40 yr old son had craniotomy to clip giant aneurysm in July 2010 - still has extreme headaches

My son had a giant aneurysm clipped at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore over two years ago. It was an extremely complicated surgery. The Dr. described his aneurysm as looking like a "bunch of grapes". Apparently the aneurysm had ballooned a second time - rare and usually fatal. Had to use four titanium clips to fix - 12 hour surgery. He had no post operation functional complications much to everyone surprise and relief. However, has experienced severe headaches, dizziness, lack of energy and no ability to concentrate. He used to work in construction and was used to reading very detailed plans, but no more. Biggest issue is the headaches. He moved from northern Ohio to southwest Florida (Cape Coral) thinking the better, more consistent weather would help. In fact, he has experienced some relief but still gets the extreme headaches when a storm system moves in.

Joe,

Your son appears to exhibit all the symptoms of a classic migraine syndrome. If he isn't consulting with a Neurologist for his migraines he should. A drug such as Maxalt MLT 10mgs might work wonders but it will need to be prescribed by his Neurologist. While he's at it he should discuss having a Neuropsychology exam to determine what he can do today relative to what is expected in his previous occupations. This test will help if he needs to apply for Social Security Disability.

Regarding the storm systems, he is right. My wife also having had a clip installed but not the titanium version suffers from storm system related migraines. After studying this issue for the last 18 years we have identified and verified why these systems are a root cause of these migraines in clipping survivors. Unfortunately there are no medical specialist these patients can turn to for help simply because what we have identified is not taught in medical schools. If you would like more information let me know otherwise have him try the Maxalt medication but be advised that it needs to be taken at the first hint of migraine pain.

Have a Merry and Peaceful Christmas.

Ed

Ed,

Thanks so much for the reply. He has been tracking the barometric pressure variations at his home in Florida but has not detected a pattern. It might be that the pressure drops so quickly when a storm comes it that the weather service does not pick it up. It is definitely the low pressures which affect him, just not sure at what level. When the headaches hit, there is usually no warning and they are severe. He always has a mild headache (level 3 out of 10) which is tolerable.

He had a SAH which really complicated things and they could not remove all the blood during the operation. That may be one of the contributing factors. As I said in my original post, he had a giant aneurysm (2.5cm) and an aneurysm on an aneurysm - they usually rupture at that point but thankfully his did not.

I will forward the suggestion of Maxalt to him to discuss with his neurologist. He will be going back to John Hopkins this spring for a check-up.

Thanks Again

Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year

Hi Joe and again Welcome to BAF ~

Many of us after aneurysm surgery seem to experience headaches...I see a Neurologist for brain aneurysm's and headaches and he helps to control them...Does your son see a Neurologist?

Also, I find any dramatic changes in weather will cause very bad headaches...~ Colleen

Hi Colleen,

Yes - my son sees a neurologist and returns to John Hopkins annually for a checkup by the surgeon. Everything is good on the checkups - just the headaches and dizziness when he bends over. He lived in the Cleveland, Ohio area before moving to florida and the frequent weather changes and dramatic changes in Barometric Pressure really affected him. Florida has been a big help.

Best Wishes for a great Christmas and New Year.

Joe

Joe,

My research (based on 2,153 headache episodes) suggests he's using the wrong weather metric and it is understandable why he does so.

You see, if barometric pressure was responsible, he theoritically could induce a headache by taking a elevator in a large high rise building or by driving up or down a mountain. More likely combinations are humidity, wind speed and wind direction.

Hi there I still get headaches ten years later and dizzyness had another scan 2011 everything’s fine but I had a bad head last night and looked out the window it was snowing so weather affects me too. Hope he gets some relief soon. Jess.xxx

Hi Joe

I have home in Florida and Indianapolis and I must agree about Florida...the headaches are alot less worse then here in Indy...I do know I can't bend over without feeling dizzy...even use to be an avid person to doing situp's and can't do them because of strain on head...so much of this is learning what is good for one...~ Colleen