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Frank - Previous visitor. New Introduction

Frank French

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Hello all:


I had a NASAH almost a year ago on November 13, 2014.   Like many others I had the quick onset of a brutal headache like nothing I had ever had before.   Having suffered migraines in the past I knew that this was different.   And bad.   It felt like my skull was being pulled down into my shoulders and the back of my head felt like it was on fire.


An ice pack did nothing but aggravate me and Tylenol 3 didn't even touch it.   I had my daughter drive me to the Emergency Room at Lethbridge Regional Hospital.   By this time I was slurring my words, what words I could actually get out.   I had a hard time concentrating and wasn't able to form sentences. 


An experienced ER doctor recognized immediately what was wrong and got me straight in to a CT scan which revealed the bleed.   It was determined that it was too cold that night for STARS so they put me in an ambulance and within 3 hours of my initial onset I was in Calgary Regional Hospital in the Neuro Sciences ward.


There I underwent another CT-A scan,  An MRI, an Angiogram and an ultrasound.   They couldn't find the source of the bleed and determined that it must have burst and then immediately sealed itself off.  I was very lucky in that I required no surgery. 


The headaches that followed have ranged just like the neurosurgeon said they would.   "Your headaches will vary in Location, Duration and Intensity for anywhere from 6 to 18 months"   I've experienced the feeling of ants crawling around up there to the feeling of a rusty axe embedded in the back of my skull.   I've felt like my brain was a fat guy wearing spandex that was too small to the vice clamping down on my temples.  Along with a myriad of other feelings that are just too long to list.    


I returned to work after 3 months on a graduated return to work but was unable to keep up the pace.   I went back on long term disability for another 3 months and went through exhaustive rehabilitation therapy.   Physical, mental and emotional therapy ensued until now I'm doing another graduated return to work.   I'm now on 6 hour days 3 days a week.  It seems to be working but I'm only at the half way point so we will see how it goes.


The headaches have evolved to mostly tight pressure headaches and the occasional axe to the back of the head feeling.   I still struggle emotionally.   I have a very hard time dealing with stress in any form.   It causes more headaches and I just lock up and shut down.   I can't think and can't even function.   Most times I just have to walk away.  


My short term memory is pretty much shot.    Its kind of like throwing Jello at the wall.   Some of it sticks... most of it doesn't.  


I've found a LOT of help already in the forums here and offer any help I can to others going through the same thing.  Feel free to message me if you have questions.  I'm a pretty open book and can talk openly about most anything.


Good luck to all



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Hey Frank. This all Sounds all very familiar , no stress is easier said than done isn't it!! but well done on being kind to yourself and adjusting your work pattern as I do think it's key to be realistic. Pushing through is not an option I have found to my cost. I was talking to someone about this today, our bleeds don't define us or our future but we do have to make big adjustments in our lives and bring in coping mechanisms. I don't think I will ever accept my new limits but like you im closer to understanding the effects and being less scared.

Well done and good to have you back.

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Hi Frank,


I was told by Surgeon "No Stress" so when I do get stressed I sing happy songs sometimes it really helps and makes me think

about 'The good Ole Days' before I had SAH.  Sometimes I get on my hubbys nerves lol  but do I care !! Yes  ha ha


Good of you to come back on here and see how we are getting on it is nice to know how others are coping xx.


Keep up the Good fight and remember make notes and have fun as we made it xx




WinB143 xx xx

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Thanks all for the welcome.  


Winb143, even I have heard of your singing.  Since I've previously been asked to leave not one but TWO choirs, I'll leave the singing to you!!   I'll stick to leisurely walks and puttering in the garage for my stress relief.   :wink:


Hope everyone has a great day.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Wow Frank you need as much time out from professional life as you think you can afford (an more, even if this means a life change I reckon)... I am thinking along these lines with my family at the moment. It is a hard decision to make.  Since my NASAH on June 2, massive headache one afternoon, unconscious two minuteslater, helicoptered to the neurological emergency room in the city centre, then 6 weeks hospital.

I've had exactly what you said in your message ""Your headaches will vary in Location, Duration and Intensity for anywhere from 6 to 18 months"" .... sometimes these are really invasive and scary but they have vastly diminished in the last two months (screens make them worse).


Meanwhile, I will have to return to hospital in December for a few days tests including an LP which I'm toying with the idea of telling them to give to someone else !!

Oh yes, and my memory has just evaporated, no longer just a question of lack of concentrtion but really whole conversations and events from yesterday fade away like ghosts like they never existed and I am quite shocked when someone insists enough on the fact that I have just forgotten and not that the event never existed. Concentration span of a house fly too. Hope this starts to improve, I'd hate to have to write reminders everywhere.


Look after yourself, make sure the head pain at the back of the head isn't vasospasms, these should be seen to an sorted if it's the case. A friend sent me a short but spot on article on brain injuries on Facebook. How can I get this to you / to BTG? Sammy Anne xx

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  • 2 months later...

It's been a while since I logged in so I thought I should check in and catch up.


Since the last time I logged in I have had to go through a career change.   I couldn't handle the stress of my old job in the IT field.   I've been able to drive since the beginning. (there was that initial month restriction from driving) So I've changed careers to long haul truck driving.   I'm only starting part time which suits me just fine.  


I still have the headaches.   They have only marginally subsided.  And they are aggravated by how tired I let myself get.  


Christmas was a bad time for me.   Again, the stress of the season didn't help.   Now I'm just glad that its all over with.


Anyway, its good to be back.   Happy new year everyone.   And may we all see good things come to pass in the coming year!!

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Well done Frank you turned it around. You did the best for you.

Remember two things actually three for your new job


1) don't take passengers unless you are very sure if them


2) make sure you carry lots of drinking water in the"cockpit"


3) do make sure you rest up and don't let yourself get bullied into doing hours that tire you out or too long distances.

You can put your wife in the passenger seat for some of the time if you'd both like some company.


I wish I had your courage to change jobs. It is difficult in France to be independent or to change professions after the age of around 30-35. So I set up a translation company in London to try to make a break for it professionally. Maybe you could try a setup too ? Less stress than constant driving.

Look after yourself buddy

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