Migraine lasting 8 days & aneurysm

I was diagnosed w/ a 2mm aneurysm in Sept 2011 after having changes in my migraines. Recently I have been dealing w/ migraine that I can not get rid of and 200 mg of imitrex seems to mask the pain. I am on 8-25 mg topomax and 2-25mg blood pressure meds and still can not get rid of migraines. I went to ER yesterday for a CT scan and they did not see any bleeding. I am still having pain. The migraine seems to change sides and cause blurred vision, extreme vertigo, and numbness in my arms. The aneurysm is on my right side of my brain behind my eye towards the center of the brain. I have a family history of aneurysms on both sides each that started with severe migraines. I also suffered severe head trauma in 2002 from a car accident. Do any of you have Experience having a doctor fixing a aneurysm this small? I am curious what the doctors do and also would like to know what I should do to prepare for my appointment with my aneurysm specialist tomorrow at JHU. Thank you so much!!!

A few things Crystal....I not only had CT scans but had an MRA....which showed everything...infact, CT hadn't detected my annies but the MRA did...I was told that would truly show the size...you may ask about an MRA? Also, I had a 9mm on my basilar tip that was coiled...I have a 2mm annie behind my left eye, they are watching and waiting...

I feel 8 days is a long time to have a migraine...and that is "no quality of life"...and if they can't take care of the annie because of size...they should be able to help with the migraines...do u see a Neurologist for the migraines?

Gotcha in my Thoughts...and feel for you...Colleen, I never had migraines till I had that bad bad headache and since all of this...I now experience them...

Crystal, wishing you the best.

Will this be your initial appointment with JHU? If, yes, do they have all your prior records?

I had head trauma after MVAs, too...and, your timing is near mine by years...

I pray that mds will come to viewing the size of aneurysms differently than is being done (usually) today. Remember, I have only my personal experience(s)...to prompt my comments.

I cringe when reading, over and over, that treatment will be on 6mm to 7 mm aneurysms...mine ruptured/leaked multiple times before the initial testing / diagnosis of a 6mm aneurysm... Thus, I lack confidence in safety / securuity for waiting for 6 to 7mm aneurysms for treatment...

As it stands on interpretation of size, had I been on annual f/ups for growth, I'd not likely have been protected from ruptures/leaks @ 6mm.

Prayers for your greatest at JHU... to prepare...check on your available prior records if delivered to JHU.

Type up your list of questions w/space to note responses; have an advocate w/you; start your questions from: name of artery; which segment; nearness of which cranial nerves(CNs) by name/#; which lobe/gland, including pituitary/pituitary stalk the artery supplies. Based on the lobes, the potential impacts on vision, hearing, short-term memory, learning to long-term memory, judgment, aphasias (Wernickes or Broca's) whatever else comes to your mind and others here who will offer their memory on issues addressed w/by their neuros.

Prayers to you for best results / best answers to help you make your decisions.

Crystal, is this your first appointment with an aneurysm specialist (I assume is a neurosurgeon)? I never had a CT - mine was diagnosed via MRA. My neuro said at the first appt. that an angiogram shows annies much more clearly. (I had one 2 wks after my first appointment).

Good luck and let us know how you are doing.

Sherri

Thank you for your responses. I have had a MRA, MRI which showed the aneurysm in Sept 2011. It also shows some stenosis in the arteries. I haven’t had a cathader angio yet, which I do suspect will be next. I was told by my last insurance that it is fixable but from stories I read I wonder why doctors wait till they grow to fix them? I was curious to if there is a medication they can give you to shrink the aneurysm. I was also curious if my aneurysm is causing my migraines, if anyone has had experience with this, the two seem to go hand and hand. I am not certain why the doctors keep giving me so much medicine and I am 31 and it doesn’t work. It masks the pain. This is my first appt with the neurosurgeon they have all my prior records and I will be bringing my Cd of imaging for the neurosurgeon to view.

Crystal, please bear with me today...

Your question on shrinking an aneurysm...hits two parts with me. the first, as I understand (and may be incorrect) is that when an aneurysm is surgically clipped, it is reduced and/or continues to reduce in size, thus reduction of pressure in that area. Some people I personally know who have had the clipping, got on their initial f/ups, positive reports on the reduction in size / pressure.

When we first had local group meetings, I asked a neuro, how coil could relieve pressure in the brain... when coil replaced blood, and did not reduce the size/pressure of the location/area. I compared it to tumors which are always quickly reduced in size to reduce pressure...whether benign or malignant. The neuro told me there was no comparison of an aneurysm to a tumor. But, I cannot imagine / comprehend how a diff name / diff substance (cancerous tissue vs blood/coils) differs / alters pressure based on size /space of an aneurysm vs a tumor.

Hugs and prayers JHU will explain clearly to you the potential options based on size, pressure, and potential of shrinking an aneurysm, etc.

Pat

Crystal, I have been suffering with chronic daily headache and migraine for over two years. My 5mm aneurysm was discovered when I had an MRI/MRA in 2010, and I was told at the time that it was an incidental finding, completely unrelated to my headaches.

I have had numerous CT scans and more recently another MRI, and the aneurysm has not changed, although my headaches have. My neurosurgeon scheduled my clipping surgery on 10th October 2011, but it had to be cancelled due to severe migraine, and I have yet to have it treated. My headaches and migraine have been so severe that I spent most of Oct-Dec 2011 in and out of hospital for treatment. My neurologists still maintain that the aneursym and headaches are unrelated.

Like you, my doctors have thrown every possible medication at me, with very little success, and so now I am tapering off all my preventatives to get a baseline for my headache. I recently eliminated topamax and since stopping it my head has been significantly better. I am only on amitriptyline now and will be off that shortly. I truly believe that sometimes the medications can exacerbate the headache/migraine, not to mention the horrible side effects often associated with them.

I am seeing a psychologist to help with the anxiety from having constant head pain and also a physio for my neck issues. This combination has definitely helped more than most of the drugs I have been on.

Good luck with your appointment with the neurosurgeon. Make sure you take a list of all the questions you need answered. I actually saw 3 neurosurgeons before deciding on 1. I probably won't get my aneursym clipped until later this year.

Best wishes

Wendy

Hi Crystal and welcome to BAF,

A little about me, I had 2 annies, one, a 9mm right side internal carotid artery annie which was stented with the pipeline in June, 2011 and a 3mm left side ICA annie which is on watch and wait. My pipeline surgery was done at TJU Hospital for Neurosciences, which is where I am assuming you are going. My surgeon was Pascal Jabbour and he is the best doctor I could have asked for! I never had any headaches prior to my annies being found, as they were found incidentially when I was admitted to the hosptial after having severe pain, numbness and heaviness down my left arm.

When I was transferred the next day to TJU via ambulance, I met Dr. Jabbour who looked at my MRA and MRIs and decided to coil my 9mm annie. The 3mm was not going to be touched, as in his words, "the risk is higher if we try surgery than if we leave it alone and watch it". I immediately trusted what he said. The next morning, I had an angio with a possible coiling, however, the neck of my annie was so wide the coiling failed. I was then put on plavix and 81 mg aspirin for 10 days to prepare me for the pipeline. I had the pipeline on June 8, 2011 and was release from ICU the next afternoon. Who is your doc at TJU??? My annie is fully occluded as of my 6 month angio in December! Yay!!!!

I do not remember it, but my husband says that the doctor said I may suffer from headaches as long as up to 6 months after the surgery, but they woul eventually fade and go away.

I am now 7 months post opt and let me tell you, I never had a mirgraine in my life, until after my annie surgery. I have had during the past 7 months migraines that have put me into bed for a week where i could not lift my head off the pillow. They are better controlled now and I take fioricet as soon as I feel that pain coming up and it seems to help. Also, the headaches have become less and less as time goes by.

My PCP, neurologist and surgeon all seem to think that the migraines have nothing to do with the annies. I have an entire support group who would disagree with them!!!

As an aside, I also have a family history of annies. My older sister had a 5mm anterior communicating artery annie clipped 2 years ago and my father's mother and her brother both lost their lives from ruptured annies.

I think you will find that most people here will tell you that their doctors think that an annie that small is more dangerous to operate on than to leave it alone. That is exactly what my doc told me about my 2nd annie.

I am posting this at a time when you will probably be getting ready for your trip to Philly. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers and hope that you find the answers you are looking for and please keep us posted.

Best wishes,

Linda