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Laura- Eventually tells the whole story!!


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I know I’ve been using the site for a bit now and know lots of you to write to! I today feel strong enough to tell my SAH story. I started back at school for the autumn term as a year 1 teacher. The first week was lovely and my new class were a charming, sweet bunch. It got to the Friday night and I was really looking forward to a big relaxing evening. It was always going to have a tinge to it though as my husband Simon was flying to Greece for a week. Simon left at about 7 o’clock for Luton airport, I got really upset as he left but thought I can be braver! Came back in, switched on my computer and thought I’d get on with some school work ready for Monday. After about half hour, I started to feel dizzy. I went upstairs and lay on the bed, that’s when the sickness started. I couldn’t even get to the bathroom so rang my mum and dad who luckily only live 100 yards down the road. They came straight away and eventually when I had stopped being sick took me to their house to stop overnight.

On the Saturday evening, I was no better so went to see the emergency doctor who said it was an infection and gave me antibiotics.

On the Sunday morning, I was much worse so went to A&E, after the day of doing nothing they said it was a tension headache and sent me home with codeine. What made it worse was my dad had gone to move the car as I couldn’t walk because of the back spasm. The nurse came and told me that my dad was going to be in reception even though he had told me not to go anywhere he would come back for me. She then said straight down corridor, turn left and down lift that is where your dad is. I left and crashed into 3 walls with the nurses that had been ‘observing’ me saying oops don’t crash into the wall, even though it was the fact I couldn’t see.

On the Tuesday, I was no better so went to see a GP at my surgery. He said it was a migraine and gave me paramax.

On the Thursday, I was obviously no better and was fading in and out of consciousness. My mum rang NHS direct and they spoke to me ha ha and said they were sending an ambulance. The ambulance turned up and said if your dad is going to follow in the car you can go in there too. Put your sunglasses on, here’s a sick bowl and by the way we travelled from Rugby to get you what a waste of time!

Thursday/ Friday- doctors in and out more interested in treating pain than finding cause. Then Friday about lunch an Australian doctor came and said I’m finding the cause, not treating the pain! A CT scan later and then an incorrectly performed lumber puncture, I was told it was meningitis. All hooked up and treated for that. A few hours later, they said they couldn’t work out why blood in spine on lumber punch. Sent me then for a MRI and CT angiograph and found out then what it was. They explained the options and said they were sending me to a different hospital because they had no beds and I had to be treated on within 24 hours otherwise would probably die because of how things had gone. ‘Blue lighted’ to arrive in the middle of the night. Simon arrived back from Greece just as I was signing consent form to go to theatre. Then the theatre was used for an even bigger emergency so I was told it would be 1st thing Sunday morning.

9a.m. in theatre, 4 hours later and came round (vaguely!) after a successful coiling to my own personal medical team and my husband dressed in lovely hospital clothing!!! 2 weeks later and still high temperature and double vision, they let me come home providing I had 24 hour care.

After 8 weeks I went back to school part time and then started back full time in January 2007. Everything ok ish until this November as you know from my other posts.

This SAH as definitely changed me as a person and I must say it has changed Simon as well for the better. I have also become much closer to my sister so some good things have happened. I try to stay positive and am just glad to be alive. Think I’ve gone on for long enough now!



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Hi Laura and thanks for telling your story ....

There's not many of us that have had a straight forward diagnosis ... so I'm not at all surprised to read about your experience....

Even though a SAH/cerebral aneurysm seems to be pretty common, it still makes me wonder why it can't be diagnosed quicker? .. Hence, the high mortality rate ....

If you went back to work at 8 weeks post SAH, then all I can say, was that you were badly advised and returning to work at 8 weeks, isn't the norm ... 3 months is probably the earliest ... even with a phased return .... I can remember somebody telling me, that it was 2 years before they felt anything like normal and could even contemplate a return to work ...... Recovery is individual to us all ..... the amount of brain damage is individual and I really feel, that you can't put a time limit to recovery.

If you ask any of the guys on this message board, when they felt fit to return to work..... then it will differ .... and, from what I've read, a few of them still struggle, when they're having a "bad" day...

If or when, I can return to work, I will re-consider the role that I once had and more than likely, decide to leave it behind ... I think that many people post SAH make a personal choice of taking on a job, that has much less stress and when they walk out of the door, they can leave it behind and not have take it home with them. I really believe, that a SAH or any life threatening illness, makes us re-evaluate our life and if we can manage with less stress and less money, for the better of our health, then that's okay .....

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Laura, thank you for telling us your story. I find it harder now to tell my story than I did when it happened. So, I realise it wasn't easy to tell, well done. :D

I find it very strange that in this day and age, it takes so long for medical staff to diagnose a SAH. Yet it seems to me it is on the increase. And yet it seems to be the last thing people think of.

Much hugs, H xx

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I agree Holly ...... the percentage of people that suffer a SAH is pretty high, yet the diagnosis and treatment of the problem still seems to be the bone of contention .... I still feel saddened, that I'm hearing the same old story ....

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Hi Laura

Your experience is fairly similar to my own except I got kept in when I went to hospital, but even then it took almost a week before they realised what it was and hotfooted me over to Walton the nearest Neuro unit.

I then had an emergency craniotomy to clip it as Walton don't have staff to do angiograms at the weekend and my Neurosurgeon didn't think I would last til the Monday.

As Karen has said we all feel able to return to work at different times I went back on a phased return after 7 months. I started working 20 hours a week and have slowly increased that to 30. But I know that at the moment I couldn't consider any more as I find it quite tiring.

I also have been unable to even contemplate starting my M.A I was supposed to start January 07 but know that the amount of work and concentration involved is still completely beyond me yet.

Janet x

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