Three years ago on an unusually warm and sunny June day, I texted a friend just before noon and suggested we have lunch together on a restaurant patio. (Normally I would just have a quick lunch at my desk at a small nonprofit). I drove ten minutes to meet her, even though I still had the stubborn 3-day headache that I attributed to seasonal allergies. (I ignored a moment of blurry vision that morning, which I now know was a warning sign.) We sat down at a patio table and ordered lunch within two minutes. At that point I mentioned my stubborn headache...then everything went black. My friend said I stared straight ahead and started to tilt sideways in my chair. She thought I was joking, then recognized something was very wrong (because her husband had had a stroke in his 30s). She shouted for someone to call 911, and two lunching nurses immediately came to my aid. My friend phoned my husband who was just blocks away--and he arrived in time to accompany me in the ambulance. Paramedics phoned the ER with a stroke alert, so the neuro team was ready for me when we arrived just 5 minutes later. I don't remember any of this. In fact, I don't recall the first 36 hours, during which time a platinum coil was snaked through my femoral artery and into my brain to plug the burst aneurysm. Doctors had told my husband my chances of survival were less than 15%. He called our kids and my siblings, who came from near and far to be at my bedside. He and they took turns sleeping overnight in my ICU room for 14 days. When I was out of immediate danger I was transferred to a step down unit in the hospital , where I began physical therapy. That was made more difficult by my resulting double vision. I was discharged to our home after 21 days, and continued PT, with much help from my husband since just walking across a room was exhausting. Fortunately, my vision returned to normal 30 days after the artery burst, and my coordination and muscle tone returned over time. My neurologist explained that the coil could not completely fill the remaining weak spot, so I am monitored with regular MRAs, and take meds to keep my blood pressure very low. I have ongoing fatigue and also continue to recover from heart failure, which developed simultaneous to the hemorrhagic stroke. I went back to work, but it was completely draining--my doctor recommended I go on disability, but Humana denied my application. I have now retired from full time work, and my new goal is to enjoy and appreciate every minute with my husband, family and friends. They, my doctors and the fantastic nurses, have my enduring gratitude.
I was diagnosed with an brain aneurysm 2-3 mm in size in 2000. I was in disbelief and very scared nit sure what to do. I decided to get a second opinion. That Dr. said well you can have it operated on as you know but seeing your rpt I suggest you have it monitored every 12 to 16 months. Well I spoke to my original Dr. and he said, "yes you can do that but you have the chance something happening, and your time is limited to get to the hospital. " He went on to say, " The procedure is delicate and it is risky, but usually everything goes well, but there is a risk. I decided to happens monitored every 16 months and so far 17 years later nothing is changed. Thank God for that. I do experience headaches and sometimes extremely bad but thinking its a stress headache. It does worry me though thinking I hope this is all it is. One thing I do, do is keep a card taped to my license in case of emergency my condition and contact numbers, Dr, and family. So I'm still on top of things like all of us should be with this condition. Prayers to all who suffer from this.
I lost my mom, grandmother and two uncles to brain aneurysms. My mom and I spent a wonderful day shopping before picking my dad up at the airport. The three of us then went out to dinner. About an hour after dropping my parents off at home, my dad called me in a panic. He had just called 911, because my mom complained of a terrible headache. AMR came and rushed her to the hospital. She didn't pull through and passed away several hours later. She was 67. My grandmother was the same age when she died also of the same tragic ailment. My sister, niece and I have now had to have MRI's and MRA,s because we have been told this is genetic. Very frightening.
On April 22, 2003 I was on my last break at work. My nose itched so I wiped at it with my bent index finger & came away with a minuscule blood clot. I thought I was going to have a bloody nose, which was weird because I hadn't had one since I was a child. I went back to work & finished my shift. As I was driving home I saw 3 palm trees hopscotching & knew I was in trouble. I continued home & when I got there I saw my daughter & son in law putting my 3yr old granddaughter in their car & asked them to wait while I put my stuff in the house so I could see my granddaughter & go over what remodeling was going to be done the next day. When I got inside I started talking to a family friend who is like a son to me & he noticed I was starting to slur my words & moving funny so he told me to go lay down & he'd check on me in a couple minutes. Instead he started to head outside to get my daughter but before he got outside he heard me scream. He said I had fallen & my head was between my bed & nightstand (3-4 inch width). He pushed the nightstand out of the way & carried me out to my daughter to have them take me to the hospital but I started seizing & vomiting so he told my daughter to call 911. Turns out I had ruptured a brain aneurysm behind my right eye which caused both my eyes to pop out. It took 3 different hospitals to find a neurosurgeon who knew how to repair the damage plus 5 days before I was stable enough for the surgery. I was given a 1% chance of survival with no hope I'd ever be a functional person again. When they did a angiogram to verify the bleeding had stopped my second aneurysm was discovered but it blew before they finished prepping me for my next surgery causing even more damage. Then when they did another angiogram to check the status of both aneurysms they found the 1st one blowing up again so back into surgery I went. I was in a coma for over 4 months & I've had a total of 4 brain surgeries, had to learn how to talk, walk, eat by myself, etc all over again but for the grace of God I survived. I returned to work before my doctors wanted me to but I was threatened with termination if I didn't so I felt I had no choice. I still had minor children, a mortgage & bills I was responsible for & I was a single parent. The first responders took turns taking care of my children,which I can't Thank enough, and still check on me to make sure I'm doing good. Sadly, I ended up losing my job when SBC bought out ATT because I had one too many seizures so I lost everything, my house, custody of 3 of my granddaughters. I now have multiple other health issues & can no longer work. Luckily I have a fabulous Mother who is also my best friend whom I live with & we take care of each other & take each day as it comes. I hope no one else has to ever experience what I've gone through. Headaches and/or feeling weird are not a joke & are definitely symptoms that should never be ignored. I don't care how good someone's health currently is. Know your body & if something doesn't feel right get yourself checked out.
My 10mm aneurysm was right behind my left optic nerve. I had to be persistent with diagnosis because my PCP thought my chronic "sinus pain" was no big deal. I was 44 yrs old and my successful clip ( so big it took 2 clips) surgery at Keck USC was almost 9 yrs ago! I'm as vital as I was pre surgery and encourage anyone who has mysterious head symptoms to be very persistent!
September 6, 1996 I was 41 years old and very unhappy with my job. I said my prayers that night and asked God to allow me the next day off. Withing a few minutes I heard what sounded like a small balloon pop inside my right ear. I had been sitting on the side of my bed and immediately began falling to the floor. I asked God if I was going to die. His voice was clear as He said, "No". I lay on my bedroom floor for almost 7 hours periodically reviving to look at the window. My plan was to call my mother when morning came. Finally the sun came up and I arose feeling as though a thousand ax blades were hitting me in the head. Not wanting to risk passing out in the shower I took a bird bath and called my mama. She arrived and I casually walked to the car as she scolded me for causing her to cancel her plans. I told her I wasn't feeling well and wanted to go to the hospital. I kept trying to rest my head on her arm and she kept removing it. Arriving at the hospital she saw some friends and I walked into the ER while she visited. I gave my history with my left arm draped across my head and after handing over my insurance card was told to have a seat. At 6:30 a.m. there were many people there from overnight illnesses and injuries. The Social Butterfly finally came in to check on her baby and when I saw her I began crying and finally told her that I had suffered an aneurysm the night before. I had been strong long enough. She went to the nurses and demanded that I be treated immediately. They didn't believe I had suffered an aneurysm hours before because I was walking and talking. Because of the Social Butterfly's aggression they agreed to do a CT Scan. I was given a shot of Demerol and immediately felt no pain. While lying on the CT bed the neurology department went crazy. Doctors and surgeons were looking at the monitor and looking at me. They were asking me a lot of questions and putting their flashlights in my eyes. I didn't mind, the Demerol was working. Soon I was being placed in an ambulance to be transferred to another hospital. I was embarrassed to be in an ambulance and the possibility of being seen by my co-workers terrified me. At the new hospital almost everyone I've ever known came to see me before my afternoon surgery. Everyone was crying and I kept telling them that I wasn't going to die because I had asked God and He said so. I later learned the surgeons didn't hold out much hope for my survival because the artery was totally severed. Following the surgery I was in a drug induced coma for ten days and came out when my sister arrived in one of my favorite jackets. She had not only been in my house she had gone through my clothes and she knew better. I was released from the hospital after a month with no hair and a terrible headache. I was readmitted after gobbling pain medication for three days. Doctors learned I had hydrocephalus - excess fluid on my brain. A shunt was placed in my head and I looked like the Planter's Peanut man. I was again released and in addition to being bald I had a long line of staples in my head. The Social Butterfly named me Zipper Head. While recouping at my parents home I was sneaking pain pills because I had a lot of pain in my abdomen and a high fever,but I didn't want to go back to the hospital. After several office visits during a four day period including one to my gyny I was readmitted by my neurosurgeon. Initially no one wanted to believe the shunt had caused the illness. At one point they questioned if I had VD thus the gyny visit. They eventually reopened the incision in my abdomen and discovered what looked like cottage cheese on the shunt tube. Someone had touched it with unclean hands. I was sedated and it wasn't me. The shunt was removed and an external capsule was placed on the nightstand next to my bed and for the next month I was on flat bed rest. Maybe I was being stubborn or maybe I truly forgot how to digest food, but I couldn't eat. I cried a lot and the more I cried the more fluid went into that nightstand capsule. When I calmed down the constant drip would stop. After another month the tube was taken out. I had elected not to have another shunt, but take Diamoxx to removed the excess fluid. Instead of a rehab center my parents decided to take me into their home. The first night I took a bath and looked in a mirror for the first time in months. A skeleton stared back. My wails brought my mama to the bathroom. She wrapped me in a towel and assured me I would be fine. I sobbed as I asked my weight. I was 83 pounds at 5'10". I had reached 146 pounds, a high, days before the aneurysm and it was gone. I had no muscles nor nutrients. My mama gave me soup broth, a pain pill and other meds and put me to bed promising the next day would be better. She woke me at 6:30 the next morning helping me wash and dress. She prepared my breakfast and made me walk the house twice before I was allowed to rest. After a week she no longer made my breakfast and added more exercise to the routine. I was allowed a one hour nap at 11:00. This was worse than jail, but it was the best rehab for me. She would laugh at me when I talked like a toddler, throw tennis balls when I walked on my toes like a toddler and drew stick figures of me complete with the lines on my bald hair when I walked bent forward. It sounds cruel, but it was all about her love for me and her desire to see me whole again. I was a manager at both IBM and Blue Cross / Blue Shield and leaders couldn't walk bent over. After three months I returned to my house where she came often to ensure I was doing okay. I got home and stayed in bed depressed until my shoulders locked and I had to be admitted to have them manipulated followed by a month of physical therapy. I also had to hear her tell me how she knew this would happen. In September 1997 I returned to work wearing a full sweatsuit under my size 6 pantsuit. People stared and made cruel comments about my looks. I kept going and soon the sweats came off and the size 6's became tight. In June 1998 my father died and at the funeral I wore a size 8 suit and my hair was to my shoulders. I was off all medication and when I spoke at my dad's service it was about God's grace and mercy. A second aneurysm was clipped three years later and as I prepare for my 21st birthday I still praise God for his love. Both parents and a sister have passed and I know the only purpose for my being is to complete the work I was put here for. I live each day and share my story frequently. The only evidence of my journey is a small scar on my right hairline. I work and although I began drawing one of my pensions this month I don't see retirement in the near future. I turned 62 last month and I feel good. Blessings to all!
I am an brain aneurysm survivor for me it was a bad pain when I coughed like someone finger jabbing you in the head
Hi my name Is Kristy paoni i have seven child eh and a wonderful husband of 23,years and a grandmother of two I was diagnosed in January of 2017 with two brain aneurysms one is 8mm that one is his located in the frontal lobe of my brain the other one is on my bias nerve leading into my brain spinal cord connected to the cerebellum as of today which is July 22nd I will be having brain surgery on one of them within the next two to three weeks and go back for the second one a couple months after that I'm going to Barnes Jewish Hospital in St Louis they are wonderful but I seen this on the TV commercial and just want more insight I'm definitely scared of the surgery but definitely don't want to sit around and wait for a rupture any insight or help on this and knowledge would be great I do see a doctor you don't always get the questions answered because you forget when you're there
December, 2012 At the age of 80, I was riding a cart in a local store and pulled up in line to check out. I realized that the people seemed to be moving away from me and my vision was seeing blurred and my vision was blurred. I ask a lday to get a manager, that something was happening to me. I got nauseated and could not find my niece, who I lived with, so ask for an ambulance to be called. I went to hospital and in ER a cat scan was ordered. I was admitted and the next day my Internist came to tell me I had a basilar artery aneurysm. Week of Christmas I ask to just be discharged and I would discuss it after Christmas. I have a medical background so I understood what it was. I did return and was referred to a Neurologist and from there to a Clinic in Memphis, TN. The Surgeon did not advise any type of surgery. They felt the effects of the surgery could cause a stroke or storke like problems and I did not want that to be the way I lived my time. Some days I wish I had the surgery but God has given me peace .
Nov 21, 2014 I was driving home from work and all of a sudden I heard a horrible sound like a train and then a sharp pain up the back of my neck. I freaked out I drove and the pain in my head was like someone took a stake and was slamming it in my head. I stopped my little 1964 VW in the middle of the road and cried like I have never cried before I tried to call someone but it wasn't working. I got out of my bug and begged the person behind my car to call 911 I knew I was in trouble and he did. I got back in my car and cried and begged God and my Dad who died 3 weeks earlier to help me. All of a sudden I closed my eyes and saw the brightest light and the feeling of calm come over me. I was leaving life and then a knock on my window and the medic's helped me out of the car, apparently I had pee'd myself and I wanted to throw up. They attended to me and rushed me to Harborview Medical center and I don't remember any of that. I woke up several days later to learn what happened I had a SAH and had 50 percent chance to live. It took me only three months to recover and I was back to work working for the federal government. Someone was watching over me.
Here is a positive story I'd like to share. I suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm 6/12/2012. I always hear stories about all the help that is out there for those of us that have had this happen to them. In our small town people have fund raisers to help victims all the time. This happening to me was bad enough and we almost lost our home over it because of bills. Almost a year later to the date my husband suffered a massive heart attack. Now our only source of income was no longer coming in and I wasn't working at my daycare much either. Not one person or one charity was there to help us when we needed it the most!! It's now 2017 and we are still fighting to keep what is ours!! I, even though it's hard, still watch a few kids. They are very forgiving if you forget something. But, the real hero here is my husband, Glen Hogan. This man has had 3 major back surgeries, a triple bypass and he works 6 days a week 11-12 hours a day so we get to stay in our home. Yes we still struggle with paying those medical bills. But my hero has given this ruptured aneurysm survivor a chance to be normal. Love you Glen Hogan!! Thank You, Deanna Hogan
my daughter was 37 when I found her in the closet changing clothes, she was cold and she was gone, don't know how long, she left a 17yr old senior and a 8 yr old, she had always had very bad migraines and had many mris andcat scans, nothing revealed. she was healthy she did yoga, ran 4 miles a day, she did have high blood pressure, this happened july 23,2016, thankful to GOD I spent the last few days with her
In February of 1993, my wife and I drove to Illinois Masonic Hospital in Chicago so that she could give birth to our baby. After 48 hours of labor, my wife still had not dilated enough to give birth. Her doctor performed a cesarean section and our beautiful little girl was born. Two days later I snuck out of work to go see my wife. As I was getting ready to leave I told her I was not coming in that night, I wanted to clean the house and get it ready for she and our daughter to come home. When I got home from work that night a message was on our recorder from her old boss. The two apparently were talking on the phone when my wife said 'Oh my God, I'm getting a terrible headache.' The next thing that happened was the telephone hit the floor. The nurses ran in with a crash cart and the doctor was able to stabilize her enough to transfer her to ICU. There she lied with all the tubes of a respirator and cooling bags connected to her body. She died 2 days later. I came home with my daughter a complete mess. Mothers day is one we had been looking forward to. WE never got to spend that day together and it is still one of the most difficult days of the year for me. I never stopped to grieve her loss and internal anger was eating me from inside. I began writing a novel telling our love story so that our daughter might get to know her mom through my heart and eyes. I stopped writing for long periods of time because of the pain. After hearing Todd on Glenn Becks morning show the piece gave me the strength I needed to complete my love story which in turn did for more than I had hoped. Completing my book has turned into a success on many fronts, my daughter now knows her mom. The biggest success is my anger is gone. The healing had taken place and I live once again in complete joy. Journaling was the most powerful tool in healing and I recommend it to anyone facing grief from loss of a loved one. Our daughter is 24 and as beautiful as her mom. Every year on mothers day she makes mothers day special by wishing me a Happy Mothers Day, after all, I am not only her dad, but her mom too. Thank you Todd and Glenn for broadcasting the segment you did. Bill Schwab Fernley, Nevada
So sad to read all these stories of those who have passed and happy to read about all the survivors. My sister JoAnn, who I also considered my best friend, passed away 14 years ago this month from a ruptured brain aneurysm. She had no idea this was coming. It was very devastating to our family. She was in a coma for almost two weeks before the family had to make the decision to let her go. What was so odd about this story is I have another sister that we knew had one at this same time. She has had hers coiled but she also suffered a brain bleed in another part of her brain. That brain bleed left her with some disability, the loss of most of her vision. My sisters neurologist urged the 3 remaining siblings to get an MRI to see if we were all ok since it seemed to run in the family. Unfortunately one of us was found to have one, ME. It is a very small one that my neurologist says has a VERY LOW chance of rupture if it remains small so they test me to make sure it does not grow. At first I was going annually, now every two years. Having this in my head makes me feel like I have a ticking time bomb in my head but I have to trust my neurosurgeon on this. Who knows, the surgery is dangerous so why take that chance also. I had no idea about this Lisa story but I will for sure be praying for car 52 at all races. Marlene
I was in the hospital and rehab for 3 months, following a ruptured brain aneurysm on Sept 15, 2015, and 3 surgeries, ICU etc. Came home on Dec16, 2015. Lots of doctor stuff and follow-up etc. Had lots of PT, Speech therapy etc. Feeling better each day! Recently passed my driving test. 2016 was a terrible year! But I am Blessed and glad to have survived. Every day that I live is indeed a Gift. I've been healing very well, and have been lucky. I have some wonderful doctors. My dr.'s and ICU nurses are so impressed with my healing, that I was asked to record a Patient Testimonial for the hospital, which I recently did, in this 2-minute video: https://www.hackensackmeridianhealth.org/neurosciences/neurosciences-patient-stories/
Hi! I am a proud aneurysm survivor since 2003. I was coiled at Cedar Sinai in Los Angeles, CA. I am very lucky that I have very little complications. I still get ridiculously awful migraines and I still have to take it slow more often than I tell my friends and family. But, I am very happy with my life post-aneurysm. I feel like I have a chance to help others and that's my goal. I wish no one should ever suffer an aneurysm. I hope this website leads to more awareness and more people saved.
I'm a 24 year old model living in Chicago, IL. In hair and makeup at a Fashion show last year, my neck was cranked back in an uncomfortable position. As a model, I'm used to feeling uncomfortable so it did not occur to me that this could be life threatening at the time. Less than two weeks after the fashion show, I experienced what I thought was my first migraine. I have a family history of migraines, so at the time I assumed it was only a migraine. When my headache didn't go away in 24 hours, I went to my doctor to see if she could give me something for pain relief. I went home with some strong medication , but it did not help. That night, I woke up with the most severe headache on my right side temple. It was unlike anything I have ever experienced. Along with the headache, my legs ached from my waist down. I decided to go to the hospital because I was in so much pain. At the hospital, the nurse told me I was experiencing a bad migraine. I felt stupid for going to the hospital for a migraine, something my mom deals with in the once a month. The nurse did not have an explanation for my aching legs, which at the time was as painful as the headache. I knew something wasn't right, but was having a hard time explaining what I was feeling. When the doctor came in, he immediately ordered a CT scan. The CT scan appeared to show bleeding in my brain, so he ordered an MRI to better understand what was going on. As it turns out, I had a dissection in my neck. I stayed in the hospital until I was stable, and now go in every few months to have the dissection monitored. When trying to figure out how this could have happened (I'm young and otherwise very healthy), the neurologist asked if I had recently had my hair done. I thought back to the fashion show and knew it must have been triggered by the uncomfortable position my neck was in. The biggest take away for me is that brain aneurysms are often missed because many people (including doctors) may think the pain they are experiencing is only a migraine. Understanding warning signs and not being afraid to go into the hospital is the message I would like to spread to all ages. If you experience these symptoms, you should ask a doctor to prove that it isn't an aneurysm. Doing so could save your life.
Hi... while I've never had an aneurysm I thought I'd share my story. In August of 1977 my grandmother was out shopping with my mother for her senior year of high school. While my mom was trying on a pair of bell bottomed jeans, my grandmother suffered a fatal brain aneurysm and passed away 30 seconds later. This was always an awful day in my family because it was the day that my grandmother left us. My mother grew up, got married, had two boys..... and at 35 she got pregnant with another baby... this time a girl! When she went in for her 6 month visit she got a due date on October 5th 1995... my grandmothers birthday! How exciting to think that her baby girl could share a birthday with her mother; Who had been gone for 18 years. Unfortunately, my mother went in to labor three months early and although I was due on my grandmothers birthday (Octodber 5th) I came on August 19th... eighteen years to the date that she had passed away. Ann Massey has only ever been described as a saint and and an angel and I am so blessed to share my story with her as I turn 22 years young this year. I am Massey Ann.... due on my grandmothers birthday and coming 3 months early... born 18 years to the date that she passed away. I am living, breathing, thriving proof that hope is alive and manifests itself in the most precious ways. I feel a part of me carries Ann Massey with me; I feel that she and I are one and the same. I hope that suriviors and mourners alike can learn the heal from my story. It has saved me more than once.
I'm 40 yrs old, 2 weeks ago I had a 6mm berry aneurysm coiled. My grandfather died of a brain aneurysm and my mother had one that ruptured a week before her 50th birthday. Unfortunately she is now paralyzed on her right side. I had no symptoms, I get scanned every 7 yrs and this time one was found. My neurosurgeon thinks I've had it approx 5 yrs. if you have family members with aneurysms INSIST your doctor order a scan. My aneurysm was on my carotid artery near my optic nerve. . These are usually easily treated if caught early enough. Don't put getting scanned, it can be the difference between life and death
April 5th 2005, my brain aneurysm ruptured while I was in a church helping out at a funeral. I was 47 years old and had no idea I had this time bomb in my brain until "I got the worst headache of my life." A sudden, relentless headache like no other that I equate to being hit by a ballbat. I instinctively put my hand to the back of my head. When there was no visible blood, I knew something major was wrong internally. The popping sound and sensation of blood dripping was the aneurysm burst I had felt moments prior. Before passing out, I made my way down the stairs and to the outside church steps. Someone noticed my abrupt departure and sent the pastor and a church elder to look for me. Long story short, I wound up at NSLIJ now Northwell Health in Manhassett, Long Island NY. I would be there for twenty days with great neuro surgeons, nurses and support staff. My brain aneurysm was Fusiform, a ba with no neck. Stents were not in use yet, so my entire artery was coiled shut. Somehow, the blood flow found another way to get where it had to go. I'm now a twelve year surviver in the lucky 20% that survive unscathed. One month after the rupture, I was back to bicycling. Week six after the ba, I was back to local driving. Mine is an unusual and very lucky case of survival and recovery and I'm grateful for that. I did have symptoms prior but ignored them. Why, because I was busy taking care of my elderly parents. My father was terminally ill and died eight months after my ba incident. My mother also had issues and is now in assisted living. My symptoms included: stiff neck, a drooping right eyelid and visual disturbances. Apparently, I was having preliminary mini bleeds that clogged the brain's natural drainage of cerebral/spinal cord fluid. As a result, this fluid started draining through my kidneys. I was constantly looking for restrooms. This is not a symptom I see mentioned. The condition I had was called Hydrocephalus aka "water on the brain" in addition to the the ba rupture that was brewing. In addition to the coiling, I also had a permanent brain shunt put in for drainage. If you're reading this and are experiencing any of these symptoms, run, don't walk to your doctor immediately! Remember to take care of yourself when experiencing strange health symptoms. My putting myself last, almost cost me my life; almost cost my daughter who was thirteen at the time, her mother and almost cost my husband, his wife. I never went on disability, but I did retire three years ago at 56 after working as a children's traffic safety instructor. I'm being treated for high blood pressure. As a result, I avoid stressful situations and people as much as possible. Something that's perfectly OK, when possible, in order to keep calm and stay alive.