Hey I have a 2mm aneurysm in the anterior communicating artery. I have daily headaches, some are not so bad but the migraines are debilitating I have those about 3 times a week. I'm taking Topamax for them that seemed to work at first but not so much anymore even after increased dosage. I am 28 and this has just about put my life at a standstill. When I rarely feel better I can't get myself out of this constant fear of the helplessness that I have. Has anyone or is anyone going through the same thing?
My wife had a similar experience in 1994 at age 34 only she had a rupture but the ACOM was unknown prior to that time. The good news is she survived but it took a long time to recover and she still has migraines but we were able to determine it is due to the metal sutures at that time but are no longer used and that's good news for you.
This is what I suggest you consider doing so you don't have to think about hindsight:
1) Continue seeking medical guidance and try to have the rate of growth determined and don't hesitate having the surgical intervention done as soon as possible as that will help your anxiety and feelings of helplessness.
2) Involve family and seek spiritual counseling as soon as possible. There is no need for you to tell your employer or associates anything right now or until near the time of the procedure (that will help protect your job and benefits.
3) Whether or not you have children you need to get a number of documents in place now not later including Powers of Attorney (so someone you trust implicitly to handle your financial affairs while you are recovering because no one can tell you what that period will be - days, weeks, months or years - no one can predict that outcome. You should also have a Health Care Power of Attorney using someone who understands your wishes depending on variable outcomes. And also a Will so that your assets are disposed in accordance with your wishes especially if you have children or dependents.
4) It will be very important to arrange for a Neuropsychology exam now which will be used as a base of who and what you are right now. This becomes important post surgery so if there is any negative outcome that you are protected if you have disability insurance or will need to sign up for Social Security Disability because when brain matter is moved around as would be necessary if clipping surgery is done, Doctors have no idea what memories or intellect is located where in the brain so many different outcomes are unpredictable so the Neuropsych exam is crucial at that point. Insurance will cover it but you will need to insist that your Neuologist or Neursurgeon have a full exam arranged. Keep in mind that while your Neurologist or Neursurgeon will appear to want to be your best friend they do have tolerance level at which point they will move you on to some other provider and many patients feel abandoned at that point so that is why I have written these notes for you.
5) Prayer is paramount to your recovery in so many ways. If you have not found God or our Lord Jesus Christ, now would be a good time to consult him as He will help get you through this crisis. May I recommend a book called "Jesus Calling" written by Sarah Young. It is a daily devotional that has help my wife and I immeasurable during these trying times. It will also help you put your anxiety and helplessness in perspective.
Finally, I want to say you can do this. My wife made many mistakes during her recovery and fell on her sword many times to her own detriment so that is why I bring these points to your attention. I wish you well and will include you in my prayers. Please feel free to write with any questions and I will do my best to advise you. God Bless!
Thanks for taking the time to write me that means so much. I have done just about everything you suggested. I do wish that it was at a point were surgical treatment would be needed, I don't like the wait game and dealing with the side effects from it and the medicines.
From a brain aneurysm website, a post suggested that Barrow Clinic provides second opinions. I'm not familiar with it but if it fits your need maybe you can look into it just to get additional information.
I tried to message u here, earlier today but got a message that I was blocked from sending comments to you. Gosh, I hope I was not too much of a bother or something. If this goes thru I hope u will tell me if I was too demanding a "board buddy".
I met wth neurosurgeon on Thursday an he wants to go thru led with tube to artery with 7mm aneurysm..put a mesh (metal screen-floe diverter) at base of artery....for now. Tried to find out name of metal but missed it. It TS the latest stent.
Thinking and praying on it. Best to u and ur wife. Hope her headaches R better. Nicky
I checked my login page and nothing is set to block anyone but sometimes this website has a few hiccups I've noticed. There are a few things I may not be fully up to speed on and I'm not sure what a "board buddy" is. While I use technology to it's fullest, I am a little weak on the social websites and haven't followed them very closely so I could be clueless there, sorry.
If you have any trouble, jus let a message here and we'll try to figure this out.
Thanks for writing.
My comment about "board buddy" was a feeling I had of me posting too many "poor me" messages and I was worried I might be annoying you
Ha, being a head case is in fact one thing I am.
So, after seeing the 7mm aneurysm on the R internal carotid ( half was calcified!!..didn't ask if that added up to 14mm, prob not). The doc wants to put cath in my thigh and up into brain put thin metal shunt/flow diverter and voila the rupture risk is reduced. While in there wth a camera he can have a look at the 3mm and 4mm aneurysms on L internal carotids. Do u think this new mesh material might me better than what is in your lovely wife's head? I wonder if your foriegn body research tells u of big changes in metal mesh stents are more accepted by humans? Thanks Ed
The big difference between the two is the degree of invasiveness of the surgery. The mesh stent is quick and recovery is shorter while the clip requires major surgery and a longer recovery. The stent doesn't require moving delicate neurons (any movement can kill off micro branches of neurons and no one can predict what memories or work load those destroyed neurons perform. Also, the stents are internal to the blood vessels so brain matter needs not be affected. The downside is that blood vessels still contain sensory nerves so certain pain could result. The biggest challenge is the location of where the stent is located as a relationship to sensory nerves and vital brain functions and only the Doctor would know that for certain.
Clipping is permanent for sealing aneurysms but again the downside is the metal is exposed to neurons and nerve branches so again location is paramount.
I guess my long winded answer is that the stent should have a small impact on adjacent neurons and nerves compared to clipping surgery. Hope this helps answer your questions.
Ed, again, thank you so much for telling me all this . You have educated me better then the neurosurgeon !
My anneurysm (s) is on ICA and very close to optic nerve.
I am pleased to read your thought and very descriptive explanation of the process!
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