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SAH in London


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A fab friend of mine introduced me to this website after I suffered a SAH on New Years Eve 2007. To cut a very long story short I was very lucky that it occurred after I decided on the spur of the moment to spend NYE with my parents. I jumped in the car at 11.30pm and I had only been in the house with them for about 5 minutes before the awful pain in my head started. I suffered the tell-tale symptoms of headache, vomitting, temporary paralysis down my left side and sudden sensitivity to light.

My parents rang for an ambulance. They took their time to arrive and didn't want to take me to hospital when they actually did turn up. They told us that all I had was a migraine and that I would have to wait 5 or 6 hours for paracetamol. I know NYE in London is the worst day to fall ill but if it wasn't for my Mum insisting they take me, I hate to think what could of happened.

Basically at the hospital they diagnosed me with a SAH on the right side. I was admitted into intensive care and had the more invasive clipping operation. I spent nearly 6 weeks in hospital and if it wasn't for the friend I mentioned above I wouldn't have not a single leaflet to explain fully what happened. The hospital didn't have any printed information available which is suprising as it has such a world renowned neurology department.

I haven't returned to my teaching job and have moved back home to my parents as I couldn't walk properly or do any of the basic things one does by myself. Three months on I am walking without aides but still get very tired. I usually take a walking stick with me so that I have something to lean on when my legs become tired and wobbly. I also have a small aneurysm on the left side which the doctors were going to coil but decided after 2 months to leave it alone as they said it was too small and the risks of operating were larger than leaving it alone. It makes me uneasy but I couldn't really face another operation right now and I certainly can't afford to be off work for longer than 6 months and I am already at month 4.

I still have a very large lump to the side of my head. It was drained twice at the hospital before I was discharged and immediately filled up again. The doctors have seen it.I suffer strange pains and sensations in it sometimes but my neuro surgeons say that it is CSF (brain fluid) that will gradually be re-absorbed by the body. Is that true? I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere.

The only other thing I can say is that my family and friends ahve been amazingly supportive. They haven't lost faith in me or lost their patience with my long recovery. I feel incredibly lucky to have been in the right place at the right time when it occurred as I could have been in my flat alone. The surgeons were amazing and I am extremely grateful to them. I have tried to keep my sense of humour and this has helped stave off the depression that most expected me to suffer from. But I must admit, I do get horribly frustrated that I cannot do what I want when I want to!

Thanks for reading my very long winded account (spelling mistakes and all), I think I need to have another nap now I think!

Leo xxx (PS: Thank you for setting up this site)

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Hi Leo and a warm welcome to the website.... :D

Thanks for telling us your story.............just to say that things do get easier with the passage of time...

Hope that you find the website helpful and there's a lot of good people on here, that will support you.

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Hi Leo

A warm welcome sounds like you have plenty of support from friends and family which is really important in the first few months.

This site and the people on it have played a very important role in my recovery and the friendship help and support recieved is brilliant. Hope you find it as useful as I do.

Look forward to hearing more from you soon.

Janet x

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Guest chelseagirl2

Hi Leo

I welcome you although I have only just joined myself, I agree with you about the lack of information givern after a SAH, Im sorry but it is kinda a big deal, as I say most body part come in pairs, u can live without many of them or you have a back up spare. Why do we not get the help or support? well done you tho and your timming sucks!!!! NYE i mean really!



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Guest malathi

Hi Leo

Welcome to the Site.. It is very good that you have nice support from your family and friends which is very necessary at this stage..

And this site is very good, supportive and playing very good role in my recovery and the support received from the other SAH sufferors is amazing. I just hope you also find it very useful.

Hope you recover soon.



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Hi Leo and welcome to behindthegray.

Interesting story. Sadly, it's all too common to be released from hospital with little or no information. That's what is good about sites like this - all the information and advice comes from people who know first hand what it's like.

It's good that you have the support of your family and friends and that your sense of humour has remained intact. That's so important.

Take it easy


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Hi Leo,

Welcome to this wonderful web site :D

It has given me so much information. I was the same as you battling with ambulance crews etc, but they still wouldn't take me!! Had to get my dad to take me in the car. It was ridiculous, they only gave me 12 hours to be operated on because of the mess ups with hospitals and docs etc.

I agree with your bad timing, hospitals are rammed on that night aren't they!!

I'm a teacher too- I had a term off then returned in January 2007, then it all got too much in October2007, I started back part time yesterday. Going to see how it goes. Trying to be positive,ut you will know how stressful teaching is.

Take care



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Hi Leo

Welcome to the site and to the family.

It's a long road to a place called Recovery but you are allowed to make as many pit stops as you like and take the occasional detour :wink:

This is a wonderful place and has wonderful people - I don't know where I'd be now without this site. I know that I've made some life long friends and have had loads of support and encouragement - I hope you get as much out of it as I do.

Take care and speak soon

Sami xxx

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Hi Leo

Welcome to this wonderful site. They are all a little nuts on here :lol: and liven up my day especially when I'm down and feel hard done by. Keep sharing your story and days with us and you will have good company on your journey to a hopefully full recovery.

Had to laugh about the timing of your SAH: NYE :lol: My first SAH was around midnight on a Saturday night and we were falling over drunks in Casualty - the noise level was horrendous too. Got sent home by the triage nurse as he thought it was a migraine. One month later had another major SAH and thankfully having gone for an eye test and subsequently to the Eye Hospital, a consultant there looked behind my right eye and had me taken to Hope Hospital to the neurosurgeons.

I suppose we have to take into account that a SAH is a pretty rare occurrence, even rarer I suppose the NHS having to deal with SAH patients both in hospital and post hospital as a lot of people don't survive the initial bleed. The eye consultant told me that he'd only seen a SAH (behind my right eye) once :!: in his entire career and didn't expect to see another.

Keep putting one foot in front of another and getting through each day. I found that there was no improvement for weeks on end and then suddenly one morning, I'd wake up and something would have changed dramatically or got slightly better. (It's only 1 month since I've been able to see properly through my right eye and not have bad double vision and have to wear an eye patch). You're at month 4 and I'm at 5 months post SAH and hopefully you too will make some good progress in the next few months.

There's a wealth of info on here (I hope the medical profession takes notes!) and you'll be amazed how often you read something and have an EUREKA moment.

Big hugs

Lesley xxx

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Hi Leo

And warm welcome to the site.

I think the frustration factor is a common one (hey I know its is) recovering from this isnt like getting over the cold or a broken limb it really does take time & like Lesley said one day you realize hey thats not so bad...but it all takes time......

My brain produces too much vitimins which causes a build up of fluid......

Looking forward to hearing more from you soon


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Thanks to Everone for your replies :D .

You have made me feel very welcome and it's good to know that my experience isn't an abnormal one :? and that the best way forward is to stop and listen to my body one day at a time.

Lots of love to all,


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Hi Leo,

a big belated welcome to the site from me.....New Years eve seems a popular time for SAH! I had mine on New years eve 2006.....so new years eve 2007 I had a day of celebration! It was great.

Sounds like you've got some great support, take it easy...listen to your body.....it can be frustrating sometimes when we can't do all we used to without getting tired but hey!! ....we're here to tell the tale.

Fatigue and short term memory are the main things I get.......like right now I can't remember all you've written in your post!!!!mmmmm......it does improve in time though.

This site is wonderful, great people offering great advice, new friendships made, some of us meet up from time to time.

Anyway, take care,

speak soon,

love Suex

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