following morning I was told that they had found white blood cells in my cerebrospinal fluid. They concluded that what I was experiencing was not another haenorrhage, but a virus that had attacked my meninges. I went home the next day and was told to rest and keep taking the pain medication.

Now it's August and I am feeling a lot better on the whole. I get severe headaches still and often get tired, but I can do things like reading, using the computer and watching TV. I have become almost a hermit, preferring to be at home. My husband has returned to work and our daughters are very understanding and are doing more household chores to help me out. I find loud noise to be disturbing, the thought of crowded places freaks me out! Like other SAH patients, I've had to hand in my driving license and am waiting for an appointment with my neurosurgeon to come through. Hopefully, all will be well and I can consider asking for my license back. I feel pretty ok, but will only know if I'm alright to drive when I try it. I'm now off all painkillers, except paracetemol as and when I need it.

I feel really unfit as I haven't exercised for weeks and my arms and legs feel stiff. But all in all, I'm doing alright.

I'm a bit cross that it took so long for me to be diagnosed and not given pain relief sooner. Is this common with most SAH's?

Finding this site has been wonderful! Reading your stories and posts has been great - finally I've found people who know what I'm feeling!!

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Hello Domestic Goddess and welcome to the site its a great place to be.

I had my SAH in November last year and it took nearly a week before I was transferred and treated at Walton Hospital in Liverpool. I was lucky though because even though they didn't realise what it was I was kept in until the visiting Neuro came over and took all the test results back to Walton with him.

It is quite common not to be diagnosed quickly enough as you will find out by reading some of the other members experiences.

Glad that you are starting to feel better hope to hear more from you soon.

Janet x

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Welcome to the website "Domestic Goddess".... great name!

Yours is a familiar story......unfortunately ..... probably why the SAH mortality rate is so high ..... just getting past the GP is a hurdle in itself ..... I had a probable warning bleed 4 years prior to this SAH and I now shudder to think that I was walking around for all of those years with just a clot holding my artery in place.....hideous.

I was also treated at the Wessex Neuro ...... I'm just over 2 years post SAH and still recovering .....

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Seems strange to say but the severity of the initial bleed probably saved my life. I collapsed and fitted which meant that my wife called the emergency services and I was taken to A&E. I had a history of migraines and probably would of been fobbed off the same way as quite a few other people have been.

I was also apparently closely questioned about possible drug use, but the consultant at North Hants (Basingstoke) correctly diagnosed SAH and sent me for a CT scan and I was in the Wessex Neuro unit within hours. Probably the same thing as driving a car (you notice all of the same model on the road) but Basingstoke seems to be a hot spot for SAH as a know of over a dozen people who've within the past half dozen years who've suffered a SAH.

Domestic Goddess welcome to a place where as the line goes "everyone knows your name" (random Cheers reference) and you can speak your mind and ask anything you need.

Scott

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Hello Domestic Goddess and welcome.

An all too familiar story. I was diagnosed with severe migraine as well, and although SAH was suspected, I wasn't given a CT scan until I had a second bleed some hours after the first and transfered to the Wessex Neuro straight away. Amazing when you consider that most of us had the classic symptoms of SAH and it's not taken seriously. I remember one very arrogant doctor saying "In my experience, most headaches are cured with oxygen and fluids" :mad:

Re:driving, I was given the OK to drive again after about 3 months.

It sounds like you're doing OK and everything you are experiencing at this early stage is quite common.

Regards

Keith

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Hi,

I guess you are in the Portsmouth area as I am.

I am always amazed at the occasions that a bleed is not diagnosed sooner!

Vomiting/pain/sickness and photosensitivity are all classic symptoms of a bleed!

When I was in QA in 2004 the CT scanner was actually broken .

I can relate to the loud noise and crowds though and the fitness issue will take time-so consider something slow and gentle to ease yourself into things when you feel up to it.

The loss of driving feels like your independance has gone too!

Anyway-welcome to the site -I hope you will find comfort here when you need it and that you will be able to pass your experience on to others!

Best wishes

Andy P

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Hello there Domestic Goddess,

Yeah I too am a Nigella Wannabee :D

It is scary that so many of us are misdiagnosed, I'm still very angry about this but currently working through my own demons and trying to get the hospital to take the misdiagnosis seriously. I don't think i was queried about the drugs. And was given pain relief right away although initially I do think as I looked ok they didn't take it serious how sore the pain was. i.e on the scale of 1-10 it was 1000 for me. Am amazed at my pain threshold. :D (Although I haven't have children yet!!)

I too feel very unfit and can't push myself too hard as essentially my energy will just sap and I'll need to lie in a heap. I just discovered the Nintendo Wii last night. I know we've discussed the brain game here and folks said it was great. I loved the sports Wii, a great workout, fantastic for hand eye coordination. Great for pent up aggression boxing. It wrecked me but def am going to buy one. But will first check with the Doc that over excitement won't affected blood pressure etc. A Fab workout!!!

Anyway sorry for rambling. Welcome to the site, Thanks for sharing your story and I look forward to hear from you.

Aine xox

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Hi DG

Welcome to the best SAH site in the universe. There's nowhere else like this, on the web or elsewhere, for being able to share SAH/aneurysm experiences.

I had mine last September, a first bleed that I thought was a trapped nerve in my neck so stayed in bed a couple of days unable to move but no head pain if I didn't move it, then just 3 days later a repeat experience but worse so my partner rang emergency services as I lost consciousness. The rest of my story is published here at BTG, so as not to bore everyone else again! Unfortunately I have a second aneurysm (found at the same time) for which I will be having surgery in about 4 weeks time.

So, mine was a fairly quick diagnosis - from main bleed to surgery in 4 days (and those four days are virtually completely lost to me!). I have since given up work as I had quite a pressurised job and will decide what to do with the rest of my working life post next surgery.

But enough waffle, we're all here for which we should be eternally thankful and are able to enjoy life better in a lot of ways - I know I do as I appreciate the simpler, more natural, things of life a lot more now.

Keep coming here - it will help more than anything else, and welcome to the gang!

Sarah :wink:

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HI DG

Welcome to the site. I'm also new (well fairly new now lol)..and it's a fantastic forum with lovely and very friendly people on here.. to chat with and we all can understand what the other is feeling, generally!

Re your driving license...I wrote to the DVLA and heard back from them very quickly, with a letter saying I could keep my license.. and unless I had any siezures etc.. then I could continue driving. I didn't actually have to send my license to them (from memory). Fingers crossed that you get your license back soon. I know that "would have killed me" If i'd lost mine!!!

I had been "out" for 24 hours, on my own, at home. When I came too.. I made it to the bathroom..and I felt so not right. My bowels let go and I was sick. I managed to get to the phone..and I sounded drunk, due palsy. Thankfully due to a persistant friend saying "give me ur doctors number or I'm phoning the police"..when I kept saying "no..i'll be fine lol".. a doc arrived. He asked which hospital i'd prefer to go to.. out of 2. One being Scotland's Neuro Hospital - the Southern General. I ended up being sent to the other one. They thought I had viral illness/migraines blah blah blah..You name it. Even although I had all the symptons.. severe headache/photo sensitive (and was given Victoria Bekham shades to wear eventually lol) shoulder & neck pain/had been sick and had palsy down one side..they couldn't work it out!!! Wierd!!!!! I agree with Karen, above, this must be why the mortality rate of SAH is so high..as it's 50% I believe!!!

Anyhoo..U have found us now. I'm glad to hear you are starting to feel a bit better. Don't push yourself. I'm nearly 2 years down the line now. I still get headaches .. but apart from a really bad one last week.. they are easing. My energy levels are on the increase..but it really has taken it's time.

I've been walking lots and trying to swim lots where possible, without pushing myself. I also bought a weight ball, from Asda, to help strengthen my left side..which has helped. Whilst swimming.. I use the pool's floats so that I can work on my legs and arms separately.

We are all lucky to be alive and we are all lucky to have each other to talk with.

Take it easy and enjoy the forum xxxxxx L xxxxxx

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