‘Orgasm left me in wheelchair’: Mum tells of freak headache which led to stroke that caused paralysis ‘Orgasm left me in wheelchair’: Mum tells of freak headache which led to stroke that caused paralysis
A mum today tells how sex with her husband led to a brain ­haemorrhage that left her in a wheelchair. Moments after Lucinda Allen,... ‘Orgasm left me in wheelchair’: Mum tells of freak headache which led to stroke that caused paralysis

A mum today tells how sex with her husband led to a brain ­haemorrhage that left her in a wheelchair.

Moments after Lucinda Allen, 43, climaxed for the second time she was hit by an excruciating headache.

Lucinda, who was six months pregnant at the time, was put in medically-induced a coma after a series of strokes left her permanently paralysed down her left side.

But she battled on to give birth to a healthy daughter, Marri-Alice.

Now she wants others to realise the risks of so-called ‘thunderclap’ headaches which affect many women during and after sex.

“I’m lucky to be here,” says Lucinda. “But I wouldn’t wish what I’ve been through on anyone else.

Lucinda Allen in hospital after she suffered several strokes

“My neurosurgeon believes I have a congenital abnormality in a blood vessel and that’s what caused my lifelong intermittent head pain after orgasm.

“I thought it was normal, but I was heading for a brain haemorrhage.”

Lucinda, married to engineer Tony, 48, had gestational diabetes during her pregnancy four years ago.

Lucinda Allen with husband Tony on their wedding day

“It meant I checked my blood pressure most days,” she says.

“One Saturday morning, it was low so I got back into bed with Tony.

“One thing led to another and after I had a second orgasm that old familiar sharp pain started in my head, above my right eye.

“It’s normally a bit like brain freeze and never lasts long – but this time it didn’t go away and soon I was writhing in agony.”

Lucinda Allen was six months pregnant at the time of the health scare

Shocked Tony rang Lucinda’s mum Judi who insisted they call 999.

“That’s when I started to panic,” recalls Lucinda who worked as an occupational therapist.

“That’s when I thought I might be having a brain haemorrhage.

Doctors at Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital in Birmingham put her into a coma and performed a craniotomy, cutting open part of the skull to release pressure on her brain.

Lucinda and Tony Allen after her health ordeal (Photo: Sam Bagnall)

Scans on her unborn baby showed she was unharmed.

After six days, Lucinda was woken up.

“Waking after a coma is a slow, confusing process,” she says.

“I refused to acknowledge I’d had a stroke.”

But Lucinda, of Stourbridge, West Mids, had had five strokes in all.

And she slowly realised she couldn’t use the left side of her body and the side of her face was drooping.

“I didn’t realise how much damage had been done until the nurse told me,” says Lucinda.

“I couldn’t believe what she was saying. I felt suicidal.”

Lucinda Allen with Marri-Alice after she was born on November 19, 2012

Three months later she was discharged from hospital for a couple of days before the planned C-section birth.

“The distress of waking every day realising I was paralysed was made worse by the dreams. I would have miraculously recovered and be dancing around the house. But I soon went into practical therapist mode.

“I set my lounge up to best encourage me to recover and Tony decorated the nursery.”

Marri-Alice was born on November 19, 2012.

“It was a bittersweet moment, as I couldn’t hold her. She had to be placed in my right arm, which was full of drips,” Lucinda recalls.

“When we came home, I felt grief at the loss of my old self. I wasn’t the mother I’d dreamed of being. I couldn’t just go and pick her up.”

Judi and Tony did much of the childcare and nappy changing while Lucinda slowly got used to the new limitations of her body.

“Marri-Alice is an amazing little girl now,” she says. “She’s incredibly bright. It’s clear what happened to me hasn’t affected her.”

Lucinda Allen, Tony Allen and their daughter Marri-Alice (Photo: Sam Bagnall)

She hopes stem cell therapy might one day help her regain movement, but she has come to terms with being in a wheelchair. She now wonders whether her paralysis could have been prevented.

“Nobody talks about post-orgasm head pain,” she says, “That’s understandable. But I want to raise awareness of how it can be a warning sign.

“Because of it, I have lost a huge part of me – my career, any siblings my daughter may have had.”

Her neurosurgeon Mr Alessandro Palazzo has assured her there is no need to worry about it happening again and that she and Tony shouldn’t give up on their sex life.

“At first, it was distracting getting jiggy in the room where it happened,” she says.

“But we’ve now moved into a bungalow and made a fresh start.”

“What happened has changed me for the better. I appreciate every moment and the amazing support my family and friends have given me.

“I feel I now have a better understanding of what real love is.

Lucinda Allen and daughter Marri-Alice (Photo: Sam Bagnall)

 

Key signs to look out for

There are three types of HSA (Headache associated with Sexual Activity). One is believed to be caused by neck tension during sex.

The searing ‘thunderclap’ comes on as orgasm occurs and can last hours.

The post-coital headache, from mild to intense, is caused by a leak of spinal fluid from the skull into the spine, alleviated by lying down.

Some neuroligists think HSA is caused by an increase in brain pressure through exertion. People who suffer HSA should get it checked out.

Lucinda’s neurosurgeon Mr Alessandro Paluzzi said her condition was unusual. He said most patients with a brain haemorrhage after sex have bleeding on the brain’s surface – caused by a leaking or ruptured aneurysm.

“But Lucinda’s was a bleed inside the brain which is what led to her strokes,” he said.

 

Source: Mirror.co.uk

Henry Okafor

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