Going back to work after an aneurysm

I had 2 brain aneurysms 3 months ago and the doctors have put me on disability. For the most part I feel good but am having a few problems with short term memory and driving on the freeway scares me. I understand everyone’s procedure and recovery is different but I am just wondering how long people stayed away from working after there aneurysms and how long with the doctors keep me on disability?

1 Like

Take your time. I attempted to work too soon and my situation progressively got worse after a year. As you know, it varies for all, but if you are financially able, extend your rest for as long as you can. You are fortunate that your doctor put you on disability, many will downplay our medical condition and recklessly send us back us to duty way too soon. Your health comes first. I’ve had a couple colleagues who did not listen to their body and unfortunately it was life altering for them. Relax, take your time to recover, and rest. Take care


Thanks for the information. I have been trying to do a few things around the house that I could normally do in my sleep but I am noticing that when things do not go right it freaks me out and cause stress. This is all very new and scary. Again thanks for the response.

I went back to work after 10 weeks, but that wasn’t long enough. If your company offers long-term disability, check into using all of it. My recovery or disruption after an unruptured Basilar tip 11mmx15mm aneurysm was “brain reset.” It seemed I could be on a schedule in a normal routine for a few days, and the next morning I would forget everything. This still happens, and next week marks 8 years since my surgery. I was laid off four months after I returned to work; I should have used long-term benefits. I keep notes of everything I should do in a day, even the simple things like brushing teeth and refer to it daily. Things seem to have improved recently, but definitely a different mindset now. :upside_down_face:

Be kind to the new you, and take care.


I had about a month off, then worked from home for a month. I returned to the office downtown after two months, but was admittedly nervous/unsteady for awhile.

Nine years later my mind works well (I am 90% back to being able to draft policy and legal memoranda and hold debates as needed), but a do still have some short term memory challenges from time to time. I also have a significant problem with the names of new people. As for driving, a few months after the rupture I began having seizures. They are managed by medication now, but when I have one I cannot drive for six months, so, even when driving is permitted, I have grown uneasy with highway driving and have relied on friends/family/uber/metro to be safe - for myself and others. Best wises as you continue to recover from this huge event.

1 Like

Hey Chris,
Welcome to Ben’s Friends
I’ve required a few neurosurgeries and after the first 2 I pushed myself to recover and get back to work, which I did. A bit like you “…For the most part I feel good…”. Sure, I had up’s and down’s but with medications and rest I eventually got back into life. But then in 2013 I was back having further surgery.
I thought ‘Ohh, been here before. I’ll recover just like last time…’ Only I didn’t recover fully and I still battle with it today.

I attempted repeatedly to return to work, I pushed myself to recover ‘like last time’, but this time my body pushed back. I ignored the signs, convincing myself that by pushing I was building stamina, so I pushed myself harder and ended up back having further neurosurgery and that has put me in a position where, now, the dr’s tell me I’ll never be able to return to my former role.
My advice: Take the time your body needs. Listen to your body. It WILL tell you when enough is enough. Returning to work before your body AND mind are recovered can REALLY set you back.

My mind was telling me get back to work, but my body was screaming at me to stop. I didn’t listen and I kick myself everyday for that now.

Merl from the Modsupport Team


Welcome @Ckdkrk123 to our community! I’m glad you joined…

I’m guessing you had one of your aneurysms rupture, thus the 14 week ICU stay. I was only in for 26 days. I needed to get home before my dog died and the need was driving the ICU staff bonkers. Apparently I was declaring it more than once a day and more than once a shift. I realize that’s not what allowed them to release me, but my agitation about the whole matter was enough to cause my neurosurgeon to come in and talk to me about it. She said something about you don’t know your dog is dying, I replied of course I do, she’s a 14 ½ year old Labrador. I must’ve looked at her like I can’t believe you would say something this dumb because she replied she was not. I really love my Neurosurgeon, she can meet me on every level.

If I remember correctly, CA has a state disability for those working but due to an accident, etc are not able to for awhile. As others have said, give yourself time to heal. It takes far longer than we think it should unfortunately. I was afraid to drive period after my rupture. My Neurosurgeon told me not to try until I was comfortable as a passenger. It took me awhile. I started out with the mile to my parents and to PT, all on back roads, during low traffic times, never when school buses were on the roads. Because I could drive a short distance. I was denied LTD. NC does not have the type of State Disability CA has for residents.

The place where I worked at let me go because I could not do the work. Luckily, they helped me get on State Employees Disability. It took me a long time to reconcile that I would no longer be able to work and what I could do to still be a contributing member of our home. I started working at age 13 and ruptured at 53.

I think the docs might keep you on disability until you’re able to pass all their neuro tests, but I don’t really know. It’s a great question to ask them!

Again Welcome!


Welcome @Ckdkrk123!

I had a craniotomy in 2016 and was off of work for 13 weeks. It was not long enough. I thought it was a tough recovery and I am in decent shape. I could have used at least 6 more weeks. I think it took around one full year to actually feel like I was back to myself. I had a flow diverter placed in April 2021 and that was a walk in the park compared to the craniotomy. I felt fine after about 3 weeks. Maybe less than that. I did have a little bit of fatigue but I also get up at 4:45 am and that might have contributed. Many members have very different experiences from mine. We are all unique and our experiences can be so variable. Do listen to your body . No one can tell you how you are feeling but you. If you need more time off, or go back and decide it’s too soon, please speak up! I regret not doing that. I really regret not doing that. Not only has your brain been through a lot, but so has your entire body. Be kind to yourself. We are all here to support you.



Welcome. You will find a lot of sharing and caring people here with words of wisdom from experience. They are happy to share to help. As you said, everybody’s experience is different. My aneurysm ruptured and I had a stroke a little over 2 years ago. I didn’t remember anything for 2 weeks after that headache hit.

Disability…I don’t think my neurologists know how to spell it. They wouldn’t even give me a disabled parking placard. They said they don’t deal with that. I knew when I came out of rehab, about a month after the rupture, that going back to work wasn’t even a faint possibility. Without warning, I would have seizures so I didn’t drive at all. I eventually started driving short trips, less than a mile. I live in a teeny town. We have one 3 way stop and consider 3 cars at that intersection a traffic jam. They have me back in therapy now due to lose of balance and being a fall risk. In the last 2 weeks I have driven across the bridge to the “big” city driving. They have stoplights and everything. So far, so good but I’m not sure how I haven’t bent the steering wheel from holding on so tight. Twice I have picked up my pre-ordered groceries and feel like it was a major accomplishment.

I wish you the best of luck and I hope you do okay with work. Just listen to your body, it will warn you if you are pushing too hard.

1 Like

My doctor told me I could go back to work 1 week following stent placement. I did go back. It was a mistake. I would be exhausted by 2pm and go to sleep as soon as I got home. WE don’t realize it, but our brain is still healing from the trauma, even if we look ok and feel semi-ok. It’s not like the flu where you can just push through it. Respect your brain and give it the time it needs.


I had my surgery in 2013 they didn’t coil
It they glued it. I’ve suffered in silence since my surgery six different neurologists or made me feel like I’m crazy that my symptoms were not real.
I went back to work it was always a struggle about two years ago it got worse memory issues dizzy spells moody.
Then I found a new neurologist he actually listen to me and diagnosed me with having seizures mini seizures I was tired all the time no energy put me on a new medication it seem to help.
I still have mini seizures and most of the symptoms my short term memory has been affected and my long-term started to decrease about two years ago I start working February 2021.
Most doctors will not recognize your symptoms but there is light at the end of the tunnel you except the fact you’ll never be who you were just who you are today. BeAF support was the only thing that got me through this no one else understood.
I lost touch but I’m back and it feels good to be back

1 Like

We are so glad your back!


1 Like