"Be determined to conquer your problems"

About: Cumberland Infirmary Mary Hewetson Cottage Hospital (Keswick) / General surgery North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust The Royal Victoria Infirmary / General surgery

(as the patient),

In early 2011 - I returned home from work at lunch time. working as a cleaner I was self emplyed and cleaned peoples homes. I drove home and could feel a migraine coming on. when I reach home I told my husband I was going to lie down as I had a headache. This was quite common for me as I had been suffering many headaches over previous months. the GP put it down to migraine. My daughter came to my bedroom some time later and apparently I ask her to get a doctor as my head felt as if it was about to explode. My elder daughter phoned the GP and he was unable to come for a least 1 hour as he was out elsewhere on call. My younger daughter insisted they phone for an ambulance. Thank god as she saved my life doing this. they took me to Carlisle infirmary some 30 miles from Keswick.

They did some scans and told my family that the only hope for me of life was to send me to RVI in Newcastle as I had suffered a brain haemorrage and would need an operation. I was transfered to Newcastle some 100 miles away.

They operated and inserted coils into the brain to drain away the blood and fluid. I was in the ICU in a coma for 6 weeks. I was transfered back to Carlisle for my rehab When I awoke I could not talk or raise my arms up or walk. I had phyisotherapy. for 5 months. I was then well enough to come home. Unfortunately for me my husband was an alcoholic and the medical team were not very happy for me to return home to his care. However I decided to chance it as I had 2 adult daughters who were willing to help out with my care. I also had carers coming in every day to help out with my personal needs such as bathing and dressing. At this point I was very down as it soon became clear to me that my husband would not be giving up the drink and as he was taking me out in the wheelchair I became concerned that I would be tipped out of it because of his behaviour. I decided would prefer to walk so from that point on I was determined to walk about so went out each day for a short walk and increased it a little every day. I was alway very tired. In fact this is an after effect I still suffer from. I get tired very easily and go for a lie down each afternoon.

After some weeks at home things came to ahead with my husband as he became aggressive and started pushing and pulling me about locking me out of the house then one day he locked me in the house and took all they keys so I couldn't get help, Things came to a head when we argued and he was dragging me about and I tried to fight back but couldn't - the police came and they were powerless do do anything. I then left and went to my mothers home some 17 miles away. I stayed for 10 weeks but now I have been rehoused by the council and have a lovely ground floor flat. I left my home with nothing except the clothes I was wearing. I had my car which was in my daughters possesion. So I sold that so I could buy a few bits of furniture for the flat. I managed to get a few things second hand and I hope to replace them as I go along.

My husband ran up so large debts in my name while I was in hospital so I have had to try and pay these too on top of living expenses. I am now on DLA and employment support Allowance. I get my rent and council tax paid for me so can manage on my benefits. I am content in my flat and apart from an odd abusive phone call from my ex all is well.

The after effects of the haemorrage is partial blindness and fatigue. I have stiffness in my legs and weakness in the arms and hands. I have adaptions in my flat to cope with thse problems so I manage very well all things considered. I am just grateful to be alive.

For some time after I was asking why me. But I was determined to get better. My eldest daughter was expecting her first baby which was my first grandchild. I so wanted to be well for that. It gave me something to aim for and now I have my grandson and I even get to hold him and feed him so all is well and I look forward to the day when I will get my full sight back. I'm not sure if I will but am staying positive. I have been shown such kindness from many people and am grateful for all the help I've been given.

For anyone else who is going through a similar problem stay positive as this is the best medicine. Be determined to conquer your problems. I keep telling myself I will not be beaten. I've gone through so much and I'm not giving up now so good luck to you all

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Response from The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for taking the time to post your story on Patient Opinion. It is good to hear that your surgery and aftercare at the Royal Victoria Infirmary went well and we wish you well in your continuing recuperation during this challenging time.