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Hi all

I have just joined the forum. I had a cardiac arrest 6 weeks ago and had oxygen starvation to my brain for 15 minutes. I am still waiting for a diagnosis around my BI I am sure there is some but at he moment all I have is a lot of speculation I have luckily pulled through and seem to have beaten the odds, but I am struggling with fatigue. I have always been very active both physically and socially. Now I find myself stuck on a sofa in between the bit of excercise I can do (10 mins walking max)

My family has gone through hell as they were told that my chances of survival was almost zero - yet here I am 6 weeks later walking and talking.

How do I handle the fatigue that I am getting and how do I deal with the emotions coming through. I'm very angry at this happening to me.

Sorry for the rambling - any advice would be appreciated. Ps. I am only 41 years old so this is a tough cookie to swallow

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  • You should find that the physical stamina will return I started slowly biking again, but was 5/6 months before I went on a long ride. In terms of mental tiredness that should improve as well, the caveats is everyone is different some get most back some less so, and it takes months if not years rather than days and weeks.

  • Welcome to the Forum, good to see you.

    Beware, it's very, very early days for you, Your recovery is going to take whatever amount of time it takes, there's no set limit. Acceptance is the key and as I say, it's quite early in your recovery and you are obviously going to experience, anger, frustration, confusion, annoyance, etc.

    You are no longer the person you once were and instead you are a new and different version of the same person. Until you accept that, you will struggle to adjust to life and your feelings. Patience, my friend, patience.

    In the meantime, if you need to chat, pop in, ask questions, rant, whatever you need

    Andy

  • Morning - just would echo the replies so far - it's very early days ( even if you don't feel that it is - a lot of us know the frustration and wanting to be further than we really are).

    As others have mentioned - acceptance is a good way forward - and I like to think of myself as " new, improved me" ( though I might not always appear/ feel so - I can't turn the clock back any more than anyone else ).

    That and be kind to yourself- have small goals on a fortnightly rather than daily basis maybe ? Stick to the 10 minutes exercise for a while - might be able to increase it to 12 minutes another week and so on. I did the same with sleep. At your stage I slept from 7pm to 7 am no problem .... after a good two months of this I was well enough to push it back 15 minutes to 7.15 -7am for a week, then 7.30 and so on. I'm still rubbish at later nights but can do 11pm if required/want to once or twice a week, but function better if I get 9 hours sleep/ Go with what your body needs right now. ..... rest and activity. Don't overdo things too early ......

    Better dash - work beckons ( tho only doing part time myself these days ... my choice)

    Good luck

    K

  • Thanks everybody.

    I guess patience is something I will have to learn. It is just my old me. ;-)

  • Hi DazedWP. I am 43 and last year I had a Stroke Mimic. There were no physical signs that I had a Stroke but I did have all the symptoms (left-sided weakness, blurred vision etc). The hospital put it down to stress and anxiety since they couldn't find anything else wrong with me. Like you I have recovered brilliantly and you would never know to look at me that it ever happened. Unfortunately I do still suffer fatigue as well though. Its not as bad as yours, although perhaps because it happened a bit longer ago. But the advice I would give is to get as much rest as possible and when you need to. If its not a convenient time to rest (eg because you're at work) try chewing gum or having a conversation. It works for me. Best of luck.

    Lulu

  • Welcome Dazedwp, as others have said, it's virtually impossible to put a linear prediction on any of the various recoveries we make. I imagine that most of us, in the early stages, just wanted to get better, and get on with it, like you'd do after any other type of injury, illness, or surgery. Personally, I set myself a goal of six weeks post-surgery to be back at work. (I never said I wasn't an idiot.) I'd fixated on the bone-healing of my skull after the surgery, and decided that if six weeks would do for a broken arm or leg in a cast, six weeks would do for my skull. What I didn't factor-in was that my brain was healing, as well as my skull, you know, just the most complex, and possibly least-understood organ in the entire body.

    (If you're anything like me, you'll be pulling faces, and thinking of rude names to call me, because you KNOW you've had a brain injury, and you think I'm being patronising, I remember the angry-stage very well.)

    I went back to work, half-days initially, roughly six weeks after the emergency surgery. (See "I'm an idiot." clause above.) What I did over the course of the following 18 months was essentially run on fumes, until I burned out, because, wait for it, I'm an idiot. I wouldn't be told what to do, and was determined to 'beat' the brain injury. My after-care was virtually non-existent, because I'd walked out of the hospital unaided, able to speak in whole sentences, and all the rest of it. I've spent the last two years 'acting normal', being superficially functional, with my ever-expanding range of "Oh, that's new!" symptoms.

    (Get ready for a massive urge to poke me in the eye, like I would have done to anyone offering me this advice...)

    Be kind to yourself. Brains are enormously complicated things, you wouldn't give a NASA spacecraft a kick, as if it was a washing machine that rattled on the spin-cycle, and you need to stop 'kicking' your brain, too. You'll have good days and bad days, the same as you did 'before', you're just likely to notice the bad ones more. Don't obsess over the bad days, the wonky days, and the tired days. I'm laughing at myself, because, early on, I was positively crowing about having done a ton of laundry and housework, and people on here were diplomatically telling me to slow down... I didn't listen. There will be flashes of brilliance, and they're the bits you need to hold on to, not the dirge-days where everything you do feels like you're wading through treacle.

    Eat well (I was a cow for that, everything either tasted or smelled funny, and I lost 3st.) sleep well, your body and brain need sleep to repair. Drink plenty of fluids, the brain's mostly-water. Keep your medical appointments, take your medication as prescribed, and you'll come through this. I can't say when, but you will. If I'm going to go full-blown 'Mum' on it, remember to take a coat if it looks like rain.

    All the best.

  • Thanks Gaia

    Almost like you know me. I'm in a similar boat. The doctors are all surprised that I am walking and talking. They all had me booked in for a long time in the hospital. I remember waking In he icu The first thing I did was ask to go home with my wife. Typical me

    I am in no rush to go back to work though. Even though I know they are struggling without me. I have also set myself healing goals - which I now know is not realistic.

    It is also hard to see my wife doing all the things we used to do together. Luckily we do have good family support and I have found that I have more friends than I eve realised. This all makes life better. I am also trying to be a bit mor social as sitting/ sleeping at home the whole time makes me feel very down. Having somebody to talk to for even just a hour is good for me

    I am just going through the NHS churn though. They were fantastic while i was in the icu. Things are a bit slower now - but I still think I am getting great care - home visits is not something I ever thought I would get

    Thanks again for all the replies. It is nice to know that others have gone through the same. I suspect I will be a regular here ( sharing, moaning. Etc )

    Dazed.

  • Hello Dazed and welcome

    As always I'm limping in a bit late here but welcome anyway... which is really important!.

    It's slow going and we've mostly learned the hard way by being pig headed and going for it... but it does catch up with you and knocks you out. Pace yourself, try not to get too cross with yourself for not getting better as fast as you want.

    It's always good to come on here and sound off... we all " get it" so you are amongst friends...

    Best wishes

    Nancy x

  • Thanks Nancy

    The replies that I have had has really helped. Don't feel so lonely anymore. Now I just need to get cracking with getting better

    Thanks to everybody for your replies. I will be on here regularly as I progress and find new things that boggles the mind

    Dazed (willem)

  • Hi DazedWP. My son had a cardiac arrest 15/12/2010 aged 34 yrs, he had just moved to Boston, Mass, USA. He had 25 minutes without oxygen. The Docs told us it would be best if we turned the machines off as he would be blind, deaf have no memory in other words he would be in a vegetative state. We never gave up on him. Today he celebrated his 41st birthday. He is very clever, he users a litewriter to communicate with us, he is still learning to walk has physio everyday and is going to the gym once a week. Ade is not a very patient person, but he has learned to be. I am so proud and love him so much as to how he has adapted. Not the life he wanted but he is lovely and I wouldn't change him for the world. Dazed you are not alone, use this site to listen to peoples stories. There are some amazing people out their. I wish you all the luck, love and hugs in the world. I hope you feel stronger very soon.

    Love Jan (Ade's Mum)

  • Thanks Jan. I am very lucky as I seem to have come out without much issues. I keep on reminding myself of this every time the negative thoughts come out

    I wish Ade the best - he sounds like a fighter which I think is something that is needed going through this trial in life

    Thanks for your reply. It really does help put perspective on what I'm going through.

    Willem

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