How do people live with the anxiety after a rupture?

Thanks for the welcome Moltroub. As noted, I didn’t know anything about BA until its rupture and I was given a 5% chance of survival…

I am supposed to be “recovering” after the surgery but I can’t help but wonder why BA causes so much anxiety. I was lucky there was an experienced neurosurgeon where I live when mine ruptured although the doctor had to wait two days for the equipment to be flown from another place before he could put the coil in my head. I was lucky I am alive but since then I haven’t been able to “control” the almost-daily anxiety. My BA has already been treated so I should be okay, right? Maybe I don’t really truly believe it or else I will not be worrying about every single little thing in life nowadays.

On that note, now that the updated COVID vaccine is finally available at where I live, I have been hesitating… I want to get the vaccine but I am anxious the updated vaccine will somehow affect my BA and perhaps make my head bleed again! I am obviously far from being “recovered” since I had the Endovascular surgery only four months ago. How do people live with such constant anxiety/fear?

I know it’s irrational and silly of me to even think about it… Has anyone had a bad reaction from the latest COVID vaccine that affected their BA ?

Anxious me,

You’re most welcome Piko! Thank you for posting. I took the liberty to move your post to a new topic so all those of us dealing with aneurysms will hopefully let you know what they do. Hope you don’t mind. Also if you want a different title feel free to change it!

I just received my booster for COVID last week with no problems but a small bruise on my arm this time. I think I wasn’t hydrated enough or I didn’t breathe out when the needle was going in. I know a lot of people are against any type of vaccinations but quite frankly I do not want another prolonged stay in a hospital so I get the vaccines now that the doctors want me to take. Before I ruptured seems I always got the flu after I received a vaccination so I stopped taking them. Whichever PCP I had back then would always say I picked up the other strain of the flu lol. I ruptured back in 2013 and have received all my vaccinations and they don’t cause an issue with my aneurysm. Interestingly, I have never picked up any type of flu after I ruptured, strange right? I absolutely do not think you’re being irrational.

After we rupture, our brain aneurysm may be repaired, but our brain took a beating with all the blood that flowed to places it’s not designed to be in. So we have to give our brain a bit of leeway in healing as it can take a long time. For some it’s an excruciatingly long time, for others not so much, but such is the way of life. I don’t know if my Neurosurgeon ever gave a percentage for my survival, but I do know for 21 days my family was told I might not make it to the next day. I was clueless as they didn’t tell me this.

My brain is still healing and it makes me happy when it takes a step forward without going two steps back as it did in the beginning. I do a lot of deep breathing to control everything. I take time to remain connected to the beauty that is all around me, even poison ivy has beauty in it lol. A couple years after I moved to NC, the meteorologist on a local tv station said to batten down the hatches we were going to be hit by Hurricane Hugo. My neighbors all laughed at me as I removed everything outside, taped the windows and secured our little shed to the ground. They said a hurricane wouldn’t come in so far inland, But come it did and in a violent way. Trees were torn down, electricity lost, stores had to close. Living in the country, we couldn’t get to any for a week or so because of all the trees across the roads that led into town.

We had two trees in our front yard. One was a beautiful old cedar about 70’ from the house that looked as if an arborist had kept it beautifully trimmed, the other was a persimmon. Both trees were large. I didn’t appreciate the persimmon due to its location as it always dropped its fruit right in the driveway and by the front stairs to the porch. We had to remove our shoes to go inside because there was no way to avoid all the ones that dropped whilst at work. But when Hugo hit, I watched the cedar end up with its top on the porch, the persimmon didn’t so much as crack, it’s top touched the ground when the winds first hit it and then bent the other way to the ground when the winds came through after the eye. Nature provided me with what would become my mantra for life, Be the persimmon, not the cedar. If you love Nature it will help calm or center you, it has always helped me, even the storms that come my way. Remember to keep practicing kindness to yourself, it’s a wonderful way to heal.


I’m glad to hear that you survived, the recovery is not only about your physical ability but also about your mental health. After my rupture three years ago when I got my first coils, I asked my neurosurgeon at a checkup if it was safe for me to get the Covid vaccine, it was the first time we could get vaccinated. He said that I should take it ASAP and nothing would affect my aneurysm. He was right as of now I have had five Covid vaccines plus the new Bivalent Covid Vaccine which I took two weeks ago. Everything has been fine, just a mild reaction for one day for all the immunizations.

Regarding your anxiety, most of us have been there, more or less. I had a follow up with my Primary Care Physician a few days after I came home from the Neuro ICU, after a while he told me that PTSD is very common after an event like this and he said, “promise me that you contact me if you need help “
If you think that your anxiety affects your quality of life, please contact your Primary Care Provider, they can help you overcome the worst symptoms.
I personally think that many of us will have this problem for a long time. It was really a near death experience to have a rupture. I feel much better as time goes by, but in the beginning I was reacting to every new sensation in my body with a mild level of anxiety.
I try to go for walks almost daily and sometimes I use our indoor bicycle, it does wonders for the body and mind. Perhaps you have some hobby that you can enjoy. Try to find something positive to do every day. You are still very early in your recovery, trust me, it will be better.
All the best to you.

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Thanks guys! I am so glad to have found this support forum - it’s very different to hear from real people who can share their actual experiences than to search the internet high and low trying to find answers about BA and the vaccines. At some point, I got super scared because of some not so positive articles I found.

When I asked my doctor about it, he said, “You should make your decision about getting the vaccine independent of your history of having an aneurysm rupture, an aneurysm which has now been treated.” That’s when I realized, “Oh, I guess my ruptured aneurysm does not get to dictate my life going forward…” That did help to ease my anxiety a little at least.

I have also started learning how to meditate. It has only been a few short months but it has helped steer me to more positive thoughts, such as being more grateful for the people (like those on this forum :revolving_hearts:) and things around me. That really changes my outlook on life for the better a lot!


That’s it in a nutshell! You got to that very quickly, good job!


@pikopepper @Moltroub

“You should make your decision about getting the vaccine independent of your history of having an aneurysm rupture, an aneurysm which has now been treated.”

I second that.


Happy to report back that I took the updated vaccine on Saturday. Barely had any side effects… I am still the boss and in control of my own health despite my ruptured BA. :smile_cat:


Great news! And yes you are the boss of yourself! BH thinks they’re the boss of me sometimes, and sometimes BH is correct :joy:

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I am a one yr survivor of a 4mm rupture living with a 2mm unruptured. I totally understand your anxiety. I just started therapy to deal with it. The past year has basically left me paralyzed in fear. I have panic attacks before and during work as a salon owner/stylist. It’s so hard. You’re not alone🙏

Nikki, thanks for posting! It’s a very good thing you sought out a therapist, good for you!

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Hey Piko - belated welcome. I will be year 6 in January - one side ruptured, the other didn’t. Since my initial coiling, there was a subsequent stenting on one side that first year. They just stented the other side year before last. There is a tiny gap on the last stent but it’s remained consistent. Haven’t had the MRA this year, something tells me since I’ve waited this long to attempt to schedule, it will be a Happy New Year MRA.
My theory is you didn’t know you had it when it burst, you can’t live your life worrying about it. You will send yourself over the edge if you do.


I tend to agree with @ladydawg, you can ‘…send yourself over the edge…’ BUT I also know just how difficult it can be not to worry. My anxiety was HUGE All of those 'What if’s…" questions

I think the best advice here is the old saying "Be aware, not alarmed’.
Initially, post craniotomy I was ‘walking on eggshells’ just waiting for something to break. Every ache, every pain and I was questioning myself “Is this it?..” On a couple of occasions, early on, my wife took me to hospital concerned there was a greater issue, but they did their scans and nothing showed. I have some oddball symptoms, I’ve learnt which signs were ‘normal’, (well, normal for me) and which signs are more of a concern.

Now, I look for a progression of symptoms. A headache is normal for me, a daily occurrence. I often have visual disturbances, but if those visuals are affecting both eyes that’s a bit more concerning. I also get some weird tingles, like pins’n’needles on steroids. I have medications if needed. But if those meds don’t work, that’s an issue. Then there’s the nausea. If I have all of these together, for me, that’s a clear sign I need medical intervention. You too will learn your signs.

Merl from the Modsupport Team

Nikki, Lady and Merl

Thanks for sharing your experiences and advices. I was never one to feel a lot of anxiety (before the rupture) so having constant daily anxiety after the event was a very difficult thing to me. But I have to say, with so many people supporting me (friends and even strangers), I feel I can fight this and win! I think I am also seeing results from practicing daily meditation which steers me away from negativity and towards positivity more.

I sometimes feel “sad” rather than anxiety nowadays. I don’t even know what I am sad about - perhaps of the time I lost, or perhaps it’s the brain cells that were destroyed, and my vision loss of my right eye (hopefully temporary) is a constant reminder of the scary event… I even lost some filters between my brain and my lips :rofl:. The filter loss isn’t a bad thing though because I actually laugh at the stuff I say all the time nowadays. The one thing I have gained is the appreciation of other people - something I totally lacked in the past.


Ohh, me too :grimacing: And then by the time I’ve said it, it’s too late. Often if I stop and think about it, I lose my train of thought. Some people see my pause as I don’t understand and try to take advantage of it. That lights my fuse :bomb: every time and my tongue can turn into a lethal weapon. So I say what’s on my mind and offend without even trying (can you imagine if I tried to offend :boom:)

I have learnt to keep my mouth shut, that way I can’t offend.

Merl from the Modsupport Team

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My theory is that we lived through the first rupture amazingly so why worry about another rupture? I had one rupture in 1998 while clipping they found two more. One they clipped and the other was too small to worry about. So I feel confident that I won’t have another rupture and if I did chances are I’d never survive it. Stop worrying go enjoy life!
Rock on!


I lost all my filters and was constantly having my foot in my mouth :rofl:. My stent did improve that phenomenon a good bit unless I’m tired or stressed. But oh my goodness, in the beginning and many years after, we never knew what was going to come out of my mouth. It always set people back and usually funny even if it was brutally honest.

It’s nice to read that meditation is helping you. I can tell you that from the time I ruptured to now, my neurotransmitters have been rerouting themselves all along and I have improved greatly.

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lol I didn’t have much in the way of filters to begin with! I have gotten quieter around people I don’t know but I think that has more to do with my word finding issues that still slip in there or losing your train of thought as you mentioned. The temper is still there though as well as the sharp tongue. Go figure.

However, I figure your time is up when your time is up and I’m not going to worry about it.