Alonna’s Story

It was a normal day as I attended my older son’s first high school basketball game with my two younger sons and husband. While sitting in the bleachers watching the game, I experienced the worst headache of my life. I began vomiting and could no longer sit up.

These bad headaches happened frequently and after going to the hospital, I was diagnosed with migraines. I assumed this headache was just a really bad one. I tried self-medicating at home with over-the-counter products for headaches, but the pain gradually became worse, and I started to experience severe neck pain.  On Thanksgiving night, my aunt urged me to go to the emergency room. Taking her advice, I went and was told that I had three brain aneurysms, one of which had ruptured and was causing bleeding on the brain.

My ruptured aneurysm was coiled on Thanksgiving night 2019. I was blessed to have my husband and mother spend every night by my side for the two weeks I was in the ICU.  Little did I know what a stark comparison this would be to having one of my unruptured aneurysms coiled in August of 2020 during a global pandemic. While I had a much shorter, easier, and less painful recovery, having surgery during the pandemic was intimidating. COVID restrictions didn’t allow for my family to be with me during my hospital stay and I found it challenging not having them by my side.

We’ve been told by two surgeons that the third aneurysm is small enough to leave alone and monitor. During an angiogram in August, the aneurysm that was coiled in November of 2019 had started to show a re-opening at the base of the aneurysm. I will continue to be monitored for any changes in this aneurysm as well.

After the initial surgery, I was terrified, exhausted, and overwhelmed, and sometimes I still feel that way. While there may be more surgeries to be had and decisions to be made, even in this, God is good, and I am here! This experience has taught me to lean on my faith, appreciate every moment with family and friends, the value of a good nap, and how resilient I am.