New Diagnosis, full of questions

When I was 14 I had my very first migraine headache. I have continued to have them once a month to once a year until about two months ago (I am now 32). About two months ago I got this headache that would not go away with treatment. It also had some odd features I had never experienced. To name a few: non-lateral pupil dilation, numbness in my face, inability to identify words, bilateral numbness in my arms & legs, and a bunch of others. My PCP sent me to a Neurologist. THe Neurologist said I had a lot of pressure behind my eyes and wanted me to go in for a Lumbar Puncture, Sleep Deprived EEG, MRA, and MRI.

I went to the doctor yesterday after a battery of testing. He said everything came back normal other than the fact that I have a 2mm brain aneurysm. His plan of action is to see me every 4 weeks for the next 6 months then have a follow up MRA to see if the aneurysm has grown in size. He put me on Amitriptyline to prevent the headaches. He also told me I am not allowed to use birth control pills or smoke. I am not really understanding this approach. I know that many people live long lives with brain aneurysm and never have them diagnosed until they are dead and having an autopsy, however many people have brain bleeds and die from aneurysm.

Why is it that a 2mm aneurysm is considered too small to do anything about? What is the likelihood that something bad could happen in the next 6 months? Is this something that I should be concerned about, or should I just try and ignore the aneurysm? Has anyone else been told no birth control pills? I understand the smoking, but no birth control pills seems odd.

Thank you for your help. I am feeling a bit anxious and confused and any insight will be helpful.

Oh, I forgot to mention, the aneurysm is located in my right frontal lobe.

Hi Jessica! Your story sounds so much like mine. Even after the symptoms stayed instead of going away the doctors continued to tell me it was just another migraine, oh and by the way you have a brain aneurysm but the one has nothing to do with the other. Mine was 3.5mm when I finally had it coiled. They were in no hurry to fix it because it wasn't going to make my symptoms go away. Once fixed, I talked normal, my vision was better, my world was no longer in a fog. They didn't go back to the way it was but everything was much improved. They had no explanation but at that point I didn't need one. I still struggle with headaches, logic, concentration, and lately a seizure. Do not let them tell you it is nothing. Everyones brain is different and reacts differently. I have learned to come to my own conclusions and listen to my body. Do your research and be your own advocate. That is my advice. Oh and I was 35 when I had mine fixed so we are even similar on that. It has been 2.5 years since so if you have any questions dont hesitate to ask. I hope this helps!

Hi Jessica,

Welcome to BAF. I’m sorry to hear about your trials but I’m actually impressed by your doctor’s approach. That he wants to see you regularly indicates that he wants to check to make sure that something else isn’t going on. There are many who write on this site who would give thanks to have a doctor llike yours. His advice to avoid birth control pills and smoking is also good as birth control pills have long been associated with strokes. A 2mm annie, is comsidered by some not to warrant surgery, but others promote treatment. Treatment of aneurysms is very personal decision that must consider your lifestyle, size, locatiom and family history.

Please see the recent postings under the discussion “Ask Your Doctor”. You will find some really good information there.

May God guide you and your doctors to make the decisions on treatment that are best for you.


Hi Jessica...

I have a 9mm annie that was coiled, my 2mm behind my eye is "watch and wait"...the reason is...for them to go in and do anything to my 2mm annie there is a high risk of rupture on the surgery .. that being said...everyone, meaning Doctors and myself, must be vigilant on those things that can make my annie's burst...high blood pressure is a big one (the birth control, raises people's blood pressure, hence the reason they donot want you on them...), no smoking, no heavy lifting...unnecessary stress, etc.,

It is really in the end your choice to what you want to do...but he/she (Doctor) must put out there the things that will not help your aneurysm...

Keep us posted...Gotcha in my Thoughts ~ Colleen