Quite a 2011 Journey

I'm new to this Forum but already feel the warmth and support of all the members. My journey began in January 2011 when I went to my annual eye exam. During the exam it was determined I had vision accuity problems with my left eye; the eye doc told me that I should see a neurologist for it might be a brain aneurysm or tumor. I was shocked, and disappointed, for 12 years earlier I had undergone a precautionary MRI for my mother had died of a ruptured aneursym at age 45 in 1967. I am now 63 and thought I was free of danger since the initial MRI was negative.

After a round of MRI's and a spinal tap, I learned an aneursym was resting on my left optic nerve. The first neurosurgeon to see me at Holy Family Hospital referred me to Chris Ogilvy at MGH. He saw me in February and scheduled a craniotomy to clip the aneurysem on April 20. The surgery went well, spent one night in ICU and one night in reg. room -- home on good Friday.

Saw Dr. Ogilvy 4 weeks later and felt fine although left eye was still swollen shut and bruised.

In week 5 I experienced chills and general malaise and was told to go to the ER. On May 27 (Memorial Day weekend), I underwent brain surgery again to clean out the wound and learned I had contracted a staph infection at the incision site. During the surgery they had to toss out my bone flap for it was infected. FIve days at MGH as they grew the cultures to identify the type of staph. I then was to be on Home IV for 6 weeks - wore the pump 24 hours/day-- pumped one hour every 4 hours. At week 5 (July 4 weekend) I developed a rash and was taken off the IV and put on oral antibiotics for 4 more weeks.

I now feel fine and am back to work fulltime but have a disfigured head until such time as they insert a prosthetic skull bone -- sometime in Feb/March 2012. I was also fitted with a helmet to help protect this area. I often have a "sunken head" feeling and my vision in the left eye has been permanently damaged as optic nerves cannot be repaired. BUT things could have gone much worse... I am just waiting to have Dr. Ogilvy and a plastic surgeon fix me up and pray that I don't get a second infection. Will see both surgeons in November and learn more.

I was lucky that my eye doctor was honest with me and that I went to a neurologist before my aneurysm ruptured.... early detection is so key to recovery!

Hi Arleen and welcome to BAF!

Sounds like you've been through it a little, but that you are well on your healing way!

I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers for continued healing.

Best wishes,



My thoughts and prayers are with you and your journey. You have joined the right support group to help you through this chapter of your life. It is comforting and encouraging thoughts and prayers from others that aid in the healing process.

Have a Blessed Day!



I am also new to this journey - I am having a coiling and stent later this month. This forum has really saved my life (emotionally) since I found it. Great support from so many and answers to those questions nobody knows!

I am so sorry that you contracted the infection and have had such a bad time. My annie is also unruptured, so I am one of the lucky ones and would like to keep it that way. Keep us informed and I hope your recovery continues.

Best, Sherri

Sherri, thanks for the kind words. I pray that your coiling and stent surgery goes extremely well. Positive thoughts are a crucial part of getting through the time up til surgery and recovery afterwards.

Take care.

Karen, I'm beholden to all the great folks such as you who have offered prays for my recovery. I've been very optimistic through it all and hope to feel much better after the craniology. Although I knew of the Foundation, I just stumbled upon the support recently.

Thanks Linda, I’ve had a very positive outlook through all this … ups and downs. Having folks to talk with who can relate is very comforting.