My name is Terri and I am a 38 year old married mother of three young children. I recently found out I have a cerebral aneurysm. Just writing these words makes me vey emotional.
How I found out about my aneurysm- I have suffered from migraines since my teens. After having my kids, I was getting them every month (with my cycle). Anywhere from 3-5. I would also get them from smells (perfume, air fresheners, cigarettes, etc). I finally went to see a neurologist because the migraine medication I was taking did not seem as effective. I was diagnosed with hormonal and odor induced migraines. Just to rule out any other possible issues, he ordered an MRI/MRA. The aneurysm showed up on the MRA.
It is roughly 4-5 mm and asymptomatic. I was quickly seen by a neurosurgeon. Just based on the MRA, this neurosurgeon thought I would be a good candidate for a coil embolization and he referred me to a CE specialist.
I met with the CE specialist who agreed I looked good for a CE. He wanted a better/clearer picture so he scheduled me for an angiogram. We discussed CE, stents, blood thinners etc. The doc said that it would probably be CE or just watch and see.
I had the angiogram a few weeks ago. Ugh. That was tough. I wound up with a migraine and then a dull headache for a week. Found at via the nurse from the doctor that the aneurysm had not gotten bigger.
I went last Wednesday for my follow up. In the time between the angiogram and the follow up, I had decided that I wanted to do the CE. I could not just live with this "time bomb" in my head. I was a nervous wreck. The doctor dropped a bomb on me. While the aneurysm had not gotten bigger, the doctor did not like the shape. It is not one bulge but more like two. To give you a visual he said it looked like Mickey Mouse ears. The openings were also very wide which would mean a stent. Then he said it- "You might want to consider open brain surgery." My knees buckled and I had to sit down.
What? Why? Since I am only 38, he is thinking long term. Since the use of the stent with the coils has only been around 15 years, there are no long term results or studies.
The specialist referred me back to the original neurosurgeon to discuss open surgery. I am scared. I am a wreck. I am overwhelmed. I did a good deal of research and found two top neurosurgeons in my state. I am working to schedule "second opinions."
What should I ask?
If you had a CE, why did you choose it over clipping? Did you discuss long term for the CE?
If you chose clipping over CE, why?