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Hi

I have posted my story on here before. I had a SAH last September and came out of it relatively unscathed or so I thought. Recently I have had increasing problems with memory, mixing words up and not knowing the name for basic every day items and not being able to remember people's names. My mood swings are erratic some days and other days normal.

 

I work as a chef and he menu I work to is my menu so I know it inside out but the last few weeks and the last few days in particular I have got orders wrong, I've not done what's on the ticket despite reading the ticket at least half a dozen times. My work colleagues have noticed the last few weeks how confused I've got and asked if everything is ok.

 

To be honest I don't know. Is this normal, should I be worried. I've had my 6 month MRI scan at the beginning of March and I'm just waiting now for results. My theory is if anything showed up on there id be back sooner rather than later. I still get daily headaches and some days are worse than others.

 

My only concern is (and I apologise if I sound a little crazy or stupid) but once you have had a bleed are you more prone to things like dementia or Alzheimer's ? I really don't know.

Any feedback would be helpful.

Kerry

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Hi Kerry,

 

I feel okay but have always been a little bit on the silly side, for instance when people tell me this is serious,  I laugh and I have never taken anything serious.  I love laughter and if that is some form of dementia More please lol.

 

Seriously I have not give it a thought,  I am the youngest of 10 and always been a bit of a silly moo and I am not changing for anyone xx

 

I find laughter helps us  xx I used to forget things perhaps you are stressing too much and that does no one any good xx

 

So Good luck and don't worry xx

 

Winb143  No Stress have a sit down and a cuppa before Service xx

 

I even forgot my bridesmaids names ..Well it was 45 years ago !!

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Hi Kerry,

 

I'm not sure why your memory problems have been more noticeable for you recently.  I know some kitchens start getting a lot busier at this time of year - at least they do round here where I live, it's as if people have been hibernating all winter and then wake up and need to eat out!

 

I'm not sure if your work is seasonally affected but I believe any increase in workload results in problems with our brains being able to deal with it in the same way as before the sah.

 

When I was at the stage you are now, I was getting the mixed up words malarkey much more than I do now - it did take a long time to improve - but at least now I don't refer to everything in the kitchen as the oven!

 

 I work in a cafe on a Saturday afternoon and I can see how multi-skilled a chef has to be - the busier it is, the more often he makes the wrong thing. Don't be too harsh on yourself - could you perhaps delegate some of your tasks.

 

Memory problems following a sah, although very common, seem to vary from person to person. I consider mine to still be quite bad, seven and half year later - some aspects have improved with time - others seem to have got worse.

 

Names are another strange one for me - when I returned to working in a bank after my sah I struggled to remember the customer's names - people I'd served for many years, but whilst I can remember most of them now, I can't for the life of me recall someone's name when I want/need to in every day situations. 

 

As for your question regarding being more prone to dementia, I really don't know the answer although I'd imagine probably not.  

 

I hope all is well with your MRI results,

Sarah

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Hi there,

 

Not sure either. You seem to be back in the thick of it, maybe too much too soon.

 

I'd get a GP appointment. If nothing else it will put your mind at ease.

 

Everything you described is all common as far as I know, with having had a SAH, we've all been there...

 

And like Sarah I don't think so either, but do make an appointment...

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Kerry, when you worry it creates a viscous cycle which in turn effects the brain. It's natural to be concerned about the results of the MRi but I have always adopted the view that if there was anything serious they

 

a) wouldn't let you leave the hospital

 

b ) call you urgently or

 

c) and the most likely outcome, let you come in for your appointment and update you ....I'm sure all is ok.

We did hurt ourselves the day our brain bled so give yourself a break. If you are making mistakes then it's possible you are going a little fast for your brain to do all the multitasking that I am sure a chef has to do and against all that noise.

 

Maybe you need to adapt how you are recalling things, I know I had to retrain my short term memory and it's still poor when I am extra tired, worried or ill with a cold or something.

As for dementia risk, well I don't think there is any study that says we are any more likely to develop so try and just concentrate on the here and now if you can and maybe put some practical steps in to help you in the kitchen.

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Hi Kerry

 

I had my SAH in August of last year, and had my angiogram in March.  A lot of the problems you've mentioned, I have too - memory loss, slight aphasia, mood swings, headaches, getting things jumbled up.. and I too was worried.  What put my mind at rest was talking to people on this site and talking to my consultant.  I wrote all of my queries down and asked the lot.

 

I've been referred to a headache clinic, and have been working with a psychologist who is helping me with strategies to help my poor memory (eg using a diary etc).  Although I haven't returned to work as yet (hopefully next month), I have learnt to pace myself so that I don't get over tired and start making mistakes, and for my mood swings, I do a lot of swimming, yoga and use one of those mindfulness colouring books.

 

Everything has become a lot more manageable.  But, if you're really concerned, speak to your consultant.

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Hello Kerry

You sound exactly like me! I'm coming up on two years and find my memory and speaking problems so much like yours. I say the weirdest things. Sometimes it's funny and sometimes it makes me a little upset.

 

I also have the most amazing memory incidents. Lots of times I can't remember what I was doing 1 minute after I started doing it. BUT I will pull something out of my memory I hadn't remembered for 40 years. I love that part of the memory thing.

 

I used to type or write a lot and recently have found it very hard to do.

So interesting how our brains respond to damage such as we have had.

I agree with suggestions from others. If it's bothering you or scaring you a lot please check with a doctor or neurologist. I think you might feel a lot better.

 

Take care. Keep us posted on your progress.

Your friend

Carolyn

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Hi Kerry,

 

I had my SAH 7.5 years ago and also came through relatively unscathed.  The key word here is relatively; brain ruptures have a tendency to make cells die and while another part of the brain may take over the function of the damaged area, it is not as efficient. 

 

I too have had short-term memory issues, search for common words at times, and have had ADD-type focus problems that I never had before.

 

So the first thing I thought when I read your post is How tired are you lately?  For me, the deficits I have are more pronounced when I'm fatigued.  If your problems don't ease with rest, seek professional attention from your neurologist. 

 

I know when I finally sought a consultation and learned exactly what portions of my brain were damaged, that information alone helped me be less hard on myself.  I also take a low dose antidepressant to help my focus and know I have to work harder to remember names and information.

 

Best wishes,  Colleen

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Ooh...one last thing...

 

My psychologist recommended that I watch a film/documentary called "My Beautiful Broken Brain". (It's on Netflicks).  It's about a young woman's first year post SAH experiences.  I watched it last night.  Although her experiences weren't exactly the same as my SAH experience, there were so many similarities.  Worth a watch.

 

Claudette

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Thank you all so much for the comments. It's made me feel a lot better that it's probably normal. Yes I've been more tired lately and I've had an awful cough for about 4 weeks so maybe that's what's causing all my problems.

Claudette I'll take a look at that documentary thank you for telling me.

I'll keep you all posted as to my progress.

Kerry

-X-

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Hi Kerry,

 

As with other folks the deficits, problems whatever you wish to call them you have are very similar to what I have. I think Colleen's question to you is a good one. How tired are you? Have you started do more recently? Or having such good rest recently (and nights sleep worrying about things?)

 

I know that when I do more I fatigue more, and then the memory and the word searching gets worse. If I try to sit down when fatigue to work at the computer, oh my god you would think I was typing in a foreign language.

 

At times the word searching can be funny, at other times so frustrating. My mood is something that until the last few month was relatively even (I'm 15 months out now post SAH) and now that I am trying to do more, do more work, try to drive a bit, if I do too much, I fatigue and I become a right grumpy *** My wife can spot it a mile off and knows when I have done too much and we have to chill for a bit. 

 

Good luck with it all, if you can try to pace things, and get some quality rest time, not always easy, but might just help

 

greg.

 

P.s. I recall standing in a sandwich bar ;last year trying to order a sandwich and I wanted to say leave out the cucumber, but could I remember cucumber for the life of me, no. I had to go into a full description long green thing, chopped up, and eventually the person got what I went, that was one of the funnier moments.

 

The other day I saw a Giraffe on a hoarding poster, and I thought ****** what are those things called, took me two hours, but I got there eventually! Fun times!

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I think your right Greg . Sometimes it is funny when you either say the wrong word or can't remember the word and your standing there trying to describe it. As I said before I'm a chef and very often I'll ask one of my other chefs to prep something and for the life of me I can't remember the name of it and I'll stand there describing the item.

 

Have you ever tried to describe butternut squash !!! It's not easy lol. But equally it is frustrating if I'm talking to a customer and I can't think what something on my menu is called.

 

As I've said in other posts I think I came through this hiccup fairly easily. I went back to work after 6 weeks much to the disgust of family and friends and the amazement of my GP but I needed some normality in my life and I was driving again after 8 weeks.

 

The daily headaches were always going to be there so why not just get on with it. Yes I'm exhausted a lot of the time and memory is pretty awful but I survived. I have amazing family, friends and work colleagues so why not do what I can when I can. As they say your a long time dead and I'm not ready for that yet.

 

Hopefully the results of my 6month MRI scan is all clear and no issues as I've heard some people have had problems with coiling and having to have further coiling (hopefully that won't be me) and then it's into the next milestone the first anniversary of my bleed (which is nicknamed Bertha at work) and hopefully that will pass with no repeat performance lol.

 

I'm so glad I found this website because no matter how much you can talk to your loved ones, I think unless you've been through it, you can't say the usual 'I know how you feel' because as much as they want to mean it they can't and talking to people on here you know they mean it when they say those words.

 

Thank you all

Kerry

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That's so true, Kerry.  I have a loving family around me, and friends, but unless you've been through it, or are really close to someone who has been through it, you just don't know what it's like.  I think it's amazing that you went back to work so soon and have been determined to get on with your life.

 

On this site, someone once said that I need to be kind to myself, and to be my own guru, and that's what I'll say to you.

 

We all seem to progress at different rates.  What works for me might not necessarily work for you.  Since having my SAH, it's like I'm getting to know myself all over again as in some respects I've changed so much.

 

I'm discovering what makes my headaches worse and my mood dark; what makes my fatigue and aphasia kick in, and all the other stuff I've been experiencing post SAH.  Some things are funny.  Some not so much.  But the main thing for me is the discovery, and if there's anything I'm concerned about, I ask. 

 

Good luck with the results of your MRI.  Fingers crossed all is well. xx

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So true Kerry, you words brought a tear to my eye. It's so true no one knows what post sah is like unless they have been there too. And that's why I keep coming back here. Thanks Karen for giving us BTG  :)

 

Clare xx

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I have very similar memory problems, can be embarrassing at times and also very frustrating. I came home one day really upset after my manager queried the fact that I keep saying "that thing" and wondered if things were too much for me as I was less organised and wasted time when I forgot things in meetings.

 

I also worried I had Alzheimer's, My mum has this so that played heavily on my mind. I had myself noticed my short term memory was awful cannot tell how many times I go out my office to ask someone something and forget within seconds what I am going to ask.

 

I have noticed it is worse when I'm tired, stressed or overwhelmed by others talking. I was told by one of the specialist that if part of brain is damaged or has died that it tries to find new pathways to get messages through this can take longer and errors can occur! I still also get bad heads but they have lessened this year.

 

I have not checked out if I have Alzheimer's I could not face that at the moment could not trust how I would react, particularly as I live this daily with my mum. I am learning to build in better planning time for meetings, be honest and ask people to repeat things, laugh when I say the wrong word and tell people why. I believe I have nothing to be ashamed of!

 

You have been amazing to go back to work within that time frame and to such a fast paced job, I hope it improves or helps that many of us still share the same issue.
Regards

Sharon x

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Hi Kerry,

 

I had my brain haemorrhage last January. I have no memory of the subsequent 3 weeks in hospital. My memory starts to come back for  the last couple of weeks in the hospital, but it is patchy.

 

I had quite a severe bleed and during my time in the hospital the staff noticed that I was having issues with various things so I was sent for a range of neuro-psychological tests shortly before I left the hospital. I do not remember these very well but I remember finding them tricky.

 

Upon discharge from the hospital I was referred to a specialist brain rehabilitation centre near where I live. When I got through all the information I can remember reading and thinking 'this is not for me - I don't have any issues' - I told this to my husband and family at the time.

 

Anyway during those first few weeks out of the hospital I started to notice memory issues - forgetting if I had done a task, going into a room and forgetting why I went there, not being able to follow a TV program, losing the car in the car park, getting lost when returning from the bathroom in a new place and not being able to find the right word. I just dismissed most of these.

 

Prior to my haemorrhage I worked as a teacher. Last May I started trying to return to work - I was told this was not possible due to my issues from my haemorrhage as shown on the tests I sat coming out of the hospital. I went to resit those tests last May and they showed a had a range of issues - mainly in attentional memory and around executive dysfunction (issues with decision making, organising etc.). I was assessed by the rehab centre I was referred to upon discharge and started there in June - so much for not needing them.

 

I spent 10 months in rehab following this. I found it very useful as it allowed me to see my issues and then find ways to work around them. I was taught that following an SAH it is usually attentional memory that is damaged so it is not that we forget things, but rather that we do not form a memory of them in the first place as we are not paying 'attention' to them properly so no memory is made.

 

Through my rehab I came up with strategies to help me like lists, calendars, notebooks etc. My occupational therapist always encourages me to 'do' something with any information I wish to retain, such as repeat it back to myself or write it down. I wonder around my house looking like a madwoman, but it works.  

 

In terms of returning to work, I had to sit an assessment to prove I could still teach. Following that I spent a term building up stamina in the work place. I began teaching again in January and I am currently doing 4 days a week (although none are full teaching days). I am on a phased return until the summer holiday, but imagine that I will remain at 4 days next year. The strategies I have learnt in rehab have been instrumental in me returning to the work-place.

 

The point of this long story (sorry) was to say that the issues you are experiencing are ones that I believe are quite common following a SAH. As others have said on here I always find them worse when I am stressed or fatigued. I imagine that your work place is quite a stressful fast paced one, which might not help.

 

You mention that you have had your MRI scan. I hope that comes back well for you. When you see your specialist you could mention the issues to them as potentially seeing a neuro-psychologist might be useful as they might be able to give you tips on how to deal with any issues, especially within the work place.  

 

Keep us posted on how you are doing. I hope it all goes well for you and well done on returning to work so quickly - I worked in a kitchen prior to going to Uni and am not sure I could do that now! 

 

Gemma x

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Hi Gemma

Thank you so much for sharing your story. You seem to have made amazing progress as I know how hard it is working in school (I used to be a finance manager in a primary school before I re trained and I find his job much easier and not as stressful strangely).

 

I have a list of questions to ask my specialist when I go and see him and hopefully he can shed some light on what's possibly happening and a way forward.

I shall certainly keep you posted.

Kerry

-X-

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was like that also on vino Bronco but your post made me smile as this is my Family  ready Kerry and Bronco ?

 

"Yes Win you have already told me that" I reply " Just checking "  Ha xx

 

Good luck All xxxx

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I remember things from the past quite well, sometimes with ridiculous detail. It is the recent that I have problems with. Often, with enough clues and prompts the info will come back to me, but I sometimes wonder how many folks have thought to themselves that I was playing with a full deck.

I write myself lots of reminder notes.........

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I use post-it notes and notebooks for important things that need to be remembered as I can never remember anything that has happened recently. Once I have acted on what is written on the note I tick it off. I regularly ask or tell hubby something and again after a few minutes because I can't remember doing it in the 1st place and even ask a third time. It must be very frustrating for him and it does look as if I am nagging.

 

Lists upon lists in this house, it is the only way I can cope.

Blow what other people think, if that is how you manage, so be it.

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  • 2 months later...
On 4/18/2016 at 8:22 PM, Gemma B-B said:

Hi Kerry,

 

I had my brain haemorrhage last January. I have no memory of the subsequent 3 weeks in hospital. My memory starts to come back for  the last couple of weeks in the hospital, but it is patchy.

 

I had quite a severe bleed and during my time in the hospital the staff noticed that I was having issues with various things so I was sent for a range of neuro-psychological tests shortly before I left the hospital. I do not remember these very well but I remember finding them tricky.

 

Upon discharge from the hospital I was referred to a specialist brain rehabilitation centre near where I live. When I got through all the information I can remember reading and thinking 'this is not for me - I don't have any issues' - I told this to my husband and family at the time.

 

Anyway during those first few weeks out of the hospital I started to notice memory issues - forgetting if I had done a task, going into a room and forgetting why I went there, not being able to follow a TV program, losing the car in the car park, getting lost when returning from the bathroom in a new place and not being able to find the right word. I just dismissed most of these.

 

Prior to my haemorrhage I worked as a teacher. Last May I started trying to return to work - I was told this was not possible due to my issues from my haemorrhage as shown on the tests I sat coming out of the hospital. I went to resit those tests last May and they showed a had a range of issues - mainly in attentional memory and around executive dysfunction (issues with decision making, organising etc.). I was assessed by the rehab centre I was referred to upon discharge and started there in June - so much for not needing them.

 

I spent 10 months in rehab following this. I found it very useful as it allowed me to see my issues and then find ways to work around them. I was taught that following an SAH it is usually attentional memory that is damaged so it is not that we forget things, but rather that we do not form a memory of them in the first place as we are not paying 'attention' to them properly so no memory is made.

 

Through my rehab I came up with strategies to help me like lists, calendars, notebooks etc. My occupational therapist always encourages me to 'do' something with any information I wish to retain, such as repeat it back to myself or write it down. I wonder around my house looking like a madwoman, but it works.  

 

In terms of returning to work, I had to sit an assessment to prove I could still teach. Following that I spent a term building up stamina in the work place. I began teaching again in January and I am currently doing 4 days a week (although none are full teaching days). I am on a phased return until the summer holiday, but imagine that I will remain at 4 days next year. The strategies I have learnt in rehab have been instrumental in me returning to the work-place.

 

The point of this long story (sorry) was to say that the issues you are experiencing are ones that I believe are quite common following a SAH. As others have said on here I always find them worse when I am stressed or fatigued. I imagine that your work place is quite a stressful fast paced one, which might not help.

 

You mention that you have had your MRI scan. I hope that comes back well for you. When you see your specialist you could mention the issues to them as potentially seeing a neuro-psychologist might be useful as they might be able to give you tips on how to deal with any issues, especially within the work place.  

 

Keep us posted on how you are doing. I hope it all goes well for you and well done on returning to work so quickly - I worked in a kitchen prior to going to Uni and am not sure I could do that now! 

 

Gemma x

 

My gosh, my first 5 weeks were exactly as yours !

 

Xizzi.

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2 hours ago, Louise said:

Gemma I was like you too I have no memory of my time in hospital still don't even now, I have no memories of my past either - well done you on getting back to work...

 

Thank you Louise. It has been tough returning to work. I have just finished my phased return and am now off for the summer. From September I will work four days a week with Wednesday off. On my days in work I will not teach any more than four periods out of a six period day so I have some time off each day I can use to work or rest if needed.

 

I am hoping that this works out well for me but I know all I can do is try it and see if it works for me in the longer term.

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Hi Gemma,

 

Glad to hear you have completed your phased return - even better that you now have the summer off! I am sure you will come to love your Wednesdays as much as I do. I can't imagine working a 5 day week now and actually don't really think I could.

 

I am still floored by 2 days work so make sure you spend your Wednesday wisely. I go to a class at the gym first thing then spend the rest of the day just 'pottering'. I find if I do too much I am not much good for the Thursday and Friday at work. 

 

Enjoy the summer, let's hope the sun shines!

 

Clare xx

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