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Dramblys - introduction


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On New Years Eve (just over 3 weeks ago) my wife suffered a SAH from a very small ruptured aneurysm.  She spent 15 days hospitalized (including 13 in NICU) and has now been home for 10 days.


So far, we have been very fortunate: It occurred when I was home and could get medical attention quickly; the neurosurgeon came in to perform a coiling surgery in the wee hours of the morning on a holiday; there was no vasospasm.  The only complication was cerebral salt wasting syndrome. She is having constant headaches, but has no impairments other than the common ones we're told are temporary: double vision, short-term memory and attention difficulty, fatigue, sleep disturbance, and intense emotional reactions.

We have no close family in the immediate area except my elderly mother-in-law who needs care herself, but fortunately my employer has been very understanding so far of my absences, etc.   Today is my third day working full-time since the SAH.  My wife is a self-employed musician and we can manage fine financially without that income.  (Of course emotionally, she needs to return to that activity.)


The hospital that treated her is one of the best in the US, but once she was discharged it was a bit like being dropped off a cliff: All the intense attention ceased and it's not even clear who we should contact with questions.  The discharge paperwork was unclear and in some cases contradictory.


Mostly, I'm here looking for insight into how to stay a positive influence on her healing process, how to help calm her anxieties and not exacerbate them.

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Hello... and a welcome to BTG.


Such a traumatic start to 2018 for you both as you come to terms with your wife`s SAH and the sudden changes brought upon your daily routines.


While we do not give medical advice, BTG provides a wealth of support in the form of real experiences related by our members who have willingly shared their recovery experiences.  As you read the various forums you will find information to help you both. Our members will also try and answer any questions you may have.


You highlight that that you were given little information about what to expect after your wife was discharged. This is not unique to the US... this is common place throughout the UK too.  Recovery however does not follow a specific pattern or timescale.  Each individual has their own individual challenges depending on the size and nature of the bleed and the actual damage done to the brain. Other personal factors such as age, family support network, finances and commitments and employment all play a part in how recovery plays out. Only in the months that follow will you be finding how the list of issues you mention resolve or continue to affect her.


It is good that you have an understanding employer..... your wife needs you to cope with much of the daily household routines. Fatigue will play a large part .... she will need to rest constantly and keep well hydrated.


One thing is certain, your wife needs to accept that there is no quick resolution. Time and patience is so important.  I d hope she can continue playing whatever musical instruments she uses. This must act as a great source of therapy for her in the days ahead.


So I wish you well in your roll as Carer.  You need to take care of yourself too in this journey.... as you come to terms with your wife`s changing emotions and memory difficulties.  Many of these issues will improve over time


She will also find this site an immense help when she feels ready to make use of it.  Knowing that there are others facing similar challenges is very comforting.


Please continue to keep us informed of her progress, and don`t hesitate to ask questions of our members along the way.






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You need to find a good primary care and go through all the questions and medicines. Also carry the list of the medicines always. Many times I have seen patients who don’t know what meds they are on. Also follow up with neuro and other specialists as needed.


Questions might be

what medicines to take? How long to take? Can she take over the counter meds? When to repeat the scans? Any restrictions? Driving? Going back to work? Any side effects involved? 


At times people might have other underlying issues such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, thyroid conditions etc and they might already be on meds for those. So someone has to go through the list and make sure all the meds are ok to take. Good luck.

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Keep a diary of your wife's progress. You will be amazed when you look back at it what progress she has made. Unless you do this, you are so close to her that you don't notice the changes, a bit like when you haven't seen someone for a while and you say 'Wow, haven't you grown/lost weight/ cut your hair etc. You don't notice those things when you are with them all the time.


The old adage that 'every journey starts with a single step,' is never more true than with brain injury.


What differs is the length of the trip, as nearly everyone who has posted on this site can tell you.  Every journey is different to one degree or another.


Small steps forward, in manageable chunks, are the order of the day, and please, please, go at her pace, not necessarily the one you want her to go at, otherwise you may set her back.  Yes, it may take longer than you want it to, and life may need to change a bit, but the end result will be worth it.

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Hi Drambly,


I was told I was okay by Surgeon but if I feel unwell to see Doctor and that was it.  Must admit though we did have a male nurse we could call and he was very nice.  


My husband was so good to me when I was getting over my SAH.  I remember nothing until I had a shunt put in a year later.


Hubby and Daughter were great I am told.  They still are but I can tell I am better as I get moaned at more, ha.


Do not let wife hear sad stories of doom and gloom.  I cannot take sadness anymore !! 


Wishing you and Wife all the best and happiness for you both xxx 



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Thank you all!


The biggest problem really has been the headaches, which have been difficult to treat since my wife is allergic to codeine and related drugs. Some particularly painful moments made us worry that she might be bleeding again.  Since my original post, I did end up making a call to the stroke clinic at the hospital and got some more clarity on when the pain warrants a call or visit to the clinic, and when to call an ambulance.


We have also followed up with our primary care doctor (who's taken care of us for more than 20 years) which was also helpful to calm anxieties and help with pain management.  Her only medical issue prior to the SAH was migraine, and she curiously has not had one since the SAH! Neither of the two pain medicines she previously used for migraine are allowed now.

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Hi Dramblys,

Welcome to BTG, sorry to hear that your wife has had SAH, you have come to the right place for help and support, everyone has given some brilliant advice, 

You mention that your wife is suffering with headaches, the one thing I was told after my SAH was to make sure I was drinking lots of water as keeping well hydrated really does help with the headaches and I did find it helped me a great deal.


It is still very early days in her recovery so she will be feeling tired, it can be a rollercoaster of emotions at the beginning but as Macca said just let your wife recover at her pace as every recovery is very individual.

Her brain and body have suffered a huge trauma and if she over does things they will both let her know, they need lots of time to recover.

Don't forget to look after yourself, you have been through a traumatic time also, make sure you make time for yourself as being a carer will take it out of you too.


Good luck to both of you as you go on your recovery journey, we are all here to help you along that road.

Best Wishes 

Michelle xx 

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