Brain Aneurysm Awareness

IN 2006:I suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm. A previously undetected 11 mm (approx. ½”) bulge in my artery burst at 4:30 a.m. on the morning of October 5th.I was one of the lucky ones. After two-weeks in the hospital, six months of initial recovery, and 16 endovascular coilsI was back at work full-time in April of 2007.

To keep my family & few friends abreast of my recovery, I started writing a BRAIN BLOGabout my experience. Over the years, it has been expanded and updated to include more details on the events below. More below….

The large black blob is the original aneurysm with the 20 coils inside it.

IN 2008: My husband lost his 32-year old nieceto a ruptured brain aneurysm three days after Christmas. Being touched by brain aneurysm again so soon after my own rupture was terribly difficult and prompted our family to DO something about raising awareness. With the help of Kim’s close friends, the first KAT-Walk for Brain Aneurysm Awareness in Mainewas started in 2009.

In 2011:The 16 coils that saved my life in 2006 started to compact and blood was starting to get back into the aneurysm. A decision was made to add more coilsand then a stent to keep those puppies inside the aneurysm. This procedure added more “brain bling” and I now have 20 coils in that original aneurysm with a stent across the neck.

ALSO IN 2011:During my annual brain exam, a second, small brain aneurysm was discovered. It was very small and didn’t appear to be at risk for ruptured, so the decision was made to “watch and wait”. 

IN 2012:My sister Dori diedfrom a ruptured brain aneurysm back in New York leaving behind a husband and a 15-year old son. Devastating us all again.

IN 2014:After another checkup revealed my 2nd, smaller aneurysm was now growing in a very short period of time, I made the decision to have it pre-emptively clipped. Meaning a craniotomy was performed to remove part of my skull and a small clipwas placed across the neck of the aneurysm. Essentially killing it. After getting “in there” it was discovered this aneurysm was at a much higher risk of rupturing with a very thin point at the top.

After 20 coils, a stent, and a clip, I hope my “brain bling” is now complete and no further action is required at the moment. However, I continue with checkups and I continue to help raise awareness both locally and nationally where possible.

I have found my blog, although lengthy at times and foggy due to meds and well…brain surgery, has helped a few people deal with their own struggles along the way. And it is THAT reason that I keep it going and continue to reformat and move it around to different hosting providers. Some links may not work and some photos may not still be linked, but you get the idea.