Last month I couldn’t spell aneurysm. I’ve typed and spoken this word thousands of times in the last 30 days. Yep, I have a brain aneurysm — Crazy, isn’t it. It hasn’t ruptured — so that is very good.
How did I find it? Well, funny you should ask — there’s a story.
I’ve had this weird vertigo for the past few months. I feel like I’m falling to the left — it’s just a feeling, I don’t actually fall. Finally I diagnosed myself with middle ear infection — well, me, google and my medical training (which came from binge watching Grey’s Anatomy). A round of antibiotics was ordered — by my doctor because strangely enough my Grey’s Anatomy medical education doesn’t qualify me to write prescriptions — I KNOW! Whatever.
The antibiotics didn’t do the trip so I headed over to the ENT to get a better diagnosis. I determined that something most be going on inside my ears.
ENT looked, tested and couldn’t find anything. “Let’s rule a few things out with an MRI and then we’ll do some more testing,” said Dr ENT.
Well, okie dokie! But I’m on schedule. Have things to do, no time to slow down.
The next day I have my first MRI on my head — gotta make sure there’s nothing in there causing the left leaning stuff.
I was CERTAIN that NOTHING was happening in my head. Well, nothing that would show up on a screen anyway.
And then I got the call — “We found something. We need to get a better look. We’ve scheduled you for an MRA tomorrow.”
UH, okay. And I hung up.
FYI — apparently MRA is an MRI that looks at blood vessels.
So that’s how they found my aneurysm. And it’s a doozy — as we say in the medical community. See that gray bubble in the middle — that’s it! and that big artery it’s attached to is my right carotid artery.
So, I am fortunate that is was found. And I’m also fortunate that I can have the aneurysm taken care of with a vascular procedure — no need to shave my head and cut my skull open. And that’s a sentence I never thought I’d write. And I have my very own vascular neuro surgeon — just like Dr. Derek Shepherd on Grey’s except that Dr. Shepherd is dead and my guy is very much alive. My doc will send a wire through my artery into my head and put platinum coils in the aneurysm to fill it up — and if you’re going to fill up something, platinum is the way to go. This will stop the blood from going to the aneurysm and no more risk of rupture.
Personally I’ve never known someone who had or has an un-ruptured aneurysm — but I’ve known a few who’ve suffered through a rupture and the outcome isn’t good. So if you have a story of a great outcome, please share. If you have a story of a bad outcome — don’t share. I’m doing my best to stay positive and think about all the amazing stories I’ll get from this. AND I’m using it to get favors from my daughters — ‘Hey baby, would you get Momma show eyelash extensions — you know I have a brain aneurysm, right?” “You and your sister be nice to each other, Mom has a brain aneurysm.” You play with the hand you are dealt.
Recovery should be fairly quick and uneventful — that’s the two things I look for in a recovery. I have the operation on Wed, Aug 24th — I would love your prayers for me and for my family. I know God has us in the palm of His hand. He is my strength and my shield. I trust Him. He has this!