Experience 5

I was a 28 year old nurse working on the gynaecology department at Clayton Hospital in Wakefield. I had recently divorced from my husband and was a newly-promoted ward sister and had been suffering from headaches for quite some time but put it down to stress.

On 2nd September 1992 I was drawing up a premedication with one of the other nurses and she observed that one of my pupils was fixed and dilated. I informed the consultant of the ward who arranged for me to attend Pinderfields Hospital where I was seen by a junior doctor and briefly examined. He decided that I had probably got some scopolamine in my eye [which is a vasodilator drug]. The following day my pupil had returned to normal and I returned to work.

On 10th September I awoke with a horrific headache, began fitting and passed urine all over the bed. After contacting my mother via phone she came over and arranged for my GP to attend. He contacted an ambulance and I was admitted to the Neuro Department at Pinderfields Hospital. I was kept overnight and went to theatre for nearly ten hours, the consultant discovered an aneurysm and another which had ruptured [I don`t do anything by halves!!].

I was discharged to my parents home six days later. I became very ill and was re-admitted on several occasions. In short I had three craniotomies - and sported beautiful wigs, was incontinent for about three years, ended up with a shunt and a titanium plate, couldn`t walk or talk or feed myself, surrendered my driving licence and lost my job!!!

I am now happily retired. I can walk, talk, feed myself and I can attend the toilet, I'm even allowed to drive!! I must make light of the situation, having 22 procedures makes me appreciate just how fortunate I really am. Being a patient going through this situation has changed my whole outlook on life. My sister, herself a nurse, took notes through the operations to explain her feelings.