When can I go back to work?


6.5 weeks ago I had emergency surgery to clip an ruptured aneurysm I didn't even know I had. I got REALLY REALLY REALLY lucky in the sense that I survived the surgery with only headaches and tiredness to deal with, and by now they have all but dissipated. I am doing Rehab which includes a lot of physical activity but I feel that most of the sessions are for people worse off than I am. I don't want to push it, but I want my life back. How do I know when I can consider going back to work and what happens if I go back too soon? If anyone can tell me what going back to work felt like for them or any advice on this, I would greatly appreciate it :)

Good that you only have headaches, tiredness issues. I am one and a half years healing from ruptured annie. Still dealing with headaches, tiredness, noise issues and short term memory problems. I haven’t returned to work yet. I am sure that when I can it will be a gradual return…maybe a couple of mornings a week and work up from there. Best of luck to you! You are one of many who survived this terrible thing. Glad you found this support group. The people here are awesome!

Hi, I can share that I sounded exactly like you about going back to work. I felt that I was ready and didn’t want to lose the good job I had. Regardless of what my family and doctors were telling me, I went back to work about 5 months after the ruptured aneurysm. I went back to my computer and to the programs I’d been using for so long and they might as well have been in Chinese. I stayed for a week and then my boss and I both realized it wasn’t going to work. I finally got on SSDI. Everyone’s recovery is different and I hope you will fare better than I did. Or perhaps if you wait a little longer in therapy. I do hope the best for you. I just thought I’d share one person’s story. God bless you in your recovery. Doris

I too was one of the lucky ones. I returned (against my doctors wishes) after7 weeks because I felt the need to get back to my normal life. I wish I had taken more time. I would recommend when you do go back to start off 1/2 days for as long as your body tells you to. You will be better off in the long run.

I had my ruptured Annie in July, same thing extremely tired and headaches were the only issues I had physically. I returned after 4 months off my doctor refused to let me go back sooner even though I was ready to get back to my old life. It was extremely difficult and I was and still am extremely exhausted after a 8-9 hour day. I pushed through and continue to do so but even though you feel ready take it easy your body and brain can’t handle it yet at least not for me.

Even though my doctor did not think I would be able to go back to work, I felt I was fine after suffering a ruptured aneurysm and having it coiled. I desperately wanted to go back to work at a job I thoroughly loved. I tried to go back part time three months after the rupture. It was a disaster. I couldn't remember my job on a daily basis, and I had to be retrained each day. I was exhausted at noon, literally walking into walls at work. I struggled with this for three months, then finally realized that the doctor and my husband were right. I could not do the job any more. It broke my heart, but I had to give my notice. When I told the supervisor in Personnel that I couldn't do this any more, she said "We know". God bless them for keeping me on until I KNEW I couldn't do it. Luckily for me, the company's long term disability was available to me, and I applied for and got approved for Social Security Disability. Looking back at eight years ago, I don't know how I thought it was possible to return to that highly stressful job. My brain certainly wasn't working right to think I could succeed.

Hi freedomx2.

My name is Miguel, I'm from Veracruz, México. And I had a surgery to clip an aneurysm in September 7, 2012; I was in the Hospital several weeks and later on, I stayed in home. I returned to work in December that year. At the beggining it was very hard because I couldn't remember even my code to enter at my PC. But with a lot of teraphy, and exercises all the afternoons, finally I started to notice a better progress. The most important is that you don't be dessperate, you must have a lot of patience, and keep working with all the exercises.

My best wishes to you.


Miguel Rodríguez S.

I can't answer your question but just wanted to say that's fantastic that things are going so well for you. It's good to hear stories like that for people who yet have to go through operations.

my aneurysm ruptured and was coiled 2 years ago. I spent 13 days in icu, 2 more weeks at an inpatient rehab, then did 6 weeks at a wonderful outpatient neuro rehab and returned to work full time as a registered nurse 9 weeks from the initial rupture and hospitalization. My experience isn’t the norm and some take much longer to recover and possibly return to work. I was very blessed to end up with the right doctors and therapist and had a lot of people saying prayers for me. Best wishes to you!

Hi, I think it depends on what kind of work you do and if you can do it part time. It never feels likes we are totally ready or it feels like we are overly ready and then realize we took on too much. Pace yourself

I waited 4 months after my clipping and found going back to work to be pretty difficult. It was the amount of inputs and the noise that made it hard for me. The tiredness stuck around for over a year and a half. I still get headaches, (3 years later) but only rarely, or if I over tired.
But if you are feeling great and can take it easy if you need to - I say go for it! Your body will tell you if it’s too much. I had to cut down to 4 days a week for a bit. No big deal.
It does get better and better!
I too was totally lucky! Enjoy each day. Good luck! Cindy

I would advise slow and steady. I had my rupture February 2012. Had both that one & an unruptured coiled. Had eye surgery so I could see after the rupture. I was in the hospital a total of 6 weeks. Home rehab for a couple of months. Went back to work part time in June 2012. Went back to work full Tim January 2013. Had to have more coils put in the ruptured one August 2013.

I would like to hear if when you apply for a job, do you tell them you have survived brain aneurysms?

Had my rupture the day I came home from ovarian cancer surgery in May 2014. I survived! No way I could go back to work. Main problem with aneurysm is some dizziness-seems to improve when I’m receiving chemo. Not sure why, but then I’m exhausted from chemo-vicious cycle…Because of both cancer and rupture I guess I’m a unique case so got disability no problem. Wish I could work though!

Vicki not sure I would disclose that as it might scare away prospective employers…not sure what if anything you need to disclose

I had surgery on an unruptured aneurysm in 2010, I was really anxious to get back to work about six weeks after surgery but the doctors insisted I wait 8 weeks, which I did. Everything was fine until about a week in I suffered a massive panic attack. It was the first time in my life I’d ever had a panic attack and I was convinced I was going to die, that all the work from the surgery had come undone. I was calling the hospital trying to reach my neurosurgeon, his nurse, anyone! I did finally speak to someone who explained what was actually happening. Panic attacks have been the one and only lingering side effect for me post surgery, and now I recognize them for what they are and can basically talk myself down from them. Going back to work was fine, but my advice to you, take it slow. Cherish this time. Especially since you do feel okay. Go outside and enjoy your free time. I always felt lucky that my surgery was in my brain and not on a leg or something that kept me immobile. I could go outside and take a walk, ride a bike, enjoy the outdoors. I cherish that summer of recovery and wish I hadn’t been so anxious to get back to work!

I had the frontal aneurysm rupture and clipped last July. Got cleared to work and drive in Sept. I find I do have some changes in the amount of material I can process, and my ability to multi task is not as good either. I may have to change my vocation or at least the volume. I still tire and overload much quicker.

Welcome to the community! Congratulations on your rehab and feeling ready to get back to normal. I had an emergency procedure to coil 2 aneurysms almost 18 years ago. I was back to work after one month. I didn't have to do any rehab and really lucked out with not many deficits except for some poor decision making until my energy was back. My job was very low key with a wonderful boss who even let me take naps in the afternoon. I had fatigue and headaches for about a year afterwards. I know the feeling of being really lucky but ready for things to get back to normal. You will have a new normal, which is still a good thing. If you have a job to go back to where they can be patient, since you might not really know what will be too much, that would be the best thing. If they are ready to have you back, remind your supervisors about what happened and all that goes with that. Most people have no idea what happens to someone with an aneurysm. With things like multitasking and even reading something and responding to it, like emails, that will take time. I found if I had to read something, I would then need to take a break and then respond. Hang in there and things will improve and life will be there when you are ready.

I tell everyone I can you will also need dome cognitive therapy too. It’s physical therapy for the brain. As far as going to work l, I suggest you listen to your body and brain and start slow. Your thought process does change and it cost me a good job. Good luck

Like every one on here tells you you, please take your time even if you start feeling better...I had a clipping down also and pushed myself to try to get back to work sooner and I ended up in the hospital with another CT scan and all hooked up ready in case I needed surgery...boy was I scared.... that was 3 months after my surgery. My doctor now has me not bending or lifting anything over 5lb.

When I do go back to work he only wants me to work 4 hrs and see how that go's. My job has a lot of lifting and bending ect so he's being careful..please listen to us when we say....go at it slowly...don't be a fool like me and put your job first, our lifes matter to the ones that love us...keep that in mind.

Keep in touch and rest a lot.

Hi there,

I went back to work 12 weeks after burst aneurysm and two strokes, I was thinking like you....but just like Doris said when it came to doing the work on computer it was totally double Dutch I needed the money, but it was not long until I realised I was not ready. I was pushing myself to be 'normal' I still have tiredness, hate noise, crowds, confusion if over tired and get dizzy, but thankfully my employer made me redundant...rather than sack me!! This was 4 years ago.