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New member and survivor- bethlta


Beth Archer
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Attempt number 3 at writing this so here it goes..

Hi! I am a survivor!

 

On 3rd July I woke at 5am feeling great. Then at 5.30am bam! That baseball bat hit on the head we all know about. Oh my god never felt pain like it. I spent the morning clutching my head with my eyes closed, every now and then getting up and being sick. I lay there wondering if I was having a stroke. I even stood in front of the mirror doing the tests on myself, smile, tongue, talking, lifting arms, nothing indicted what was going on. I could finally keep painkillers down at 2pm. At 3.30pm I got up, got in the car and drove to work to collect my laptop to work from home.

 

I thought I was just having a really bad migraine. Not like one I had ever had but a migraine. The next few days I carried on. I took the dog on some long walks. All the time I had a headache. On the Monday I went to work and called the NHS helpline as I still had the head ache. I told them what had happened etc, they said keep taking the painkillers.

 

On the Tuesday before work I managed to get an appointment at my doctors. Not with a doctor, (haven't been able to get one with a doc for the last 3 years as the receptionist seems of think she is medically trained enough to know who I should see). This appointment was with a paramedic practitioner. He listened to me, he did the same tests I had done. He said "I don't think you have had a haemorrhage, so just keep taking your pain killers,". I looked at his computer screen and he had a "different types of headache" Web page up. That worried me a bit!

 

I carried on as normal, working every day. Then on the 10th I drove from Sussex coast to Leeds. Dropped my son off with friends at the music festival we were helping out at, then I drove to Hull to spend the night with a friend. As I was pulling my bag out of the car, bam! Back of the head again. I nearly collapsed, left the bag in the car and went into my friends. I spent 2 hours with my head in my arms on her kitchen table apologising for being so useless. I went to bed and spent the night being sick and crying in pain. I was like that until about 3pm the next day.

 

I then got up and informed my friend I was going to drive to the hotel in Leeds I had booked as I had paid for it. I got to the hotel, checked in and went straight bed. Spent the night being sick, the "migraine" had got worse again. I set off the fire alarms in the hotel because I had a shower and then couldn't turn it off and the steam activated the smoke detector.

 

My room phone rang and it was one of my friends asking if she could come up and see me as they had been trying to get hold of me. She came up and spoke to me and called an ambulance. It was then I was told it was Monday, I thought it was Sunday. I lost 24 hrs in that hotel room.

I was taken to my first hospital. Where they diagnosed me with suffering a SAH. They blue lighted me to Leeds General. They managed to get hold of my parents who thankfully were visiting friends up north at the time. I was informed I needed surgery, and that it would be early the next day. They took me down earlier than first thought, and had my burst aneurysm coiled. Whilst in there I was discovered to be suffering vasospasm, which was treated. I spent quite a few days in HDU then got moved up to the ward.

 

I was in hospital for just under 2 weeks. I have been very lucky and don't seem to have been adversely affected physically, not to mention the fact I am still alive, even after the first bleed on the 3rd untreated.
So there you go, my story, bit of a long one I'm afraid. I have been home since 7th August. Finding it a little difficult. But hey I'm alive!

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Hi Beth :)
 
A very warm welcome to BTG :)  glad you found us and thank you for sharing your story. 
 
Thank goodness your friend was able to contact you at the hotel and call an ambulance.
So many times SAH gets mis diagnosed, I was too.
It's very early days for you, try and rest up as much as possible and drink plenty of water.
Listen to your body and be kind to yourself.
 
You will find lots of helpful information and support here.
Feel free to post any questions you may have and join in the green room banter, we are a friendly bunch :) . We can't give any medical advice, but can share our experiences. 

Take care and look forward to hearing more from you.
Tina xx

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Hi Beth

Wow what a story. God knows how you did all that you did with that headache! Makes me realise I was lucky I was taken to hospital so quickly. Glad you have found BTG lots of friendly advice here. As Tina says its early days for you. Rest plenty and water water water!

And yes 'hey we are alive' something I keep reminding myself too!

Clare xx

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Hi Beth and welcome aboard :)

 

It sounds like you experienced a traumatic ordeal one way and another.  I'm glad you're now out the other side and can concentrate on your recovery.   It's great that you say that you aren't physically affected, but just be aware that your brain has taken a traumatic hit and it will need plenty of rest to help it recover.  

 

I too had a paramedic who didn't realise it was a sah - I had called 999 as it was happening and he left my house saying 'I could take you to hospital, but you've probably got better things to be doing on a Saturday afternoon'. It was a week later that I finally got into hospital despite seeing and speaking to various medical people, including doctors, during that week.   So it doesn't appear that in the 7 years since mine, things have improved much on that score :roll:

 

So, yes, the fact that we survived is something that we should be truely thankful.

 

I wish you all the best in your personal recovery,

take care,

Sarah

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Hi Beth,

 

Early days as Tina said for you, but it helps to know there are others like you here, well I found this site very  helpful

 

Any worries on I pop,  have a rant  and I feel better for having shared my fears.

 

I wish you well and anytime you are worried, just come on here there is always someone to help you.

 

You are one brave lady and I wish you well.

 

Good luck and No Stress !

 

Love

Winb143 xx xx  or just Win xxx

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Hi guys.. thanks for your lovely words.

Trying to relax.. finding it difficult as I am self employed and no work means no money. So that is stressing me out a bit. I also don't do the siting around doing nothing very well. I have a 20 year old son who is worse tHan useless.. love him to bits, but he can't see anything wrong with me right now. If I had had a craniotomy or I had something showning an injury I am sure he would be different.

Feeling very lonely, and finding it very difficult to explain to my parents, family, friends how I am really feeling as there doesn't seem to be the words. And when I try to I get a sentence or two in and they interupt and start telling me I am lucky to alive (sometimes I don't feel it) and that everything will be fine.

Anyway I look forward to reading more and learning more about your experiences.

xxx

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Hi Beth

Thanks for sharing your story and sounds like you have had an awful time, I too had a thunderclap headache like you luckily my sister had had one so I kind of guessed it was serious, mind I still drove up to doctor, who did send me to hospital. I had a large aneurysm coiled at the hospital (jan 2015) I appreciate how your feeling now as I felt very lonely too.

 

My family were good but I guess similar to your's I do not think they appreciate the emotional roller coaster you go through. I went through every emotion from anger to finally being I think a bit depressed. I also felt guilty for not being over joyed at being alive, you read so many stories around how these things spur people to achieve life transformation.

 

My GP did tell me I could be experiencing post traumatic shock. I still find it hard to talk to my kids (adults) about it as they have the attitude that "your fixed". It is slowly getting better, I still have some bad days but more good now, I hope this site helps as it has me sometimes just having people who are not close and who have some shared experience is helpful
Regards
Sharon

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Hey Beth. Sorry to hear about your drawn out wait to get help post SAH , I read an article recently where Sharon Stone experienced very similar to you with delays and misdiagnosis and she was sharing how she's doing 15 years on. Have to say she did another naked photo shoot to celebrate ...not suggesting we all do that to mark up 15 years on though!!

Anyway, everyone has shared to take it easy as much as you can. If you have to work adopt a new style with much more breaks of just silence to rest up and write down how you feel, it can help.

Anger is a natural part of the porcess I think but keep talking to people, don't bottle it up and be kind to yourself.

Also your 20 year old son is adult enough to understand that mum needs a lot of help and understanding right now if you explain it to him and how it feels, remind him if he doesn't get it straight off, show him some posts on here if needed. My daughters were much younger , not even teens yet but they understand my brain took a knock and help me make sure I don't overdo it and you need those who love you to be cheerleaders around you.

Take care. Keep drinking the water .

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I think anger is natural and I know I was angry both at "why me" and also at what I felt (probably had nothing to with me being ill) had contributed to it, mainly stress of caring for mother with Alzheimer's and other family stresses. I got frustrated at not feeling well, I also had some training planned at work which was a once in a lifetime chance which I missed.

 

Having financial commitments also places extra pressure and being self employed must be hard when you are ill. All I can say is that things do improve slowly but don't be too hard on yourself these feelings are normal after a serious illness such as this and don't be afraid to speak to GP as mine was really helpful.
Regards

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Hi Beth

 

Sah is a very lonely event, there are so few people that experience it that it is hard to find people to talk to about what has happened. That is why this site is a godsend. I can understand your anger, I felt it too in the early days, the anger does fade and hopefully acceptance will step in.

 

I can also understand your worries over money, I am the main wage earner in our household and still only working part time.

As you are self employed maybe working from home in short bursts is the way to go, that way you can do some work but in a controlled environment where there is water and comfort.

 

Daf is right when she says your son is adult enough to see how you are. My 3 adult kids have been great, but they did see me at my worst. Put him on to me - I will sort him! (joking). But seriously you need to have a chat and explain what has happened.

 

I was given a book by the hospital when I left, did you have any such thing he could read?

I see you are a south coast lady. Where abouts in West Sussex are you and where were you treated? I am in Portsmouth so we are practically neighbours!

Keep strong and drinking that water!

 

Clare xx

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Beth, the only way people (family/friends) are going to know how your feeling is to tell them why not get them together, type it up print it out and start of by telling them that you know just how lucky you are to have survived.. tell them that there are others who understand because they have been through the same... Just let the words flow when your typing I find it very good way of un loading..

 

I wished I'd done something like that it may have made life different in some ways for me....

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Beth, the only way people (family/friends) are going to know how your feeling is to tell them why not get them together, type it up print it out and start of by telling them that you know just how lucky you are to have survived.. tell them that there are others who understand because they have been through the same... Just let the words flow when your typing ..

Louise, I found it so useful writing things down and I think you know I started my blog after my SAH and shunt which I used to let friends and family know how I was feeling and that whilst I may look ok things were very different. I still uodate it now, less frequently than I did but people ask me for updates. Sharing here in case it is of help to anyone . http://popgoestifty.blogspot.co.uk

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Beth do not worry too much.

 

Easy for me to say as I am 6 years down the line. I remember waking up after shunt was put in place and my hubs said the following.

"Win you wont remember much and you will forget a lot"  So I lay there and said in my mind "My name is Win I come from a big family"

 

I named all my bothers and sisters, then said my Mums name who had passed on, said my Dads name etc etc.

I thought I could remember everything so what is my Hubby talking about !! Tut  

 

My Sisters used to come and see me we used to sing and I'd always say  before they left  "Tell Dad I am fine and as soon as I get better ie walk I'll come and see him.  One night I was in bed worrying about my Dad and then I remembered he had died in 1999.

 

I cried like a baby (always have done lol).  Anyway what I am trying to say to you as the weeks turn into months and so on, you will be okay xx Just keep away from miserable people and laugh when you can xx Think happy thoughts and together we can all make it.

 

Keep Well and Always be Happy

Love

Win xx xx  Get Money sorted as Rob says then you are halfway there xx

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