Brain Aneurysm Support Community

Sharing my success story a year later

#1

Hello! I am a new member here and I have found such comfort in reading everyone else’s story that I figured I should share my own. In the summer of 2016 I had an un diagnosed brain aneurysm that burst resulting in a subarachnoid hemorrhage. I had no warning signs until I went into a seizure at my home where my significant other found me. My aneurysm was repaired via coiling about 7 hours after I went into the initial seizure. When I woke up post coiling I passed all the neurological tests and was able to get up and walk only a few hours later. The only time I remember being in a lot of pain was about 7 days after my aneurysm burst. I had a terrible headache in the ICU that would not go away. I maxed out my dose of percocet and was even given morphine which didn’t help. It was a rough 18 hours or so. I was in the ICU for three weeks total. On day 9 after the aneurysm burst I suffered vasospasm which was my only ‘complication’. I was back to work full time 2 months after the aneurysm burst. Other than being tired I noticed very little difference in my normal routine. I would get headaches for a while after but pain killers kept me comfortable.

Doctors had warned me I may need surgery for clipping in the future - as I am considered young for an aneurysm survivor (I was 31 when my aneurysm burst). Sure enough 6 months after the aneurysm burst I went in for an angiogram which showed substantial regrowth of my aneurysm. My neuro radiologist referred me to have surgery and two weeks later I was on the operating table. My surgery went extremely well and I only had to spend two nights at the hospital. There were certainly some rough spots, but overall I have felt like my recovery has been great. The only “complication” I had was suffering a seizure about a month after my surgery. I was put on Keppra after my surgery but was advised to stop it after 3 weeks. A week after I stopped taking Keppra I took a hot bath on a cold evening. When I got out of the hot bath and started drying off, I had a seizure. I knew right away what was happening, as I experienced the “aura” people with seizures often describe. I had 3 seizures that evening. I was checked out at the hospital and released fairly quickly. I was put back on Keppra and continued taking it for about another month before my doctor gave me the OK to stop. I am coming up on a year now since my surgery. I have slowly regained my energy. My scar is still tender, though not painful. I do sometimes still get bursts of pain around the incision, but they do not last long. I also have some numbness on the crown of my head (not nearby the incision). My surgeon said this is likely due to the nerves repairing after surgery and it should dissipate over time. I have a dent in my skull above my temple, which everyone tells me is not noticeable until I point it out. I have noticed that it has gotten deeper since my surgery - though it seems to have stopped by now.

Something I have found difficult is trying to gauge whether or not I am suffering from any neurological side effects like poor memory. Trying to determine whether I just do not remember a detail because I am getting older and my memory isn’t as sharp as it used to be - or if it is because of my aneurysm. I have certainly noticed I have to put more effort in to my vocabulary - sometimes it takes me a second to think of the exact word I want to use to complete a thought. Before my aneurysm I usually just needed 7 hours of sleep a night. Now I sleep at least 9 hours most nights. On a lesser note I also can no longer wear hats - even an oversized one feels like tight pressure around my skull haha. These issues all feel pretty minor in the grand scheme of things. I feel extremely lucky that my recovery has gone so well and I am so thankful for the team of doctors and nurses that supported me through all of this. I am actually hopeful that soon I will be in even better shape than before the aneurysm thanks to healthy lifestyle changes I have made.

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