Scared to go back to work

I am 47, and had my worst 2 headaches at work. I had great medical attn my dr had me in a MRI within 3 days and CT with angio. I had a 3mm on left cartoid that bled out. I had coiling on 11/16. My head aches have finally got to one or two a day. I am suppose to go back to work tomorrow and I am SCARED. I know it sounds crazy had the job for almost 14 yrs but things are just not the same. I felt the pounding on the blood rushing to my head in a meeting because I was upset. Life is just different as anyone went back to work and everything was ok. I have some spelling and numbers issues which is really weird has anyone had that with a bled out cartoid??

Kim, what do you do? I also had a ruptured aneurysm and coiling back in September 2006. I returned to work in October 2006. I’m an executive in the consulting arm of a Big 4 Accounting Firm. We pride ourselves on our high performance culture which also translates into a demanding environment. I’ve had to learn how to de-stress myself because I too would feel the pounding when I get stressed and I constantly worried about another bleed. There were a few times where I thought it was the end but it wasn’t (obviously). And even now, after a little over 4 years, if I get too stressed, the pressure becomes intense, my whole brain tightens. I’m doing neuropsychological rehabilitation counseling now (probably should have done it four years ago) and it has really helped. So if you have that available, I’d highly recommend it.

Hi Kim,
Mine leaked a bit before being clipped in 1998. For financial reasons, I went back to work at 6 weeks. Coiling recoup time is much shorter. You may have felt the blood rushing simply because you are more aware of what is going on and a bit scared of something going wrong. Your Doc would not be letting you go back if he/she didn’t think you were ready! I was a bit slower when I got back and napped after work many days. That passed. Just take it a bit slower at the beginning; your brain/body will tell you if you overdo it. You will do fine!

You were coiled on 11/16 and you’re going back to work already? I was coiled and stented (unruptured, carotoid) a month ago and only the past couple have days have I felt pretty consistently good and like myself. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to go back so soon, physically as well as emotionally. Can’t you take more time? I have a real problem with the expectation that we are “healed” or “recovered” so quickly…it just takes more than a couple weeks!!! I felt like something was horribly wrong with me when I was still so tired, scared, “off” feeling after the first week or so. Now, from reading lots and learning lots, I think that most people experience a more gradual recovery.
Take it easy on yourself. Life has been turned upside down in a moment - right? It’s all so scary - but it’s good to be here and get the support and hear the positive stories.

I have an unruptured annie that is coiled and stented in my right carotid artery, but I have short term memory problems and number and spelling problems. I believe other people have these problems too-but when a person is released to go back to work-I believe since there is no visual issues- and the doctor releases a person to go back to work-everyone can not see why you cannot go back to work. I don’t believe that this is right since there is so little knowledge of the brain, but that appears to be the way it is.

Hi Tiffany, thanks so much for your thoughts. I think I might look into the rehab counseling and find out about it. I made it throught the first day. Panic driving to work, and headaches at work to the point of needing meds but I did make it through. I had some memory problems but manage to work through it. Not sure dr know what they are doing having people back to work so soon but I will go home if I not feeling I can make it or have someone drive again like last time. Thanks again hopefully talk soon. Light and prayers your way… Kim

Thanks Linda. you are very right. My body and mind will let me know if it is too much. The blood rush I had was before I knew it was an annie. So my body tried to tell me but my dr were not listen as fast as i wanted them to. I am taking thing slower and i hope every one will understand. Thanks again Light and prayers your way., Talk soon!!! kim

Hi Jennifer, its weird that the dr seem to think all is ok so soon. I still had groin issues and believe sour arms and wrist from the IV let alone my healing brain. I don’t think I was ready but did it any ways. Not sure on tomorrow or the next day but will take it one day at a time. I will rest when I need to and go from there. Driving to work was a panic can I do this etc etc all my headache was there could it happen again gosh why am I going back there but I made it through the day with the help of meds cause the headaches got pretty bad. Tomorrow is another day. I hope that you feel great as soon as you are able… It will happen. Light and prayers your way. I hope we can talk soon!! thanks Kim

HI Lisa, YOU are so right. Yea no visual issues no eye sight issues and then all is good. The number and spelling issue comes and goes. I am fine and then I will type something weird. The doc don;t know this stuff how could they unless we tell them and tell them alot. Work was ok, really not sure if I look forward to tomorrow or not. I will just take one day at a time. I bled out and told my hubby i was no memory issues and you did not bled out and you do. Does your dr know does he comply with you. Cause not sure my family believe me when I feel dumb and have to laugh at myself about memory problems. Light and prayers your way. hope to talk to you soon!!!

A Letter From Your Brain


I’m glad to see that you are awake! This is your brain talking. I had to find some way to communicate with you. I feel like I barely survived WWIII and am still not quite all in one piece. That’s why I need you. I need you to take care of me.

As time passes and you and I feel better and better, people, even doctors, will tell you that we are fine, “it’s time to get on with life.” That sounds good to me and probably even better to you. But before you go rushing back out into that big wide world, I need you to listen to me, really listen. Don’t shut me out. Don’t tune me out. When I’m getting into trouble, I’ll need your help more than I ever have before.

I know that you want to believe that we are going to be the same. I’ll do my best to make that happen. The problem is that too many people in our situation get impatient and try to rush the healing process; or when their brains can’t fully recover they deny it and, instead of adapting, they force their brains to function in ways they are no longer able too. Some people even push their brains until they seize, and worse… I’m scared. I’m afraid that you will do that to me. If you don’t accept me, I am lost. We both will be lost.

How can I tell you how much I need you now? I need you to accept me as I am today… not for what I used to be, or what I might be in the future. So many people are so busy looking at what their brains used to do, as if past accomplishments were a magical yardstick to measure present success or failures, that they fail to see how far their brains have come. It’s as if there is shame, or guilt, in being injured. Silly, huh?

Please don’t be embarrassed or feel guilt, or shame, because of me. We are okay. We have made it this far. If you work with me, we can make it even further. I can’t say how far. I won’t make any false promises. I can only promise you this: I will do my best.

What I need you to do is this, because neither of us knows how badly I’ve been hurt (things are still a little foggy for me), or how much I will recover, or how quickly: please go s-l-o-w-l-y when you start back trying to resume your life. If I give you a headache, or make you sick to your stomach, or make you unusually irritable, or confused, or disoriented, or afraid, or make you feel that you are overdoing it, I’m trying to get your attention in the only way I can. Stop and listen to me.

I get exhausted easily since being hurt and cannot succeed when overworked. I want to succeed as much as you do. I want to be as well as I can be, but I need to do it at a different pace than I could before I got hurt. Help me to help us by paying attention and heeding the messages I send to you.

I will do my part to do my very best to get us back on our feet. I am a little worried though that if I am not exactly the same… you will reject me and may even want to kill us. Other people have wanted to kill their brains, and some people have succeeded. I don’t want to die and I don’t want you to die.

I want us to live, and breath and be, even if being is not the same as it was. Different may be better. It may be harder too, but I don’t want you to give up. Don’t give up on me. Don’t give up on yourself. Our time here isn’t through yet. There are things that I want to do and I want to try, even if trying has to be done in a different way. It isn’t easy. I have to work very hard, much harder, and I know that you do too. I see people scoff, and misunderstand. I don’t care. What I do care about is that you understand how hard I am working and how much I want to be as good as I can be, but I need you to take good care of us, as well as you can do that.

Don’t be ashamed of me. We are alive. We are still here. I want the chance to try to show you what we are made of. I want to show you the things that are really important in life. We have been given another chance to be better, to learn what is really important. When it is finally time for our final exit, I would like to look back and feel good about what we made of us and out of everything that made up our life, including this injury. I cannot do it without you. I cannot do it if you hate me for the way being injured has affected me and our life together. Please try not to be bitter in grief. That would crush me.

Please don’t reject me. There is little I can do without you, without your determination to not give up. Take good care of us and of yourself. I need you very much, especially now.

My husband and children are aware of my memory issues-the doctor, it seems when this is mentioned medications are then mentioned and I want to do as much of the healing as possible without medications (not saying I haven’t taken any medications because I have had to)-and I don’t want to take any unnecessary medications, especially when it is just a matter of giving time to heal or just learning how to deal with certain limits as much as possible. I love my husband and children-and friends but after awhile they get tired about hearing about aches, pains, and things that come up-it seems to me even the doctors get tired of hearing about newly discovered issues, and then they began to think it is in your head. This is a lot why people with these issues don’t say anything to the doctors concerning brain issues-they don’t want handed pills. If it wasn’t for prayer from others and I have prayed too, to be restored I know I would not have made it as far as I have.

Hi Lisa, you are SO right. Its has only been a 2 weeks and if I say anything to my daughter about something weird she said oh you are just thinking too much about it. So it is already time for me to keep to myself. And of the course the dr just wants to give out drugs. I was thinking about going to the vitamin store and look for brain food. I wonder if anyone has looked into that for our memory and brain help? Light and prayers coming your way. KIm

I Love this letter. I think we all need to read it over and over again. It should on the website more easier to find for new comers. Thanks for sending to me again. Light and prayers coming your way. Kim

ur welcome…i read it when im having a ruff day…it keeps me focused on how far ive came and to take it slow n easy…love it

Yes, I OK’d it with my neuro-doctor first. I am taking fish oil, magnesium, and a multi-vitamin. And this does seem to help me. After the bruises heal, about two weeks, family and friends seem to no longer want to talk about what you and them, have been through, and this is when most survivors feel human enough to want to talk. Hope this helps-please add me as a friend if you want to continue to discuss this. Good luck.

this is great-I gave this to my husband to read to assist in helping him understand how i feel at times

Hi I am 47 too. I had the brain aneurysm on september 28/10 and coiling done on sept 29/10.

I did really well in getting out of ICU in 3 days, step down one night and then out of the hospital at 10 days. the interns wanted me out sooner. the surgeon, a real doll, said 10 days for sure. I was up walking with huge pain. i was barely eating. by the very end some sort of appetite but not much. home for 2 months. I am not at work yet. I have been exhausted. I have no major issues. memory fine, sight fine, no physical disabilities. I do have constant headaches. I use to have medication induced headaches for years, and I shit you not…years means 23 years unless i was pregnant…( two children, no meds for headaches each pregnancy) i then had 2 years headache free. a spell of taking headache meds…then getting more and more pain as the pills caused headaches. i got headaches again…got 3 years no headaches at all. yeah!!! then, an anuerysm. holy shit. now headaches again. however. these headaches do not respond to codiene tylenol 1 as my medication induced headaches did . my sugeon said they are headaches due to the injury of an aneursym and not to worry about meds causing headaches. the hemorage caused them… my GP is stressing on how many perks i take. hello , burning and head pain. I wait as long as i can and i stretch out pills.

However, I am head ache - in pain every day. going to work or being home they are the same. no difference. I am the vice president of growing heating and air conditioning company so there is some major stress and pressure. I am alive so not much gets me stupid mad…still, the headaches are there. as long as the pain meds i take now do the trick I don’t want to complain. I am alive. I am not damaged from the bleed.

i cannot go headache free though.

I have not been to work full time. only a few days and doing things like stamps on mail outs. more socializing than anything. I have a new puppy. 8 weeks old. 9 weeks now. english bulldog. i am home time to get that puppy for training and not go nuts being home. we had our dog die while i was in hospital.

big job with the training but so needed the puppy. so i am not sleeping in and that leads to a bit more meds other wise i could end up taking a fair bit less. every day is a day towards head ache free.

something really odd. anyone have chest pain like their heart is hurting or something. my blood pressure goes up sometimes too. so does this sort of thing sound familiar??? I am on blood pressure meds and it is slowly coming down sort of…

need some help with the blood pressure thing that seems new or maybe that led up to the bleed. by the way, i work out 5 times a week all the time and am type A personality…always doing something…on the go…do not watch tv not hardly ever. so what is this in comparison to any of you guys.???

Ok will add you as a friend. You are so wright again. Family and friends dont; want to talk about it. My new friend is this support site. I have a face book but seem to get upset on it most times because I feel funny about things so I just look once in awhile. It is funny how people you don;t want to reach do and they people you think would want to reach dont. I hear so many noices in my head and neck now. I am still scared I wonder over time will that ever go away?

Wow HI Jamie, great story. excuse me if a spell wrong. I went back to work for 3 days this week. My doc said that I would have headaches up to 2 to 4 months. So I am just trying to live with the headaches. I never had headaches ever. So when I went to my doc that is how I got such fast service well at least by my primary not so much by the nero surgeon. I got fast results from the endo nero dr, who did my coiling. I was supose to get a stent but luckly one side of the annie was calasped i guess and they decided to fill with coiling and maybe that is the side the leaked out. We are alot alike I am/was always on the go, but I do like TV. I am an office manager and it can be very stressful. It was very stress ful when this all happen. I was in denial of high blood pressure. Every time I went to the dr I said it was high casue I was driving fast to get there in time etc etc. I am now taking high blood pressure meds and anspirin. I am told I must keep this down, a real must. I think that it could cause another annie. But it is hard for me I am an exciteable person. Dogs can bring your blood pressure down they help us cure all kinds of things. Have fun with the puppy. I am glad I went back to work know. I think trying is the only way to know if you can do or not. I would like to talk more will add you as a friend.

thanks for adding me. the puppy is settling into a routine. getting easier and yet there is still a fair bit to do …

when did you have your coiling? did you have a rupture first, not sure if I understand it properly…

are you working full time??

I am just over 2 months of recovery. headaches. now up earlier with the dog…I am having to take a bit more meds. I am not able to sleep the morning away which would take a pill away from my situation. I still try to do my best to stretch out pain meds but I am not able to med free.

I think i might go to the doc and ask for another referral to the doc that does heart follow up. there is a technical name I know. LOL

the blood pressure, not even sure it was high before. I mean yeah, guess it was and the stress…holy shit it was huge. we were getting crap from the staff and previous owners. not all the staff but enough to make new ownership brutal for me more so than andrew. He is a technician ( we have a heating and air company) and I am a previous social worker by education and time in the field and then " McJObs" we like to call them…sales in retail…mind you they should pay sales people more…i really liked the people end of it. helping them and short and sweet. I was a popular sales person. I really liked it alot. now i am vice president of a heating and air condtioning company. I cannot go back to work yet. the blood pressure is not under control I can do things like stuff envelopes to generate some work here and there. that sort of thing. all the bigger stuff is my hubbys[ deal now.

I added you as a friend would love to compare notes…are you in the states???

talk again and thanks so much