My brain aneurysm happened in May of 2015 at the age of 41.
It came as shock, I know of no family history and I live a healthy lifestyle. I only drink once in a blue moon, have never smoked or tried drugs and am a Vegan. It turns out that the birth control pills I was on at the time most likely was the reason for my aneurysm. I needed them to help my Adenomyosis/Endometriosis, this would prove to be a battle later on, as I had to search for other forms of birth control to help control the pain.
Some of the struggles I have encountered after my aneurysm may seem strange to others, but they play a big part in my daily life.
Weather. While others can enjoy a hot day at the beach or have fun on a cold winter day, they can become painful for me. On really hot days I tend to get headaches. It is hard to be out in the intense heat for long periods of time. The same happens in the cold, if I am outside on a really cold day for too long, my head will start to hurt. It’s hard to explain the ache to others. It doesn’t feel like a regular headache, but the pain is dull and at times can make me tired.
Fatigue. This is the one thing that has stuck with me. I know I am on overload when I get really tired. Again, this level of tiredness isn’t easy to explain to people. It’s more then just your regular feeling-tired, as if you have done too much in a day, it’s a level of exhaustion that takes over my whole body. It goes hand in hand with the third thing I always encounter along with the fatigue…
Brain Fog. It takes over my whole body. Along with the fatigue, it consumes my whole body. I feel like I am in a daze, it’s hard to concentrate. My brain feels like it is on overload and I can’t figure out which way to go, what to do, how to control it. I know that when this happens, not only do I need to slow down, but I need quiet.
Other things affect me, such as music being too loud, or flashing lights. Going to the movies the first time after my aneurysm was an interesting experience, if a scene had too much movement or was too loud it would make my brain “hurt”. The first time I put ear buds in was a strange also. The feeling of the buds alone in my ears felt strange, and the music at first sounded strange. Soon, I got use to them and with low enough volume, I can enjoy music again.
Some days are good with no issues at all, others are challenging. At times there can be sadness, others there is fear of this happening again. But, I haven’t let that stop me from living and pursuing the things I have always wanted to go after.
I know everyone’s story, journey and recovery is different. I was lucky that I came out of my aneurysm with the ability to still walk and talk. The only memory loss I have is of the day it happened, and my time in the hospital. There are chunks of time and things that happened that I just don’t remember.
I am grateful to have outlets such as The Bee Foundation and The Brain Aneurysm Foundation, Instagram- where I have connect with other survivors. We cheer each other on, pull each other up, check on each other. It’s nice to be surrounded by people who understand.
Thank you for the opportunity to share my story.