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My husband is five weeks post surgery and still in the acute neuro ward following a chronic subdural haematoma. He is still waking up and imagining he is somewhere else or being somewhere or telling our son that he will pick him up shortly.

He has short term memory problems and left sided weakness so his issues clearly lie in the right, frontal area of his brain.

He also had an infection in one of his burr holes so I think this has slowed things down as he is still on IV antibiotics. Please reassure me: how long does this confusion go on for? He has started to remember things during the day and on previous days but often mixes up when events happened.


10 Replies

How long is a piece of string. Everyone is different and although he seems confused, it is because his brain is repairing itself. My husband took many months. Talk to him, show him photos, play him music. He will be slow but he will get there. Good luck, it is far harder for the families to watch this happening, he probably has no idea how confused he is.


Welcome Thymus. Apparently I talked complete gobbledygook for weeks after a coiling procedure for a bleed on the brain. My family feared they'd lost the mum they'd always known, and gained someone very odd and troubled.

But it's amazing how our brains find their way around/through the maze of injury/rewiring to recover as well as they (mostly) do. 'Time is a great healer' was never so apt as in the aftermath of brain injury because brain rehab can't be hurried.

It looks as if your husband is gradually piecing together fragments of reality. My family noticed after a few weeks that I occasionally said something quite relevant. One day they were chatting around my bed with the nurses about Marilyn Monroe ?? They were struggling to remember the name of her playwright husband when I piped up "Arthur Miller for God's sake !" ................. I'd turned a significant corner apparently.

I later heard what a drawn out, stressful period it had been in their lives, whilst I remember absolutely nothing about it.

Keep up your vocal and tactile communication ; your voice and touch will give enormous reassurance. A family photo album can stimulate memory, as can favourite music tracks. It's a waiting game and I hope your man will return to you to reward what might be many more weeks/months of patience.

Sorry if this is a all bit disjointed......... had a hectic day but just wanted to offer some support. You'll be feeling anxious & quite lonely much of the time I guess, so remember we're always here.

Look after yourself m'love, all best wishes for better days to come, Cat x


My son was in hospital for 5 weeks following a SAH. He was confused for some time, he thought he was in the film 'one flew over the cuckoo nest' Thought people were taking in their children for him to look after and also thought the doctors were trying to get his and another patients DNA.

He was always confused about what was going to happen and I used to leave post it notes by his bed so he knew what was happening each day.

This confusion gradually wore off so try to be patient.

Hope all goes well

Alice xx

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Thanks- I put post it notes all round his bed today!


Hope it helps x


Omg, I believed I was having DNA taken & everyone was being cloned wen I started coming too in rehab as I had no memory of why or how I got there.

I had suffered SAH, & like your husband subdural haematoma followed by brain infection due to the drain left in burr hole to long. I still have no memory of being in ICU but understand from my family i was totally unaware of my surroundings, talking total nonsense & a DOLS put in place for my own safety

I was moved to rehab after 7 weeks & that's when my brain really started trying to piece things together, I thought whole world had gone mad.

It must be scary for you, but as Cat said time is a healer

Take Care x


Well I had some very strange/scary moments, a significant factor, I was on a high dosage of Morphine coupled with a brain injury.


I wasn't on morphine by the time I got to rehab & as strange as everything seemed to me & what was happening I wasn't scared, just confused


No one told my wife or I that I was on Morphine, so hence scary.


Thank you. He does seem to be less confused when he has lots of sleep.


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