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shellie
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Hi, I had my SAH last November. I remember finding this site and trying to post my story but at the time, I found it hard to even write about it. I suppose it is a good sign that I can do that now without becoming anxious or crying! What a scary experience. I remember having such a major pain in my head and just not knowing what it was but feeling so scared. It all went in slow motion for me. My husband put me to bed with ibruprofen and an eye mask! I just couldn't bare the light. That was Saturday and by Monday, I thought this is not going away so I did go to the doctors. I was sent to casualty with suspected meningitis which I did not think I had. The casualty doctor said 'It could be a bleed on the brain, but people don't usually survive that.....pop and they are gone' were her helpful words............I felt much better after that, lol! Proved her wrong anyway. ; )

 

It was found to be a ruptured aneurysm. I was taken to the National hospital in London where I was looked after by the experts. Felt much safer then. Can't speak highly enough of all the nurses and consultants. I was in hospital for two months as the coiling wasn't successful as a clot formed. The threat of a stroke became the major issue then. To put it very simply, my consultant said it was a waiting game to see if the burst aneurysm and the second one that they found very near to the first, would heal themselves. She didn't want to risk the clipping as I had made such a good recovery so far.  I'm very fortunate. They did disappear. My own little miracle, I was told. 

 

During that time, I read a lot of other people's stories on this site and it helped me immensely that others were so positive. 

 

Trouble is, I am finding it hard to move on. I feel so different now, mentally and physically. I went back to work as a teacher, after six months at home, and the expectation was that I would just fit back in again. I'm finding that I'm just too tired to cope. I'm now off sick again after only two weeks of term.  I know I'm very, very lucky. But I feel different to before the SAH and I don't think I'm coping with that feeling very well. I just wonder if that is normal..........and what help other people might have had.

 

 

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Hi Shellie,

You have been blessed for sure. It's incredible when we do tell our stories and realize just how fortunate we are, even through the most difficult of times.

I returned to work, after my bleed, after 4 months and worked part time from home. I found it to be very exhausting and painful. I am almost a year and a half now and working hours that I find I simply cannot do anymore. I am so beat and I have a terrible time focusing.

Do not be hard on yourself. You are not even one year into recovery from something very traumatic. Let yourself heal. I truly believe it takes at least two years to finally recognize some type of normalcy, whatever that is these days. :)

You are not the same person you were before and that is quite okay. Everyone else needs to accept you are who you are now.

Iola

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Hi Shellie,

Welcome to BTG!  Everything you say resonates with so many of us fellow survivors.  Tiredness or fatigue is common, and you are still so early in your recovery period.  Your body has taken a huge blow and you have done remarkably well to get back to work in so short a time.  I did exactly the same. I went back to work after six months - for economic reasons as much as my health.  But boy, did I suffer for making such a rash decision.  I woke up in the morning went to work, came home and went to sleep again.  Some days I didn't even eat!  

 

What you will find is that you are the same car but with a different engine in it.  You will also need to adapt the way you do things, delegate more and slow down.

 

Tomorrow will be another day on the slow road to recovery and your work will still be there!  Although to others you will look the same and talk the same, you are not the same and you need to communicate that to them.  Some will empathise, others will believe there's nothing wrong with you and expect you will be as before.  You need to resist them and talk to them about what has happened.  Where I worked, no-one knew what a SAH was until I said the word 'brain,' then it sank home a bit.  Even then they seemed to think I would be ok the next Monday morning.

 

Those who came to hospital and saw me wired up knew differently, and although I didn't really appreciate their visits at the time because I was very ill, over the longer term it helped because when I did go back they were very defensive of me and knew what a terrible time it had been for me.

 

Don't underestimate what you have been through.  It is a life changing experience.  Once that clicks, you can move forward.  From what you have said in your post above, you are coping brilliantly, you just don't quite believe it yourself yet!  But you will.

 

You are physically and mentally different now.  I can tell from what you write that you are already re-evaluating things and understanding what is really important in life.  You will also find out who your true friends are over this time and they will be invaluable.

 

I know it's difficult but try not to compare yourself to what you did before, you are now on a voyage of discovery where you find new ways of doing and coping with things.  Try to enjoy it.  You can get a lot of satisfaction from doing things in other ways and sometimes wonder why you weren't so inventive  previously! (I know I've kind of contradicted myself there - doh!)

 

You are lucky - you just won the jackpot in the lottery of life - make the most of it!  Just don't try to do too much too soon!  I'm four years on and still get tired!

 

You still have a lot of life in you - grasp it with both hands! 

 

You are normal!  Enjoy your life!  And occasionally, let others look after you for a change!

(I hope you're not an English teacher!  I know I shouldn't start sentences with 'But' or 'And.'  I hate lines!!)

Best wishes,

Macca

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Thank you Iola and Macca. You helped me already! Someone understands!  :)

 

Iola, your comment 'you are not even one year into recovery...', you made me realise that I do have a way to go and it's ok to remember that fact. Other people seem to think I'm walking and talking so I'm better now! I end up feeling guilty as if I am making too much of things and I should feel better by now.  I need to educate them. 

 

Macca, you made me cry........happy tears though. I am very lucky to have won the jackpot in the lottery of life! What a lovely way to put it. By the way, I'm not an English teacher so you're safe. I teach very young children.

 

Thanks again.

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Hi there and warm welcome..

 

yep tiredness and fatuge are common, know you wont think it but your still early in the recovery, its an emotional rollercoaster really I hated the early days but once you can judge your stamina how far you can push yourself the 'can do's & cant do's' that's a good thing.

 

It does get better take it from an old hand honest.

 

Why not speak with your GP see if you can get councelling I know! but honestly it really helps speaking with a professional about it, another good place is 'Headway'

 

take care...

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Thank you for your advice, Louise.

I did wonder if maybe I need to see my doctor. Will mention it next time I go. It's good to be told that I am still in the early stages of recovery......my husband says I try to run before I can walk. Maybe he is right. I need to slow down a bit.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Shellie. I too owe my life to the docs and nurses at the National. They have a good support network there so I urge you to use it and definately go back and see your GP. Louise is so right, listen to her, get some counselling, call Headway, ask for as much help as you can. Pm if you want some hints .

You are almost a year on and at that stage we want and hope that our old normal will be back, sorry to say it is a new normal you are headed for and you haven't found that yet, it will take a longer while so just give it time.

Back to work is fraught with difficulty , ( search and read the great thread on that...) the purpose it brings is so important for our mental state but the toll it takes on our recovering brain is really hard. I am still not back doing the hours I did and don't think I ever will. My brain can't take the levels of outside activity it used to. An example is I have just left my kids at a party because there is no way I can handle that noise and demand and be able to function later and I'm two and a half years on so you being a teacher and having that state of noise and demand constantly is very tough.

It's not impossible for you, people have gone back and taught so give yourself a break and go as slow as you can bear but be kind to yourself. It's not a broken leg, a small op we have been through and your nerve centre got a major shock and is injured as a result and you have to be gentle in helping it find it's new way of running your body and getting the balance with that. I found it hard getting to know my new levels , knowing what I can do and even now it changes but don't despair, have hope, as Macca says you have been given the gift and lottery of life so enjoy your little successes every day and don't beat yourself up with what you aren't doing. It's not you can't' and won't , it's just not yet.

Take care .

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Brilliant post Daff, absolutely first class advice.

It's also, I find, you can and you will, just differently and perhaps at a more genteel pace.

 

Shellie, your husband is right, slow down, you aren't in a race now.

 

Think of yourself for once and don't be worried about what others think of you -they already love you -don't try to justify their feelings to yourself.

 

They want what you want and that is to see you healthy and strong.  So recover slowly and in the right way - the results are worth it in the end.

 

Regards

Macca

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