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SAH in December

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Hey this is my first time posting, my partner suffered a SAH on the 10th December 2016. Everything is fine apart from her short term memory which is really bad at the minute.


I'm wondering if others who suffered a SAH could share with me their experiences on how they recovered and the time scale and everything else in between. 


Thanks in advance 



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Hi Gareth, welcome to BTG,

Sorry that your partner had SAH, you have come to the right place for help and support for you both.


It's still very early in your partner's recovery, the memory loss is quite a common thing after SAH your partner may benefit from writing things down, i know i did this and it was very helpful. We are not allowed to give Medical advice as we are not qualified to do so, but we are allowed to share our own experiences to help you understand what to expect.


Headaches and fatigue are a very common side affect of SAH. Making sure your partner drinks plenty of water and gets plenty of rest, water really does help with headaches.


Your partner needs to listen to their body and their brain, taking things slowly and not over doing things as the smallest of tasks can be very tiring, when the tiredness hits then it's time to rest. There is no real time line for recovery, no two people are the same, your partner will recover at their own pace.


We are here to help with any questions you may have.


This has been a very traumatic time for you both Gareth, you have to make sure you look after yourself also, there are lots of people on here who have are caring for someone who has suffered SAH, I'm sure they will have lots of great advice to help you.

Anyway i will wish you both well as you go along the recovery road together.


Hope this has been helpful to you both.

Look forward to hearing more from you.


Michelle x


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Hi Gareth ,


Welcome ! I had my SAH in January and recovering well, I guess my advice is to be patient, the short term memory is annoying but that and tiredness seem to be the norm for SAH . I feel tired most of the time and get impatient with my self as want to get back to normal quickly ,but my body is telling me it needs rest .


I have found it has helped me to come on here and speak with others that's helped a lot .


The main things I have learnt is rest up ,be patient and kind to yourself . It's great you are there to support your partner and that you are taking time out to find out all you can . Feel free to message me anytime .



Best Wishes Josie

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Thanks for getting back to me.


My partner who is 30 years old suffered a SAH and then took vasospasms for 3 weeks after she was in intensive care and then a further 6 weeks in Rehabilitation.


at the minute she is doing fantastic with everything apart from her short term memory which can be very fustrating for her at times, I know everyone is different and no two brain injuries are the same, but just want to know that there is hope that she can improve her short term memory?


 I know that I will have to be patient and it will take a long time but that will be no problem.

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Hi Gareth. If you do want to speak to someone for medical support, the Brain & Spine Foundation have a neuro support line which is staffed by neuro nurses. They can be contacted by phone or email and are really helpful. It sounds like your partner is doing well.


Allthe best


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Hello Gareth... also a warm welcome to BTG.  So glad you found the site so early. 


First of all, glad that you are feeling positive about your partner`s recovery. December and January must have been quite a blur for you as you tried to come to terms with what was happening to your partner. The anxious moments you have spent watching and waiting for her to respond to the medics is something you will never forget. 


The comments you have received already are so helpful and it is good to know that you are in touch with people who have `been there`.

I repeat that being patient and not striving to get back to how things were too soon is so important.


In the early months, your partner`s brain is starting to heal and find ways of readjusting to it`s trauma. There will be times that you may find your partner has difficulty with other issues too in addition to her memory.  Fatigue and  mood swings and slight  personality changes are not uncommon. 


When you feel ready, please tell us more detail about your partner`s experience on 10th December by starting your own thread on the Introduce Yourself   forum.  This will help us understand your situation better.


Take care, and make sure that you too get plenty rest and support. Life has changed in some way for all of you.






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Hi Gareth,


it will be 5 years this coming Wednesday since I had my SAH. I was 39 so I was a little older than your wife but also similar to her spent considerable time in hospital and latterly had a shunt fitted also.


In the very early days my short term didn't work at all, I could greet someone, look away only to greet them again when I glanced back but gradually the fog lifted a little and as months went by my family and I saw gradual improvement but if I am honest it took over two years before I learnt new ways to hold onto short term memory.


i used lots of things to help with that, focussing on one task at a time, resting after I did something that used cognitive energy, using both old school and technology tools to help me recall things but the main thing was accepting that how I used to recall and remember didn't quite work the same way anymore .


All bets were off so it was time to find new ways that work for me now. I had some great help with a neuropsychologist group led session to help me explore some of that and some things I worked out myself and then a lot of help here also.


What is maybe helpful to think about is that capacity to form the memory whilst not necessarily permanently impaired no longer has the ability to file it quickly or how as we once did.


To form a memory takes a huge amount of neurological processing so i just think it can't be completed as efficiently by our injured and healing brain. It's probably also why we can recall older and fixed memory more easily but what happened or we heard just minutes ago doesn't  stick.


try not to worry to much or focus on this right now, it's really early on and it will improve. When first home unattended I locked myself out many times, forgot appointments even with post it's stuck up to remind me but now I rarely need the prompt of reminders unless I have ignored my "Brain is tired" signs.


I was able and chose to go back to work after 17 months and I do so at a different level of hours but in many ways my ability to retain facts both at work and at home now is more 'permanent ' than it was before ; if I remember it I REALLy remember it. I have even been on a couple of winning quiz teams ?


Heres the thing Gareth, the brain when it is trying to heal itself uses vast amounts of unseen energy, and to be able to heal well it needs rest, space, good food and most of all time.


Give it that now , invest in that in the early days and whilst patterns of how we used to complete tasks and perform and function may no longer work the same way for us it does mean that the Brain will be able to heal and hopefully learn new ways. Right now it will discard functions that use energy that take it away from healing and repair. 


If she was a runner and had broken a leg it's so obvious that she can't run on the leg, it's the same thing when we have a brain bleed, it's going to take time before she can do things she did with it previously..


i hope that doesn't sound patronising and harsh, I am trying to share from a view further down the line. Give her our best wishes and you keep on rooting for your miracle wife! She'll get there with your help and who know the ' there' may be somewhere completely different and at an entirely different pace but that doesn't have to be bad, just different. 

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  • 2 months later...

hi gareth,


I had an SAH nearly ten years ago, firstly its fantastic that you are on board with her, I would have really struggled without my then partner and now wife to help me along the way.  I put all my experiences and advice into a website which may be of interest to you as it is a process that is measured in years, not months! - www.braininjuryftp.com


all the best



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