I have read some of the stories on this site and thought I would contribute mine. I am 30 years old and work as a staff nurse in the UK. At the time of my bleed I was 27 and mid-way through my training.
I always suffered from headaches so when I had a really bad one for three days I guess I wasn't too worried. I continued to go to school, which necessitated a long journey by boat each day. By the weekend the headache had subsided and I went out that Saturday night in my car and had several drinks with my friend Jo. I stayed at her place and drove home in the morning. It was not until I was at work on Monday afternoon that I noticed anything was wrong. I started to walk into things....big things....which was embarrassing to say the least! Later on I started to feel unwell and had zig zag lines and flashing lights in the left field of my vision. As I was already at work in the hospital I had one of the doctors take a look at me. It was then that my left field disappeared. A little scary.
Next day I had a field test. Still thinking this was just a migraine I didn't worry and continued to work and drive. The doctors were unable to find anything so decided to give me a CT scan just to be on the safe side. I thought, great another day off work....I'll do some shopping afterwards. The CT however showed a haemorrhage. I was admitted and transferred to a neuro unit the next day.
I was so frightened. I had no idea what was going on...how could I have something so serious yet apart from some visual disturbance have no major symptoms? At the neuro unit I had an angio. They told me I had an avm in my right occipital lobe that had caused the bleed and I also had two aneurysms. I really thought I was going to die. I will never forget the feeling that I just woken up in my worst nightmare.
A few days later I had surgery to remove the AVM which lasted over 12 hours. I still have the other problem, but need to have regular angios to check up on them. The AVM at least is gone. I returned to nursing and finished my training a year ago.
Every time I get a headache it scares me silly.
I hope the experience has helped me be a better nurse....I can certainly be more empathetic with my patients, most of whom have had strokes. Although I never got the left field of my vision back I am now driving again...so watch out!!!!!!!
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