Hello all… a little background. I am 50 years old, smoking forever (until now). I have had a lifetime of the daily headaches. Some turn into migraines. I had a MRI done back this last November for the headaches. I was just able to get into the Neurologist in February. Actually a Nurse Practitioner. Went over a lot of stuff about the headaches, got 2 shots in the neck (nerve blocks) and headaches for most part gone. At that appointment, we had scheduled the follow up. I got a call from the Dr office saying basically i needed to reschedule the appointment so i could see the doctor. First flag went off that something wasnt right. Then another call saying i had to get a CT of neck. Another flag. Well that appointment was this last Friday, and the doctor said I have an aneurysm in “the worse place possible”. I have the doctors notes, and basically says there is a 5mm bulbous prominence of the right side of the basilar artery tip. So i am a little freaking out. This does not run in my family that i know of. I WAS a daily smoker, no more. I am trying to get next appointment with the Neurosurgeon to see where I go from there. I am not sure if i will have to have surgery or what. I dont have any idea what to do or really what NOT to do (besides NOT smoking). I have probably done too much Googling about this, which is making my fears and emotions go all over the place.
I can understand where you are coming from. I am 47 and was a daily smoker as well until 2 weeks ago when I saw the statistics between annie’s and smoking. Put that crap right down. I had what was called a “thunderclap” headache and it was the worst headache I have ever had and SUDDEN! It was not until a week later I was diagnosed with an Annie at A2 Anterior cerebral artery. I am going to the NS on TH to have an angio done. I was supposed to go in on the 24th but they called me back and wanted me on 17th. I have people in my life that poo poo it because it is not large --but I am not sure that is the point and I have also taken the radioligist report and plugged into the internet and a bunch of scary stuff came up! I got into an argument with my sister and BP wen through the roof, some people just DO NOT GET IT.
Be well xo
That is the thing I am finding too is the size. There are so many different variations of what is considered small medium or large, and some people dont think that a 5mm is a ‘real issue’…
My unruptured basilar tip annie was 5.5mm. Now, since my brother passed last summer form a larger one, they wanted to repair it quickly since I also have high BP. I used to smoke years ago and have only had 1-2 a year at camp or something like that. I had several Neurological consults to determine what to do and all of them said to get repaired. I had a 3mmx15mm stent and coiling done April 3rd and I am lucky as I have only leg pains from the catheter and I get tired pretty quick while working (physical job thought). I too read alot about the sizes and options to repair. Get another opinion. I didn’t want the option for a rupture to happen. I am 43 and have a 10 year son at home. Here is my before and after repair pics.
A journey that would definitely side track you off to a wonderland before you finally could make a firm decision for your aneurysm.
I’ve heard enough stories due to a daily 8+ hours research since I discovered my aneurysm (8mm).
You know the size, location, and age factors do matter. However, those matters actually mean nothing when your aneurysm is hiding in your brain. No one, no one can be sure that there won’t any complications whether you choose a craniotomy or endovascular, or no- treatment. The task on you is heavy since you own your aneurysm.
A friend of mine found a 2mm aneurysm (Left ICA). Anyone would laugh at her since she chose to do the craniotomy. Guess what? Her annie was a ‘blister’ aneurysm, and it could rupture any time sooner than mine. You don’t hear many people finding an 8mm blister aneurysm because it won’t grow, it will just rupture. Her surgery lasted 10 hours, more time than mine. That should give you some second thought on making decisions.
Another friend that I know decided on endovascular procedure on her carotid artery aneurysm. (pipeline, because the aneurysm’s shape). During the procedure, she got a stroke. Therefore, the procedure was halted. She has to wait for the stroke to clear (don’t know how?) and reschedule for the continuation of the procedure. I don’t know how she could gain the strength to go through another endovascular procedure at this point.
Craniotomy isn’t pretty at all. Your body has to be in an ‘almost’ perfect shape and condition to recover from it. Location has to be easy for your surgeon, and the ‘after care’ team has to be good. In my opinion, an excellent surgeon’s work will be ruined by a bad recovery team/facility.
You will spend a lot of time to clarify your options. Your insurance is the most important factor among all of your choices. Sadly, I can’t survive under HMO. I have to enroll in PPO and pay a hack of $ in order to buy my right of ‘options’. It paid off.
I wish you the best! All voices of your friends are valuable since they love you. When you reach to an ‘ah-ha’ moment, you will know it. My church old lady prayed for me on a daily basis and she told me that when a God chosen doctor shows up, I will feel the peace in my mind.
I shall pray for you! May you reach the peaceful mind soon.
I am in a similar boat, I’m 28, been smoking for years and just was diagnosed with a basilar artery aneurism. I have a couple appointments scheduled in the next couple weeks but got very little from the nurse that gave me this diagnosis.
I had an endovascular coiling done on one aneurysm in my left carotid and had a stroke ten days later, which kept me in the ICU for eight days. I had balance issues for a few days after but then it gradually went away.
It was after that surgery that I was told that I had another 2 mm aneurysm, but we were not a watch/wait with that one.
Well in June of 2017 I began to have vision issues, I would forget how to swallow and literally choke on my own saliva, I would forget how to walk, and was having issues with memory.
I had my annual MRI and my neurologist sent me immediately to a neurosurgeon. He advised me to take care of it ASAP. So, I had a craniotomy in September.
Never mind what other people say, listen to your neurologist and be vigilant about your health.
I pray you have success with your treatment.
Hi Amy my dear friend…I am glad you shared my story. 2 mm is small until it isn’t “small” at all…