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Misdiagnosis of SAH/Sentinel bleed?

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Old 05-12-2017, 11:38 AM   #1
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 1
happyboi HB User
Diagnosis of tension headaches has me concerned.

Hello, I am a 20 yr/old male, 175 lbs, in good health. I have no history of exertion/thunderclap headaches.

A week ago, I was bench pressing at the gym when I experienced an sudden, intense, throbbing headache that started at the back of my head and eventually moved to the top/front. Definitely freaked me out as this was the first time I have experienced this, and was incredibly painful. I rested and it quickly subsided into a dull ache. I don't think I was using good technique at all (improper breathing, pressing head into mat) which led me to believe it was due to my neck muscles. Had a couple advil when I got home and figured it was a "weightlifter's headache" that many people seem to complain about.

Last Thursday (2 days after original incident, 6 days ago) I was riding my bike home from work and experienced the same sensation. Came on suddenly in the back/center of my head, and was painful enough to make me stop and rest for a couple minutes. I made it, had a couple advil, and wrote it off to poor posture. But, it stayed in the back of my mind and I was sure to not trigger it again.

I was traveling all weekend. However, whenever I did small amounts of exercise (running to plane, doing push-ups in the morning) the headaches came back. I stopped exerting myself before they became too painful and they subsided within the hour.

Fast forward to this Monday (6 days after original incident). I went to the hospital and explained what was going on. They immediately sent me to urgent care as they were worried about a possible SAH, even though I was fine upon entering the building. I received a CT scan (with dye), which came back negative. I also had a lumbar puncture. That too was negative. They discharged me with a prescription for tension headaches.

I am very nervous about exercising or engaging in any physical activity for fear of this recurring. Additionally, I have read about "sentinel bleeds"- sudden, severe headaches that can be misdiagnosed in the ED.

My question is, did I wait too long to visit a doctor to fully rule out a potential SAH? It had been 6 days since I was at the gym and 4 days since an equally intense headache while I was cycling. I'm curious if I should call and schedule an MRI to eliminate any doubts which may or may not be warranted.

Any advice is appreciated; I would love some input if anyone has had a similar experience. I understand I'm a hypochondriac but just want to make sure everything is okay and resume my normal routine.

Last edited by happyboi; 05-13-2017 at 10:56 AM.

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