Yes, I said aneurysms, as in the plural. I do not consider myself an annie survivor. Instead I am terrified of what is ahead of me to become a survivor. I have looked for some sort of peace with what I am about to endure over the next few months and just can’t seem to find it. I’ve researched all the different medical procedures. I’ve looked for survivors here on BAF who are not suffering in some way or another and who have after a year of recovery are back to a normal way of life. I am just not seeing it. There are a few truly recovered and they are grateful and thankful as they should be. Reading the majority of these posts, I have to ask myself is coiling or clipping really worth it, or should I let nature take its course with what we refer to time bombs festering inside of us?
A summary of my beginnings. I was hit by a truck going about 50-60 on my driver’s door, hit my head somewhere and for a brief time lost consciousness. Had one heck of a baseball lump on my forehead, hidden by my bangs. Post-concussion, four days later, the doctors sent me in for a CT scan. Found something. A month later the MRI results are an 8mm wide mouth aneurysm. Another month later, met with brain surgeon. Aneurysm is in a location not easily accessible during surgery but he recommends clipping if I want to add 30 years to my life. I stupidly replied “Well, that’s a no-brainer!” A month after that, I am referred to a radiologist for my first angiogram. He too, does not think I am a candidate for coiling and sends me for a MRA for a better look. Results of the MRA find two smaller aneurysms in two other areas of my brain. Now the surgeon and radiologist have conversed over my case. They determine I now AM a candidate for the coiling and now brain surgery for clipping is far too dangerous. Since all 3 aneurysms are in different areas of the brain, they can only address one at a time. The 8mm one will be coiled and possibly stented, a year from now if the 2nd continues to grow, will be easily accessible and could be clipped since it is less risky being directly behind my right eye. The 3rd, well frankly I haven’t really gotten past the part of I have more than one aneurysm.
I have been explained the location of my first aneurysm holds many risks. If the coiling procedure does not go well….if the stent shifts…..if any coils come out…..may have to recoil in another year etc. etc. etc. All include losing the motor functions of my body and speech, just on my first aneurysm. Not very encouraging. However IF everything goes perfect, I could be back to normal and working in just a few weeks. What is their definition of perfect?
5 months later, I have yet to schedule my first coiling, my head continually aches, I am regularly fatigued, family, friends and co-workers around me just don’t understand I am not myself anymore. They cannot “see” anything wrong with me. My work expects the best and I am not able to be my best. My family thinks it is great news that I may be having a coiling procedure instead of the brain surgery clipping. I have taken a leave from the Handbell group I’ve performed with for several years. My previous full life, is now only going to work and doctors’ appointments. I reflect on completely understanding why my girlfriend (for years she was a terminally ill care taker), when she suffered her stroke the words she was trying to tell me was “no 911”. Who… really…. is a complete survivor after any aneurysm rupture or preventative procedure?
I am not being negative, just being realistic of the beginnings of this aneurysms journey. I am hoping the members of BAF can convince me this is all worth it. I am not a fan of any type of suffering nor having to give up so many of the activities I enjoy doing in my life.