More Survivor Stories From Our Readers

Joan K’s Story

In the evening of October 10th, I was watching TV, when I started to get sharp headaches that would not stop (I do not normally get headaches that last a long time). Then my face felt funny and the fear that something was wrong started. I called my roommate who was already asleep and she called my son who told me to call an ambulance. The ambulance arrived soon after and the EMT’s were leaning toward spinal meningitis. They put me on stretcher and brought me outside and that is the last thing I remember until I vomited in hospital. Nothing is remembered after this.

I was transferred to another hospital in my area because I was bleeding in my brain and they could not help me. Thank goodness I was fortunate enough to have a great neurosurgeon tend to me by putting coils in my head. During all of this I did not know what was going on until sometime in November when I was again transferred to another hospital and from there to a nursing home.

My family told me I did not know my daughter and my son, would not eat, pulled out my IV’s and was tied down in bed. Then I came to, but went out just as fast until I finally woke in November.

Now I see my surgeon about every 3 months and have my MRI’s & MRA. I have a small aneurysm on the left side of my head, too small to do anything with as of now.

I am most fortunate that I have my memory for both long and short term, but every time I get a headache, I stop and wonder and as long as it does not last, I am okay. I am having tests done every 3 months to keep on top of things.

Dion N’s Story

It was Feb.7, 2000. I was 42 and presiding over the staff meeting at my company, when I felt flushed and something like a water hose gushing over my head. I thought it was probably the flu, but I was dizzy and throwing up uncontrollably. My employees were worried, I could tell, but I was not really (it was not the worst headache of my life), so they took me home where I did what many of us do initially – take aspirin and go to bed.

I nearly died and was unconscious when my husband got me to the hospital emergency room the next morning. So I lived after more than one brain surgery and removal of part of my brain “I didn’t need”(!), which left me permanently disabled and in pain 24/7/365. It appears to be a rare pain condition – most of my doctors were perplexed by it. I still have it, discovering it is probably “central pain syndrome”, or “post-stroke pain”. Is anyone else out there with central pain as a result of aneurysm? Any suggestions for pain relief? I’ve done nearly everything over the last 8 yrs, but am hoping there is someone out there with a new suggestion. Traditional pain meds have limited effect.

“Very Blessed”

My name is Iveda. I had an aneurysm October 22nd 1998. I had blurred vision where my eye sight would come and go, just before I would go in to start work that was the only time I would lose sight and it would come back. But I didn’t think anything of this at first. I developed high blood pressure. My normal weight size was 110 pounds. I dropped down to 89 pounds.

I worked and went to school, I had just received my license to be a Certified Nurses Assistant. I was going to go on further with my life, to have some kind of career, because I wanted to be a Registered Nurse.

The reason why I’m telling this story is because it can happen to anyone. I did have a MRI done before this happened, but they didn’t see anything. When I came home from work about 12:15 in the morning, I had a headache that I can’t describe. The girls were sleeping. I lost complete mobility to even stand up. I tried really hard, I called the girls’ names, they didn’t hear me.

My blood vessel burst in my head and they to had move my jaw bone over to repair it. Near my temple, it’s flat on the right, but you have to really look close. I had physical therapy done to learn how to walk all over again. I had no sense of smell, taste, and my feeling seemed like it was gone. I had to pinch off food and chew gum so that my mouth could open up more.

I knew in my heart, I was getting ready for God to take me. But it was not my time to go. I thank God I’m here to be with my family, and I have two grandsons. I’m really thankful I’m blessed. Thank you Dr. Beatty for your skillful hands and thanks to the caring nurses of Kansas City, KS.

Gary’s Story

Our story started on my wife’s 63rd birthday. I took her out to eat with other friends, we had a great time and were standing outside the restaurant when she just passed out. Since then our lives are no longer the same. I’m blessed she’s still alive but she is still is in very grave condition after 2 months in ICU at USC Hospital. I don’t know why I started this story, I know it’s just beginning and I don’t know its end. I’m searching my heart for some way to encourage someone else. There’s a lot of hard work and prayer in our future.

Michelle M’s Story

I am a 45 year old female. Five years ago, I developed a bad, bad headache, which wouldn’t go away. I never had been sick in my life. I was treated for a sinus infection. Three weeks later, I ended up in the ER, the diagnosis was a ruptured brain aneurysm on the right side of the Circle of Willis. I had emergency surgery and was clipped.

Six months later, they found another aneurysm on the left side, smaller than the first one, but the kicker was it was a mirror image of the first one. I was recommended for coiling and I was supposed to go in one day and come out the next, which was exciting for me because my first aneurysm surgery landed me in the ICU for days and the hospital stay spanned over a couple weeks. Unfortunately, when they tried to place the coil, my aneurysm ruptured intraoperatively, and again I was in ICU for a long time.

It took me almost a full year to recuperate from two of these surgeries, almost back to back. I went back to work full time, everything was going fine until last April in 2007 when I had a stroke. I have spent the past year in therapy learning to walk, talk and live again without any assistance, and guess what? I have done it!!!! I have decreased cognitive deficits, stutter, limp, and have weakness on my left side and terrible daily headaches, but the most BEAUTIFUL thing in this world is that I am still here to see my children grow (they are 12 and 8 years old). I almost cry to think I almost died two times, they are the reason I am still here, and I hope to be here for them for a long, long time.

Greg’s Back!

I live in Indiana, I am 45 years old. I had my aneurysm 1 1/2 years ago. I was standing in my kitchen and felt this explosion between my eyes. I vomited for 4 days and finally asked my wife to take me to the doctor.

He diagnosed me as having the flu. Next day my wife found me seizing.
I was lifelined to Methodist and the clip option was performed. After surgery, I hemorrhaged into both frontal lobes. Then they had to put me in a drugged induced coma for 3 weeks.

I had to rehab to relearn everything. Biggest problem is all people see me as DIFFERENT wow. I like who I am now! But everyone wants the old GREG back. And I tell them that he is dead. My short term memory and communications are still bad now.

My employer has issues about me returning back to work, even though I feel I am ready.