Providing practical and emotional
support for all people affected
by brain haemorrhage

      Alison's Story

       

      Sally Daniels – Mums Story


      Last summer, in July, my Mum, Alison, went to work one day as she usually did. She said she got up with a headache but just took some paracetamol. By the time she got there she was vomiting and she was not in a fit state to drive. She spoke to the nurse at work (she works for the police as a custody assistant) who advised her to go to hospital.  She had a headache, vomiting, and pains at the top of her neck.  She didn't want to. Her sergeant offered a police car to take her home but she insisted on driving.  She works in Liverpool and we live on the Wirral, and she had to pull over on the tunnel approach to be sick in a bag!


      She spent most of that day in bed. The next day my sister found her in a ball on her bed unable to move. She was taken to Arrowe Park Hospital and admitted.


      Mum had bloods and urine tested. She had a lumbar puncture and many scans, which didn't come back with much. They thought she had viral meningitis, because her pain got better with painkillers. At first she was physically unable to stand. She had to be assisted to the toilet or had one brought to her. She could not eat by herself, and if we didn't bring food in for her and help her eat, she'd starve. The nurses would leave her meals at the end of her bed and when they collected still full plates they didn't once question whether she needed help! This went on for nearly two weeks.


      My two brothers are in the medical profession - one is a nurse, one is at Oxford studying medicine but has PhDs and Masters in relevant fields and pushed for a certain scan - an MRA (MRI?) I think it was? This finally revealed what the problem was - a SAH and a further aneurysm. However, when her doctor came over to explain these, he said that she is able to go home and wait for a letter from the Walton Centre.


      Now when I was 15 my best friend also had a haemorrhage, so I understood what he was describing to my Mum and immediately said to her that she is not going anywhere, least of all home. I rang my brother, who rang the doctor back. 20 minutes later she was being transferred to Walton and was having her operation the next morning.


      Arrowe Park Hospital was totally abysmal in their treatment of her.  She was in there for nearly two weeks before they found out what was wrong and when the surgeon looked at her files and scans he told her that he was due to have the weekend off (she was due to have her operation on the Friday and he was due to be off Friday-Monday). He said he was due to be off and if he had done her operation on the Tuesday she would not have been there to do it, her bleed was that severe. She'd had one bleed, the next would have killed her.


      She had her operation, and was left in the high dependency unit overnight. I went to see her the next day and she looked that different me and my sister walked past her bed at first because we didn't recognise her! Thankfully though, she was responding so well she was moved to a ward that day. She was there for about a week before coming home.


      The staff at the Walton Centre were absolutely fantastic with her. Cannot fault them at all. We were so grateful that they helped her as much as they did, me and my brother bought them lots of goodies when she left!


      She's at home and it's been a year and a half nearly. At first she was extremely tired all of the time. She was pretty much bed ridden for a few weeks and slowly she started coming downstairs again. She has memory problems and fatigue still, and the occasional headaches but overall she has improved no end.


      But if it wasn't for my brothers, who pushed for the right treatment and scans, she would be dead now. We were so lucky to have them. If it had just been my sister, and me my Mum wouldn't be here.  She's so lovely as well, such a kind, caring woman. She's retained that thankfully.


      The second aneurysm is being watched, as it's not in her brain if it was to haemorrhage it would bleed into a cavity and wouldn't be life threatening. They have to watch it though in case it does move to her brain, which is possible. She takes each day as it comes now and if she doesn't feel up to work (she's back at work, only 3 days a week) then she doesn't go, simple as. She knows now that life is too short to worry about work when at any time it could all be taken away from you anyway!!


      Just my Mum's story for you. I hope some of you find it useful. The way she has totally bounced back is certainly an inspiration to her children and her family.  I hope others can draw something from it too.


      Sally