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Chris G - New Member

Chris G

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Hi Everyone.


I am so happy to have found this group, as I have some questions and I also look forward to just learning more about this.


Here is my story.  I am a 51 year old man who started running in spring of last year with my daughter because she wants to join her high school track team.  When I started, I could not run more than 1/2 of a mile without stopping to walk and rest.  By early October, I was running 2.5 to 3.5 miles 4 or 5 times a week, had lost about 20 pounds and was feeling great.  I signed up for my first 5K for November (but I did not make it).


Then I went to Orlando with my family and rode a couple of rollercoasters (did this have an effect?).  I returned to my home on October 12th and it was still daylight, so I went to the park where I run.  Before I even reached the mile mark, my vision suddenly changed as if I were looking through blue contact lenses.  Then my head started hurting.  I started walking back when my neck became so stiff I could not move it at all.  I got nauseous and got on all fours so I would not puke for fear that it would break my neck to do so.  I had called my wife, who initially was just driving over to get me but then called 911 when I got worse.


Long story short, I suffered a SAH.  They determined it was a vein and not an artery so no surgery, just a tube from my head.  For two days I was out of it (thought it was 1987).  After 10 days in ICU, I had the tube removed and went home. 


I continued to have headaches for several days, then they got better.  I now have small but acute pains behind my eyebrows that last for a few seconds, almost like a brain freeze.  My next check up is in mid-February.  Until then I cannot start running again or strain myself.


My neurosurgeon told me that my type of SAH usually is the result of an injury.  The jarring of the roller coaster may have contributed, but he said it was probably going to happen at some time.  He said the running had nothing to do with it, which made me happy, but I keep reading where people have this happen while running, which gives me doubt.  I do not have a permanent shunt and seem to be fine other than the headaches, and a tendency to get tired.  Maybe some memory loss, but hard to tell.


He also told me that it should not reoccur.  The chances of it happening again would be like "lightening striking me twice".  That sounds great but I have some fears.  He cannot tell me what happened to the area that cause this.  Did it heal?  Is it stronger than before?  Did it degenerate?  He does not know.  So I worry.


So now, I have been walking (I had to recover from atrophy and a case of the wonderful shingles), doing a bit of elliptical machine work, and regaining the addition 10 pounds I lost in the hospital. 


I have plans to start running again as soon as he clears me to do so.  But I will really feel foolish dying beside my running path if it happens again.  Looking for advice here.


Thanks for letting me join!

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Hi Chris,


Have you had a word with your Doc or Hospital as they are the best to advise you.


I had an SAH and was out of it for a year before they put shunt in so I do hardly anything !!!  walking is a problem.


There are a few on here who run, Clare is one of them she is off seeing her Daughter but will reply as soon as she see's this.


You seem to be one of the lucky ones although it doesn't seem like it at the moment xx


My Surgeon told me "No Stress"  so passing it on xx  Perhaps you could stagger your runs ie a little at first and so on.


I wish you well and listen to your body, if you feel tired rest.    You can always start up again as others have on here.


Just do it by starting off small jogs and build up slowly (she says,  who cannot even walk very far).


All the Best


Winb143 xx  See you in the next marathon  xx

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Hey Chris, so I'm going to welcome you to the group, glad you are doing ok, the flutters and sensations are odd and scary but try to wait and watch them , they pass, drink plenty of water and be gentle with what you ask of your brain in the coming months.


I also expect all that fitness effort you did before the bleed will have been a blessing in disguise as it maybe meant that you were healthier and in better shape to deal with then what happened. Karen who set up the site often mentions she has never come across reoccurrence but always check out your fears and concerns with the professionals if you have questions.


They can't give us gurantees that we may wish for but if you are sensible and build things up gradually , listening to your body, then you will make progress and find your new level of training.


You may find because you had the EVD tube placed it means recovery from this surgery and scar healing in addition to the effects of the bleed and it may also leave you a little different to your previous version, time will reveal Any changes to you and you can always ask to be assessed by a neurophyscologist if you have concerns but also pleased for you that you didn't require a shunt, I mean I'm very fond of mine now but I wouldn't much recommend them ;)


Take care and no roller coasters ...!

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Hello Chris


Delighted you found BTG and a very warm welcome to the forum. You will certainly get much help and support here.

Trying to understand the cause of an SAH is a question everyone tries to answer...........


So glad you managed to summon help to get you to hospital quickly. You have given your family tough introduction to SAH, and as Daffodil says, do take plenty time to let your body adjust and recover. Don`t rush to try and get back to where you were.


Looking back over various threads on this site will help you to gain an understanding of the varied challenges post SAH.


Winnie has said- there are many `keep-fit` enthusiasts here who have tried to keep exercising, setting their sights at varying degrees of `self punishment`. I say that jokingly as I am a Carer and I am currently trying to get beyond an 8 minute `wall` on my exercise bike :)


Looking forward to hearing more of your background and progress as you feel ready to share.


Pace yourself well Chris




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Welcome to BTG. Your story sounds copybook to mine. Running whilst it happened and having Hydrocephalus and an EVD. I am coming up to my first anniversary (10th February) and am running again. I started slowly joining a Couch to 5k group and a couple of weeks ago ran 10k  :D. I have also just returned from a sking trip, the last time I went was a month before my SAH. During that trip I took a couple of tumbles and am not sure if one of these caused it. I did bang my head but was wearing a helmet. I will never know and am not worried by it as I have been told like you, that my chances of having another SAH are extremely rare. 


I started running about 3-4 months after my bleed, it took me that long to dare! Plus I was so tired it didn't seem possible. The hospital positively approved of any physical exercise and told me it could only do me good. It's the mental exercise that got me and still gets me now. My memory is haphazard and I am waiting for a Neuro psychology consult to determine what my deficits are.


You are early days but be positive. You will run again just take it slowly. Drink plenty of water and keep coming back here. It's the one place that has been such a help to me. Feel free to ask any more questions.


Good luck


Clare xx

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Thanks for the welcome and the responses.  I hope to start running again after my February checkup.  It will have been a little over 4 months.  I fear I will be starting over on getting my distance and time back, but I am ok with that.  At least I won't have the weight I had originally.  Mostly I worry about building pressure on my brain with the increased heart rate.  I can only hope I have fully healed and can reabsorb the fluid like it was designed. 


The worse part was when my daughters, who had sprinted down the path to find me, arrived.  At that time I had been feeling my face and smiling to check for a stoke.  On my hands and knees and unable to look up, I could talk to them but not see them.  And then the thought hit me that I might die right in front of them.  So I started praying that I would at least live to the ambulance so they wouldn't see it.  It is very humbling.


I have been reading some of the threads, so I know I got off easy compared to some of the other members.  I wish them all well.

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Hi Chris

I think your plans to start running after your 4 month check are sensible. Hopefully your doctor will give you the all clear as mine did.


I know how you feel about your daughters. My sister was with me when I had mine, in fact I had only started running with her to help her get over the deaths of 2 of her partners (9 months apart and one very tragic). When I asked at the hospital if I was going to die, I remember her screaming 'I can't lose another one'. She was hastily removed! Thankfully I survived and she has been a rock to me. It has made us closer and she understands better than most of how I feel.


We may have got off 'lightly' as you say, but a bleed is a bleed and we are all survivors. Be positive- you will run again just a little more slowly to begin with. Keep me posted on your progress.

Clare xx

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Hey Chris


welcome to the site, glad that you found us.


wow! well done you one the running, like mine they don't know what caused it, I could have been born with it, it could have happened through time, or I had a few knocks  to my head, could have been that I'll never know - it happened, I survived and that is the blessing.


Hope you find the site useful, take care and if not running walking is great form of exercise.


Take care

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Hi Chris,


Welcome to the site, you will find a huge amount of help and information here,


Recovery can be a slow process, if you listen to your body and brain and make

sure you have plenty of rest, you will get there.


Fear is quite normal, it`s still early days for you, it does get better and the fear

does lessen as time goes on.


As for your running like Clare said take it a little at a time and you will get there.


I was in a wheelchair when I came out of hospital 19 months ago, as my left

leg was affected by my SAH, I had a ruptured aneurism, I now walk my little

dog everyday, maybe not as far as I used to but I`m doing it and it feels great.


Take your time, your body will let you know what it can and can`t cope with,


I wish you well on your recovery journey and look forward to hearing how you

are progressing.


Best Wishes

Michelle x

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hi Chris.  I agree with everything Michelle said and the others too.  So sorry for what you had to go through and your family also.  Hard thing to deal with for all of you.  You sound like you are working hard to deal with it and are trying to step back into the things that you had loved to do.  Great! 


I'm onto about 1-1/2 years and was terribly frightened for a while.  Everything scared me...but I notice that I am much better at the fear thing.  I believe you will conquer fear also.  It takes time.  Listen to your body and your head specifically.  See a doctor if you are not feeling well.  So proud of you that you are determined to walk/run again.  Congrats - but don't try and do a 20-mile run for a while!  ;)


Be positive and take each day at a time.  Come back here for support whenever you feel like it.  These are some great people and you will always be warmly welcomed.  As Win might say...if you have to run - at least sing while you do it! :)


Much Much well wishes to you and your family.  Remember to be positive. 



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Hi Chris


Welcome to BTG, you have been give some superb advice by everyone above, I'm not sure there's a lot I can add. Everyone's story is unique to them and you will progress in your own time, patience is the thing I am told we need to learn! (I'm still learning!) My story is similar to you, venous bleed, treated with an EVD (unfortunately complicated with an infection ), luckily no shunt and discharged after three weeks in hospital.


Exercise was a huge part of my life, it was no surprise I was in the gym when I had mine. The one story I'll share with you, which may or may not be pertinent for you. I had been itching to get back out on my push bike, and just under three months after I was discharged it was a beautiful spring day and I'd thought I'd go out for a ride. Just a little ride, 9 or 10 miles. It was great for about an hour after the ride till the fatigue set in and I was laid up for two days! That was my first encounter with a bad self induced fatigue attack, the moral of this for me was to build it up slowly, find those limits more gently, its less painful in the long run!


One thing that has help me, I've managed to find a personal trainer to take me on for short focused sessions once a week, and she's been a god send. Allowed me to train reasonably hard but knowing that there is some one there keeping an eye on me, so i don't over do it.


Good luck with the running when you get the all clear from your consultant, but in the meantime enjoy those walks.



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Hi Chris :)


A very warm welcome to BTG ....glad you found us :)

Some great advice from the others.


Good luck with your check up in February and hope you get the all clear for running again.

Feel free to join in the daily banter in the Green Room.

Take care and lets us know how you are doing.



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