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Hey! My name is Myra and I am from Georgia in the US. I have been so thankful I found Behind the Grey!

 

I had a SAH September 22, 2016 while running on the treadmill at the gym. I was stabilized at our ER and then airlifted to Emory in Atlanta. They said I had a non-aneurysm SAH. I spent 10 days in the neuroscience ICU. They didn't really give me any information about SAH recovery at discharge, so this group has been very comforting to me to know I am not alone. 

 

I still have headaches daily, sometimes pretty severe ones, and have expressive aphasia and short term memory issues. The doctors say these things will get better with time. I started back to work, for half days, on December 1. I have been pretty fatigued since starting back but love my job and really want to get back to the life I had before.

 

I am a RN. I worked in surgery for 7 years, and just went to work full time  at a busy endoscopy center in July, while keeping my OR position at the hospital as well. Starting back to work seemed to push me back in my recovery but I am trying to push through. 

 

I just had my follow up cerebral angiogram yesterday. And it was normal! However, I have had a nonstop headache since and my expressive aphasia has worsened again. Has anyone else had any experience with this? Any thoughts are encouraged!

 

Thanks!

-Myra

 

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Hi Myra

 

A very warm welcome to BTG and so glad you found us.

 

I haven't any experience with aphasia and compared to some on here, I've gotten off pretty lightly with the lasting affects.

 

You're very early in your recovery and, to be honest, you may be expecting a little too much  a little too soon.  At this stage in your recovery, please listen to your body and rest when you need to.  Drinking plenty of water will help with brain function and help no end.  

 

It took me at least a year to stop needing daily naps and for my sleep pattern to return to anywhere near normal, now I work 37 hours a week in a primary school office and come home and do accounts and proof reading for my hubby - however, I am ten years post SAH now.

 

Take care of yourself first and foremost - one thing I have learnt is that my health comes first.

 

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I wish I could get more sleep. I have a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep. I will feel really tired but my brain doesn't shut off and I toss and turn, usually getting only about 4 hours sleep. I've spoken with my doctor about this and started taking melatonin. It helps a little but I'd love to get a full nights rest. Sleeping medication isn't an option because of the memory loss side effects he says.

 

Thanks for responding! Again, it helps so much to know there are others out there that have went through this. 

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Hello Myra and also a warm welcome to BTG.

 

You indicate that it is a relief to have found the site. Can I assure you, that you are in good company here. As you read the various Forum threads you will discover real situations from so many members on the post SAH and NASAH recovery road. Their individual stories are unique, but you will also find that there is much in common as they journey on their recovery.

 

Sami has mentioned that you are very early in recovery, and while it is only natural for you to want to slip back into your challenging and busy work-life, your brain and body will tell you very early, that they have something to say in the recovery process too.

 

It is so important that you give yourself time in the early months. For many, three to six months is realistic in starting to think about returning to work, and a slow phased return, while perhaps inconvenient, is vital to allow your brain and body to adjust.

Life can and may be very different.

 

For my wife, she too was consumed in her work pre SAH  five and a half years ago. She began her very controlled phased return five months after discharge, and was back working full time nine months later. She continued to work in her stressful job for fifteen months before making the wise decision to reduce her working week to two days. You will find many on this site who have succeeded in returning to work, have also had to review their hours. Some have changed their jobs completely because they wanted to recognise that life as it was...was no longer the best option.

 

While on the outside, you may look OK, your traumatised brain needs time to adjust. Please be kind to it and it will help you in your recovery journey.

 

I wish you and your family best wishes as you face the future.

 

Take care ....rest well, drink plenty, and as one of our favourite members will tell you many times .... stress and SAH are not a good combination.

 

 

Subs

 

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Hi Myra

 

wise words from Subs :)

 

You are are still very early in recovery and maybe need to take a step back from work. It could be that that is affecting your sleep by playing on your mind. 

 

I too had a NASAH and took nearly 6 months phasing back to work then changed my job due to pressures. Now on a 4 day week but I still have days I  struggle.

 

It takes time to realise that you need to be kind to yourself and take a step back from life occasionally. You will eventually find a new normal but even then may have to make adjustments to fit stresses of the bad days. 

 

I don't  really understand what your doctor means about memory loss side effects of sleeping tablets, Melatonin seems like a strange substitute however as you are in the USA prescribing is probably different. 

 I have sleeping tablets that I take when I am desperate and only then - I call them my treat. Maybe worthwhile going back and seeing if there is anything else he can offer.

 

Sometimes you just need a couple of good nights to get you back on track. We can't give medical advice so your medic is the best person to chat with. 

 

Take things easy you are early days and keep the water intake up too. 

 

Good luck, look forward to hearing how you get on. 

 

Clare xx

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Hi Myra :)

 

A very warm welcome to BTG.

 

Some great advice from Sami, Subs & Clare.

Like you, i have terrible trouble sleeping. Try getting into a routine of going to bed at the same time that's good for you. if possible. I found i sleep a little better if i do this.  

 

As the others have said, you are in the very early stages of recovery. I think your body is telling you to slow down.  Be kind to yourself and listen to your body. Dont rush back into work, give your brain time to mend.  

 

Wishing you well with your recovery and look forward to hearing more from you.

 

Take care

Tina xx 

 

 

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Hi Myra,

 

Easy does it, and drink water as others have said.

 

You will get there but it is a long haul so rest up and relax and no Stress !!! My Surgeon told me that one xx

 

We have a lot saying "We were discharged without knowing what happens next"  So  join the club, my husband had a male nurse who worked with the surgeon he could call.  So when he got worried he'd call on the nurse.  I think we need a link after being discharged as there is a loophole there .

 

Keep singing and smiling and do not overdo it (sing when head feels better xx)

 

Good luck

Win xxxxxxxxxxx

 

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Hi Myra

 

Welcome to BTG, I am glad you found us.  We have a lot of things in common.  I am also in Georgia and experienced my NASAH while running though I was in a park and not on a treadmill.  Mine was in October of 2015.

 

I hope the following helps....I had bad to severe headaches for several months.  They eventually subsided and were replaced with short but acute headaches (like brain freezes).  Now those are less common too, so I would hope yours will get better as well with time.

 

Short-term memory loss is common and I still struggle with it a bit.  I do believe it is getting better as well, in fact I know it is.  But I don't think it is to where it was before the NASAH.  I jokingly offer to use it to your advantage.  (I forgot to do the laundry, oh must be my NASAH memory loss!).

 

Fatigue is common and stress is harder to manage at first.  But as you continue to heal, these get better.

 

My daughter takes Melatonin to help her sleep and it helps.  As you know, we don't give medical advice on here because we are not qualified.  As a RN, you know a lot more than I do.  I will say that while in the hospital and since, the one thing that helps me sleep best is Benadryl.  I have some pills from a prescription, but often I just take Advil PM which has Benadryl in it.  Again, not suggesting you try this as I have no idea of any side effects it has on short-term memory. 

 

Please be patient and listen to your body.  It will tell you when you are doing too much in many ways, headaches, tiredness, sadness, impatience, etc.  Go slow, drink a lot of water, and be patience with yourself.

 

Prayers for your recovery.

 

Chris

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Hi Myra,

 

Welcome to BTG.

 

Lots of good advice from the others above.

 

Just a thought - have you ever considered putting your new-found knowledge to good use on a ward where people are recovering from brain injuries are?  A nurse, like  you, who really does understand what it feels like and has first hand knowledge of recovery issues would be like finding gold dust on the Oregon Trail.  Nurses with such knowledge are, indeed, rare and the sympathy/empathy you can provide will be invaluable to those patients.

 

You could also advise them about BTG where support is always available, not just for the patients but their carers too.

 

I hope you are recovering well and continue to make progress.  Please don't go too fast, too soon.  Progress is progress no matter what the pace.

 

Best wishes,

 

Macca

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Myra, wow, first well done for getting back to work, I imagine that is incredibly important to you and definately will help with confidence which gets knocked after an event like this.

 

Great advice for you already in replies but a few suggestions from  me to help with the practical toll of working in a cognitively demanding environment like a hospital. 

 

1.The lights in hospital are bright and harsh I have always found, so maybe you could invest in some tinted lense glasses just to take the edge of the harshness.  I wore sunglasses for a long time when in bright places and later at work meetings, not suggesting that will work here for you but just a little tint may be worth a try to see if it helps.

 

2. When you have encountered a fast or intense time or situation at work try and just take a moment and pause. Easier said than done I know as a nurse but even if you can just a shut your eyes for 30 seconds and just listen to your own breath that will help put some breaks in and help your brain have a moment in its hard work. Tiny Pauses between every physical task can really help, get in the car, pause. Turn the ignition. Pause, doesn't have to be long but if you can it just helps the brain take the little extra time to make the shift whilst it is healing. 

 

3 Getting to sleep. If you can practise and put in place some wind down routines that help you slow things down  at the end of the day,take a bath or shower with body wash fragrance that you like that relaxes you ( lavender, rose are good )  not one that energises ( save that for the start of shift , think grapefruit and citrus) and then no screen time for at least 30 minutes before trying to sleep. I also self massage my shoulders before sleeping just to signify to myself that now it's time to settle and slow m it can h lol the brain stop racing. 

 

Good luck. Keep us posted. 

 

What it should say is: I also self massage my shoulders before sleeping just to signify to myself that now it's time to settle and slow down and it can really help the brain stop racing. 

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14 minutes ago, Daffodil said:

 I also self massage my shoulders before sleeping just to signify to myself that now it's time to settle and slow m it can h lol the brain stop racing. 

 

 

 

 

This is what happens when you self massage while typing a post.  She almost went to sleep before the sentence was finished!

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3 minutes ago, Broncothor said:

This is what happens when you self massage while typing a post.  She almost went to sleep before the sentence was finished!

 

Oh my goodness. End of day attention to detail example right there...but yes I am heading for a self shoulder massage early tonite Bronco! 

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Broncothor- How long did it take before you were able to run again? I was running/hiking 15-20 miles a week when this happened. I know it will take a while to get my strength back up for any of this but curious what the future may be like, knowing of course everyone is different.  

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Myra

 

i was given instruction not to exert myself for 4 months from the date of my NASAH until a follow up scan could be done. They wanted to wait until all the blood cleared to be sure it wasn't hiding any issues. So I just did some walking. I "jogged" a little until my daughter found out and yelled at me so then just absolute walking.

 

After the follow up scan I was told to resume normal activity slowly as my body allowed. It then took about a month to get back to my usual distances and times. I only run about 12 to 15 miles a week.  

 

Clare is a runner too so she may want to give you her experience in recovery to running. 

 

Chris

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Hi Myra

 

As Chris says I am a runner too and my bleed happened on a run. I started back on a c25k course in the June after my bleed, about 4 months later.

This is a  course that gradually gets you running again from the couch to 5K over about 8 weeks. 

 

I am now back running at least twice a week 5-6 miles each run and I go to gym classes too.

In October I did the Great South Run which was 10 miles. That was my goal and I did it in just under 2  hours, slow but steady. 

 

You will get back to it just take it slowly gradually building up your distance. I find I can run even if really fatigued as I don't need my brain to run - I just shut off and let the legs do the work. 

 

Good luck,  just take it slow and keep up the water. (Plus never run without your phone! ) .

Clare xx

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