Brain Aneurysm Support Community

What can I say to encourage her?


My wife had an aneurysm a month ago, and since then she has been in intensive care. In recent days she has regained consciousness and seems to be fully aware of what is going on around her. She also seems depressed in the last two days (which makes sense).
My question is (Based on your personal experience) what can I tell her to make her cheer up. Or in other words, what were the things that made you cheer up when you were in her condition?


We had that very similar experience almost six years ago. She may seem aware (my wife did) and yet not remember later. Gradually that should improve. I don’t know what specifically you can tell her–you know her best. But in our case just being with her was helpful. And celebrate every little improvement in her condition. She may wonder about that, since she did everything in the past without even thinking about it. Repeatedly let her know that you care for her. Your love and support will mean the world to her and be a catalyst toward recovery.


Tell her you love her. Tell her you are going to get through this together. Remind her of how far she has come. What can she do today that she could not do last week? Last month? She may not remember. For both of you, this is early days. My husband’s rupture was 2 1/2 years ago. Have patience and faith that the healing will come. It gets better, it really does, but it takes a LONG time for most people.


A lot of times, no words are necessary but hugs and touch make a HUGE DIFFERENCE!!! (for example if I’m mad at my husband a hug can make it all go away). Maybe one day give her lots of hugs, then another day offer to massage her. If she is not responsive, do it anyway.

Also saying you love her no matter what and that you will be there for her.
My husband says that to me now, and I have a hard time believing it (who wants a sick partner all the time?). He does mean it, and it does make me feel good for a few days at least. So just keep repeating that.


Yes it is definitely a process. And one that requires a great deal of patience…from every person. Awake or not tell her about all the things you both like to do together. Pick a few that she liked to do before and then set realistic goals. Everyone needs something to look forward to. They also need someone to love. Sounds like you have that covered. Good for you!!

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Something else I remember doing for my brother when he was in a coma from his ruptured aneurysm was I read hunting stories to him. For days, his favorite literature. On Christmas Eve he gently pushed on my hand. I wasn’t sure if it was real. His rupture was on December 11th. He started moving around more and opened his eyes on the 26th. He survived. I’m not going to lie, it was a long journey and he had other health issues. He spent less than 2 weeks in rehab and continued his therapy at home. My favorite Christmas story. Still gives me chills. He was the reason I was tested for aneurysms. I had 4. 3 cured by pipeline stents or in the process. Hang in there BA friend.


Hi Judy,

When you say a long time I wanted to know if you could give me hope for my mum. She had 3 aneurisms one after the other since nov 2017 and has been paralyzed and unable to speak. There have been very slight improvements with a little movement in her arm and possibly some vision coming back. Doctors can often give the impression recovery is no longer possible but they have said that in the past and she managed to improve. However this is the longest time she has been this bad.
Thank you so much.

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HI Vajra,
So sorry to hear about what you and you Mum have gone through. Since each person and their injury are different, there is not clear trajectory towards healing like there is after hip replacement or heart surgery. I think that makes it harder. I have come to believe that doctors are pessimistic in their projections. They tell you the worst so that if it comes true we don’t blame them for disappointing us or offering false hope. The converse is that they are as delighted as we are when their predictions are proved wrong and people do better than they expect.
It does sound like your Mum is seriously ill. The literature suggests the greatest rate of spontaneous healing is in the first six months, and that a good rate of healing continues for two years, after which it declines but continues throughout the rest of life. Is you Mum breathing on her own? Does she open her eyes when you speak to her? Can she squeeze your hand? All of these are positive steps. Feel free to write more. There are people here who care.