Has my brain disconnected?

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

I typically make dinner for my family which I did again yesterday and then actually went black Friday shopping late last night...by myself unfortunately.

It's been 5 months since my clipping/craniotomy but I've noticed that when I get tired I don't feel it till it just kind of wacks me in the face. I can be sitting in bed watching tv and I don't even yawn I just kind of fall over asleep. One of my friends witnessed it once and thought that I had died...lol.

I mention this because I generally go to bed about 9-9:30 and this was the time I went out shopping last night. I waited 45 min to get into the store and then when I found what I wanted I was too tired to stand in line to pay for it. While driving home I felt like I was in a dream and I was trying to wake myself up to be able to drive. My eyes were wide open but mentally I felt like my brain had checked out. I was so panicked by this I literally began to shake uncontrollably. Fortunately I was able to pull my car over to the side of the road, called a friend who came out to help me and brought me food since I couldn't even remember to eat after 2:30pm.

I thought I had been doing well after my surgery but now I'm kind of concerned. Am I doing too much, am I expecting too much of my self? Has this happened to anyone else?

I seriously never know when I'm tired anymore until it's too late. Is this something common and will it improve?

Hey Valerie,

I think you and I are a lot alike. Before all of this sctuff, I would gogogo between work and home, my students and my toddler, always doing something for someone and usually putting myself pretty far last on the "todo" list. Now I find I have to take care of me first and sometimes that's difficult for me to do, because frankly I'm not used to it. Before I skipped meals often, or grabbed a granola bar, a cigarette, and ran. As long as I had my cup of coffee I was okay. Now I find I have to eat decently and balanced so my brain works for me a bit better. And oh my god do I have to drink water, lots of it, to keep me going now. Before I could go to bed at 1 am and still find the energy to get up at 6 to meet a student early at school to make up some work. But now, I have to be in bed by 9:30 or I just can't fully function. I make myself take rest breaks now. It helps keep my brain stamina going.

When I'm tired, by husband says I drift. My attention shifts from whatever I'm doing, watching tv or whatever, and I just drift away. When he questions me, I just laugh it off, but it's like I'm soooo deep in thought about something that the world doesn't matter anymore... and what am I thinking about? I honestly couldn't tell ya. ;)

I think if you were panicked by your brain checking out, it means your brain didn't check out -- it sounds like you had an anxiety attack. I only say this because this is exactly how I felt during my last angio, and it was the only time in my life that I've had an anxiety attack.

I hope it will improve as we heal up, but I'd say we should all just take it a bit easier than we used to and let our brains catch up a bit.



You seem to be tracking exactly as my wife. She went back to work at three months and went quickly down hill from there with extreme fatigue. She has recovered from that but it was a long, long time. To be on the safe side, if you work, start talking to your Neurologist about this fatigue just in case you need to go out on disability. If you don't you may risk being at a disadvantage. I dislike being the voice of negativity but we were on this road before and if I can help someone avoid the pitfalls of post cranial surgery then so be it. Everyone's post surgical outcome is different but headaches and fatigue are most common. As I look back on my wife recovery and read about other folks recovery experiences, as discussed here, (I) am beginning to understand what could be causing these symptoms.

Thanks Tara, what you say makes a lot of sense. I didn't eat that well on Thanksgiving, too many carbs, sugar and caffeine I think my blood sugar may have contributed to it as well. I will make my diet a priority from now on. I forced myself to eat a good breakfast and drive somewhere the next day just so I wouldn't develop a phobia about it.

Family and friends seem to think I'm back to normal now since I look that way but I need to remember within myself that I'm not completely healed. It's a lonely space sometimes when people around you don't know what's going on inside you.

I can totally relate to your drifting off to. Sounds exactly like what I do...haha

thanks again Tara!

Thanks for your feedback Ed! I thought I was great after my surgery and went back to work at only 5 weeks. Seems like I'm having a harder time to do my work now then a couple of months ago. My brain seems to drift a lot and I have to "shake" my brain back.

The downside is that I don't want to take off as we had some layoffs last year and that's always something we worry about now especially with the economy. The upside is that I work with a lot of "odd" people to put it nicely, my boss and a lot of my coworkers have kind of unusual personalities. I call my place the Island of Misfit Toys. Used to be annoying but I'm probably fitting right in now..LOL!

I hope your wife is improving as well. She's lucky to have you and your support :)

For some reason designing a tattoo feels good to me. This is what I'm going to get. The stars represent my 2 aneurysms that were clipped and the hearts are my daughters and grandchildren.

That is just too cool! I love the symbolism! And the way the butterfly uses the BA ribbon!

thanks Tara! the butterfly was actually part of a breast cancer symbol with a pink ribbon, I just changed the ribbon color to burgundy "our color" and added the other things.

omg Val-we have that date in common -my sah was 6-26-09!! when i scrolled down i just stared at that date and my brain took a mini vaca!!! it took a few secs to register! beautiful design but mine would have an eagle or falcon carrying the ribbon thanks for sharing, God bless you & yours!

god bless you too Ron and in honor of you...

Valerie!!!! thank you so much!! they are incredible, bless your heart! hopefuly i can do something nice for you some day,i re read your post and yes you probably are overdoing- maybe try comprimising or defering chores- i find some things really can wait. Arent friends awesome! im so glad you made the call for help as you zoned out! i did the same thing when i tried to do 2 stores -in the second store i felt as tho i would faint, i got scared and went to sit in the car. My sister sent her son out to babysit me !!! i couldnt help thinking i was having another sah. thanks again & please take care!!

Just the fact that you like them is thanks enough Ron :)

funny that you say you felt like you were going to faint in the store, that's the same reason I left to go home. I did take it easy the rest of the weekend, actually laid around and watched tv all day Saturday which is really NOT like me.

I think it's just so difficult for us because you can't see your brain so you don't know when it's healed and since it controls so many different things in your body you just don't know what to expect.

just a learning process for us all, thank god we have this site :)

Wow...So glad you are safe. Take care of you.

thank you Bev :)

that sounds like narcaleptic a problem staying awake.

Hi Valerie,
I understand about not wanting to take time off or to require special attention at work, especially if there is a risk of layoffs. So, you will need to “steal” the time you need to get adequate rest from non-work activities (easier said than done, I know). Take care of your brain. :slight_smile: As Tara mentioned, sleep well, eat well, get plenty of water. Please remind yourself from time to time that it takes la while to adjust to your new “normal”.

Take care.


I definitely need to remember that. I seem to be better at giving advice then taking my own.

thanks Carole!