Brain Aneurysm Support Community

One month post clipping

Hello everyone.

A month ago I had my clipping surgery on a 1cm unruptured MCA aneurysm. Things went smoothly, but 5 days after I experienced a vasospasm and another day after that I had a seizure. Thankfully, things have been quite good since then and I’ve been able to return to work and my usual routine. As everyone who has experienced a vasospasm knows, it’s quite terrifying at the moment, and I feel more traumatized by it and the seizure than anything else in my recovery. I forgot how to speak for a few days and at first I really didn’t know how I would turn out, but thankfully outside of some mild aphasia now and then, I feel no different than I did before. I feel very, very lucky. I just turned 35 a few weeks ago, and to be able to celebrate this with my wife and a few friends made me feel so fortunate.

While I’m still having quite a bit of pain at the site, headaches, and jaw discomfort, I feel amazed by how quickly my body and mind have recovered. My forgetfulness has almost disappeared over the past few days, and outside of some occasional impulsiveness or excitability, I feel like my old self. The only things I’ve done that feel out of character were spending a lot of money on stuff I wanted from my iPad in the ICU, and getting so happy about my bagel spot having a new kind of cream cheese that it made someone in line laugh :slight_smile:

Though this is a silly complaint, the most uncomfortable aspect of my recovery has been that it was suggested my wife and I refrain from being intimate for 6 weeks post surgery. I know that’s such a minor issue, but it’s an incredibly odd experience. Also, the combination of being unable to drive post seizure and not being able to carry anything over 5 lbs has made basic day to day errands difficult. I know that these issues are remarkably minor in comparison to the risk of the aneurysm, but they are still minor complaints :slight_smile:

In case you haven’t had your surgery yet, I want to say that in my experience this has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I have had OCD and hypochondria my entire life, so learning about the unruptured aneurysm was the most difficult thing I ever experienced, but dealing with it head on has changed my life dramatically. I feel grateful for every day ahead of me, and happier about my life than I ever have.

This may be invasive, but when was everyone else able to have sex post clipping surgery? And when were you able to carry more than 5 lbs? And when could you resume driving if you had a seizure? And when could you go to the gym and engage in weights/cardio? I’m so eager to resume my daily life, I would love to hear about everyone’s experiences.

Thanks!

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Hi there.

I’m 2 weeks post clipping for a right MCA. Here in Australia e cannot drive for atlest 3 months after any brain surgery so i can relate to the frustration you were experiencing.
It’s great to Hear that a month after surgery you where doing so well. This is encouraging for me. How are you going now? I’m also amazed at the speed of my recovery. I still have problems following conversation and at night become exhausted but i am resting an taking it easy.
My Insision site has dissolvable stitches that havnt started to dissolve. I often feel pulling sensations which is eased by Vaseline and almost like a strange crawling sensation or weird goosebumps feeling on my scalp. This happens more with any stronger emotions. Have you had these experiences? If so has it settled for you?
Would love to her how your doing now.

Hi there!

Glad to hear you’re doing well too! The first few weeks were the hardest for me, so you’ll be feeling much better soon I’d imagine. I had staples instead of stitches, so I my incision sounds a bit different but I definitely experienced the same “pulling” sensations for the first month or so. At this point, I don’t feel that, but I do often experience discomfort at the site of my metal plate, which I didn’t feel initially after my operation. What you may notice, or at least I have, is that after the first month a “dent” appears at the site of your plate, and it may be the site of some pain (mine is around my left temple). I definitely feel mine during especially cold weather (I’m in New York City and it’s winter) or before and after rain/humidity.

I do experience more pain when I’m having strong emotions, but on the whole I’ve resumed my normal life. I definitely do experience memory issues, as nearly everyone here has noted, but it’s not quite what I imagined. I’m able to follow most things clearly (I’m able to watch movies, read, follow conversations) but frequently I’ll forget things that may seem major, or minor details of bigger picture things. It has been an issue with my work a few times, but it certainly isn’t as bad as I feared before having my surgery. I see the value in keeping a planner and making notes more than I ever have before, and though it feels like I’ve aged significantly in that one regard, it’s a small price to pay for my life :slight_smile:

I was also amazed by the speed of my recovery – you’ll notice you don’t get so exhausted after about a month, and your energy levels will rise considerably. For the first 3 weeks I was napping constantly, especially after long conversations, but at this point I’ve basically returned to my normal life.

One thing to note, which you may experience, is that I’m still easily overwhelmed in loud environments. Part of it I think is living in New York and there being constant visual and auditory overload, but when I’m in large groups it’s hard for me to follow conversations. I was with a group of about 10 people a few weeks ago and I couldn’t follow any of the conversations, even though I was 6 weeks post surgery. Don’t be surprised when you have days that feel like setbacks, because that’s definitely happened for me.

Also, and this may not happen for you, but i have experienced some mood swings that felt uncharacteristic of me since my surgery. I’m also on a very high dose of Keppra due to one seizure I had 5 days post surgery, so it could be that, but I can change from feeling relaxed and happy to very depressed in a small amount of time. Have you experienced any difference in your emotions after your operation?

Hope your recovery continues to go well and that you have a great new years!

Thanks to both for sharing, it is comforting to know that even when something goes wrong a speedy recovery is possible. :sunglasses:

Thanks for the speedy reply, it was very comforting. I umformtinaly had a lot going on in my family, my grandson was sick n hospital and so i was caught worrying about that and didn’t have mental capacity to then read or respond.
My insision is from th top of my forehead around my hairline down just past the top of my ear. 33 stitches in all. The pulling has settled a lot and the wound looks great. Th stitches are looking thinner now so im guessing they are starting to dissolve.
I feel the edge of the plate near my right temple but ive been fortunate that it is so hot here in Austria right now 42 Celcious so i havnt had any pain at that point.
The electricity type pain i feel withe strong emotions is still around but im glad just to know that someone else experiences that so im just being careful not to overload myself. It’s only 3 weeks post surgery for me today.
I can now follow conversations better and am watching movies which is great. As it was a struggle at first. The hardest thing at this point is getting tired, needing to rest through the day, and struggling with a lot of noise.
My sister has come from interstate to see me and support me for the next week, its lovely of her and great for her to be here, except that the rest of the family then think that catch ups would be great and she also has a 3 yr old which as most children can be noisy. Lol.
Haven’t really had opportunity much to test my memory in real life situations such as work so it will be interesting to see. I do get very tired my 430 and just want things to be quite and simple after that, my right eye twitches a lot hen im tired and droops more. Did you have any issues with your left eye drooping and could you lift your eyebrow? How long did this last or is it still like that?
Thanks for th info re the difficulty following conversations and feeling overwhelmed still in loud environments. I was working in a high school prior to my surgery so im aware that i need to make sure im well recovered before i return
Sorry to hear about your sezuire and vassos spasm (auto correct wont let me write the word) . Thank God I have had anything like that and am basically off pain killers too. As far as my emotions i feel more unfiltered. Like i say things without a filter a bit and am practising not doing that. I haven’t said anything bad or nasty but its not through and im aware that i could say something on the fly that normally I wouldn’t. I feel more emotional. I’m a a fair bit teary. But tears of happiness more then sadness. I get so emotional seeing my grandson and watching him play, or open up a christmas present etc. ive certainly cried in every movie ive watched over the past 5 days. Lol.
What week do you think you started to feel more energetic like you could do more. At the moment if i cook then that’s my big job for the day. Or ive watered my garden then i cant cook because im too tired.
Take care, so good to know that things are improving for you .

Hi Grantly,

How is your recovering going 2 months post op now? You said you’d returned to work, what sort of work do you do? What’s your biggest challenge? How many hrs are you doing? I’m sorry you had a sezuire and I’m not suprised your impacted by it. It would be a frightening thing and I can’t imagune how that would feel. Praying you havnt had anymore.
The pulling sensation has mainly gone, and many of my stitches have dissolved now.
You mentioned the plate and a debt, and I’m starting to feel and see that now. Mine is right above my right eyebrow.
Now after trying to do a little more I’ve been trying to organise my sons Carers ( he has Autism) and a bathroom renovation that he needs. This has been a test of my memory and gee wiz it’s a bit shot at the moment. I forget who I talked to, what I need to do, etc, I followed your suggestion and found a planner app on my iPad as it’s an extreme heat wave at the moment here and I’m not going out in it. Plus I went to the shops last Sunday for an hr and I absolutely hated it and can’t imagine how I will get back into the community. But I know I have to. I’m only 4.5 weeks post op so room for plenty of improvement. I see my surgeon in 2 weeks.
Have you had a follow up appoitment?
I’ve been drawing, I’m not the best artist, but enjoy doing it, it’s taking a lot more energy so can only do small bits at a time but will post up when I’m done. I’m drawing how I feel, how this has impacted me.
Hope your continuing to improve each day. Take it easy on yourself.

Hello again,

Sorry I forgot to respond to your last message! I’m an editor for podcasts and films, and I’ve had no issues with work. My memory is questionable at times, and definitely not as good as it was before my operation, but it hasn’t impacted my ability to do quality work on some of the bigger projects I’m on, thank god.

Thankfully I haven’t had another seizure, but the medication is a lot more intense than I first realized. It makes me feel emotional yet very detached and I’m hoping I can wean off it at some point. Did you have to take anti-seizure meds after your operation?

Glad to hear the pulling sensation is gone! Yeah, the plate is odd, but I mainly only notice it now when I’m riding on the subway or feeling pressure changes related to the weather. Hope yours isn’t too distracting either!

I hope your memory continues to improve, it’s really hard focusing on multiple tasks, isn’t it? I hope caring for your son hasn’t been too difficult, I’m sure it’s not easy after such an intense operation. I also forget who I spoke to and what was said sometimes, even after just a few hours, while I’ll remember week or month old conversations in great detail. The memory issues we have are so strange, aren’t they?

If your recovery is like mine, it gets A LOT easier to go out and handle crowds and noise once you hit the 8 week mark. I basically feel like my old self in most regards, but the memory and emotional issues are still a challenge.

Glad to hear you’re drawing and that it’s been helpful. I’ve been writing about my experience and I feel the same way. One of the strangest parts of this experience we’re all having here is how isolating it is, since outside of this message board, most of us don’t know anyone else who has been through it.

Hope your follow up visit goes well and that you continue to improve!
Best,
Grant

Hello!
Reading these replies is comforting. It sounds very similar to my experiences as well. I am further out, and had a rupture of one aneurysm followed by clipping and repair to another. It seems though all of our experiences are very different, the basis of recovery is similar. The emotion and memory problems prove to be the biggest obstacle for me most days. I do get bouts of fatigue and headaches when i do too much, but for the most part I am feeling much like myself again. How is your reaction to Kepra going? I, too, noticed an emotional/anger response to that medicine and could not wait to wean off of it.
It is great to have a group of people that can relate to what we are going through. Though I have a very very supportive family and community around me, it seems none of them understand the process of brain injury recovery. The emotions I am processing, and the memory problems I still have can be so frustrating. I am a very stubborn person and it is hard for me to admit if I have trouble doing things and even harder to ask for help, so if I am asking most people understand that I am struggling. However, there is that occasional “she’s going to use the brain injury excuse for a while” comment that kind of strikes hard. It has been 7 months and from what I am told it can take years, but I look (and feel most days) like my normal self. Its those few small setbacks we all have that not too many people can understand.

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Hello!
Thanks for this response, it was very comforting.
My reaction to keppra has been improving as I’ve tapered down my dose. I’m currently taking 500mg twice a day, and I feel substantially better than I did at 750mg.
Thank you for sharing this about feeling isolated during recovery. It’s been the hardest part for me, realizing that most around me assume I’m fully functional again without seeing the nuances of the neurological and emotional issues I’m struggling with. I relate to the stubbornness :slight_smile: I also have been attempting to be more honest about my needs with friends and coworkers.

How are you feeling now? Thanks again for the response, hope things are well on your end.