New to the group

Hi Everyone

I am new to this group. My aneurysm was found at the end of September 2012 after I developed double vision and a squint in my left eye. The MRI showed an aneurysm of the left carotid artery in the cavernous sinus. I was admitted to hospital at the beginning of October for a cerebral angiogram which measured the aneurysm at 26mm. They operated the next day after deciding to go with a pipeline stent. I preferred the sound of that option to a balloon occlusion. I expected to be fully recovered after the operation and assumed that my vision would be back to normal within about 6 months. I don't have an obvious squint any more and can manage to cope with the small amount of double vision that I do have left. I am however surprised by the headaches, memory problems and word recall that I have as well as the tiredness and dizziness that I get. I assumed once the pressure was taken away from the growing aneurysm in my brain all would be normal!

Does anyone know why the problems are ongoing? I can understand that for those who have had SAH, strokes or invasive procedures (craniotomy) that recovery might be lengthy and complicated by ongoing health issues but I just don't see why this is the case for endovascular surgery. I was told I would be recovered and back to normal after 2 weeks! Here I am over a year on and still having problems. Don't get me wrong I am grateful that my aneurysm was found and treated and I do work, run a home, have a social life and generally live life to the full (between migraines) its just if I had been told life would be very different after surgery I might have been more prepared.

All I can say is thank goodness I found the forum and know I am not on my own with this and I am not weak when I give in to the tiredness and difficult days.

Hello Jennifer

Welcome to the group. I had a 3 cm cavernous carotid aneurysm in 2011 and had balloon occlusion of the carotid and coils into the aneurysm. I was warned of the possibility of stroke and headaches for a few months, but not of ongoing fatigue and cognitive problems. Like you it was suggested I'd be back to normal in a couple for weeks. The headaches have eased, though I still get daily twinges (5th nerve) and migraine like headaches (never had them before) every few weeks. I was unable to return to my intellectual, demanding job and am now retired. Life is pretty good though.

Cognitive difficulties are well recognised after SAH and there is a fair amount of research from Spain in patients treated for unruptured aneurysms that document similar changes, but it seems that this info is published in neuropsychology journals and doesn't reach the awareness of the neurosurgeons or neurologists. My theory is that I had a cerebral hypoxic episode or micro emboli at the time of endovascular intervention and have a resulting Acquired Brain Injury. I wrote to my neurosurgical team suggesting they added these problems to their patient information literature and the consenting process, but had little response! I am under a neuropsychologist at the local Acquired Brain Injury service who has given some useful advice about managing the fatigue and other cognitive problems.

Your story is so like mine. It is good to know we are not alone.


Hi Jennifer!

I was diagnosed with a 2.5 cm aneurysm, failed stent procedure and then successful occlusion and coiling (see my original post) November, 2011. So, it's been two years. I am a very lucky woman! I still have some vision problems, but I can work around them. I can now read real books now, not just the Kindle with a larger font.

Sometimes I get a twinge behind my right eye, but no headaches after the the first couple of months. Yes, they also told me that I would be fine in two weeks, but that was so wrong. I spent four months on the sofa, and went through a bout of depression that stopped when I stopped taking the blood pressure meds and the plavix. Those can have some side effects that include depression.

My only complaint is that I still don't have my energy back. I still often take a nap after work. I am a horticulturist and work hard physically. I also have a second job on Saturday mornings running a greenhouse at a retirement community. I have to work because I don't have enough money to retire (I am 66).

This energy thing really takes some patience. Especially with family and friends thinking I shoud be just "like my old self" now. I find that acupuncture really works for me. I also take a supplement called Neuro-optimizer from Jarrow Brands. That helps. The green smoothies I make every day also are good. I've written about some of this before.

What else? I still find it hard to be in places like malls, supermarkets, stores - places like that. It may be the lighting... It is a good thing because I don't shop much as a result - saves me money!!! I grow plants for a living, so I am not in a lot of crazy activity for the most part. The vision problems prevent me from grafting, but a small price to pay. Very quiet and calm for the most part. I teach and go to some conferences, too. Funny how now I take my most recent MRI with me when I travel...I still have some PTSD about the whole thing. I can now watch medical shows like Grey's Anatomy; before, I would cry watching them.

I haven't noticed any cognitive problems. As a matter of fact, I feel smarter than before! I hope this rambling helps! Our brains need a lot of time and love to heal.

Hope this new year brings healing and calm.


All I can say is, I agree with everything you said, because I have experienced a lot of what you said. I don't understand an unruptured annie "corrected" by endovascular surgery causing so much problems for the patient who was otherwise healthy and hadn't had any symptoms pre-surgery. Some advance warning from the surgeon might've been nice! But again, I too am happy to still be here, and that it isn't any worse than it is.