First day of being 43

I turned 43 yesterday and like I said to people I saw a few months ago I didn’t know if I would make it to this birthday. May 15 will be 4 months since my surgery.
Friends of mine are throwing me a birthday party this Saturday. They told me because they arranged it at the local legion I am a member of the SAL and have been quite involved in over the years. So they wanted me to plan on being there and to see if I wanted anything in particular and to tell whoever I wanted. I don’t know too many details but it sounds like a lot of people are going to be there. People have asked what birthday it is and obviously 43 is no milestone before but it is for me today. I told people it was either this or my calling hours.
I am looking forward to it but I don’t know if it will be overwhelming for me. I think they got a keg ordered but they know I’m not drinking but they will have NA beers for me. My mother has asked me questions about it but I think that my parents are involved in the planning. I’ve also heard a couple random rumors like they may have a raffle but I don’t know. Also one of my best friends owns a diner but he’s gonna be at his southern home for Mother’s Day so I know he’s definitely not coming but I think he is helping them with the food. But I don’t know for sure.
My parents got me a bike helmet for my birthday. I haven’t tried to ride my bike in a while it was so hard for me but I know I will try again soon, I just haven’t wanted to. It took me three days to recover from the first time I attempted to ride a few weeks ago. And it wasn’t even that far compared to what I used to be able to do.


Happy Birthday :tada: and congratulations to your second lease of life. It’s definitely a milestone for you and yours. So thoughtful of them to celebrate you, I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets a bit emotional.
My husband and I went overseas for my youngest son’s wedding one year ago. It was 1 1/2 years after my rupture and 1 year after my second surgery.It was a wonderful event and I decided to give a short talk as the mother of the groom at the reception. The wedding had been postponed twice, first due to the pandemic and the second time because my aneurysm had ruptured. My speech was a mix of memories from my son’s childhood and we all laughed together, at the end of my speech I told the guests that in case they didn’t know, I was the reason why the wedding was postponed for the second time. I told everyone briefly about my aneurysm rupture and my two weeks in the ICU and how thankful I was to be alive. My son literally jumped up from his chair and came running towards me and he was weeping like a little child, he wasn’t the only one with tears in the audience. So yes, there will be some emotional moments. Just let it out.
I’m sure that you will be bicycling around anytime soon, perhaps you should start with a much shorter distance and pace to begin with. I think most of us are sharing similar experiences, we try to do what we always have done, we hit the wall and end up on the couch for some days. That makes us sad. Remember that you are still so early in your recovery. You will be stronger.
Slow and steady wins the race.
Happy Birthday :gift: :confetti_ball:


Happy Birthday Rick!!!
Like you, I didn’t think I’d reach my 30th, but then came 40, that flashed by and OMG I made it to 50, if it gets much faster tomorrow I’ll be looking at 60 :astonished:

Relax and enjoy your day. If it all gets overwhelming (and it often does) step out, take a breather, relax and when you feel OK, rejoin the festivities. As I say to others, ‘Take the time your body needs…’

I get these subtle signs, little visual flashes or sudden shots of pain. Not bad, but enough to let me know. If I ignore those ‘signs’ my symptoms would increase and increase. If I ignored them further my symptoms will overwhelm me. I know this, I know my signs, so I ‘try’ to manage around them. I can push my limits, but there is always a cost for doing so. That often involves me hibernating in a darkened, silent room and sometimes for a couple of days, in agony.

DO NOT be trying to gauge your activity on your prior activity level. All of my ‘normals’ were all reset. I use to have 2 speeds. Full tilt and stopped. Now, even getting to 1/2 throttle can be a struggle. It used to be that I could go all day, every day. Now I have to plan out my day. Tasks that were simple prior I have to break up into steps. Complete a few steps, then reassess, ‘Am I OK?’ if ‘yes’ I continue. If ‘no’ I have to weigh up the need to complete said task against the consequences. This has all been very foreign and very frustrating. I want my old ‘normal’ back, but it seems that’s long gone. I have good days and bad days. I have learnt I have to be satisfied with the steps I have completed rather than looking at the whole task, which I may not have completed.

As @oct20 states ‘You will get stronger.’ It just takes time and nobody can say how long. For some they can bounce back really well, others not so well. But you will learn your signs, you just have to learn to listen to your body. It will tell you, you just have to listen.

Merl from the Modsupport Team


Woo Hoo happy belated birthday :partying_face: :birthday:. I’ll be 63 this year and I love getting older, there’s so much to do and learn and I like walking on the grass instead of feeding the roots.

Like Merl says, you need to know your triggers. I went to a friend’s wedding a few years ago which was supposed to be outside but the weather was chilly being in November and people hadn’t dressed for it. I may be brain damaged, but I’m not stupid so I did dress for it😂. Once the nuptials were done, they moved us all into the building which was hurriedly set up by the venue so everyone was packed in like sardines. Then the photographers and everyone’s phones came out and I couldn’t adjust my brain to all the flashing light and loud noises. I lost my words, couldn’t get a thought in line, BH said we couldn’t leave until after they cut the cake and then we all were ushered back outside for the happy couple to go through the line with sparklers…I walked around the corner in blessed darkness😂. Unfortunately a woman was rude and I let her have it with both barrels for making fun of my stuttering and aphasia. That could have been avoided if she was nice and if I could have gotten a break from everything. When you begin to feel overwhelmed just walk away from the group it will be okay, especially since they understand what you’ve experienced. You might want to let your parents know this plan and that you may need help to exit for a bit.

You are so far ahead of where I was at the same time period, you’re simply amazing. Life is always changing, you’ve learned that by now, it’s never stagnant. What was “normal” for you 30, 20, 10 years ago isn’t the same as now. Set goals and like @oct20 and Merl says, set little goals to achieve the big ones and reassess how you’re doing at the end of each small goal. If you were riding your bike 20-30 miles a day, try ½ mile, then 1 mile, then double that the next ride if you feel good.


Happy Birthday! :balloon::birthday:. May 15 the is the 1 year anniversary of my rupture. 4 months later my family had a birthday party for me. It was very emotional and cathartic. I never felt more loved and appreciated. Mother’s Day is Sunday and everyone’s getting together again for me. What happened to us happened, it’s real and our lives are forever changed. We are among a very small group who have been given an incredible second chance at living and thriving. As tough and frustrating as it can be, today we are alive! Every one of us has a different journey, but we have this in common: We survived! Hang in there! Things will get better as you learn to navigate your new life. You are among friends and others who have found themselves in your shoes. You are far from alone. One day at a time. Baby steps. :green_heart:


So I had my birthday party yesterday and my friends made it into a benefit/fundraiser for me.
A couple friends picked me up after my parents went down so they could get there before me. We pulled in and I got out of the car and walked around. There were already a lot of people there. We had a three piece band and a big table of raffles. I kind of walked around and talked to people.
One of my best friends daughters came right up to me and gave me a hug, she is five. I walked around some more. I tried to look at the raffles but it was overwhelming and then other friends shows up with food from my friends diner.
I went in and got an NA beer from the bar. I went back out. My mother came up to me and asked me if I knew what was going on and I said no. She said this is really a benefit for you. They are raising money to give to you.
I was able to check out some of the raffles people donated. One of my best friends and his wife bought a $700 smoker grill to raffle off. Then there were a lot of baskets donated. Some homemade stuff. Some collectible stuff. It was all amazing. There was a ton of food. They had a bouncy house out back for the kids. The girl that fronted the band is a friend of mine and they donated their time to play. Another one of my best friends bought a keg for everyone. A good friend bartended inside. She told me it was her busiest day by $700 on the till and the bar till total was about $1600 for the day which where we live is not a common thing. I know she made a lot of tips but she ran her butt off all day. And she told me last night more then once that this was all because of me.
Another one of my best friends said that money is not important and the fact is that if it was reversed I would have done it in a heartbeat for any of our other friends or anyone else for that fact. They had a huge cake. The kids all sang happy birthday. We tried to do some group photos. I would say there was probably 100 people there throughout the day. People were telling me they’ve never seen so many cars at that place. Not everyone could make it but I saw a lot of people I never expected to. I was honored and now I’m tired for sure! Happy Mothers Day!


It sounds like a beautiful day! Friends and family like that are hard to come by and a hug from a 5 year old, is priceless. I’m so glad you shared, thank you!