Can an aneurysm bleed without rupturing?

Before I discovered I had an aneurysm, I had a headache so severe I thought I was going to die. In fact, I prayed that I would be spared another headache like this, even if it meant dying.

My husband and I were out of town to attend a client's daughter's Bat Mitzvah. We arrived on Friday for a Saturday service and celebration. Friday night at dinner, and then on the way to the hotel, I felt a strange sensation on the left side of my head. It wasn't painful, more like prickly, and lasted throughout the evening.

Saturday morning when I woke up I was screaming in pain. My head felt like it was going to explode. I travel with Percocet (for another condition I have that comes on suddenly without warning). I took some and it had no effect whatsoever. After an hour, I took another one. Still screaming. We were in the middle of the countryside, with the nearest hospital hours away. My DH went to the religious service and I stayed at the hotel in agony. I begged him to bring me some chamomile teabags for my eyes, and he did return with them. That night, I was still a mess. Horrible pain. The party was at the property where we were staying. He went, bringing me back food, course by course, as it was served. Of course I couldn't eat any of it.

After about 12 hours, the head pain faded and I slept through the night. The next day we flew home. I saw my ENT that week. She scheduled a CT of my sinuses and they looked "perfect." She insisted I see a neurologist, who did a MRI and MRA of my head, finding a tiny aneurysm, which in spite of my family history of two people with ruptured aneurysms, he said we should watch.

I sought a second opinion, and that neurologist did another MRI and MRA, which found a larger aneurysm that the first neurologist's test did not show at all. From there, I proceeded to have my aneurysm clipped within a month.

I've always wondered what to make of that headache from hell. I do see that good came out of it, in that it led me to discover my aneurysms. But as I read more and more through the headache posts on this forum, some of which refer to leaking aneurysms, I wonder what may actually have happened to me that weekend. Can an aneurysm bleed a little without rupturing?

Yes, it can...a day before my aneurysm sent me to the hospital for a 6 week coma....I was home alone, applying mascara in the bathroom , getting ready to head out to work the evening shift...a pain so intense and indescribable hit me, was so bad and unlike any other pain i've ever felt before, and I stopped short and even uttered the words 'not now'...the pain dissapated within i'm guessing, 30 seconds...(?) I carried on and worked my shift, came home and went to bed..the next day I was to work the morning I did..I was at work on top of a ladder and that same God awful, intense pain struck...I managed to get off the ladder and call out to my boss that she needed to find someone else to work my shift that day...went into the break room & took a pain killer, and thats the last thing I recall. 6 weeks later I came out of the coma, was coiled and told my annie had ruptured.

Wouldn't be surprised at all if the pain you felt on that weekend was your aneurysm leaking..It seems that if or when someone has a leaky aneurysm, the symptoms vary considerably...but pain seems to be the 1 factor in all . weather its a constant stream of pain or short machine-gun-like bursts of pain. Glad yours was found !

Mine bled. I had an anuerysm entangled in the optic chaism that was bleeding. I am so grateful that the chaism did not split.

Yes...Neurosurgeons considered my aneurysm leaking without rupture...~

Yes, my neurosurgeon thinks what happened to me was also a sentinel bleed. Sudden horrible one-sided head pain, nausea, and feeling as my head my burst when I heaved, and chills. By the time I was finally given aneurysm diagnosis and admitted to the hospital, the pain had passed (granted this was after 6 hours or more of pain in an ER). Blood wasn't visible in angiogram scan the next day, but it was in my spinal fluid. Interventional radiologist could in fact see during coiling a few days later where in the annie the leak had occured. My neurosurgeon has later noted how fortunate we are to have caught it, as most people miss these sentinel bleeds as a symptom, typically leading to full rupture. You are so wise to have gotten a second opinion. Good for you for being so persistent. I hope you are doing well.

hi purple! yes I wonder about that too- I had 2 migraines weeks before the sah and once on vacation I couldn't walk -extreme weakness, I truly believe this is what occurred- I never had migraines in 52 years and haven't had any since, see you later bye 4 now~~