Subarachnoid Haemmorhage

My husband collapsed from SAH 15/10/13. Was sent to Sheffield Hallamshire Hospital. He had a ruptured Dissecting PICA Aneurysm which was on an artery supplying his brain stem. This could not be coiled or clipped as it would cause major stroke. Luckily Sheffield has one of the 4 surgeons in the UK able to perform bypass ops. On 4th December he had an 11 hour op to build a bypass artery around the aneurysm. This is a very new operation and it is very risky, possibility of death or stroke as the blood supply has to be stopped. However my husband did not suffer a stroke and came home on Christmas Eve. He tires very easily and twitches and talks in his sleep but when we think that he was not expected to live through the first night this pales into insignificance. Even his memory is not overly affected. Just got to build his strength back up now. So grateful to the genius of a surgeon that gave me my husband back.

13 Replies

  • What an uplifting story for Christmas. I had my SAH in Dec 2011 and have various impairments as a result but I still consider myself very fortunate compared to many. So on good days I mentally congratulate the surgeon responsible for mending my brain, and I still marvel at such a life-saving procedure. I got to meet him at my first check-up so I was able to thank him personally.........lovely man with great warmth.

    It's really early days for your husband so I hope his recovery goes from strength to strength. A Happy New Year to you both.

    Best wishes from Cat x

  • Thank you Cat,

    You had to have an emergency op then? My husband was too ill to operate on at first and he had an awful chest infection. Then they discovered he had two perforations in his bowel! He had to be transferred out to a different hospital to have two iliostomies performed. One has had the drain removed and healed up but the other has a stoma. You couldn't make this up could you? This put off his brain op as he was not strong enough to face it. He is the first of his surgeon's patients to not suffer a stroke so a massive success. After the brain op he got a clot on his lungs too!

    Now he is just so tired all the time...for the last two days I have not been able to coax him out of bed and he is eating very little. He already has a lot of muscle wastage but a lot of the meds he's on say they make you really tired. Just worried he is just laying there and will become depressed.

    Apart from not having the energy to do anything he is very much himself and not even much of a memory problem, apart from having no memory of the first four or five weeks since his collapse.

    Glad you are in the main ok and wish you a Happy New Year.

    Jayne and Ron xxx

  • My daughter was and still does attend the Hallamshire neuro also more recently my brother had part of his brain tumour removed there. Good hospital to be treated I reckon. As for hubby sleeping his body will probablt be mending whilst sleeping plus brain problems/ops can make people very tired, try not to worry too much - early days yet. Just enjoy having him home xx

  • Thank you headchild.....I am so grateful to still have him. You are right about the Hallamshire they are fantastic on K floor. Hope your daughter and brother are well and stay that way x

  • Yes I was apparently 'blue-lighted' to Salford Royal after collapsing in my bedroom although I remember nothing after hitting the floor for over a month.

    And you and your man have certainly been through the mill with one problem on top of another. But 2 1/2 months is such a short time in recovery terms for this, even without his complications so try not to worry. As headchild has said, sleep is a wonderful healer and I wouldn't expect anything but a fairly slow, gradual improvement after what your husband has suffered. But if you feel he should be getting more exercise maybe you could talk to your GP about possible physio.

    After hearing accounts from family, I quickly realised that my trauma had been small compared to theirs...........whilst I was blissfully unaware of events they were half out of their minds with shock and fear so I have a pretty clear idea of what you've been going through. So you need to be licking your own wounds apart from caring for your man and I'm glad you're here sharing your story.

    Please keep us updated Jayne. Love Cat x

  • Ron is backin hospital. He was suffering really bad back pain and was unable to sit or stand. The Neuro Surgeons say it is not connected to his bypass operation and the Consultant at the hospital he's in says it is sciatica. Trouble is he has started having panic attacks, tonight he was saying he thought he was going to stop breathing! Are panic attacks a normal thing after a brain haemmorhage or operation?

  • Panic attacks can happen suddenly and for no obvious reason, but are believed by many psychologists to have origins in traumatic or worrying events which might not even be remembered........though your Ron has plenty of fairly obvious trauma to point the finger at !

    They can be terrifying and often cause severe symptoms of dizziness, nausea and/or a feeling of acute breathlessness which for me was always the scariest. I've had cancer, meningitis, SAH & more but the fear during a panic attack is way,way off the scale. I used to gasp "I can't remember how to breathe" ...........that was the most accurate description for me.

    So I really do sympathise with Ron although you,Jayne, can help him to overcome them with time and perseverance. If you want more info. on this please message me. Just don't question WHY they's too exhausting. Remember they're very common and it's the inexplicable nature of them that's so scary, but they're not life threatening and Ron isn't actually unable to breathe, although no one will be able to convince him of that 'til he's mastered them.

    But for now he needs to stay as calm as possible although the sciatica might make that difficult ..........really painful ! He's going to need lots more reassurance and a quick tip for the panicking (you probably know this already) is the breathing into a paper bag. The science behind it is that the breathing difficulty is caused by lack of carbon-dioxide, owing to the over-breathing associated with stress, and an excess of oxygen. By breathing into a paper bag.........(make a neck shape around the top, keeping the neck firm against the lips & breathe in and out so that the bag inflates & deflates until breathing becomes easier) equilibrium is reached by breathing back in the exhaled carbon dioxide.

    And now I shall leave you as, somehow or other, the time has reached 3am !

    Keep us posted Jayne. Love Cat x

  • Thanks Cat,

    I was called to the hospital at 4.15am yesterday, Ron had collapsed and his haemoglobin and bp were very low. He had another (the third) bleed in his stomach. He has had a camera down and they found a clot, they washed him out and hope this has stopped the bleed. If not he may have to have yet another op! The problem is he bleeds so easily because of the anticoagulants he is on for his brain op so don't know how they are going to stop this happening?

    Must get some sleep now and hope they don't call me again tonight.

    Jayne x

  • Jayne, I hope you're tucked up in bed and not reading this 'til the morning. Thanks for the update and I'm really sorry things are so rough for you both right now. What a complicated set of problems your poor Ron is having ...........and I feel so bad for must be exhausted with stress and lack of sleep.

    I'm afraid I'm not a believer, otherwise I would say a prayer for him. But I'll be thinking of you both and doing my own version of praying. Hope you're getting some sleep at least.

    Please update if/when you can. Love Cat x

  • Hi Cat,

    Things took a turn for the worse last Saturday when Ron suffered a massive bleed in his osophogus...I was called to the hospital at 4.15am. This was due to him having some ulcerations and the fact that he is on Clopidogrel and Fragmin making it difficult for the blood to clot. This has now healed but on Monday he started to become confused. He was in a different hospital to the Neuro dept as they don't do Gastro at the Hallamshire. I kept askig the Sister to get in contact with the Neuro Surgeon but she put the confusion down to Tramodol then later a water infection! I knew he needed to see the Neuro Surgeon but no one would listen to me. Finally they did a ct scan and discovered that he had hydrocephalus. He is now back in the Neuro ICU and had a shunt inserted this afternoon. He was ok when I left him just in pain from the op. He has lost 10 kilos since Christmas! Just need to get him stronger again now and get some weight back on. His Neuro Surgeon could not believe that the only way he found out about Ron's confusion was when I phoned his secretary and the Gastro people didn't even contact him when they had scanned Ron's head! He saw the scan pics online and rang them!

    Hope you are ok Cat.

    Love Jayne & Ron xxx

  • Oh Jayne what a dreadful week for you must have been frantic with worry. So does the Neurosurgeon think that Ron's condition is now stabilised..........has he talked to you about a prognosis ?

    Well thank heavens Ron's now back in ICU and I hope they keep him there 'til they're completely happy that there won't be any further complications.

    It's sadly a fairly common issue in hospitals that one department hasn't a clue what the other's doing........I've had personal experience of continuity/communication at such a vital time ! And I know how scary it is when no one will listen to you.

    I'm so thankful for this update; I've been worried all week. It does look like they're getting the situation under control, but not before time, and I hope sincerely that you will start seeing improvements soon.

    I hope you're getting rest and making sure you eat ........I'm sure you know how important it is for you to sustain your own strength.

    Any further updates would be appreciated, if or when you feel up to it, & I'm wishing with all my heart for Ron's recovery.

    Take care of yourself Jayne. Love from Cat xxx

  • Hi Cat,

    Got Ron home again on Friday. He's really tired and needs a frame or a stick to walk but I still have him and that's what matters. He has started to eat much more now he's at home so that can only do him good. His memory is not as good as it was before the hydrocephalus but hopefully that will improve again.

    Hope you are ok and have had a good weekend.

    Love Jayne and Ron xxx

  • Thank you so much Jayne for this's what I've been hoping and wishing for............for both of you.

    With regular eating and time to relax in his home surroundings there's every chance of significant improvements for Ron.

    What a relief to hear that he has survived such a catalogue of complications and that you can also sleep more easily knowing he's now safe with you.

    I hope Ron continues to go from strength to strength.

    Although all of us with brain trauma have residual problems whether it's memory problems, mobility issues or a combination of these & other difficulties, most of us seem to achieve quality of life, even if it differs from the previous one. :-)

    I am so pleased at this latest news Jayne......Please give Ron my sincere best wishes and do keep posting when you can.

    Love from Cat xxx

You may also like...