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7 months out and not sure what is normal?

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I am 7 months out of an SAH that the doc said they can't see to know the cause. I had 4 angiograms and spent 3 weeks in CCU. After the last angiogram showed no bleeding, i was released back to work.  Since being back, i get headaches off and on all day, none of which are very severe but, they come so quickly and frequent I can't help but worry. Something else I have never dealt with until now are panic attacks and they have also become daily occurrences.


I was a smoker (which I have given up), a heavy drinker (which I have also given up), changed my diet, given up caffiene, etc. And I drink a gallon of water a day.


What I'm wondering is if these headaches and panic attacks are normal and if so, what has helped reduce their frequency? It seems like they are less frequent the busier I am but, i drain myself too quick that way and crash early on. I've talked to my neurosurgeon and they say I am pushing myself too hard but I need to exercise more. My family doc thinks my high anxiety is from not drinking but that's been two months now. 


I just feel lost and I'm tired of constantly worrying about each and every pain.



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Welcome to BTG.

Worry can cause headaches so you could be stuck in a vicious circle, all 3 relating to each other.


There are members on here who have had panic attacks after a SAH and found that counselling has helped them.

Go to your GP, tell him/her what is happening and see what they suggest and enquire about counselling.

Other members have also benefited from seeing a neuro phycologist although for what reason I can't remember.

Is there a neuro support nurse/contact at the hospital where you were treated, if so it may well be prudent to contact them for advice. They are all options for you to explore.


Many GP's never come across a SAH survivor in their working life because it is quite rare so yours could well be fumbling in the dark.

Remember, there is nothing demeaning about asking for help.    

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Hi Eric


I think it would help you to sit down and talk about things with somebody. Your docs are probably right that you are doing to much, but I can understand that keeping busy lessens the attacks. 


Are you worrying that it will happen again? I think that has  always  got to be on our minds but we need to try and accept it is highly unlikely. 


See you GP and see if you can get some  counselling. Being able to offload your worries to someone else may help. 


Take care xx

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Hi Eric,

Before I came on here I worried about my mortality ie would I have another, I think it is natural.


As Clare has said, are you worrying about it happening again.    I worried a lot about it after my SAH.


My Daughter found this site it helped her and she showed it to me and it has helped me no end,  as I saw people joking and getting on with life.


I love this site as we have all been there and we have survived.  So you are a survivor and when down think happy thoughts and I sing happy songs  as stress is no good for us !! 

Poor Family !!


Keep well and when you feel a panic suck a mint or drink water.  You have had all tests so remember you can stop panic attacks.   Neighbour was taken ill and it left him with panic attacks so I gave him a bottle of water and a packet of mints lol  (For dry mouth).


Good Luck 


Winb143 xx




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i had terrible panic attacks and terrible headaches and mine would come out of no where.


 This is not unusual for a person only seven months out.   It's not unusual to get tired or frustrated.   It's not unusual to feel like you have to push yourself back to normal.  


I work and exercise and run the roads and I never feel normal like I did before.  It's taken me four and half years to realize I can't work back to normal.  Just is not gonna happen.  


 Try as you may what was is not anymore.   But, we all press on and you will too and see changes that make those early days seem long ago.



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Hello Eric.


It's been 9 months since my NASAH. I suffer a lot from anxiety, work paid for me to see a counsellor back in Feb which did help. I had six sessions, with some hypnotherapy; this only scratched the surface but I can't afford more sessions. It did give me some perspective as well as some basic techniques to deal with anxiety.

I still get big headaches, often linked to stress but sometimes seems without any obvious cause. I appreciate it's difficult not to worry about them.


I love running and got frustrated about my lack of fitness, so got 'ginger rage' and ran 10 miles without much prep back in June. Bit silly, I got large headaches and decided to ease off a bit.

I run to de-stress, and suffer less with anxiety because of it, but i've learned to take it, literally, a step at a time.


Good luck.


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Thanks to everyone on here for all the good advice. It's been a rough two weeks so I apologize for taking so long to respond.


To answer the anxiety part, yes I worry about a reoccurance all the time. It's hard to let that go although, i know it's something that needs to be done.  


More than that, my mind wanders to worse case scenario and picturing my wife explaining to my 6 year old daughter what happened.  I have started writing in a journal again, which has helped quite a bit with just getting everything out.


My other hang up is coming to terms with not being able to do what I once did. I'm used to being outside all day, everyday working 12 to 14 hours, running 90 miles an hour. It's very difficult for me to slow down but, I'm also at a point where I can work like this for 5 days straight but then I'm down for 4 days with headaches and no energy.  


I know it needs to change and I'm trying, it's just hard to teach an old dog new tricks.


Being able to get it out, even in an online forum has done wonders though and for that, i thank you all for letting me vent. It's a one-day-at-a-time thing that I am slowly beginning to figure out 

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Hey Eric


I was like you - worked long hours, rushed around at 100mph - I also had a memory that almost eidetic - now, not nearly!!  The hardest part for me was accepting, like you, that there were things that I could no longer do.  Strangely, once I gave up fighting against the new me and "went with the flow" the whole thing became easier to handle.  I wasn't so nervous, anxious or frustrated. 


I'm over 11 years in now and have been working full time again since 2 years in - I work in a very busy school office where memory and multi-tasking are key.  It has helped me regain some of the "old me" but like I said, the memory thing is not nearly as good as was; however I realise that it my no longer be nearly eidetic but it's still better than some of the people I work with.


You will find new ways of doing the old stuff that suit you better but you mustn't rush it - if you're still getting wiped out for 4 days then you're pushing too much.  "Slowly slowly catchey Monkey" is what my Dad always says to me - not sure what it means to be honest, I've never tried to catch a Monkey in my life but it is my daughter's nick name for my aneurysm!!  


Rest when you can and drink plenty of water - 7 1/2 months is still very early in your recovery.

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Hi Eric,


Find a way of adapting.  The big strong tree standing up to the wind will eventually snap, whereas the grass that bends with the wind goes on and on and does not snap.  You must be like the grass.


Change is inevitable, it's how you deal with it that counts.  The smart thing to do is to learn to adapt - there is no shame in it, in fact it will create more respect for you than if you try to bluff that everything's ok and hasn't changed, and you then have a blow-out.


Over time, you may get back to something nearer how you once were but it takes time and smart moves - it isn't instantaneous.  Boxers who are sluggers keep getting knocked over because they keep doing the same things and get the same results.  The smart boxers change their pace and their stance and watch out for that right hook to avoid it - that's what you must do!


Good luck



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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry to hear of your panic attacks. I had my SAH in June, several weeks of pure exhaustion and a headache that just never completely goes away, oh and the emotions are like Bang! (Anger, sadness, ...)


But recently I have a feeling of fear, no reason for it everything just seems to make me nervous.

Guess I just wanted to say you are not alone with these feelings.  

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Hey Matt,


Yeah, we are in the same boat. I keep having morbid "what-if" thoughts. And I can go from happy to sad/angry at the drop of a hat.  I have recently started trying some breathing techniques when the thoughts start which help some and I've also started a journal again. That, in my opinion, has been the most beneficial.  It helps to get everything out, even if it's just on paper.


Something else I have started doing are short breaks and a nap throughout the day. Every couple hours, i sit and rest with my eyes closed for 5 to 10 minutes and a 30 minute nap on my lunch. This helps me get through the day usually. 


Even with all this, i still have bad days, in fact, i took off work today just to rest. I hope some of these ideas can help you the same way they have helped me. 

Also, don't forget to stay hydrated. I drink at least a gallon of water a day which helps as well.


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  • 4 weeks later...

I really enjoyed some of these posts. Thanks so much for giving your experience. 'Im just starting down the road and have already learned 


1) Adapt like grass, not the big tree that breaks


2) Learn to live with your new limitations, don't fight them


3) Dont try to bluff co-workers to normalcy


4) Dont go back to work too soon.


5) Nap and drink water And others, thanks!!!!


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