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My Sister by Clare

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I am new to this site, my sister had a Subarachnoid Haemorrhage in May, she was in critical care for nearly 3 weeks(she had a coil) and also had the complication of vasospasm. She has been home for a while now and have to say the support from medical professions has been non existent! No one has told us what to expect or how to help. Since she has been home she is very tired all the time(which I totally get by the research I have done) she is constantly transfixed by the television and without sounding blunt when she's watching tv you can get no sense out of her, it's like she's just in another world.


We cannot get her out of the house other than for doctor's appointments, mood varies from hour to hour, again I understand from research, I guess my question is, how/what is the best way that we can help her??? She just says she doesn't want to go out or can't be bothered, actually she doesn't want to do anything in the house either other than watch tv! My worry is she is going to fall into depression as well, I can tell she is getting bored & is falling into set routines in a day, certain meal every day, drink(not alcohol), tv programmes.


Anything different we suggest we either get the look! lol or attitude!! I know patience is the key and we are still early days and everyone recovers differently, we are very grateful that she is still with us despite being a different person to what she was but if any of you have any suggestions/advice that helped you or could help her with her recovery it would be appreciated.

Thanks for taking the time to read.


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Hi Clare, you don't say how old your sister is or if she is married/children?


3 months is still early days but she should be starting to feel a little better now. I am surprised at the TV, although I watched I often could not stand the noise so had to watch with the volume well down.


It could be that she is suffering from some mood change post the bleed, so you could be right thinking she could be a bit depressed. If so why not have a chat with the GP and see what they think. Depression can be common after a life changing event, I'm not suggesting medication is the answer but maybe talking to someone who is not emotionally involved with her may help.


Is she worried about going out? It could be that she is frightened that it may cause another bleed or that all the stimulation when out and about is too much for her.


Have you asked her what she would like to do if you took her out? I know venturing out for me was daunting to begin with and I was often keen to get back asap. Short trips are best, possibly to places not to manic. Shopping is still after 3 years often too much over stimulation for me, hence I shop online a lot now.


Don't forget to look after yourself too as well as caring for her! Let us know how you get on.


Clare xx



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Anxiety and depression can accompany a SAH and is very common.


Try to find out what part of your sister's brain suffered the damage? It does make a difference to understanding how that person is feeling ... 


When I first came out of hospital my only venture was being taken out in the car for a ride in the countryside .... not stopping off anywhere, but it really helped. 


The weather has been exceptionally hot, so your sister needs to make sure that she's hydrated. I'm quite some years down the line now and even I've found the last month or so, quite difficult to deal with.




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Hello ClareM,


My sister is 45, married(although he is not understanding and is stressing her out, he thinks because she is home she should be back to normal by now, she is tired a lot but he thinks she's being lazy! I don't have the words to describe him at the moment!!) A son of 19 from first marriage who helps where he can but is struggling with his new mum!


I have tried to talk to her GP but she cannot discuss her without my sisters permission(she won't give this & would hate to think I am going behind her back) although may call GP for some advice tomorrow.


I did ask her if she was scared of going out as I feel something is stopping her but I just got What would I be scared off!? I said I don't know, that's why I'm asking as I don't know how you are feeling, she won't open up and talk about things and is on the defensive the whole time so makes talking to her at the moment about anything very hard, honestly she just about argues about everything!!


I have a couple of weeks off after this week so I am going to try to get her out, even if it's just lunch somewhere or a ride out in the car. I see her every day but it is very draining at times just because of how she is, I do have an odd day off as sometimes when I've spoken to her on the phone before hand and I've had quite a hard time from her & don't want to lose my patience with her so find it best to stay away sometimes.


I just want to help her the best I can but really don't know what the best approach is, it's all very difficult when you are on strange grounds and I don't want to upset her, it's very tough watching someone you love go through something like this and not knowing how to help.


Thank you

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I hope your sister one day realises what a great sister she has. It does sound to me like her mood is very low at present and when someone is not open to suggestions re this it can be a hard place to come out of.


I am sure her husband not being sympathetic is not helping, have you asked him to take a look at his site, that may help with his understanding. I am so lucky I had a supportive family around me, though even they were a bit dismissive sometimes. Unfortunately SAH is a hard thing to recover from and made even harder by the fact that we all look so well.


Have you thought about maybe writing your sister a letter explaining how you want to help but are finding it hard getting through? Maybe suggest she has a look at this site too it may make her realise she is not alone. 


As Karen says, the location of her bleed can cause different effects so it may be worth having a chat with the unit where she was treated for advice. I wish you luck with the GP, unfortunately not many have had experience of SAH so are hard pushed to offer constructive advice.


Good luck, keep trying .......


Clare xx

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Hi Clare,

I am so sorry to hear about your sisters problems since her SAH...I can understand how difficult it is for her husband to understand. 


I only understand it myself, even having suffered it, after much time and reading, most thanks to this site.   It left me feeling a bit detached I guess, my body just felt so foreign to me it was a strange effort to do anything. 


I too watched a lot of TV.  It didn't require anything of me and when I sit still I don't feel the difference in my body that is now my life.  


Your sister is so very fortunate to have you, you who is trying to understand what has happened. 


Time is key here, it takes time, time that is measured in months and perhaps years.


I am finding 16 months out my way back to myself.  I am learning to live in this body that still doesn't feel "normal" but it does feel and it is a new "normal"... 


Your being with your sister helps her...make sure you take care of yourself, letting you be your best self..

I wish you both all my best 


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We do get tired after a Bleed/SAH and I couldn't take my Family telling me their troubles as my brain really hurts.


She has been through a lot and on here is "a letter from your Brain"  (under inspiration) 


While I was out of it my Daughter found this site while I was thinking "What songs do I want played at my Funeral" I was so low !!


Saw people in the same boat as me but they could laugh and coming on here got me my Laughter back and made me so grateful I was still alive xx  Make sure Sister has water as that was the first thing I was told xx 


Good luck to you and Sister  xx


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