The Journey of Recovery
There are a number of very common physical and emotional stages that people with a Brain Aneurysm go through. It is important to remember that different survivors react differently to the grief over the loss of the person they once were and knew before the Brain Aneurysm.
Recovery for those who were treated for an unruptured Brain Aneurysm generally require less rehabilitative therapy and recover more quickly than those who survived a ruptured Brain Aneurysm. Recovery from treatment may take just weeks in some cases while it may take many years in others.
During the recovery process, whether at the beginning or two years from your last surgery, you might experience some unusual physical challenges. It is comforting to know that you are not alone and that many Brain Aneurysm survivors are facing similar experiences. Most of these challenges will fade into the background as time goes by, while others will remain constant for many years, depending on your particular situation. Patience and time are your two best allies to the success of your recovery.
Recovery from a ruptured Brain Aneurysm is influenced by many variables. The most important factor is the patient’s clinical condition on admission based on the extent of the initial hemorrhage. Some patients are severely damanged neurologically from the time of rupture while others do surprisingly better. Most patients continue to experience different levels of headaches depending on the severity of the Brain Aneurysm, regardless of whether it was ruptured or not, as well as the form of treatment. Many times, patients who have a hemorrhage will develop a secondary migraine condition as a result of the injury. Headaches can last for weeks, months or years, depending on these variables, as well as health, and stress. Headaches can bring about fear and concern. You might worry that you have another aneurysm or wonder if you could have another hemorrhage. Your chances of rerupture are low, almost zero. However, there are rare instances where new aneurysms develop or rupture.
The journey of emotional recovery is also extremely visible and experienced in defined stages and, although not everyone will go through the stages in the same order, EVERYONE will go through at least one or two of the emotional stages:
- Anger and Frustration
It is important to remember that each survivor grieves differently. Survivors won’t necessarily experience all of the emotions (Denial, Anger and Frustration, Depression/Withdrawal, Bargaining and Acceptance); nor will they experience the emotions in exact order listed. However, all survivors whether you had a rupture or not will experience at least 1 or 2 of these emotional stages.
Where you are in the recovery process will influence how you react or respond to situations. For example, if you are currently in the state of denial, you are not going to easily accept the doctor not permitting you to drive. The person in denial says there’s nothing wrong, even when directly confronted by family members or trained medical staff. Through your denial, you inadvertently hinder progress. If you are angry or frustrated, it is very difficult for you to deal with the littlest of things and find yourself easily aggravated or blowing up often.
It is difficult to reach the level of Acceptance. Acceptance only comes when you are ready and open for it. It cannot be forced and you will come to your own peace with what has happened to you in your own time. Being able to accept puts you on a better road to recovery.