Brain Aneurysm Support Community

Not Sure What To Ask Next

I’m not sure how to start this post, so I’m just going to ramble in a chronological order.

My grandfather died from a ruptured aneurysm. It is suspected that his father did too. My mother had a brain bleed several years ago. I have had several cousins and an Great-Uncle who have been diagnosed with aneurysms. Ever since high school, I’ve suffered from migraine headaches. They became rather less frequent in my 30’s.

In September of last year, I had volunteered to help clean up grave stones of veterans at our local cemetery. By the end of the day, I had one of the worst headaches I’d ever had. Headaches persisted almost daily from this point on to the present day.

From then on, light, loud noises, reading for more then 10 mins, have all set off headaches. (The last trigger is the worst as I was a university student and have had to postpone school)

My doctor has prescribed low dose antidepressants for these headaches and I have started on blood pressure medication as my BP was a little high. I’ve cut down on stress and have started to eat healthier. This has helped a little, not much though.

These headaches have been different than my normal migraine headaches. When I have one, I sometimes stop mid sentence and can’t continue with the conversation, I have blurry vision (already checked to make sure it was not my glasses), I get dizzy and one of the only things that helps ease the pain and symptoms, is a cold pack or ice on my head. I have blacked out once from the headaches.

In March, I had an MRI which found, “Small 2mm outpouring or fenestration at the right MCA trifurcation is noted.” The report suggested a follow up CTA. I had one two weeks ago and the report came back unremarkable. The MRI was done at a centre in a large city with a teaching hospital. The CTA was done in my local small town hospital.

I am now at a loss. With my family history and with weird not normal headaches, is there anything I can ask for to make sure there’s something there or not? I would really like to know. I would really like to eliminate or include diagnosis so treatment can be found and I can return to my normal studious self.

Thanks for any help,
(Yes, a family nick name because I’m Wooster like!)

Hi Bertie , New Ct scan you can do only in one year , since it’s big amount of radiation. May it’s possible to take a copy of it and to show both images to neurosurgeon ? May be it was just anatomy of your vessels , have you seen a doctor after your CT? What did he tell? The only thing that may doctors schedule in addition it’s angiogram .
If you already saw your doctor and heard his opinion , you may take second opinion .
Are you under care of neurologist because of your headeches? There are many medicine that might help . I have migraines and all kind of headeches , taking Propanolol , it works in some way . I wish you to find out the reason of your headeches and have an effective treatment .

Hello GK,
Thanks for the response. I see my doctor the first week of June. I know the CTA scan results as his office called me with them. I think they didn’t want me to worry, but it just confused me. I may ask for a second opinion from the larger centre. My doctor is really open to second opinions, he’s asked for them in the past with other matters.
I’ve tried migraine medications, but so far no luck.
Thanks for the advice,

Bertie, From what I’ve learned is aneurysms really don’t cause migraines, etc unless they rupture. Keeping hydrated along with the other life changes you’re making is a really good start. Your family history of aneurysms simply means they need to keep a good eye on you. I only get CT scans when the ER doc thinks I’ve ruptured again. From my Neurosurgeon, it’s MRAs which looks from the neck up into my brain.i wish you the best of luck!

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Hello Moltroub,
Thanks for your reply and advice. I will try to keep hydrated. I hope my diet and other improvement do help too!
Thanks and best wishes to you as well!

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Yes. The MRA was how mine were found.

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I may see if I can have another MRA done this year. I had one done in April for another ailment in my lower body. I’m just holding out to the 4th to talk to my doctor about the next steps.
Thanks for the post,

There shouldn’t be a problem getting another MRA since it’s unrelated to your previous MRA. With no experience of your NHS, I’d still venture a guess they won’t mind. Good luck and let us know how it goes.

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I might just ask for another one for my brain when I see the doctor on the 4th.
I will let everyone know how it goes.
Thank you everyone for your advice and kindness,

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Hi Bertie,
If you haven’t tried propanolol, it could be worth the effort to do so.
Best wishes for relief.

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I haven’t tried that medication yet. I will check into it.
Thanks for the advice,

I had my appointment with my doctor today. The CTA showed I had better blood flow to the left side of my brain than the right. But showed no aneurysms.
So I have an MRI that says there is an outpouching of 2mm on my MCA and a CTA that says nothing there, but there is a blood flow abnormality.
So my doctor is going to schedule an MRA. (Just to break the tie with tests) and sent all the results to a neurosurgeon at a larger centre to look at. He wants to be sure because of my family history.
(For any Canadians, the refural is going to Dr. Cook in Kingston. I guess he was one of Gord Downey’s doctors.)
Oddly today I have a very bad headache… It never rains but it pours!
Thanks again for listening,

Have you eaten today? Have you drank enough water? Not sure how it is up in Canada, today in the South was actually pleasant.

Bertie, do you mind explaining why your doc wanted at CT after the MRI and now wants an MRA? I guess I get confused on those. For me, they start with the CT and then to the MRs. but they did a lot of CT scans when I was in ICU and I had daily ultrasounds due to vasospasms.

I have eaten, kept hydrated and had a good sleep… Still had a really bad headache… Still do!
I don’t mind explaining the MRI and CTA thing. I have been having very bad and weird headaches (different than my normal headaches) for 5 months. Because of my family history of aneurysms, my doctor sent me for an MRI. The results stated that there was a 2mm outpouching or fenestration at the right MCA bifurcation. The report also went on to suggest a further CTA to explore further. So I went for one of those last month… Which brings us to today. The MRI was done at a larger centre in a nearby town and the CTA was done at my local small town hospital. My doctor and I opted for the MRA to just double check to see what is happening and a second opinion by an expert just to make sure what is going on. As well, the neurosurgeon might able to recommend something or someone to help with the headaches if not caused by an aneurysm.
I hope this clears things up. Thanks again,

Thanks Bertie! The first couple years were really bad for me headache wise. I got a great pup who would lay on my neck and it helped reduce the headaches. Sometimes I put some pressure on my carotid artery. I also used and still do on the rare occasions, an ice pack on the back of my neck. Of course I cleared both with my Neurosurgeon first!

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Dogs are lovely. My dog Peyton has been a wonderful comfort through all this. I think they know when something is wrong and their human is stressed. My doctor actually prescribed “dog walking 3x/ day.” We are both better for it!
Please give your pup a good scratch behind the ears from me!

I’ll do it! We have two now, but my little bully is the toucher, she loves to cuddle. There’s nothing better than their snoring and heavy breathing to get me relaxed. Wish I could bottle it lol. She’s sending belly rubs to yours!

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Belly rubs passed on and apperciated!

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