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What were your symptoms in order??

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They say the sure sign is the "worst headache ever", but mine went like this...


1.  Vision problems (like looking through colored contact lenses)


2.  Headache (not worst ever thunderclap type, but sudden and intense)


3.  Still neck.  I could not move it in any direction even a fraction of an inch


4.  Nausea


5  Felt a little better and neck a little better


6  Apparently a couple of days where I thought it was 1987.


So now any time I have even a little floater in my vision, I pay attention!


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First was the huge pulsing pain behind my right eye followed by the headache


I then had migraine in hospital before they sent me home.


Blurred vision,really bad head and neck pain followed.


Then complete double vision and my right pupil dilated, eventually my right eye closed completely.


The head pain was constant and migraines came and went throughout the 6 weeks until the anni was found

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Hi Bronco, my symptoms went like this....


1. Feeling like water had been poured down the back of my head.


2. My body wanting to fall over to my left, me trying to stop it from doing so.


3. Having problem with my legs( feeling like rubber )


4. Nausea


5. Thunderclap headache ( like the worst pain I have ever felt in my life )


6. Unconsciousness 


Had it not been for a young doctor ordering a brain scan I wouldn't be here 

today as they were going to discharge me with a migraine, I thank god everyday

for that young doctors diligence.

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1. Headache at back of head, but not thunderclap


2. peripheral vision disappearing


3  feeling of fluid running over brain


4  stiff neck, constant headache, occasional nausea


5  finally admitted to hospital 6 days later - thanks to parents and NOT the various medical people, including paramedics, I saw during those 6 days!

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1.Headache at back of head whilst runing (And I said to a fellow runner - "I never get headaches").


2. Neck got stiffer and hard to move (but kept running)


3. Headache increased as did neck pain, felt weak and nauseous (but kept run/walking)


4. Collapsed, vomiting, photophobia. Ambulance called.


5. Little memory of next 2 weeks except constant headache and Nurse on ICU wards shoes and voice.


But I survived, even if a little damaged  ;) . I am a happy damaged survivor!

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1. I went completely deaf.


2. Couldn't move my head or neck extreme pain.


3. Managed to get to reception(was at the gym) asked them to call ambulance as pain was so bad. Collapsed within 2 minutes of pain starting.

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Hey Bronc - 


I was lucky I think.  I had a headache for about 3 days before SAH.  It wasn't bad but annoying and noticeable enough for me to whine and take about 300 Ibuprofen (jk about amount).  I went to bed that night and about 4 am woke my family with the noise of me having the SAH.  I don't remember any of it to this day.  

I read these posts describing their SAH and feel so bad because I know I was lucky to have avoided being conscious of the "blow".


Take care


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1. Black floaters in my eyes weeks before my SAH..


2. Headache for a few days before..


3. Thunderclap headache affecting the front of my head and the top of my neck..


4. Sensitivity to light.


5. Some sort of spasms periodically.


6. Nausea.


7. Falling in and out of consciousness.


From the thunderclap headache to me being rushed into hospital by ambulance, it was six days.  



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1) Was tired in the morning and I mean very tired  July 2009


2) At noon I still felt rough and had a ****** taste at back of throat ( bl oody) it wont let me type it


3) Could not stand noise of my Sister on the phone to me.


4) Head hurt, hubby came in and I fell down.


5) Awoke in Hospital approx. September 2010 shunt fitted and me singing to a lovely nurse. 


Not much has changed then !

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1. Headache at the back of my head / top of my neck while I was in the gym. (thought I had tweaked a nerve in my neck so carried on stretching and stuff to see if I could loosen it out)


2. Pain developed into the classic thunder clap headache and I knew something wasn't quite right. Went and found one of the gym instructors.


3. After about 5 minutes started throwing up a lot. Then felt a little better. Called my wife to come and pick me up.


4. Got home and the thunderclap headache got worse, nausea returned, all started to get a little hazy at this point.


5. As a lay on the bathroom floor, I have a recollection of thinking I haven't got meningitis (as my wife lifted up my t-shirt to check my skin), and can't be a stroke as I can raise both arms...... and then as far as I'm aware I'm out of it. That took about 90 minutes from start to finish.


Apparently I was communicative for a couple of more hours but that's all I remember till I come around in ICU with a lot of tubes sticking out of places they had no place to be! (I had an IVD)  :)





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No prior head ache.


Like Win I felt very fatigued. We were going for breakfast and my husband was teasing me about getting moving.


Following a shower I began to feel this weird electrical- like hot sensation on the right side of my head. I was trying to hurry to get clothed as I just knew it wasn't good.


Went to tell husband something was wrong and the crushing, exploding pain drove me to my knees.

I was screaming for aspirin but luckily began vomiting. Even after, I wanted the aspirin, but fortunately I passed out and my husband caught me.


Pretty much lights out from there thought I came to a couple of times for just seconds.

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I don't actually remember having my brain haemorrhage. My final memory of that day is going onto the ward I was going to be staying on to have heart surgery and then that is it for over three weeks.


I had mine during the surgery and apparently awoke complaining of a headache. I was taken out to see my husband and also complained of a headache to him. At the time they thought it was a reaction to the pain medication/anaesthetic. My husband started to talk to me about his dinner and I told him I felt sick and the lights were too bright.


I then fell unconscious. When I was checked on later I did not respond at all and was sent for a CT scan which found the bleed and was then transferred for brain surgery. 


Overall I think it is a blessing that I do not remember!

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When I saw my GP recently she showed me my medical notes from hospital regarding my NASAH which had a note on them saying 'good one for med students?' She asked me if I would be willing to talk to med students about my symptoms some time later in the year. I agreed so I thought I would try and list them here in as much detail as I could remember. Sorry if they go on a bit!


Day 1. 1am. Sudden severe pain over whole head and down back of neck. Happened in an instant. Totally shocking experience. Soon after my whole neck went rigid for a short time.


Within~1hr. Pain localised towards the back of head (and remained for ~ 5 days). Not as severe as the sudden onset but still 'the worst headache of my life'.


After~2hrs. Vomiting, then retching every hr for about 6 hrs.


After~6hrs. Electric shock sensations (that made me squeal) up the back of my neck on retching, pooping, sitting, standing or walking.


Days 2 & 3. Pain was a constant at the back of head, but also intermittent pain behind eyes and electric shock sensations across cheekbones and temples. (Still at home in bed!)


Day 4. 7 hrs in A&E (1am to 8am). Generally headachy and light sensitive, but feeling relatively better in spite of lying stretched out across hard waiting room chairs with my son's coat over my eyes. Went in for blood tests due to accidental therapeutic overdose of paracetamol in treating above headache!


They also gave me a CT scan which was read as negative for a bleed. (8 weeks later the lovely neurosurgeon showed me the CT scan was actually positive.) Home and back to bed to sleep it all off.


Day 5. Headache worse, very stiff neck, high temperature. GP sent me back to A&E with suspected viral meningitis for a lumbar puncture. Went prepared with my own pillow this time! (Would wait 26 hrs for the LP as it was one of the junior doctors' strike days - still support them though.)


Day 6. Woke up after a night on the A&E observation ward (they finally gave me a bed) to find my temperature lowered and headache practically gone! Felt like a fraud. Wondered if I should go home.


As the day wore on I realised there was still something wrong as I was so so tired and my head felt too heavy for my neck. Early that evening I got the LP which confirmed a bleed and was finally transferred to the neurosurgical ward.

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Just got on a train and....


1 - Suddenly feeling 'spaced out', weak and very distant


2- Clammy, shaky


3- Sweaty


4 - Reduced peripheral vision (or awareness)


5 - Stiff neck - felt like spikes being pushed into the rear base of my skull


We got off train next station and phoned 999 suggesting it was like a heart attack, but pain in the back of the neck not the chest (its not always in the chest). Paramedic did ecg and all OK, but suggested a badly pulled neck muscle. However when in hospital I was quickly CT scanned which showed the bleed.


Thankfully someone at the hospital or in the ambulance had obviously come across it before to know the signs and act quickly otherwise it might have been two paracetamol and sent home!


9 months after successful treatment intense pain in similar part of neck for several minutes, then eased off when cycling hard up a hill - that was a pulled muscle - scary, though!

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1. Went into shower feeling ill - had been suffering flu/cough


2. Felt sick and began to vomit as I came out of shower


3. The most excruciating pain came as I was being sick, thought someone had hit me and fell to floor - thunderclap headache


4. Felt popping in head and had sense that I was dying - weird experience


5. Managed to get up lay on bed feeling awful, gradually pain lessened was still bad but nothing like earlier.


6. Drove to doctors - stupid I know! - continued to vomit


7. GP told me to get to Hospital - ha think she should have ordered ambulance


8. In hospital felt quite disassociated with my surroundings and extremely tired


9. CT scan showed large aneurysm which they believed had bled - luckily not very heavily

Coiled aneurysm

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1. Went deaf


2. Thought somebody had shot me in back of head (bizarre)


3. Could feel blood pumping through my hole body.


4. Ambulance took me to hospital. Had ct scan. When they told me I had a sah I was pleased that I hadn't called an ambulance for no reason. Crazy? How I wish now that I could have aplogised for being a time waster!!


The trouble now is because I went deaf if the sound cuts out on the telly I panic and look round to see if anybody else can hear it. If I am alone I run outside hoping to hear something, anything.

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Gilly, I love that your first reaction to being told that you had a SAH was that you were pleased that you hadn't called an ambulance for no reason.


I think it was a similar type of thinking - not wanting to cause a fuss, be a time waster - that stopped me calling an ambulance at the outset, even though I knew immediately and instinctively that something had badly gone wrong in my head!

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My first symptom, although only realised it was in hindsight, was a pain behind my left eye that came and went. I put it down to iritis  which I used to get occasionally.


Second was the feeling that my head had exploded with pain and hubby called an ambulance. I then started vomiting. From that point onwards I cannot remember anything. 

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My symptoms were


1. Feeling like I'd been hit round the back of the head


2. Feeling generally unwell


3. Neck went stiff


4. Hearing went


5. Was sick


6. Then unconscious


The first 4 happened very quickly within a few minutes the other 2 came about an hour later.


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I have no memory of my sah but this is what I have been told happened.


Was fine and working all morning, apparently told colleague I had a bad headache.

Looked very strange and when asked if I was ok said ' there is something terribly wrong in my brain, I need help' .


I then hit the deck.

Ambulance called and motorbike doctor turned up.

Reports was I was lucid and could explain I had awful pain.


I was then violently sick .

I then had a grand mal seizure.


Arriving at hospital I was apparently awake again to talk to doctors and my mum and husband when they made it to london but no recollection for me and then nothing from first week in ICU. Thankful really.

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  • 4 months later...

Hi, this was my experience -

I'd had a pretty stressful week, was tired. I remember getting my words muddled the day before it happened.


I had a nagging headache all day (just usual end of week tiredness I thought). Was talking on phone at home on the Friday evening, suddenly had shooting pain in back of my head & my neck stiffened up. Had to lay down. Was in tears from the intense pain. Started being sick, couldn't stand the light. Just thought it could be a migraine, as the pain eased a little over next day or so.


My hubby thought it was something more & convinced me to get a doctors appointment. By the time I went 3 days later I couldn't move my head without feeling I might pass out. Doctor sent me straight to a & e. Spent 4 days in assessment unit, started taking Nimpodopine on day 2.


Had ct scan - not conclusive, mri showed small bleed at back of head. 3 very painful attempts at lumbar puncture finally confirmed bleed. Transferred to Kings College in London. Had angiogram, weirdest experience ever. But thank God nothing else found. Sent home after 2 days 'to live my life as normal '. ?

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I was in Kings my Surgeon was Mr Daniel Walsh  xx


I remember nothing from when I passed out until I had shunt fitted a year later as Hydrocephelus was bad.


Also had ventriculitis and Sepsis, So in a way glad I remember nothing just odd snatches of memory like telling people where to get off lol

Bet I was a horrid patient lol xxx


Glad you are here to speak about it, and every day you'll get better but look back over weeks/months and see how far you have come on xx



Win xxxx I can remember nurses hitting me (not) but I was having a fit lol,  the mind plays tricks !! all I remember is lots of nurses around me.

Poor nurses xx

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  • 6 months later...

Woke in the morning after a night out before (not excessive drink but enough ) eating cereal and then all of a sudden felt like I was going to throw up or pass out. Rushed for the bed and got in foetal position - then every time I moved head throbbed like a cartoon generator - presumed it was a bad hangover. 


Couldn't move without getting electric shocks in my neck. 

Wife was concerned wanted me to go to a& e but I just said they would send me home. 


Managed to get up and about - went to kiss my daughter good night then got what felt like s whack across the front of my head and electric shock 

went to bed.. 


Next morning went to a & e - they did a ct scan but doctor said couldn't see anything and sent me home as he said you are mobile and can communicate etc.


Got a phone call next morning to say another doctor had looked at scan and to go back to hospital. 

An angiogram the next day and released after a week. 


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  • 3 months later...

1.  Running intervals at the gym and felt a pop in the back of my neck/head area.  Also, vaguely remember the flow of blood.  Told my boyfriend my neck hurt but held it and ran for 20 more seconds and got off the treadmill to get cleaner and wipes.  Told my BF something is wrong with my neck to call my mom, I need to go to the hospital.  


2.  Thunderclap headache was the worst pain of my life.  I thought my neck broke.


3.  Had to pull over and call for ambulance.  EMT said right away I'm treating you for an aneurysm. 


4.  Then the vomiting started constantly while they did 2 CAT scans which originally showed 3 mm aneurysm but angiogram the next morning said no aneurysms or malformations that it was just a vein that was looped.  Don't think that's the one that bled though.  They really still don't know. 


5.  After a few days blood and fluid went into my back/spinal cord and that spasmed out of control for weeks.  


6.  12 days total in hospital, 5 in ICU, 5 in intermediate and 2 regular.  2 angiograms with a 3rd this week to follow up.  Numerous CAT scans....maybe 3 or 4 total, an MRI on my back and an ultrasound/Doppler type test on my head to check for vasospasms.  


7,  I was on the standard blood pressure med and salt tabs for a month from the start and pain meds a total of 18 days from the start.  I have visiting nurses and physical therapy.  Now I take Tylenol and anxiety meds.


8.  I'm 42 and live with my 2 boys and I'm so grateful everyday to be alive and to have had the support that I've had.  We've lived with my parents for almost 2 months now so they can take care of us and after my angiogram this week I hope to be able to move back home.  


I pray to God I never have to go through anything like this again and I'll pray for all of you as well.  I appreciate that I have found this site so much and it feels really good to be able to read stories of people who actually can relate to me.  So thank you for sharing!


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