All Rights Reserved. I never in a million years thought there would be anything wrong with me. With all of the help from my family, I was easily able to follow the doctor’s orders. If you have questions or comments about this story, please email editor@heart.org. Plus, I didn’t really want that negative attention surrounding me. He explained how they would make an 8-10 inch incision in my skull, almost in the shape of a headband. Since I was given this second chance at life, with the knowledge I had, I decided to have the surgery. An angiogram is a procedure where they feed a small catheter through the femoral artery and guide it up to the brain. As negative as this experience could have been, it has helped me to become a much more positive person. But when the bubble bursts, blood rushes into the brain, which can cause severe damage, even death. My husband said the first question I asked when I woke up was, “Do I look like Ronda Rousey?” He knew instantly everything was alright; at least I still had my sense of humor. I try to consider myself very lucky to have found mine and to have had the power to fix my problem before it became a bigger problem. © 2021 The Bee Foundation. Of course, I was bombarded with horror stories of death, loss of brain function, paralysis, loss of vision and hearing, etc. "We want people to get to the point where they don't dismiss a headache," Crawford said. The surgery is known as clipping. They would place one or more clips on the aneurysm in order to cut off blood flow. Thankfully, they allowed my mom to come with me. This is like the cardiac catheterization procedure used to insert a stent into a blockage in a heart artery. If you are in the same position as I was, I would recommend getting surgery in a heartbeat. Forty percent of ruptured aneurysms result in immediate death. Someone in my doctor’s office accidentally released the report to me before my doctor got the ch… Once an aneurysm is found, it requires a careful evaluation by a specialist who understands the risk an aneurysm could pose to the patient. He started the Lisa Foundation with the mission of "shedding light on brain aneurysms." They would have to shave the top part of my head to make this incision (I felt terrible for being so vain, but this sounded like one of the worst parts!). Happy, healthy, and back to normal. Since I don’t have a family member or best friend that is a neurosurgeon, I did the worst thing you could ever do – Google it. I hope my story helps bring a little positivity or a glimmer of hope to anyone that may be experiencing a similar situation. According to the Brain Aneurysm Foundation, 1 in 50 people have an unruptured brain aneurysm. Because my aneurysm is located more central in my brain and in a location where the area cannot be fixed by a procedure called “coiling”. 7272 Greenville Ave. And for that, I am grateful. Ten days after surgery, I had my staples removed at home by my nurse. Me with my husband and my son, only 5 months after the surgery. While Elkind cautioned that such an extreme discomfort doesn't always mean a subarachnoid hemorrhage, it usually requires dialing 911. I received the news via email. Pets and Your Health / Healthy Bond for Life, Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. "Many people walk around with what we call asymptomatic – or unruptured – brain aneurysms," he said. Doctors can perform an operation to clip off the bubble so it can't rupture again; that requires cutting into the skull. A rupture is a critical and potentially life-threatening situation. I got fully caught up on all episodes of my favorite TV shows and I think I put a permanent dent in my parent’s couch. I was only on the heavy narcotics for about two weeks before I decided to stop and switch to Tylenol. He was extremely confident that it would go very well, considering my age and state of well being; but he still had to explain the risks. Recovery from a brain aneurysm involves physical, mental and emotional challenges. "Heed the warning. The news that rapper and record executive Dr. Dre is recovering from a brain aneurysm has many people wondering: What is a brain aneurysm? ©2021 American Heart Association, Inc. All rights reserved. I considered myself extremely fortunate to have found this silent assassin before it had the opportunity to kill me. He could not determine how fast my aneurysms had already grown, or if they would continue to grow. Monday - Friday: 7AM - 9PM CST  My brother sponging water into my mouth in ICU. I mostly slept the first two days in the hospital room. I only shared the news of my diagnosis with close family and friends. According to the Brain Aneurysm Foundation Brain aneurysms are also not rare—one in every 50 people, or about 6.5 million people in the US have an unruptured brain aneurysm. At that point, as with the water pipe break analogy, there's going to be damage. 34 staples were removed just 10 days after surgery! I can’t even describe how great I felt. But, I will tell you to put your trust in your doctors. *Red Dress ™ DHHS, Go Red ™ AHA ; National Wear Red Day® is a registered trademark. In some rare cases people experience symptoms when an unruptured aneurysm is large and presses on the nerves or tissue of the brain these … If you are in the United States and experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or call for emergency medical help immediately. The mean diameter of the aneurysms that subsequently ruptured was 21.3 mm, compared with a diameter of 7.5 mm for aneurysms defined after rupture at the same institution. With my in-laws watching the baby, my mom, dad, and husband could be with me the entire time. My head was wrapped in an ace bandage and I had a few drains to prevent swelling on my brain. Research suggests up to 1 in 20 people in the United States will develop a brain aneurysm in their lifetime, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Re: Unruptured 3mm cerebral aneurysm The other factor was the success rate of these surgeries (upwards of 90% ) and the long-term prognosis for complete "cure" of the aneurysm. Unruptured Brain Aneurysm Treatment. The Bee Foundation 303 West Lancaster Avenue #334 Wayne, PA 19087, USA. It made it much easier to get through my day to day routine without the constant reminder of my worries. An aneurysm is when a weak section of a blood vessel enlarges, it's usually described as a "ballooning" of the vessel. Watch his story through diagnosis and treatment. A report, written completely in medical terms that seemed like gibberish to me, read the words “worrisome for an aneurysm”. They had me heavily medicated and completely out of pain. You can view the visual guide to brain aneurysm here. I have no memory of the ICU. And what are the warning signs? After speaking at length about my two aneurysms, he explained that one was only measuring 2mm so we would simply monitor it because the chance of rupture was slim, but there were options for my second aneurysm and the choice was mine. Read Jennifer’s story and learn to recognize the signs of a ruptured brain aneurysm. Looking back now, I can’t believe how smoothly everything went. If you have questions or comments about this story, please email editor@heart.org. You will not have time to plan for surgery. Finally, an occupational therapist only had to come once before he discharged me. If we cut off the blood flow all together, which would most likely happen with coiling, there was a great chance that I would lose all vision in my left eye. I appreciate everything so much more. Unruptured Aneurysm. Bad days don’t really happen often for me anymore, because I know things could always be worse. "Many people walk around with what we call asymptomatic – or unruptured – brain aneurysms," he said. After about a month, my scar really started to heal and my hair started to grow back. I called my doctor’s office off the hook, but the doctor was with patients and couldn’t come to the phone right away. ... My Story: Surviving a Brain Aneurysm. According to the Brain Aneurysm Foundation one in fifty people in the U.S. have an unruptured brain aneurysm. Twelve days after my surgery, I celebrated my 30th birthday with my family and friends. January 15, 2018. Read Jennifer’s story and learn to recognize the signs of a ruptured brain aneurysm. Unruptured saccular aneurysms less than 10 mm in diameter have a very low probability of subsequent rupture. This link is provided for convenience only and is not an endorsement of either the linked-to entity or any product or service. National Center They would perform a craniotomy in order to access the aneurysm directly and place a few metal clips on the aneurysm to cut off blood flow. Fortunately, my mom and dad were also able to take eight weeks off from work. Listen to your body and take action. Dr. Dre is recovering from a brain aneurysm. It is not possible for a brain aneurysm to cause any symptoms unless there is a rupture. Risk factors for brain aneurysms include smoking, high blood pressure, connective tissue disorders and a family history, usually a parent or sibling. "Many people walk around with what we call asymptomatic – or unruptured – brain aneurysms," he said. 1-800-AHA-USA-1 It often looks like a berry hanging on a stem.A brain aneurysm can leak or rupture, causing bleeding into the brain (hemorrhagic stroke). The group has launched two public service announcements, the latest featuring Whoopi Goldberg, whose brother died from a brain aneurysm. The whole process was way easier than I had anticipated. Known for being one of the best neurosurgery programs in the country, I knew I was in good hands. "It's kind of like the neurological equivalent of sudden cardiac death," said Elkind, a professor of neurology and epidemiology at Columbia University in New York City. That day was one of the most terrifying days of my life. I found out I have two brain aneurysms; one aneurysm measuring 2mm is located on my carotid artery and the second aneurysm measuring 4mm is located on my ophthalmic artery. Women, people of color and those over 40 are at higher risk. The location of my aneurysm that he wanted to operate on was on my left ophthalmic artery, which feeds blood to my eye. That has helped me to cope with everything I have been through. According to the Brain Aneurysm Foundation, about 30,000 people in the U.S. suffer a brain-aneurysm rupture each year, and they’re fatal in about 40 … We only worry about them when they get large enough to cause a problem." It is estimated that one in 50 people have an unruptured brain aneurysm in the US, according to the Brain aneurysm foundation. The analogy often used is of a water line that may be giving way with little evidence … until everyone knows it. After my decision was made, I tried to busy myself as much as possible to keep the looming surgery off of my mind. "Most are small, and people live with them without any problem at all. After about a month, I got up enough nerve to shower independently. Choice 1: I could continue to monitor my aneurysms every six months for the rest of my life to see if they changed in shape or size, ultimately deciding whether or not to operate down the road. rene’s story brain aneurysm survivor Rene is an energetic, passionate 7th grade teacher—and he was diagnosed with an unruptured brain aneurysm. Founded in May 2014, The Bee Foundation is a Philadelphia-based 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to raising awareness and reducing the number of deaths caused by brain aneurysms through innovative research. There are many people who are diagnosed with much worse things and some people who don’t even have the opportunity to be diagnosed before their ailment destroys them. My husband would come over every night after work and have dinner with us. Dallas, TX 75231 Repair of a Ruptured Aneurysm. During that time period I also lost my sister to a ruptured brain aneurysm and my husband’s niece died of a rupture. Life seemed to be going perfectly. 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