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Neil
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Hi all,

I'm Neil from Tadley (near Basingstoke) and I'm glad I found this site. I hope my experiences can help others who might be feeling scared and alone. It would also help me as someties I still feel a little bit scared and lonely myself, although it's getting easier every day.

I had a SAH on the evening of 9th Feb '09, as diagnosed by CT scan at Basingstoke North Hampshire hospital. I was transferred the next day to Wessex Neurological Unit in Southampton. I was discharged from Wessex Neuro just a week later after an angiogram revealed nothing but a healthy brain. Doctors opinion was that whatever had caused the bleed had also destroyed itself during the event and that I was in no further danger, I just needed to rest up for a few weeks to get my energy levels back to normal.

After about half an hour at home I was rushed to North Hants hospital in Basingstoke, showing lots of similar symptoms as when I had my first bleed, although not as serious. They made me feel better, told me my medication was insufficient, prescribed oral morphine to take care of the pain and sent me home the next day. Spent about 24 hours at home then same again, got rushed back to North Hants hospital! I was in agony. I was constantly vomiting and couldn't bear any noise: a chair scraping on the floor sent me into floods of tears because it felt like a drill in my brain! They consulted carefully with Wessex Neuro and gave me a lumbar puncture to get spinal fluid samples. That also released a lot of pressure on my brain and I felt sooooo much better afterwards. I stopped being sick and had no aversion to noise, light or anything afterwards. I felt fine again, although very shaky on my feet and was made to stay lying down all the time just in case something else was wrong and needed treating.

Eventually I was sent back to Wessex Neuro as no-one wanted to let me go again until they knew what had caused my relapses.

There I had two more angiograms and they finally found a really tiny aneurysm at the front of my brain. Apparently it looked just like an odd-shaped blood-vessel and took a lot of discussion with some very senior consultants to decide what it actually was.

Due to the size and location of the aneurysm, they operated to open my skull up and clip the aneurysm rather than coiling it. The operation took 7 hours instead of the usual 2 or 3 hours.

I'm now at home, almost completely back to normal apart from a slightly swollen head, strange clicking noises from the muscles around my face that were ut and stitched during surgery and a noticable lack of energy, all of which are evaporating gradually day by day. Indeed, I had the most terrifically good news yesterday: I went to see my GP who has now received all info from Wessex Neuro regarding my condition. He has declared me almost fit to return to work, and has signed me off until just the 14th of April! Counting down the days now!

My fiancee are also counting down the days to our wedding in July this year! We're looking forward to it so much and are both so grateful I survived.

I've been incredibly lucky with my grade 1 SAH. It could have been so much worse. I've had great support from friends and family, even my boss, although none of them with the best will in the world could understand what emotions have been rattling through my head. There have been times when I've cried like a baby for no apparent reason and other times when I've been floating on cloud nine, again for no apparent reason. I alone knew why I was crying or smiling. My emotions have settled down now, though. I've started getting the garden ready for seeding (I love to grow my own veg!) and in a few days I shall start swimming again, as there's a pool just down the road from home. Already I stroll to the newsagent on my own (only 10 minutes away) and do the chores at home whilst my fiancee is at work. We joke that I'd now make a better housewife than her. :lol:

The saddest and most frustrating thing is, my fiancee had little or no support throughout the whole thing. I've had lots of people talk with me about everything, explaining the risks, making sure I knew exactly what to expect, helping me deal with my emotions a little bit etc. My poor fiancee just kept being told to be strong for me, but no-one offered to help her deal with her emotions. The only information/help she got was from me, but thanks to the morphine and nimodipine I didn't make a great deal of sense. She's hopefully going to see a counsellor soon who might help her unbottle everything that she stored up over the last few weeks. I know she was scared to hell, thinking she might lose me at any moment. My prognosis is now excellent and she's a lot less worried, but she's still not back to her old self just yet.

If anyone would like to know more so as to better come to terms with their own experiences, just contact me. I can spare all the time in the world to help.

Also, to keep my friends informed, I kept my blog up-to-date throughout my stay(s) in hospital. I hesitate to post a link as I don't want to break the rules by advertising my own website (although it is only a blog). Also I can be somewhat bawdy, rabelaisian on my blog quite a lot of the time.

Moderators, is it OK if folks PM me if they want to read my blog? Not sure how you prefer to work it here :)

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Hi there

Warm welcome to the site, my you have had a time of it, but you are very early on in your recovery so dont try to do too much.....its natural for your emotions to be all over the place its such a tramatic thing to have happened....

take care

Louise.x

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Hi Neil

Welcome to behindthegray and thanks for sharing your story. I'm also from Basingstoke BTW. I wasn't given a CT scan at NHH at first. I had a second bleed before they took it seriously, got the CT scan done and diagnose SAH.

People tend to forget that family and carers suffer too and often need help to overcome what has happened.

You are welcome to post the link to your blog here. Look forward to reading it.

Regards

Keith

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Hi Neil

A very warm welcome to BTG and thank you for sharing your story with us. When you do go back to work make sure that you can have a phased return as it can be very tiring being back at work to begin with.

You sound as if you're doing quite well but remember to listen to your body and rest when you need to. The fatigue is one of the worst side effects in the first few months and the creaking/popping noises can be quite scary it does get better with time.

It might be an idea to let your fiance have a look at the site we have quite a few carers as members so she may find some comfort here as well. Take care and look forward to hearing more from you.

Janet x

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Hi Neil :D A very warm welcome to BTG....Wow what a story....thank you for sharing it with us. You are doing so well....is still such early stages. I too have been clipped, and had a seven hour operation....mine was a small aneurysm at the stem of my brain.

I agree with Janet about a phased return to work.....and listening to your body.....also about your fiancee. This website has been a God send to me and many others here.

Look forward to hearing more from you.

Take care

Love Tina xx

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Hi all! Wow, thanks for the replies full of good advice!

Luckily, my job is part-time anyway and my bosses have been extremely supportive. I just know they'll be fussing round me for a good while yet, bless them, although I shall be cross if they've put comfy cushions in the works van! :lol:

I'll try and get Tammy to register here so she can chat with you guys as well. Thanks!

My blog can be found HERE. That's the first post about my problems, further posts are easy enough to find via the newer entires button.

Remember, it can be perhaps a tad saucy but it's all meant in fun so please don't take offence.

TTFN

Neil.

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Hi Neil

Welcome to the family wow you are doing really well, good on you.

Looked up your site "OUCH" photos of your head, wish i had more photos just got the one when i transfered hospitals to nearer home.

My SAH was 13th nov 07 the recoiled sept 08, i still have a lot of leg weakness and fatigue i have a splint for my leg and now wear hearing aids due to high frequency hearing loss all after effects... but i am still here and thats what counts :D

Keep posting may even chat someday.

Take care and rest up

Love luck and laughter

Michellexxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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Guest ElaineW

Interesting reading and you have made a marvelous recovery. I am a carer and often live the events my mum's SAH over and over again which happened 9 months ago. I don't think I could go through anything so traumatic again. Best of luck with your continued recovery and join all the other walking miracles on this ste.

Elaine

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Hi Neil, Now that man is progress :) You do seem to be doing well, don't push your luck though will you? Tammy is going to need you a lot, please do see if she will join us, I too was for a while a Hampshire hog but now am happy as a bee in clover living in Northern Ireland. I was t'other end of Hampshire from Basingstoke though ( Buriton Nr Petersfield :) look forward to meeting you more and I have noted your blog :D

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Hi Neil

Welcome to the site and to the family - it's a fantastic place with lots of advice and support - not just for you but for tammy also, so please do try to get her on here even if it's just to take a look.

Not read your blog yet - haven't had time but I will do.

Like the others have said, make sure you phase yourself back into work. Is your job a driving job? If so you may have to get clearance from medics and the DVLA to drive again - its an ongoing discussion on here, none of us are definitely sure that you have to surrender your licence after a SAH - but check it out as it could make your insurance null and void.

Look forward to speaking to you some more - but remember, take care of yourself and listen to your body.

Sami xxx

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Guest Shygirl268

Hi Neil, I very rarely post on here but occasionally read the posts... I stumbled across yours this morning and went on to read your blog.....Aside from the seriousness of your situation I laughed out loud at your narrative and when I finished I was reminded of the importance of humour and healing! I will be having an elective clipping surgery on the 30th march for two unruptured aneurysms also at Southampton and i am TERRIFIED! I had a failed coiling attempt last week and am feeling a little bit right now. Your blog has inspired me to face my surgery head on (excuse the pun!), and although i wouldn't say i'm looking forward to it(!) I certainly feel more positive about... With best wishes for your continued speedy recovery. I shall continue to check in on your blog as an uninvited and silent guest, if you mind for a dose of humour and to follow your progress.Julie X

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Hi Julie,

You'll be in safe hands when you get to Wessex Neuro. You may well be in the care of Mr Sparrow, genius consultant neuro surgeon, if so tell him I said hello and that his handiwork is still holding up just fine! :)

Really you have much less to worry about than you think, Julie. It's amazing the amount of bad thoughts that build up before any sort of op. It's also mildly annoying when so many people who don't know what it's like tell you to think positive, but I'm allowed to say that so I will! What no-one tells you is that thinking positive is a knack that just happens after a while if you let it, you can't make it happen. Give it time and you'll feel a lot better :)

If you want to share your bad thoughts privately then do PM me. I've only just had the same op as you (except they didn't even try coiling my anuerysm as it's so small!) and it's all very fresh in my mind, so I reckon I have a fair idea of what you're worrying about.

Just remember one thing, don't make yourself be alone :)

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Hi Neil,

I'm just up the road from you in Bramley, seems we have our very own epicentre for SAH in the RG20(ish) post codes!!

We're very lucky to be in the Wessex Neuro's catchment area, I've met your consultant a few times at the support group there, a very funny guy (and seriously talented). We all have our crosses to bear, mine is mainly following Basingstoke Town so a SAH is very much in keeping with that!

Hope to speak to you soon.

Scott

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Guest Shygirl268

Neil, thanks for your really sweet message, it was really uplifting. I am generally a very positive person, 'a half full' kind of gal....but i think i have always taken good health for granted and it certainly rocks your world when you are faced with something of this magnitude. I appreciate 100% that I am in the very fortunate position of not having had a rupture.. but i'd like to be in the even more fortunate position of not having an aneurysm!

How you doing today, what a time to have off sick from work, the weather is beautiful! Wishing you well, and lovely to see your partner posting on here too, I trust she doing ok too, pass on my best wishes. Julie X

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Hi Scott,

You're right, we ARE very lucky to get Wessex Neuro! Whilst I was there the junior doctors kept telling me it's the best place in the country, bless their cotton socks :lol:

We'll have to meet up for coffee and a natter sometime soon, provided you can put up with Tammy going on about Saints FC :wink:

Hi Julie,

Happy to help! Meant what I said, don't make yourself be alone. So many fine folks here to talk to if you're feeling down! :cool:

Right, sun is just coming out so it's time for a spot of gardening, methinks. I'll probably end up wasting time taking pictures of next-doors blossom which is bursting out all over but hey, that's what spring is for :D

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Hi Neil,

I'm another one that was treated at Wessex Neuro, by Mr. Duffill (spelling?) ....I always get his name wrong..... :oops: but could be meeting up again with him soon..... (I wish that it was different!)

I've also met Scott and the lovely Sarah ..... Keith (Bogbrush) and wife Karen from Basingstoke (many times) ..... xx

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  • 5 months later...

Update:

After my op earlier this year, my (thinks carefully, needs Jimmy Cricket wellies) RIGHT eyebrow stopped working. Thereafter I've been known as 'that sacrastic bloke' for raising just the one eyebrow all the time.

Anyway, just a couple of days ago I felt a funny tingle in my right eyebrow. Checked in the mirror and it has started moving again! Woohoo! Not moving a lot but moving nonetheless.

I was even sad enough to blog about it and stick a vid up on you tube! Hehe :)

Soon be time for my final angiogram before I go onto annual MRI scans. Hope they don't have to open my head up again just as my eyebrow has finally decided to co-operate! :D

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