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Kerry - Birthday gift from brain!


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Hi my name is Kerry I'm 48 have 3 children and had my SAH last September 4 days after my birthday. I found this website a few days after leaving hospital and found the topics and discussions immensely helpful.

My day started as normal, I work as a head chef at a very busy cafe and after an immensely busy summer and a particularly busy Saturday I was looking forward to it slowing down a bit.


I came home and ran myself a bath while my husband ordered a takeaway as I didn't feel like cooking. I bent down to pick up something off the floor and that was it . I felt like I had been hit around the back of the head by a bat. The pain in my head and neck was incredible .


I have a high pain threshold and went into my husband crying telling him I had the most horrendous headache ever and I couldn't move my neck. Fortunately for me he is medically trained and knew straight away what the symptoms meant and phoned an ambulance. They were there in minutes and took me to our local hospital in Wolverhampton where I had a CT scan within 15 minutes.


After that I have to rely on what my husband told me because although I was awake I don't remember anything until a week later. I was immediately transferred to a specialist hospital in Birmingham where my husband tells me a surgeon was waiting at the door to take me for another CT scan and assess what they were going to do. It was at the point of getting to the hospital I went unconscious and couldn't be woken.


The surgeon suggested that my husband call family in to come and see me before being taken to theatre because he couldn't guarantee he could wake me up after the operation and was only giving me 20% chance of survival . So in came my family to evidently say goodbye.

Thankfully I had an amazing surgeon and he coiled my bleed and saved my life and I have to say the bleed has left me with very little side affects. I had daily lumbar punctures to relieve pressure on my head to avoid fitting a shunt and thankfully after several days of those they declared it had worked.

Like everyone else I was on an endless list of tablets, the headaches were horrendous for at least a month after but amazingly I went back to work 6 weeks post bleed. That was my way of recovering . I only work 4 days a week now instead of the usual 6 or even sometimes 7 and at home I take it easy and rest when I know I've done too much. I felt going back to work was my way of coping with what had happened and I'm very lucky to have an understanding boss and amazing work colleagues who helped me through this process.

It took me several weeks to realise how lucky I had been and how close I came to death but I know if I think about it I'll sink into depression and I won't let this bleed do anymore damage than what it's already done. My memory is dreadful I have to ask several times about something before it sinks in but luckily it hasn't affected my work. I still get daily headaches but they are manageable and evidently I could always have them so I may as well get on with life.

One thing that I think is worth recognising is how it affects those around you. My husband is constantly worried about me and hates me going out on my own but you have to just get in with life don't you. I hadn't realised until a few months later how badly it had affected him and try to be respectful of this and how helpless it made him feel. I'm just so grateful he was there when it happened as I may have just taken painkillers and gone to bed and never woken up! Scary thought.

Sorry this is so long I just wanted to tell my story .


One thing I want to say is I didn't drive for the first 2 months because I thought I couldn't . I rang the DVLA and they told me because my license hadn't had to be surrendered and that it was only a notifiable condition like a stroke that if my own GP said I was fit to drive while they carried out their own investigation then I could.


As you can imagine I immediately went to see my own GP who was amazed I had gone back to work so early, she did a thorough examination and declared as far as she was concerned I was fit and safe to drive. I've now been driving nearly 2 months and today I've had a letter off DVLA telling me they have had a reply from my surgeon and it will take them another 9 weeks at least to look at the report. I'm so glad I rang DVLA initially and asked otherwise my car would still be sitting on the drive doing nothing. I know that if you have a shunt fitted then the rules are different mine was coiling . It's given me back my freedom and some normality in life.

To all those who are still suffering (and I do quite regularly ) it does get better and I know when I go for my 6 month pre coiling assessment in March that everything will be ok. The power of positive thinking


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Well Done Kerry,


I knew I was getting better when hubby was abrupt to me, lol


You have done well,  as I have a shunt !!


Keep doing whatever it is you are doing as it seems to be working.


Good luck and welcome to BTG xx for me it is a lifesaver xx


Good luck

WinB143 xxxx

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Great story Kerry and welcome to BTG.  Everybody's story is slightly different but similar in many respects!  You are indeed very lucky to make such a good recovery so soon after the event.  Many others are not.


You are right to pick up on the effect on your nearest and dearest. They are sometimes overlooked but the impact on them can be very profound and long lasting.  Thank you for highlighting them and their importance and value in your recovery.


Good luck for the future and please keep posting   to let us know how you are getting on!



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Welcome Kerry, good to hear you are doing so well and are so positive. Sounds like you were lucky your husband was there and had some knowledge of what might be happening. My husband would have had no idea, he didn't get to me until I had had the CT scan when it had been confirmed. Like yours my husband worries about me now, especially when I say I have a headache!


Life does go on and it does get better, embrace the new normal!


Clare xx

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Hi Kerry :)


A very warm welcome to BTG.

Thank you for sharing your story.

Glad you found us and the posts were helpful.


As the others have said ....well done you ! Keep up the positive thinking :) 

Take care and let us know how you and your family are doing.


Tina xx

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Thanks for all your lovely comments. This site is amazing and was such a help in the early days. It was good to read other people's stories and accounts of what they went through and I know without a shadow of a doubt I'm one of the lucky ones. It's nice that we can share our good times and bad times and know that whoever reads it will know exactly how we feel and not dismiss even the slightest worry that we may have about our recovery .

Thank you all



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Welcome Kerry your story very similar to mine, hope you continue with your excellent progress. My headaches were awful at first, I still suffer a year later but they are less frequent. As Win another member would tell me be sure to drink plenty of water!

Take care and I wish you well for the future

Sharon x

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Letter might say 9 weeks but it's currently more like 18...


And great your hubby knew the signs....my A&E doc didn't even recognise the signs! Took 15 hrs till I got a CT scan! ;)


 I've now been driving nearly 2 months and today I've had a letter off DVLA telling me they have had a reply from my surgeon and it will take them another 9 weeks at least to look at the report.

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