Rehabilitation after sub-dural haemmorage - Headway


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Rehabilitation after sub-dural haemmorage

Annunaki profile image

My 73 year old wife had a bike accident 18 months ago and suffered a sub dural haemmorage . She is not keen to have rehabilitation treatment but is not making a lot of progress, still being very unstable. Can such treatment be useful these days? I'd be very grateful for any thoughts. She was a nurse at St Georges Hospital 50 years ago and thinks she knows best!


11 Replies

Hi Annunaki,

What kind of rehabilitation are we talking about? It's important your wife keeps active but within her limits. Swimming and walking are good, trying to achieve the kind of physical exercise she used to take is beneficial, but within her limitations.

Keeping her mind active with previous hobbies and looking for new ones will also help her rehabilitation.

Best wishes Janet x

Hi Martin and welcome.

The short answer is yes rehab is fantastic BUT it is only as effective as the effort the person puts into it.

It sounds like your wife would be an unwilling participant at best.

I agree with Janet about using interests and activities from before the accident but leave the bike for a while.

Love n hugs


Did you try any special diets? My mum has post concussion syndrome and I have tried Tina M Sullivan's book, Nourish your Noggin. The diet includes dark chocolate! The book is based on the dietary advice of Dr Diane who suffered brain injury herself. You can get the cookbook on amazon. Feed the brain to help it recover with good fats - eggs, avocado, cooking in coconut oil, nuts, herbs such as ginger.

Good luck

I would say yes. Rehab can be equally a matter of bolstering confidence and, with endorsement from a professional, your lady might feel encouraged to take on more challenges.

We often claim to know all about something to avoid admitting we're actually, deep-down, rather fearful.

Also, could there be a depression issue maybe ?

Good luck ; I hope you can persuade your wife to get help. Cat x

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Fifty years is a long time; 50 years ago at 16 yo I was knocked off my motorbike, no helmet. I suffered accordingly; brain damage and after the craniotomy around 15 to 20 years of recovery.

My opinion, even advice to her : Do what you're told, time has moved on.

Hi Annunaki,

Oh I hear you! Am in a similar position except my partner had his TBI 15 years ago and has outbursts of temper and seems to struggle with organisation, impulsiveness alongside other issues and absolutely refuses to accept help from neurologist , neuro-psychologist. To him he no longer has any issues . Sadly, I don't agree .I'd love to say all the persuading has been a success but sadly so far this isn't the case.

I think it can be very difficult when you are a loved one and you can see them struggling . No-one likes feeling less independent and I think it's so difficult to come to terms with such a life changing event.For both of you and your viewpoints are likely to be different.Our concern can seem like interfering or being over protective. I think it would be a very good idea for your wife to have some rehab. Is it mainly physical rehab you are thinking about?

I would talk to Headway to get their opinion because the helpline is very useful and they can send you loads of information about loads of different aspects of head injury and give you support for yourself as well as your wife. Also check in here, people are very supportive and you can glean so much information because people are going through similar things and are only too happy to make suggestions.

Hope this helps :) x

Thank you for your kind reply. Mine is perhaps an unusual situation because although my wife is 74 (me 76) we were keen cyclists before her accident. Now she finds difficulty in even walking, and she is scared ++++less of cycling again, even though she wants to do it. The problem seems to be to find someone (a neurologist, a physio??) in whom she has trust, who will oversee her return into the saddle. I also need to get her behind a steering wheel again, because she is dependent on me to be the chauffeur. The trouble is, she is basically still quite young, and I will not allow her to sink into old age.


If your St George's area (ish) then maybe could try something like

Which is traffic free cycling in Bushy Park with side by side bikes of various types. Is it possible that your wife is in denial? It's apparently quite common, I refuse all help at the start and attempted to just brush my self off and carry on.

I'm going back for rehab etc at St George's at some point as NHS wheels turn.

I've found the local headway group very good if nothing else to chat to other broken folks who do get it. And they have sighnposted me on to further care.

Hi, so sorry to hear of your issues. Can you try exercise bike in a gym to start off with (no vehicles to contend with) and stable. Suggest a vestibular specialist appointment if she hasn't already seen one......they can sometimes do wonders with ear related dizziness, and can sometimes give eye exercises to help with brain/vision related dizzy problems. If she builds muscle strength in the gym and becomes confident physically, she may be able to try out cycling in a park or off road cycle trail? Perhaps neuropsychology can help with neurological reasons why she is reluctant to cycle? It's a long road back following a traumatic brain injury accident. Also try to involve her in a variety of cognitive stimulation activities.....crosswords / puzzle books / brain training apps for iPad/ ptablets/ phones. There are several good ones that offer free trial downloads.......used regularly they can help sometimes. I've tried Peak / Elevate and Lumosity. Perhaps you could do the same with driving......visiting an off road driving skills centre for practice if there's not near to you. Wishing you all the best.

I had an operation for a sub-dural haematoma 16 months ago at the age of 69. I had symptoms of peculiar head pains, tinnitus and sleeplessness for a long time and had a struggle to get my GP to write to get me an appointment. with the consultant. I do feel better now. I find walking and swimming are very helpful. It does take a long time. I am going to see an independent consultant this week to see if he thinks it was the car crash we had two and a half months before the bleed which was the cause in which case I might get some compensation. I do hope your wife feels better soon. I take 1 Amitriptyline tablet at night which helps with pain and sleep problems. Hope to give this up soon but it has helped.

I do hope your wife will return to her oldself soon, Sorry for the delay of this reply.

Best wishes Hazel

Annunaki profile image
Annunaki in reply to hazeldjh

Thank you Hazel for the reply. Good luck


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