Just A Mechanic

(Originally written: January 31, 2021)

Do you know what a subarachnoid hemorrhage is? I do. I’d say I’m an expert on it. But when I first heard the word, I thought of spiders. My son was afraid of spiders. 

The subarachnoid space is the area between the brain and the skull. There’s fluid in that space, called cerebrospinal fluid, that acts as a cushion for your brain so it doesn’t go knocking up against your skull and get damaged. And since life is about balance, anything else getting into that space can be trouble. For example, blood.

I’ve always known what a hemorrhage is. That’s a medical word that’s made its way to normal people like me. But in case you don’t know, a hemorrhage is when a lot of blood explodes from a ruptured blood vessel. Either internally or externally.

So a subarachnoid hemorrhage is when a lot of blood finds its way in the space between the brain and the skull. The space where there’s only supposed to be cerebrospinal fluid, suddenly has a lot of blood. The blood then puts pressure on the brain and damages the parts getting pushed. And the other parts that the blood isn’t going to are now oxygen-deprived since blood carries oxygen to places. This oxygen-deprivation results in a stroke.

Subarachnoid hemorrhages have a few causes, one of them being an aneurysm. That’s when an artery bulges out, like a balloon, or just gets weak. Either way that tears or explodes a hole in the artery and the blood finds a new place to go. Like the subarachnoid space, as we’ve been talking about. 

Symptoms of this include:

A sudden, severe headache
Nausea and vomiting
A stiff neck
Light sensitivity
Blurred or double vision
Loss of consciousness

As you can probably guess from all that, a subarachnoid hemorrhage can be lethal. 1 in 3 to give you a statistic.

Those that get a subarachnoid hemorrhage are often on the older end and they’ve likely smacked their head up against something. Not all though. There’s always an exception.

Again, I’m not a medical professional. Not even close. So you probably shouldn’t take my word for it. But as a former father I can say that I know damn well what a subarachnoid hemorrhage is.