6-mth annie-versary & angio on Friday

I looked at the date today and my tummy did a little quiver, and at the same time felt so happy, though tired — my second son has a sleepover of a few friends to celebrate his 16th birthday and I had been busy making cupcakes and prepping burgers… it felt so normal and I am so grateful to be here for this. Six months ago, it was discovered that I had a SAH on a 19mm aneurysm and it was coiled that day (if you followed my story before, there was a story before that…). I had the second smaller annie coiled and stented early April and now I have a scheduled angiogram this Friday to check things out before scheduling a stent for the first big guy. The reason for the angio before stent is that along the path of the artery to where we need to stent had shown “dissection” in the angio imaging in April… my doc felt that it would “heal” on its own, but I understood that he was not going to traverse the artery in that state, and then all the “what ifs” started to populate…
All of that to say, even though I know (mostly) what to expect with this upcoming angiogram where I stay awake throughout the procedure, anxiety has been hovering around — I’m practicing deep breathing @Moltroub! :sweat_smile: but the subconscious is a tricky thing. Anyway, not asking any questions, just coming to my safe space with my fellow survivors for some comfort. I appreciate you all :hugs:

8 Likes

@Kimoy
I’m a fellow ruptured aneurysm survivor and I can assure you that you will be given enough medication to stay awake but also be relaxed and comfortable. The doctor needs you to be relaxed on the table and to be able to follow his/ hers directions. I know that this makes you nervous, it did for me too, but they gave me some “happy juice “ and I was babbling and joking with the staff. I told my neurosurgeon that I could be his “ show and tell “ and go to fancy conference centers :joy:
Don’t worry, you will be fine.

4 Likes

We understand! For me, keeping busy is the thing. An empty mind fills with unhelpful thoughts, so keep a little busy in the week. Be tired by the end of the day and ideally have something to keep you thinking even when you’re relaxing. These are my strategies.

Can I tell you that when I was waiting for my embolization, I tried to find a small project to do to keep me busy. It needed to be something to busy the mind, so I decided to make, from first principles, a digital clock. Now, I’d never successfully made an electronics project from scratch before and I can tell you, it was the first time I was successful!

Don’t choose anything as complicated as that (there’s no time between now and Friday for that sort of madness) but keep a little busy, I say. Reduces the amount of time for thinking too much.

You’ll be great! Best wishes!

Richard

3 Likes

Congrats on the six months! Breathing is great! We should all remember to breathe :rofl:. Don’t forget to hydrate it makes the RN’s job and the doctor’s much easier when they poke us with a needle. I’ve got 7 if you count the ones with repairs under my belt, some I thought I slept through and found it quite relaxing. My Neurosurgeon’s says I’m awake but I do talk in my sleep so there’s that. When I am consciously awake, she tells me to hold my breath and then breathe - see they even like you to breathe. The absolute best angiogram I’ve had was when she installed my stent, John, the RNA said he was putting me in my happy place and did he ever! I wake up pretty fast from them, some people get to take a longer nap.

2 Likes

@Kimoy,

Since I am new here, we have not officially met, so first hello! It is a pleasure and honor to meet you.

Much more importantly, you are going to rock your angiogram! As a parent of a 16-year old, you do more challenging things every single day; angiograms are nothing compared to how strong and brave you are!

I will keep you (and your doctors) in my thoughts through the weekend. Please let us know how it all goes!

5 Likes

Thanks for the words of support @Moltroub @oct20 @DickD @FinWhaleFan

Update: So the actual angiogram went fairly well yesterday — it’s actually my second “awake” angio, but this time I feel like the doc really roughed up my arm to get the catheter where ever it needed to navigate through the radial artery, so my arm was tender after. Also, I wish he would have given me a second or two before he said “hold your breath, don’t swallow, stay still…” :sweat_smile: — sometimes I was mid-exhale when he did and I felt like I was stifling myself :rofl:

Good news is that the dissection in my left artery healed - this is the one to get to the big guy that still needs to be stented. Unexpected news is that the smaller 5-6 mm aneurysm on the right side that he coiled and stented in April (and we knew he had navigation challenges with a kink in the artery path), the stent is not fully extended over the neck and so I am now scheduled to re-stent or add to the existing one next Friday. General anesthesia and overnight ICU stay, another three month recovery and watch and wait to decide on stenting the 19mm left side annie. Latter also means another angiogram in three months… so still holding on over here and trying to keep my little imagination from going off on its own.

1 Like

@Kimoy

Find something to stop you having too much time to think. Learn an instrument. Learn a language. Learn to paint. Whatever strikes you as never had the time to before. Be ambitious because that way you’ll think about the project not the spare time. I don’t know if anyone else has better ideas but “more time” is difficult, isn’t it?

All the best!

Richard

2 Likes

Thanks @DickD Yes, totally agree! It helps the time to go by more quickly for sure. I have returned to oil painting and watercolors — I have all kinds of plans :joy:.

3 Likes

So sorry Kimoy. I had to have one restented once. It stinks but I’m glad they are getting to it quickly so you don’t have too much to dwell on it. I’m glad you got good news on the dissection. Hang in there.

3 Likes

Excellent! I find I spend a lot of time planning a painting (being very much a learner) so I think that should work well :heart:

1 Like

@Kimoy -

Thank you for giving us an update. I have been thinking of you, and am glad that you got through the angiogram itself just fine!

I appreciate that you got mixed results from the angio. So, let’s celebrate the dissection has healed - what great news!! :clap: :tada: You are making great progress along your journey, and I applaud you for each step you make, no matter how big or small it may be! Any forward progress is progress, and should be celebrated - preferably with chocolate. :rofl:

I think @DickD’s suggestions are great! Staying on his theme, I come up with a vacation spot (planned or imagined), and then do a deep dive by exploring/cooking local foods to learning the language to reading history/fiction about the place, etc. It kills lots of time. :grin:

Another positive is that I will keep you on the good thoughts list for the next few months! :grinning:

2 Likes

Yes, @DickD I sometimes get stuck on WHAT to paint, and know that I should do anything. A couple weeks ago, I ended up doing my dining room view from the Living room in watercolor, but last week I literally wiped off the oil from the canvas :joy: My goal now is just to do something - even if it’s an apple!

2 Likes

@FinWhaleFan thank you — I have “discovered” the many things one can make with those frozen Phyllo/pastry doughs you find at the grocery — most recent was mini open faced apple tarts! Makes my French husband happy too :wink: I really want to try making baklava, but it seems so laborious… oh but wait, I have time… :joy:

1 Like

I know exactly what you mean! I drew my shoes a while ago. I’d say they came out well.

6 Likes

Your drawing is FABULOUS!

3 Likes

I told my Neurosurgeon to “wait, wait, wait” one time when she wanted me to hold my breath, I was just in the process of exhaling and it makes it hard to hold when you haven’t much air in your lungs. I used to always say “wait” 3 times, my brain couldn’t handle saying it once🤣.

To have good/frustrating news lol at the same time sure sucks. Tell him to be nicer to your arm, call it a patient’s order so he remembers. Having tortuous arteries is a challenge apparently, I tell Dr. Q-W who’s excellent at navigating through mine I just want her to make sure she has enough practice.

@DickD is being modest isn’t he? He’s a wonderful artist. I think his pub drawing is one of my favorites. I think you should paint your pup! If you enjoy reading as @FinWhaleFan suggests, both Amazon Prime, Barnes and Noble, and Apple Books always have free books available and there’s also the Gutenberg Project and Internet Archive. I like books. Don’t forget to walk your pup, talk to him about everything. I find dogs to be great listeners and they rarely interrupt. Just be mindful you both stay hydrated, this heat and humidity we’ve both been having is dangerous. We used to use a bottle type contraption but our current dogs don’t care for it so we bought one that has its own “bowl” attached which they’ll drink from unless it has city water, neither like city water🤣

Well, wow @DickD - not too shabby! I haven’t done pencil only in ages! I signed up for an online “paint looser” class and did a horse in acrylic (feels like a high school assignment lol). Before that, I painted some flowers a friend gave me for my very quiet and recovering 50th birthday in watercolor. And an oil that I hadn’t finished during Covid :sweat_smile:



7 Likes

@Moltroub yes! You know what I mean about holding your breath mid exhale :joy: Well, next time I’ll be under general, but I guess I will have another “awake” angio three months from next week, so I’ll be sure to ask him to give me a second or two to regulate when I hold. He did ask if I prefer radial or groin artery and I said it didn’t matter, but now I think I’d say groin, please!

Yes @DickD has some skills! Being all, oh, “I’m very much a learner…” but I guess we all are. I’m still learning to work with the various paint types. All to say - it’s enough to keep me busy! I will have to try painting my pup - he’s always by my side anyways!

1 Like

They look great! For me, I particularly like the foliage of the last image. I’ve been going to art classes once a week for a few years. Recently I’ve been doing portraiture and, while this is still a drawing (charcoal) I have to say, I think this is my most accomplished portrait. The actor, Giancarlo Esposito

This is the absolute cream of anything I’ve done. Most of it doesn’t come out looking like this!

I’m in a lull at the moment. I managed to force myself to do a curvilinear perspective drawing of the sitting room yesterday. Never attempted anything like that before, so it was interesting. Like you say, you have to be inspired as to what you want to paint or draw.

4 Likes

Thanks @DickD - I find charcoal to be challenging so that portrait looks great! I am trying to find “my style” and the only way to do that is to produce more art! This has given me a bit more motivation, so thank you!

2 Likes