Brain Aneurysm Support Community

Week 4.5 Post Surgery, What I feel physically

Week 4.5 after bypass surgery for non-ruptured annie:

I am feeling better and off the oxy (have been off it a week). I’m on 2 max strenth tylenol, 1-2 ibuprofen, 1 aspirin, and 1 muscle relaxant per day.

I’ve gone out with my mom to walk around and have coffee, and I’ve had good days and bad days doing this. We did some post-Christmas shopping for a few hours, then I came home and crashed in front of the tv. Then today I just did a few loads of laundry and stayed in my pjs until 3 pm when I walked my dog, very slowly for an hour.

I have caught a cold. I don’t know if it’s the cold or the muscle relaxant, but I was in a cold with shivers/fever episode for about 36 hours a few days ago. I kept alternating between cold/hot every few minutes. I didn’t have a true fever, I just felt like I did.

I still have pain on the front of my head by an incision, and a scab at the intersection of all 3 lines they cut in my head (like 2 pieces of pizza next to each other). I get intermittent pain on my temple as well. Since coming out of surgery, I’ve had 2 pain spots: my temple and crown of my head. Both hurt as soon as pain medicine wore off. Neither of those areas was touched by scalpel so not sure why they are my pain areas.

And the whole right side of my head feels like I have a mud mask on. The nerves were cut so I don’t have too much feeling on that side.

At week 2, I had an emergency and developed a condition called meningeal irritation. I will create another post about this. It has been the hardest thing to deal with in my recovery (from blood on the brain). If I didn’t have that, I think I would be much farther along. I’ve had to go to the masseuse 2x and chiropractor to deal with neck pain caused by muscle spasm from this condition.

Hearing changes. for the first 3 weeks, it sounded like I was underwater, I had to ask everyone to repeat everything unless they were really close, and everyone sounded like mickey mouse. for the most part, I think this has resolved, except I listened to some music today and it still didn’t sound right, so I know there is still more recovery to be done. Voices sound normal though.

Omg I feel like I could’ve written this. I am six weeks out after craniotomy for unruptured aneurysm. 72-year-old female who was always extremely active. I’m just blown away how exhausted I still get after trying to do small things. I take two regular strength Tylenol at about 7 AM and then two more at night. Very thankful that I have had no pain in my head but my neck gets sore because the stitches started right above my spine. Today I changed my bedding, went and put the sheets in the washer and folded them after. I told my husband this is absolutely ridiculous because I was exhausted after! One of my biggest problem now is I have no appetite. I am not overweight at all so I could not afford to lose anymore but I have been. I’ve actually started drinking some Ensure to keep my strength up. Thank you for your post… It’s always good to see that I’m not the only one feeling like this.

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I wasn’t able to eat while in the hospital, because everything made me sick, and then for about another 2 weeks. After that, I was so hungry and ravenous I made up the weight i lost pretty fast!!

The other thing that seems to happen to me is 2-3 good days, then a REALLY bad day or 2. I’m not having a straight line of recovery just gradually getting better like in another surgery. You?

Because of this horrible cold I don’t have a clear idea of my surgery progress. I had such coughing issues that just that alone could,cause fatigue. This morning I feel a bit better with the coughing so maybe I have finally hit a plateau and can begin more healing. I am trying to stay positive but absolutely no food sounds appealing to me these days. Thanks for your reply.

The back (or crown?) of my head also hurt after surgery even though the incision site was on the side of my head. I am about a year post surgery and while it no longer hurts, I do still have a “numb” feeling at the back of my head. Very different from the sensitivity that still remains around my scar. I read in another patients blog one time that his surgeon attributed this to the nerves re generating starting at the back of the head, but I’m not sure how true that is.

Thanks, I did mean the crown. I’ve had that pain since day 1. My lead nurse said the “creepy crawly” sensation is nerves growing back. I’ve only that crawly sensation the first couple of days out of surgery.

Trekhard,

I am a ruptured aneurym survivor. Like you, the post recovery was difficult as I had massive head pain for 8 weeks (3 weeks in hospital, 5 weeks after discharge). And I developed neurological issues from right side hearing loss, 40% vestibular loss in right side, abnormal eye movements, double vision, night time vision issues. chronic vertigo and imbalance. At year 2, my balance issues finally back. At year 3, my vertigo is in a managed state. In short, it takes time for the things to go back to normal after major brain surgery. When I read your post, I completely understand after dealing with these numerous issues myself. It sounds like you have a great family support system. Family and good friends really help in the recovery process. One thing that I need to caution you is chiropractic neck adjustments. I was suffering from stiff neck for years. I went to have a neck adjustment where I started to get migraines. 3 days later, the aneurym by the brainstem ruptured. Also, I have 2 friends who suffered from brainstem stroke from a severed neck artery from neck adjustments.

2Fight, Oh my gosh, thank you for letting me know.

I just reread your above post. I am now almost 10 weeks out from my unruptered annie. Finally after about 8 weeks I felt like I “turned the corner” and started my exercise walk again. I did walk 2 miles one day but I live in Minnesota and it is freeze your bottom cold right now. I am using my stationery bike to get exercise right now till it warms up here. I don’t have any pain in my head and really have not since a few days after the craniotomy. I really can identify with your great description of the scab you have at the intersection of all 3 lines. Mine is right behind my left ear. My husband checks it often and said it still looks like a scab. Has yours healed completely yet? I am wondering if you have the “dent” that so many other craniotomy patients discuss. I did not think I did, but boy was I wrong! The swelling is now gone and I can really feel it back there on the left side of my head. I don’t know by your name if you are male or female and of course that is no factor only that as a female my hair covers my dent. If anyone else reads and you are over a year out from surgery, can you please reply how the dent looks after that length of time? I hope you are doing well Trekhard and look forward to hearing from you.

I am 43 y.o. female. 8 weeks out yesterday! I saw the resident last week and he said the kind of cut I had is called a T cut. He said the problem with that cut is that it takes a long time for that intersection to heal. So he had no concern that it wasn’t still healed (which basically was why I flew to see him!).

I did have quite a “hole”/scab I thought, but as it heals it is not so bad. My scar down the side of my head (to in front of my ear) is 98% healed, but still a little way to go, and the one that goes from my forehead back still has a couple of weeks probably to go (still some scabs). The doctor said still no coloring my hair.
The past 2 weeks I’ve made a big improvement. I started back to work (not full time) walking a few dogs this week. I also did 2 harder workouts in the gym this week, but then I made myself take a mandatory day off just in case.

I’m still getting ghost pains (just had a brief but intense one) from having some blood spillage during surgery. The doctor said that was normal too for someone with the meningeal irritation.

I finally had my hair cut and colored last week. I actually felt “humanoid” again! She really had to cut the back short because of the way they shaved a little here and there in the back. Not complaining by any means…I am just so thankful that this is over and I am looking forward every day! I really do have. I really do have a dent in the back however as I said. I would like to hear from anyone to see if that somehow changes after a year or so.

I was especially looking for someone closer to my age who has undergone the surgery for a unruptured aneurism. I’m 71. Also in very good health and have worked to be healthy and stay healthy so this is shocking news to me. My doctor has not decided if the risks of surgery would be advantageous or better to leave them alone. He has mentioned to me several times that my age is a big deciding factor if he will recommend the surgery. I’m wondering if you also were told that your age was not in your favor. I have known I had one aneurysm in january but the doctor thought it was on the small side and likely would not rupture. But, to be on the safe side, he ordered an angiogram to get more info as to shape and size. I had the angiogram two days ago and it revealed I have four aneurysms. One small one that he feels has almost no chance of rupture. The other three are all connected and have (at least this is how I understood his description) become like a part of the artery where blood is flowing through them rather than sacks or bubbles holding blood. The doctor will be consulting with other surgeons on the case. I was sent home to wait until he has gathered info and will call with a recommendation likely next week. Meanwhile my mind is in a state of shock. I worry that my age will prevent me from having surgery then I worry about the risks of death and complications. I would appreciate some feedback from you and your personal opinions. Wondering if you would be so kind to share more detals of the surgery and recovery to the point you currently are at. How do you tell family and friends or do you wait to know what the treatment plan is? If so, how do you deal with the stress of wondering if today is the day, they rupture? I am encouraged a bit more reading someone my age did have, what sounds like, successful surgery. Thank you Joyce

Hopefully you will receive replies that will be more to what you asked. My wife was 63 when her aneurysm ruptured to the total surprise of everyone. During the process of surgery and recovery, at times the doctors would say it was helpful that she was not 83 (she too was in excellent physical condition), and at other times when recovery seemed slow, they would say, “Well, you’re not 23.” So age is a factor. The fact that you are in good physical condition is definitely in your favor, though it seems like many aneurysm patients are. It’s amazing that certain knowledge can make one apprehensive. You have come this far without trouble, so, while caution is in order, likely continuing your lifestyle will be ok. But listen to your doctors’ conclusions. If you don’t like them, try a second opinion, if you can. My wife is doing well, although her left leg is slow and sometime uncertain. I wish you well!

Joyce, I will be more than happy to give you an overview of what has happened to me. Unfortunately I can’t do it right now but maybe later today I’ll have some time to get back to you because I have a lot to talk about with you. I look forward to visiting with you. Diane

Thank you so much! My head feels so muddled trying to sort out what might be in my future and I want to be realistic what I could expect. Please take the time you need. Will very much look forward to hearing from you.

Hi Joyce, I’m a 57yr female, a wee bit younger, so I can’t help you out there. But I survived a rupture, subarachnoid hemorrhage 7yrs ago. They found two more aneurysms. They coiled the rupture and one of the other ones but had to stop because of vasospasm. During the second procedure I had a stroke. It’s been a long rough road. I’ve looked all over this site and have read the stories of people who were very lucky to get diagnosed and had a procedure with no complications. My sister is one of those lucky people. And I’ve read heart wrenching stories of people whose stories make me feel like whiner for complaining about my issues. It’s scary for sure. We are a people who live with the question, “Am I going to die today?” with every headache. There is no easy answer. You found this site which is the one place to find other people who can relate. Sometimes it takes awhile for the best answers to reach you. Keep checking in. I hope you find some answers soon. Take care.