Toni's Story

I've had a history of migraines, seizure disorder, and high blood pressure, so this day started no different than any other... with a headache and feeling like crap. I started my day as usual, a prayer for God to give me strength and protection to get to where I needed to go and back home safey. I was attending a meeting with a support group and while there my headache worsened and consumed me. At the end of the meeting I was asked to do the prayer and that's the last thing I remembered before waking up in the hospital. I was told that one of the last things I said out loud before having a seizure was "Damn, my head is killing me". Now, I was about to pray, therefore it must have been one heck of a headache. Lol At any rate, I do remember it being the worst headache I'd ever had.

I remember a doctor coming in and telling me that I had an aneurysm but it hadn't ruptured. He reccomended that I see a Neurosurgeon immediately, gave me additional meds to bring my blood pressure down and pain medication, and a couple of days later sent me home. I didn't know where to start, but one of my dear friends and co-workers', mom had a history with aneurysms so I went to see her her doctor. After having an angiogram performed, they discovered another aneurysm and shortly scheduled surgery. Now, they didn't perform surgery on both at one time but within 6 weeks weeks, I'd had both of them coiled. The first surgery went well and I seemed to recover well so they scheduled the second. During this second coiling, the aneurysm bled and I was kept in the hospital much longer, and I haven't been the same since. I don't remember much from the second surgery other than I experienced pain so severe that only Jesus could understand.

I was told that within six months to a year I should be back to my "old self". Well, that just hasn't happened. This month will be two (2) years and while I can walk and talk and function decently around the house, most days I am in pain and feel like a prisoner . I can no longer trust my driving ablilities because my judgment is terrible, my memory is horrible, I awaken with a headache every morning, I'm always dizzy and feel fatigued, and experience numbing and tingling quite often, among other symptoms. In other words, I am not my "old self", and sometimes wonder if I ever will be. I get depressed and angry at times and cannot discuss what I am feeling because no one understands, other than my fiance'. Family and friends expect me to have "bounced-back" by now, because it's what I've always done, whenever faced with anything, especially medical issues. I've always been the one to hold the family together and be the "positive" person no matter what. What they don't understand is that I'm simply not "that" Toni anymore, at least not yet, and that I'm doing the best I can. I'm also tired of hearing: "Well at least you're alive" as if I don't know God has been watching over me and sustaining me. I thank God for always being there, if it weren't for prayer, I don't know how else I would have gotten this far.

I was speaking on the phone with my daughter the other day and she sugested that I look online and seek a resource where I could maybe talk to other Aneurysm survivors. So today I did. I'm hoping this forum will enlighten me and provide some support in letting me know that I am not alone and others have and are experiencing what I am.

Hello Toni

Welcome. You will find lots of great people here who have been through similar things and are here to support you and answer your questions. I'm just over a year from surgery for an unruptured aneurysm and though I look and sound normal to most people I'm definitely not the same. I still get daily headaches, though they are much better, and have been unable to get back to work. I'm about to get an Ill Health pension. Fatigue is my biggest problem, though there are are also memory, attention and other cognitive problems. So, I know what you are talking about. It seems to be a long slow process of recovery for the brain. It seems the improvement can continue for years, so there is still hope we will get nearer to our 'before' selves! In the meantime we may need to learn tricks to get round some of the problems and improve our quality of life. The smart phone I got for Christmas has been wonderful...electronic calendar with reminders and a to do list!

You are not alone!

Judith

Toni...welcome ... I will write more later...there are many of us w/the continued symptoms; some reduced, others the same, others that seem to shift...

Prayers,

Pat

Tony-prayers are w/you-I had bleed 9 yrs ago-coiling 2 wks ago-don't give up-I saw improvement even after years-very slow though-I call it a "hidden handicap"-to see me, look fine-inside, not so! You know!

Hope you see improvement soon! marcia

Yesss, thank God for my smart phone :) Thank you for you words of encouragement :)

Thak you and be well:)

Thank you for replying and sharing your experience. It helps to know that I'm nt alone in what I'm going through :)

Thak you syndney:)

hi Toni~ yes this is a marathon, so sorry your going thru this but glad your here as this was the best help out there mentally, Keep the faith that tomorrow will be better and more importantly in God.see you around!

Thanks Ron :)

Hi Toni...glad you found us ~ you will find many who share your same feelings...Have you spoken to a Neurologist/Neurosurgeon and told him/her what you are feeling? Perhaps they can suggest something ...

Gotcha in my Thoughts ~ Colleen

Hi Colleen, thank you for your support. Yes I have and I was told that eventually, what I'm going through will subside. I just have go through it and know that it will get better. And it has, but I gess maybe I'm expecting a little too much too soon. Don't get me wrong, I am so grateful that I have made some progress, it's just difficult at times. Thanks again for your support.