Welcome again Stephen! Don’t worry about the number of questions you ask, after all it is the way we learn and are able to support! We will always try to answer all your questions and if we don’t know, we will tell you we don’t know.
I don’t believe your father is lying to you as I see no purpose in not telling you the truth. When we rupture, it’s bad, the worse the bleed, the worse it is on our recovery for the most part. It’s really frightening for our loved ones even if we have no sense of what is going on.
I ruptured on a Thursday around 1630 hours in 2013. I passed out on the stairs, our old dog woke me up and I was able to pull myself up into the kitchen and using the dog, got to my knees and eventually got to the phone to call our emergency number (911) passed out on the way to the local hospital and have no memory of it but do remember them jostling me into the helicopter. I also remember I kept waking up and they kept calling in to give me more drugs. I don’t remember landing. The next hospital had to stabilize me, one of the Residents said they gave me too much, of what I don’t know. They waited until the next morning for my coiling procedure. They told my family not to expect much and every day for around three weeks, they told BH not to expect me to live to see the next day.
Doctors explain things differently to family and patients the world over and then we have the error of communication in understanding what a surgeon has said in relation to our own knowledge. I’m unsure which artery would be referred to as being in the center of the brain as I think it could be one of several. I wish every hospital had a model of a brain that they could take apart in its different section and actually show us. If you have a patient portal, you can find out what the images said and the procedure. If you can’t access it, you can call your surgeon’s office. Write everything down, as it’s easier to remember. I used a plethora of notebooks and sticky notes, graduated to a white board, then learned to use my phone’s notes app (again)
Here is a good article on the arteries The Blood Supply of the Brain and Spinal Cord - Neuroscience - NCBI Bookshelf. If you know which artery was involved, I would be happy to do a more centralized internet search. Different areas of the brain control different functions but once our brain settles down from the blood escaping, it does get to healing in a way we can see improvement. I always explain it as if you drive to work the same way every day and all of a sudden there’s a road block and you have to learn a new route.
I do know that gamma knife is used for AVMs and I was able to find this for aneurysms Gamma Knife Radiosurgery of Distal Aneurysm: A Case Series | Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery | Karger Publishers. By looking at the dates of the different papers it seems to be a newer procedure for aneurysms. The way a surgeon determines the best course is through their knowledge and experience. Some choose craniotomies over coiling, some choose coiling over craniotomy and yours chose gamma knife. I’ve had four procedures for my rupture, the first two coiling and then coiling with a balloon and then the last back in 2020 was a Neuroform Atlas Stent. My aneurysm is located on the left internal carotid artery at a bifurcation (where it splits to another artery) so the more commonly used stents wouldn’t work. I also have tortuous (squiggly) arteries and I don’t know if that came into play or not.
Yes, after I ruptured and for several years, I walked like a drunken sailor. It was dangerous especially when we went to a city. I had to have someone walk on my left side to keep me from walking into traffic, sort of like my own personal bumper because I always walked into the person to my left. I would walk into a lot of things and ended up with bruises and some stitches. If I’m very tired, I will still walk like a drunk. I try not to get exhausted but it happens. I recall a few days after the ballon assist, we went up to Washington DC for lobby day. I was overwhelmed with the airports and my brain wasn’t doing so well cognitively speaking. We got to an intersection and the light was green, so I started into the crosswalk, almost got hit by a taxi. Some lady made a snarky comment about a red hand meant to stop in any city. Well, we don’t live in the city, we live in a place that has no hands at lights and very few have walk/don’t walk lighted signs. Heck most of our intersections don’t even have crosswalks! Imagine the lady’s surprise when we all got to the same meeting place and Kevin announced to everyone that I had just had my third procedure
Stay a southpaw! There’s nothing wrong with being left handed and your muscle memory is more likely to recover faster. Unless of course you’re actually ambidextrous- then use both!
The surgery was to stop the bleeding, our bodies eventually filter out the blood from the CSF (cerebral spinal fluid) that it has leaked into if you had an SAH.
My rupture being on the left internal carotid artery means my right side took a hit, well the left as well due to its location. So I had damage to both language areas, veered to the left when walking couldn’t remember how to sign my name so I had to look away and let muscle memory take over, etc. Be assured if you keep working at it, things will get better. I was told by my Neurosurgeon at year two, my brain was as healed as it would get. I told her she was wrong (it made us all laugh, who tells a doctor they are wrong? My speech at that time was more like “Wait, wait, wait. No, no, no, you’re inkkka, wrong). I had training either the week off or a week or two before my rupture at work where I learned Dr, Sperry down in Texas has been doing decades long research on brain recovery. His research proves we can continue to heal and it gave me a lot of hope. Be patient with yourself, it takes a good bit of time to recover. If you have a set back, try again after you’ve rested. We need a lot of rest, protein and hydration to help us recover. Brain cells take a lot of everything.