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Irrational fear - Angiogram

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It has been almost three years now since my SAH, and I feel that I have come quite a long way in my recovery.


Fatigue is still a problem, but it’s slowly getting better, or maybe I am just getting better at adjusting my pace. I have recently been able to exercise more without having to rest up too much afterwards, which has been very helpful.


Yesterday I had my first angiogram in two years, and this has left me so upset and emotional afterwards and I just can’t get back to a positive state of mind. I have had a few angiograms before, so I knew beforehand that it would be a bit uncomfortable, but this time I just panicked.


I was so deeply afraid that something would happen during the angio that my heart was racing even the night before. And when I got to the hospital in the morning, they told me I would have to wait because the doctors had to perform an emergency surgery first. So three more hours of worry. The fear I felt during the angio made me so tense that it felt like it took forever. And this was even though I had had a mild sedative before.


Afterwards I was very lucky to have a nice surgeon, who told me straight away that from what he could see, everything looked fine. He even came to my ward to give me copies of the scans, and explained them to me.


After that, I was so relieved and felt happy for a while.


Today however, everything just hit me at once. The toll on my brain from the wait, the irrational fear and the anxiety before the angio. And also having to rest and not being able to exercise for a week or so because of the risk of bleeding.


It reminds me so much of how I felt at the beginning of my recovery, and I feel confused, angry and a bit sad. And I can’t even explain why, I can honestly say that I haven’t felt this affected mentally for a long time now.


I guess I just wanted to share this with you because even though I have been talking to my husband about this, he can’t really understand why I was afraid in the first place, I am usually a very rational person. So thanks for listening.



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Hi Tina,


Hey - you came through it!  I'm guessing that you didn't talk much to anyone before you went and this worry just built up unchecked until the bubble burst and all that emotion just came tumbling out.  Always best to talk about these things rather than just letting them build up.  It acts as a relief valve.


Next time, come on here to express your fears before you go, not afterwards.  This sort of stuff is what we're good at, because we've been there.  We know exactly what you have gone through and it is the classic 'what if' worries - and guess what? We always think the worst and there really is no need.


It's not daft or even irrational. It's what our body does to us, and that fear is us telling it back that we haven't forgotten it hurt us and we aren't going to let it happen again. Hence we build up this defensive tension and our reaction at the end is to tell it that 'I told you I wasn't going to let you hurt me!'


Then the relief is palpable.  It's a natural worry and not one to worry about unduly. It's not daft, or stupid, or anything to be embarrassed about. Those who haven't experienced it don't know how it feels and therefore can't empathise with us.  They don't know what they don't know.


It's hard to know how to react without that understanding that only the experience gives you. 


Thanks for sharing. It was a considerate thing for you to do and is an important message to others who share those worries.


Now get back to getting on with living your life to the full.


I wish you well.



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Hi TinaW 


I found people on here Behind the grey know  what we have been through and how we feel moreso than others.


I got scared and was on here every day but it was my way of talking to people about what has happened to me and is it natural.


Got a good feed back and it helped to give vent to worries I had.  Like crying without any reason and being snappy.


Started to sing happy songs and started to get my laughter back.  Keep chin up and smile or sing as I was out of it for a while. 


Woke up when shunt was fitted as I had hydrocephalus and it kept me sleeping.  Still cannot walk that far but doesn't stop me weekend Hubby gets chair and we go out for breakfast  xxxx  Any problems share them  xxxx

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Sending big hugs to you Tina! x


I've got my next check up .. MRA scan ... next Wednesday, as I've got a neck left on the aneurysm. I don't like any of the experiences whether it's the scanner or angioram... I'm going to be 15 years post SAH this year. Would advise anybody to think about asking for a sedative before their angiogram, if their anxiety is high and don't worry about asking for it...


I was exactly the same as you Tina, with my follow up angiogram and also asked for a sedative. It was much easier than I thought that it would be. However, hindsight is all well and good, but after your life has been tipped upside down, it's not easy to deal with, is it?!


Keep on sharing with us .... if it makes you feel a little bit better....what you're experiencing is pretty normal with SAH recovery and if the anxiety gets out of control, go and have a chat with your GP, don't suffer it, if they can help you.


Put your feet up, relax ... we know how you're feeling. Love K x









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Thank you for taking the time to reply. It's good advice to express my fears before the angiogram and not after. The silly thing is, I actually met my councelor just last week and when she asked me how I felt about the angiogram I just said that I felt ok about it, that I had done it before, so I knew what to expect, etc. Little did I know how I would feel just days later.


With that said, things have settled down a bit now. I had about ten hours of sleep last night, which is highly unusual for me, and today I feel more positive again. Worry is exhausting.

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Hey Tina, it's always good to have honest posting on here ... and you were brave to do that. We all worry on here, about what the future holds and just remember that you're not alone.


Like I said before, put your feet up .... February isn't the best of months and what with the weather and the news at the moment, just bunker down and regain some energy! You're doing well and it does get easier! xx

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