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Recovery & Support : Jay's Story

Jay

My name is Jay. I am a married to a wonderful woman and the father of 2 fantastic children and this is my story.

I was in the kitchen having a snack. As I was eating, I fell to the floor. I stood up and initially I thought that I had simply tripped. Within a few seconds, the headache from hell started (the worst headache of my life) and I began to vomit. I then fell to the floor and screamed out to my wife to call 911. I did suffer migraines on a few occasions, but I knew that this headache was different, as my vision was almost gone and the pain was much more intense than any other headache I had ever had.

According to my wife, I was given a CT Scan which revealed bleeding in my brain. I remember the physician saying that a helicopter would take me to a major teaching hospital, as they could not do anything for me at their facility. The last thing I recall was the lift off.

When I awoke, my neurosurgeon and his staff were standing by my bed. They asked me how I felt and explained what had happened to me. To say the least, I was shocked as I could not believe that they had actually already done a surgical procedure on me. The doctor told me that platinum coils were placed into my aneurysm through a cut in my femoral artery and that I would be staying in the ICU for at least 12 days.

The first few days I had some pretty bad headaches along with some vomiting. After that, my progress seemed to really gain momentum. I began to get my appetite back and even felt like walking around. The staff told me that even though I felt well, I needed to take it easy and follow hospital orders as the risk of vasospasm was still there.

After 12 days, I was released from the hospital. The wonderful staff there told me that I may have some challenges ahead of me, like fatigue, irritability and short memory loss but that in time, I should make a full recovery. It has been almost a year and while I do still deal with some memory loss and fatigue, I consider myself as lucky as a man could be. I am back to watching my daughter play soccer and playing baseball with my son. Every week, I enjoy a round of gold with my friends.

I have always been a big believer in fate and that all things happen for a reason. As strange as this may sound, I view my battle with a brain aneurysm as a gift, something that has taught me to now live my life to the fullest and appreciate all that is around me. To those fighting the after effects of what we went through, please don't ever give up, as it will get better. Stay strong and continue to fight, not only for you, but for all of those who love and care about you.