Brain Aneurysm Support Community

Realistic expectations?

ihad 2 Annie’s clipped on June 1 so coming on 6 weeks. I think my surgeon gave me unrealistic expectations when he said I could take a business trip on June 27. I was nowhere near ready to travel.

I am constantly tired, weepy and extremely anxious about getting back to normal. As I mentioned in a previous post I am having vision issues too.

Is this normal?a I thought I’d be feeling better by now. What has your experience been? Any recommendations for getting out of this funk? (Due to vision issues I can only walk for about 15 minutes, which I do, but otherwise feel too lousy for anything else!)

Wendy, I ruptured so experiences are a little different. Seven months later I was coiled for another aneurysm. Mine was multilobed and I think one of the daughters decided to grow. I can share my experience - keep positive, positivity helps both physically and emotionally. A lot of us have troubles with emotions and physical side effects. Let your doctor know what’s going on. You may need to work with a licensed therapist for a bit. Nothing wrong with it, you just went through a trying ordeal. There was a discussion a few months back and many members recommended finding a therapist who specialized in brain issues like stroke or TBI. There’s been a lot of success with the PTSD and/or depression working with therapists who specialize in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It’s a type that focuses on identifying our anxieties, triggers and developing new skill sets to work with. If you’re still on medication, take it only as prescribed.

Don’t forget to let your surgeon know what’s going on. A quick call to the triage nurse may resolve a lot of issues. Remember to leave a message if you don’t get right through. We just leave a detailed message so Jennifer can speak with Dr. Quintero-Wolfe and then get back to us. One of the best things I do, is relaxation breathing and put a cool moist washcloth across my neck.

Good Luck, keep asking questions,

Hi Wendy! My clipping for an unruptured aneurysm (ACOM) was May 26. So I’m about a week ahead of you. I wouldn’t have been able to take that business trip either. I have just started to feel a little better in the last four days. I am going out a little bit. The fatigue, for me, has been very difficult. I saw my surgeon on Thursday and he said it would take awhile for the brain fogginess, the short term memory, and the fatigue to lift. It made me feel so much better! I think it also takes awhile to process all of this. Would talking to your doctor help? It’s a tricky recovery- people think you’re better than you are. At least that’s been my experience with a few people. Please stay in touch.

JoanT - WOW - I am so glad you responded. It is so helpful to connect with someone who is at about the same place on this journey. I do have my follow-up appointment with my surgeon on Tuesday so will definitely check-in with him on all that is occurring.

Other than the expected fatigue I have been experiencing a LOT of crying - all the time. (I've suffered from depression in the past and I never cried this much!) Instead of short-term memory I have a lot of difficulty processing things - planning/logistics - they get overwhelming for me. Which is a bit scary since my job specifically requires me to do those things!

Do you work, have you started back? I luckily work from home and have a business partner so have been able to manage during these 6 weeks - but unsure when I can really get back to it full-time.

Please stay in touch - would love to hear how things are going for you.

Yes, I think people are expecting me to be much better than I am and that is definitely a struggle.

Thank you so much for responding. Best wishes for a continued successful recovery!

I had one clipped last year and there’s no way I was ready to travel for business after one month! Everyone is different. Listen to your body and don’t worry about other’s opinions of when you’re ready.

Ps- I was recovering during the holiday season last year and I found places with a lot of stimuli particularly exhausting and challenging (for example, the mall). An airport would be a challenge at that stage. It’s been 8 months for me and I’ve since flown several times and fully back at work. You’ll get there!

Sorry one other thing. I also suffered from a lot of anxiety after my surgery. I felt so fragile. Walking really helped me, and it almost felt like I’d have anxiety with each “new” thing I tried: first time driving, first day back at work, first flight, first business trip, first presentation at work in front of 200 people. These things all got easier once I stressed through them and had my moment of self realization that I was still capable!

Now I’m pregnant and having a whole other “first” adventure:) 6 months ago, I would have laughed if someone told me I’d be here. Life is good again:)

My husband had a rupture and had it coiled...was back to himself for the most part and could have returned to work I'm sure, but he had two other aneurysms needing attention too, so three months later he went in to have those clipped. He then had a mild stroke. This was 5 years ago. He is still exhausted all the time, requiring daily naps and I feel he does tear up a little more than what he used to, depending on what he is talking about. You may need to adjust to a "new you" as some explain it. Are you doing any therapy to help?

Oh gosh that’s completely unrealistic! Clipping is different for everyone, but you are not crazy for not “bouncing back”. I’m sorry your doctor led you down this road. listen to your body and let it heal, I had a clipping after rupture and it took me 18 months to resume a semi normal work schedule. Keep us posted, and go take a nap, without guilt!

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