Brain Aneurysm Support Community

Was told I have 1 mm unruptured brain aneurysm, now scared with insomnia

Had mra, mri with contrast plus cat scan with contrast because I have pulsatile tinnitus in left ear, while brain aneurysm is behind right eye. Saw a vascular surgeon and neurologist. They both say they want to monitor it for 6 months because of small size. I have a little daughter. I am scared I won’t be around for her now. They did tell me the chances of it rupturing is 1 percent in the next 5 years. Still scared, plus I am 50 pounds over weight with pre-diabetas and high cholesterol. Any advice? Diet? Exercise?

Hey MAC,
Welcome to Ben’s Friends.
Any brain diagnosis is shocking to say the least, Your fear is normal. I was absolutely beside myself when I received a neuro diagnosis. But, for you, it has been found early and that’s a BIG plus. Depending on the exact size and location, some people can go their whole lives with a small annie and not even know. Being told the dr’s want to monitor it all is not unusual. If there is no or minimal expansion they may recommend that the monitoring continue. If you become more symptomatic they may decide to act surgically, but if surgery can be avoided that would be best. Neurosurgery should not be undertaken lightly.

Due to your annie I would strongly recommend you speak to your dr in regard to an exercise regime and possibly a referral to a dietitian. For some people exercise may not be an issue, but with an underlying condition, any overt exertion may have some more serious implications. There maybe some low impact exercises you could do, but this must be discussed with a dr.

Finding a small annie now is a good thing. If the annie was larger it would be a greater risk of rupture. You have identified for yourself a weight and diet issue, maybe now is the time to act to manage these issues and in turn this may assist in managing other symptoms.

Hope it helps
Merl from the Moderator Support Team

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Hello!
My doctors are still investigating my weird brain for a small aneurysm. I feel I have a Schrödinger’s aneurysm! Last April, when an aneurysm became a real possibility in my case, I had high blood pressure and was 20lbs over weight. I talked to my doctor, found a low sodium diet for me, started walking more and eventually added a light 30min ride on a stationary bike to my routine. Four and a half months later I had lost 21lbs. A month and a half later I have kept off the weight, my blood pressure is near the “normal” range and I physically feel better. I’m not saying it’s easy… It’s not. I miss going out and having a big dinner and a few drinks with friends. But I feel I have some sort of control over my health situation. Consult your doctor and take small steps at first… It will help.
Cheers,
Bertie

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Welcome MAC! I’m going to ring in with the other folks, consult your doctors. This way they will know you’re trying. My better half went on a team diet at work, cut out the sodas and lost quite a few pounds in a few weeks. For tinnitus, my PCP suggested a fan that makes noise, we use a desk fan at night and it’s made a lot of difference. Unfortunately my past neurologist office person interfered with what I was seeing the ENT for and put down tinnitus. “There’s nothing that can be done for it”. The ENT also suggested a small fan as the clicking, etc helps. Try one of the heart or diabetic diets, whichever your doctor suggests. Good luck!

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Thanks all. I did visit my doctor and he recommended walking and swimmimg. To stay away from lifting weights. Also said to try DASH diet. My goal is to lose the weight by June. With the tinnitus mine is the pulsatile kind than the normal kind which is I can hear my heartbeat 24-7 in my left ear. That’s what made me go have the mri/mra and cat scan. It started out as regular tinnitus (like hearing crickets) in 2016, than around 2019 it turned into pulsatile. It’s weird in 2016 they said I had no brain aneurysm with mri, but when I just had the mri/mra to check about my pulsatile tinnitus that`s when they found it. I find the pulsatile tinnitus much worse than the regular tinnitus because I hear it all day, while not only just at night.

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I am on the DASH diet… But I added more fish, chicken, legumes, cut down on red meat and cut out pork. It’s a pretty easy diet to follow… Or I at least found it so.
Best of luck!
Bertie

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Thanks. I plan to start the diet on January 3. Want to get thru New Years eve.

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Hello! I am 51 now and husband/father of 5. (3 under 18). I was first diagnosed in 2012 at age of ~44 with a 2-mm x 2-mm x 3-mm cerebral aneurysm off the left carotid artery approximately 1” behind my left eye. During my last annual CTA it measured ~ 3x3x4-mm.

It is very important to tell you that I lost my little brother in 2012 from a ruptured aneurysm at the same spot as mine when he was punched in the face during a bar fight. (Aggressor was convicted in TX for murder and sentenced to 15-years). In addition, my uncle died at age 41 from a ruptured brain aneurysm.

For the first 2-3 years, I was a basket case! Couldn’t sleep. Couldn’t focus or concentrate. I was sure I was about to die. All the time. Any moment! I let it define my behavior and obsessed constantly over my own mortality. ~~The aneurysm stayed at the front of my brain. PUN intended. :laughing: Hahaha. (Not to make light, I find humor helps! A lot!)

Seriously though… after time, life just went on. It became old news. This last July I was diagnosed with a triple curve form of neuromuscular scoliosis from long-term upper right-side paralysis. The thoracic curve is dextro and moving towards my heart. In addition, the spinal and resulting rib cage rotations have caused severe severe bilateral scapula winging.

My point is… my little ol’ brain aneurysm seems like the least of my problems now. :thinking:

Educate yourself but don’t terrorize your mind by all the worst case scenarios out there… and there are many. Learn what to look for and know what to avoid. I quit smoking and drinking the day I found out and haven’t looked back. These are huge positives as a result of knowing.

I was 300-lbs when diagnosed. I am 165-lbs now because I eat right. (Not from cardio exercise). I do not run or do much that would make my BP or pulse rise. That’s just me. I have also told all my kids to NEVER sneak-up and scare me. I do not watch the news and try to never argue or raise my voice. I do not drink or take any drugs that could elevate my risks for rupture. Check your meds and see if they are contraindicated. My Dr. told me no more NSAIDs, etc. With scoliosis I wish I could hang upside-down to stretch my spine but was told by Doc this might not be the best idea.

In other words, be smart and use common sense. If you feel your pulse beating in your head, you have probably over-exerted.

Time will enable you to better cope with this unique but common diagnosis. Remember to be kind to yourself as well as others. The last thing you want is nonconstructive STRESS you don’t need.

Also, I have found using the practice of mindfulness through meditation has enabled me to very successfully manage my temper and the way a I respond (not react) to others.

You got this! Please feel free to lean on me anytime you need or want. I will be here… until I am not. It’s out of my hands. This I accept.

You are my people and I am proud to be one of you!

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I will be in the ring with everyone else - find out what you can and shouldn’t do moving forward - get in shape - make a decision to be better for yourself, so that you can spread your happiness (which will come as you get better) and make it part of everyone

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