September is Brain Aneurysm Awareness Month and to help raise awareness of the condition we are grateful to be able to bring you a personal story from someone who has been diagnosed with an Aneurysm. They would like to remain anonymous and we are happy to agree to this and thank them for the opportunity to share their important story with you.
My Aneurysm Journey
I had a constant headache for 6 months but didn’t attend Drs as covid had hit. I thought more people needed the help than I did. But I eventually went……….
7 days later I was having an MRI scan 2 days after that Dr called me and said they found a Brain Aneurysm you need an MRA and hung up!!! What? Why? When? OMG ! I did swear a lot 😂 then just cried. Why would you ring someone up tell them this and hang up?
I stayed awake most of the night, researching what I had been told.
‘Brain Aneurysm is a bulge in a blood vessel caused by weakness in the blood vessel wall usually where it branches. As blood passes through the weakened blood vessel, the blood pressure causes a small area to bulge outwards like a balloon’.
After reading this everything changed 😌 I stopped smoking after 30 years on and off, no more alcohol, no more stress 😂 well 2 out of 3 is not bad 😂
But then I couldn’t sleep, worrying incase I didn’t wake up, then crying because I woke up alive! Am I going to die, what about my family? I am too young why me?
So, I had an MRA which confirmed I had a left ICA 6.5mm brain aneurysm just distal to cavernous segment. But there was a 48-week waiting list to see the Neurosurgeon due to Covid.
48 I can’t wait that long that’s ridiculous; I called PALS and finally got an appointment for 8 weeks’ time 23 miles away. Well 8 is better than 48! In this very long 8 weeks my self-esteem dropped to zero. I was too frightened to go out, slept a lot, cried a lot and worried a lot. Too be honest I can’t put into words how I felt, I just know I have never felt so scared in all my life.
8 weeks later I saw the neurosurgeon and explained how I felt. He said if I had endovascular treatment there was 5% risk I would die and 16.5% chance that something could go wrong which would cause me problems for the rest of my life. I chose to take the chance. He said he would contact his fellow surgeon and they would make an appointment for me to see him asap. I was so happy as he made me feel better about the situation and said not to worry, he would help.
6 weeks later I had to have a CT scan with contrast. The contrast dye is injected into your vein then it shows the scan in more detail. Warning if you have this you will be weeing the colours of the rainbow for the next 24 hours. The next day I had to go back to see the neuroradiologist. I was so excited and nervous at the same time.
The first thing he said was we will not be operating………………..what? are you friggin kidding me? I have waited 7 months for this!! For the next 10 minutes everything was a blur as I could not stop crying. He basically told me that the aneurysm was unlikely to cause me any worry and they would just check it every 12 months. My appointment finished and I sat in the ladies’ toilets and sobbed, what do I do now? I could ask for a 2nd opinion but is there any point?
I sat in the coffee shop with my amazing Mum and just cried. I don’t know what to do? So I ate cake and drank coffee that always helps 😂
Took a few days for all this to sink in. My motto in life is do what makes you happy ❤️ I didn’t feel too happy about this decision or how I was feeling, so I went to the Drs who put me on anti-depressants to help me. Six weeks later I am starting feel better about things, got myself a new job and go out alone now, not far but it is a start. The aneurysm will always be there and I can’t do anything about it so I might as well just enjoy my life whilst I still can.
Please, please go to the Doctors if you have a constant headache that never goes away and call 999 if that headache is the worst pain, you have ever felt before. It could save your life!!
We hope that you enjoyed reading this personal story and for some of you it inspires you. If you would like to know more about this condition we have put some links below to help you find the information you may need.
We would like to say thank you once again to the author of the personal story, we hope that it helps raise the awareness of the condition in this special September Brain Aneurysm Awareness Month.
Headway Organisation: www.headway.org.uk
The Brain Charity: www.thebraincharity.org
Brain Aneurysm Foundation: www.bafound.org