Surgery #2 - LVIS placement

Hello all,

This is my first post (hoping I’ve added it in the right location), I am one week out from my second surgery - having a stent placed in the artery across my wide-necked 7mm unruptured aneurysm. I spent the past year on and off reading other’s stories and utilizing this site as a place of encouragement along this journey. My sister (sixteen years older than me) suffered her rupture in March of 2021 - paired with craniotomy, clipping, stroke, vasospasm and a lengthy stay in ICU and a rehab facility. (She’s doing incredibly well considering where she was and still making progress.) Her neurosurgeon suggested the rest of us siblings have an MRA scan to establish a baseline. Two siblings were clear, one has three very small aneurysms that are being “watched” and at the one year point have showed no change. Mine was 7mm on the Anterior Communicating Artery and our shared neurosurgeon recommended “treatment” considering my age, size of aneurysm, location and family history.

In January of 2022 during angiogram, Dr. Ringer placed a Woven Endovascular Bridge in the aneurysm. My recovery was rough and not dissimilar from many members in the group. There was absolutely no going back to work in “3-5 days”. I struggled with unbearable headaches, light sensitivity, dizziness, shakiness, vision issues, and fatigue like I’ve never experienced. I could not tolerate the pain meds and had to rely only on Tylenol. My vision and shakiness improved when I got permission to go off of the blood thinners when I accidentally forgot to take them and noticed an improvement. I went back to work three days/week for half days in early March and was finally back to “full time” by April. However, the drain was immense and I often had to call my husband, daughter or a friend to “talk me home” because I was so worn out. I work as an art therapist in a behavioral health hospital with teens and children who have come for inpatient treatment with diverse needs - suicidal thoughts, cutting behaviors, drug/alcohol use, losses, oppositional behaviors, etc. It took everything in me to get through my days and to be a caregiver to both myself and my patients.

When I had my angiogram at my six month follow-up, Dr. Ringer was unhappy with the progress. The imaging showed blood flow still entering around the “basket”. The plan was to wait for the one-year angiogram to determine next steps. When I got my call in early January to schedule the procedure I was out of work having been in a car accident on Christmas Eve that resulted in a broken rib. Add stress on stress when we’re not supposed to be stressing, right??? You could have knocked me over with a feather when sweet Karen told me to plan to go back on the blood thinners, plan for an overnight in the ICU and placement of a stent.

So this recovery has been drastically different. The ICU found me once again with a headache which led to pain meds which led to nausea which led to vomiting. I literally spent the entire 45 minute car ride home vomiting into a trash can that my daughter and husband brought for me despite intravenous Zophran and a patch behind my ear. And then I slept and slept and slept. The headaches were less intense than last time, no vision issues, far less light sensitivity, but incredible shakiness, breathlessness and fatigue. Oh, and the constipation. The miserable constipation. {Side note: I have taken Calm gummies (magnesium citrate supplement) with great success any time I have struggled in my life with constipation and THEY STILL HAVEN’T WORKED!!!}

I asked to extend my FMLA from work (3-5 days, for real?) and have my follow up in about three weeks with my doctor. There is no way I could go back to functioning safely at my job at the stage I am in this recovery. I got winded and dizzy last night and my heart rate was 118 from peeling potatoes. My family assures me I am “so far beyond” where I was at this stage last year and that gives me hope and encourages me along. I have made sure to get up several times a day to keep moving and have taken walks on my driveway to try to help rebuild my strength.

I can’t remember whose post it was, but the person shared that their neurosurgeon likened placing hardware in the brain to opening up a computer and dropping a drip of water inside the motherboard. Reconnections necessary? Some things going into overdrive to compensate? This analogy has helped me find my voice when I start to guilt trip myself for not being “back at it in 3 to 5 days”!

Thank you for listening. I have a lovely support system in my family and friends but most just don’t really “get it”. I was needing a place to vent without criticism and with understanding. Here’s to a peaceful night of sleep and ease in all areas for all of us!


You did perfect! In my career, I’ve worked in a group home for minors, as a high risk intervention worker with mostly the same population adding of course the sex abuse victims and offenders and then as a CPS SW. The client population can be taxing can’t it? But at the same time it is extremely rewarding with any break through! As an HRI worker (behavioral specialist) I remember one client in high school that the teachers were all upset about. He was a wonderful artist but drew morbid things only and always with a pencil, no other colors than black. For Christmas, he drew me a Christmas tree, I still have it and have made a frame for it lol. It was the step he needed to find to start healing and I think your job must encourage many minors to get to that first step!

When I ruptured, the lady that does the insurance paperwork had me returning to work while I was still in NSICU​:rofl:. She did that twice I believe and boy did BH get on her like white on rice and my Neurosurgeon as well and every medical provider for me in NSICU​:scream::joy:

For constipation which isn’t good with hardware in our brains as we are not allowed to strain for fear of dislodging the bits and pieces, I have a suggestion - try probiotics. It’s something that a GI PA suggested to me when we were discussion bowel movements. They have pictures one points to and then asks a bunch of questions. When I told her I wasn’t allowed to strain, she suggested taking Align and MiraLAX. Not to take the harsher ones and of course make sure I was getting enough fiber. We just use non brand names with same ingredients though the Align has five more probiotics than the store brand she said it was fine.

We are really happy you not only joined, but posted! We can always post the good, the bad, the ugly and the indifferent because we all do get it and most of us have been there, done that…

1 Like

Hey Jen,
Welcome to Ben’s Friends.
Unfortunately, I have found ‘…most just don’t really “get it”…’ either. I’ve tried ad nauseum to educate, but some simply never will ‘Get it’. I’ve required a few neurosurgeries, including a craniotomy, and my system went haywire. As I’ve said to many people here before “PLEASE, PLEASE, take the time your body needs and not just the time your mind expects”. That 3-5days may work for some, but for others it can take longer, much longer.

Ohh, that guilt can be NASTY.
I’m on a bit of a seesaw with this… …still… …and I haven’t worked for the last 10 yrs. I have found it EXTREMELY frustrating that I haven’t been able to return to my role, but I also have to accept the reality I’m in.
I too was in the community services field and ‘taxing’ is an understatement, yes it’s rewarding, but the mental drain can be extreme. I tried numerous times to return to my role, each time driving myself further and further into the ground. But in the end my wife put her foot down and told me to stop. She could see the effects, I couldn’t (I don’t think I wanted to either, if I’m honest). Some days I think “I should be back at work” but then other days I’m thinking “Thank the stars I’m not at work”. All of my ‘normal’ tolerances, all of my ‘normal’ limits have varied and then just when I think “YES, I’ve got this all under control” it up and bashes me into submission. I can’t work like this. I had to have 100% focus, 100% of the time. It would be unfair (and a risk) to my clients not to be giving that 100%.

For those of us who have had multiple procedures often it’s easier to try to compare one recovery to another, but for me none of mine have been the same. They’ve all had their own rollercoaster of symptoms/side effects/triggers, all that have needed to be managed the best way I can. At times I’ve even had the medicos question my symptoms/side effects/triggers but this is the reality I have to deal with whether they understand it or not.

Your issue with constipation is common, unfortunately. I was given something and yes, it worked, but a little too well. My recommendation would be DON’T do what I did, so I won’t even mention it :astonished: :laughing:. I’d suggest speaking to a pharmacist as many milder preparations are available over the counter.

Merl from the Modsupport Team

1 Like

Thank you Moltroub! It took a lot to organize the thoughts and put them down. I absolutely love the teen population…still so much hope (even though much has been broken)…and they express themselves so well through their art when they don’t have words. I’d love to see the tree…special that you still have it!

I’m so struck by all of the pressure we put on ourselves to be “back at it” before we’re ready…glad that you’ve obviously kept your sense of humor through all of your adventures!

I’m grateful for this group…all of the reading that uplifted me far before I joined. I’m going to encourage my sister who experienced the rupture to join, too. She’s a walking miracle as many of you are!!! :sparkles:

1 Like

Hey, Meryl,

Thank you for your kindness and encouragement. Both of you have a lovely way of expressing exactly what other’s struggle to put into words. The back and forth is the most striking to me this go around - one day feeling positive that I’m making progress and the next feeling winded and overwhelmed from trying to do a few “typical” tasks. I promised myself, this time around, I’ll go back to work when I feel ready to “truly be able to focus on my patients” rather than on just getting through the day!

Ohh believe me, it took a long time to put it into ‘appropriate’ words. My initial words often started with an ‘F’, finished with an ‘F’ and often had a few 'F’s in between. I was so very annoyed and frustrated that I wasn’t where the medicos told me I’d be in my recovery. I was more annoyed at myself for not achieving their milestones. I had to learn to accept and that was a very bitter pill to swallow.

Merl from the Modsupport Team

I hope your sister does join, we get stronger with each new member sharing their experiences!

Unfortunately, I can’t upload a picture for a couple of weeks at least, we are in the process of a big move…and I’m unsure which box it was put in. :crazy_face::rofl: