Jump to content

SAH in the Canaries


Recommended Posts


My name is Nurianna, 47 and suffered a ruptured aneurysm with SAH on last 19th May.

I have been reading many posts and it is as if my story is being told over and over again. I have found great comfort reading the shares and stories. Also this awful feeling of being isolated and alone is abandoning me gradually. I would like to thank David for recommending this site to me.

Looking back on it now, I can say the last year I wasn´t in all that good shape. A feeling of pressure in my head, the ocassional headache, smoked too much, slept a lot, got tired easily, little things that didn´t mean much at the time taken separately and dutifully ignored as they would pass. I blamed it all on menopause.

I live on the island of Lanzarote. It all started with a blasting headache one evening and stiffness at the back of my head. Thought I had meningitis. It happened as I was getting into the car. I never started it up. I used my last ounce of clear thinking (and speech) to call for an ambulance. Crawled out of the car, started having spasms, that stopped, and I owe my life to two Spanish tourists who were passing by and wouldn´t let me go to sleep until the ambulance arrived. I just wanted out. Fortunately the ER doctor on duty at the general hospital that night was bright enough to suspect SAH and make a scan. At first, I was diagnosed as having a low pressure episode or cervical problems. Then someone noticed my eyes were completely rolling and out of focus, did the scan and they called for a helicopter to send me off to Gran Canaria after seeing the results. On that island they have a huge University Hospital called Dr.Negrin which specializes and is worldwide known on neurosurgery procedures.

They clipped my aneurysm in an operation that lasted 10 hours and 3 neurosurgeons and their teams intervened. Spent the next 6 weeks in the Intensive Medicine Unit in induced coma, had neumonia, hidrocephalia which needed draining, other minor complications and eventually a tracheostomy was performed when they tried to see if I could breath on my own and couldn´t tube me back in when they realized I wasn´t ready yet.

Eventually I was sent to the ward when I awoke and was there a fortnight. There, I gradually relearnt to walk, talk, eat, breathe, and only then I had the tracheostomy tube removed. That tube is my worst memory of all. The experience of suffocating every time it got stuck still haunts me and probably will forever.

Apparently I have no great disfunctions. My short time memory is affected a little. I forget tiny silly little things when I have always been razor sharp. It´s very frustrating. Sometimes I feel like Forrest Gump. Other times, it´s as if I don´t care about things that used to have me in a tizzy. When everyone around me is dancing the "Oh my God! Jig" about something in particular, I appear aloof and removed. Like disconnected. My aneurysm was in the occipital cerebelum area and the muscles of my neck were affected during surgery. It is still very painful but getting better very very slowly. I started driving 3 weeks after discharge from the hospital. On this island distances are very short. On Monday I´m going back to work. 3 months after the operation. My job isn´t stressful. I´m giving it a try.

Some days are better than others. I respect myself enough to rest or slow down when I notice I need to.

I´m still learning about aneurysms and SAH. Knew nothing at all about it. What I usually hear from doctors is that I was very very lucky, first to survive and second to not show any apparent disfunctions. But there are slight disfunctions that no one seems to consider important (in relation to what it could have been) and I find that very frustrating. It´s not to say I am not grateful. I truly am but I also could do with some support. Specially with my fear of recurrence.

Thanks for being there,

lots of love,


Link to comment
Share on other sites

A huge welcome Nurianna, to this site,

You've come to the right place. Reading your story was listening to my own. And I am sure in saying for many others on this site also. You've done remarkably well in such a very short time. The best advice I can give you is, please listen to your body. When you feel tired, you are tired. When you need to sit down, sit down.

Will catch up with you again, real soon,

Take care,

H x :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Nurianna....a very warm welcome to you :D

Wow you have really been through it, but look how far you have come. Back to work on Monday...i wish you all the best...and well done you. Like you i have been clipped, had 7hrs surgery, have short term memory problems, balance and double vision, but on the whole like you have been very very lucky. There are lots of lovely friends here who have been through or are going through the same...we are always here to help and support you. BTG has been a Godsend to me and has helped me more than words can ever say. Look forward to hearing more from you.

Take care

Love Tinaxx

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Nurianna

A very warm welcome to you and I hope you find all the support you need on this site we are a very friendly bunch so any questions you may have ask away.

Take it easy when you return to work and as Tina has already said listen to your body and rest plenty it can be very tiring especially in the first few weeks.

Look forward to hearing more from you soon.

Janet x

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Shiree

Hiya Nurianna

Welcome aboard. This site is fantastic. Those of us who have survived through this share a special bond - because we know first hand exactly what its like. The support through this site is invaluable.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest ElaineW

I am a carer - my mum aged 76 had a SAH on the 7th May 2008 and your story is like a mirror image of hers with the same outcome. I hope you continue to progress. This site has been a godsend to me, there is such little help out there for this sort of illness. Take Care


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Nurianna

Welcome to the site and the family. Yeah, it's amazing how many of us there are and the support and advice on this site is second to none - there's usually someone who has had the same experience as some one else and therefore can help.

Look forward to hearing more from you, but like the others have said - listen to your body, if youdon't it'll start shouting at you and that hurts :wink:


Sami xxx

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Nurianna

Welcome to Behind The Gray. It's a great place to meet other SAH survivors and to realise that you're not alone and can get helpful and reassuring advice at any time. Like you, I survived pretty much intact but with subtle changes that, in the grand scheme of things, should not really be a worry. But they are to me because I know I'm different from before. However, as time goes by I'm learning to accept these differences and accept how lucky I am to be here. It's still hard to believe that the SAH even happened and I struggle to understand why (not that we ever can) so it's a long road to acceptance but I'll get there and so will you, I'm sure.

Once again, welcome, and look forward to speaking online here.

Sarah x

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...