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Dympna's Story


Gareth
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On the 10th December my partner Dympna (30 years old) took the most server headache, started vomiting and had bother seeing as her vision started to go blurry. Luckily she was with a friend at the time who rang for an ambulance immediately. 

 

Dympna arrived in A+E and after a seeing a Dr they arranged for her to have a CT scan and when the Dr returned with the results my heart just sank!! Il never forget the Dr telling Dympna 'you have a bleed in the brain.'

Dympna was then transferred to The Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast where she immediately had a drain put in to drain the blood from her head and to relieve the pressure. Then a day after she had a coiling procedure to stop the bleed in the brain. Everything went well. 

 

After 3 days in ICU Dympna was transferred to HDU as she was doing quite well, but then another couple of days past and a Dr came to us and told us that Dympna was in a critical condition and was being moved back into ICU, because she was having vasospasms. 

 

Fortunately she did very well and was only in ICU for 2 days and then was moved back to HDU where she stayed for another 2 weeks, then after that she went to a ward for another 2 weeks. she then was taken to Musgrave Park Hospital in Belfast where she stayed for 6 weeks. 

 

Dympna has now been home 2 weeks and is getting on good but her problems is with her short term memory which is very bad at the minute. But we are so greatful that Dympna is home and is giving herself the opportunity to get herself back as close to her old self as possible! 

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Short term memory is a problem for most post SAH - my memory was almost eidetic before my brain hem so after was really traumatic for me.  I couldn't remember what I'd read, who I'd spoken to let alone what I said and I would repeat conversations literally ten minutes later - it was awful which then caused anxiety and distress then frustration and anger. 

 

I'm ten years post SAH now and although to me my memory is no where near as good as it was, I cope more than adequately.  Brain training games and crosswords helped me no end as did spot the difference and wordsearches.  All gentle stimulation but they help the brain rewire and retrain.  I now get people at work telling me that they don't know how I've remembered certain things and, to be honest, I don't explain how I used to be compared to how I am now - I'm just glad I am - if that makes sense.

 

Time is a great healer  - plenty of rest and water will help at this stage.

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Hi Gareth,

 

As Sami said, short term memory loss is a problem for most of us  as is the frustration that goes along with it, Everything is kind of slowed down if you know what I mean.My memory was by no means perfect before my Sah, my sons used to call me a goldfish!!, it will take time for everything to retire. I'm only 18months post Sah. I write on post it notes(yep, they're dotted around the house) They are a help (when I remember to look at them and I quietly repeat things to myself to help things sink in .Dympna will find ways of improving her memory, it does take time though.

 

Not sure if any of this helps but I think sometimes, just knowing that it's normal helps

Jan xx

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Hi Gareth,

 

I could not remember my address or anything, I just slept and was in dreamland.

 

I knew my Hubby and Daughter, but hadn't realised my Dad was dead and I used to say to my Sisters "Tell Dad I'll be up to see him when better"  !!

 

Singing songs helped me remember times in my life and I used to listen to my Family sing,  CD of them up local pub,  as half  of them have passed on also.

 

Give her time xx My hubby put my address on wall as I used to think I lived at my old house.   She will get there but it is a long haul xxxx

 

Remembered way way back but not 10 years and onward.  Still have the occasional slip in memory like I keep calling my Sister in law by the wrong name !!  Goes down well, not !!  ha ha

 

She will get better, it takes time and patience, which I sometimes think my hubby is running out of as I have to ask him how I spell words.  Whereas before I was good at spelling..

 

Good luck Both of You

 

Win xxx alias Winb143

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Hi Gareth and hi Dympna

 

Glad the hardest days are in the rear view but now starts the process of healing and being home is a wonderful thing but there is still so much that is different and changed and that's hard for you both. Keep talking and being open with each other, lean in to each other, it will help. 

 

I have replied on your other thread also so I'll keep it short here but just to add I couldn't read, watch tv or anything as like Sami it just took too much attention and memory and it was so frustrating as I couldn't follow it at all. 

 

I started by building up with audio books for short bursts and also having the radio playing in the day to try and sing along to songs but again only for short times. When I did start watching to it had to be really simple stuff and not challenging noise or intellectually. 

 

Do something, pay full attention then rest afterwards, that was the pattern for quite a while. Building up slowly and steadily to create new ways.

 

Go steady both of you. It's early days . Cherish each achievement and don't dwell on the differences as they'll keep shifting 

 

 

 

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Hi Gareth,

 

All the things you describe are fairly typical of SAH sufferers.  Short term memory is a problem but there are some coping mechanisms.

 

Keep a diary, and keep referring to it.

 

Keep repeating things to her so eventually they commit to long term rather than short term memory.

 

Get Dympna to repeat things to herself so she doesn't forget.

 

Make use of diary/calendar planners

 

Might be difficult at first but it will ease over time, and don't expect instant results!

 

Best wishes

 

Macca

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