My name is Tricia and I am a 53-year-old brain aneurysm survivor. On November 8, 2020, my life was changed forever. I was watching football with my daughter when I passed out and started foaming at the mouth. 911 was called and I came to with the worst headache of my life. The paramedics were sure
it was a bad migraine headache but upon admission to the hospital it was found that I had a ruptured brain aneurysm. The bleed was coiled, and I spent almost a month in the hospital.
I remember waking up in the middle of the night with a migraine then having pressure behind my eyes in the morning. I remember sitting on the couch to watch football with my daughter. I remember being woken and asked if I had a headache and saying that on a scale of 1 – 10 it was a 12. I remember throwing up and then the doctor telling me that I needed brain surgery. I remember he said that I had bleeding in my brain and if I didn’t have surgery I would die. As someone who takes such good care of their body, I remember thinking how could this happen to me!
I don’t remember passing out and my daughter cleaning my face as I was foaming at the mouth. I don’t remember being put in an ambulance. I don’t remember the scan of my brain or anything about the surgery.
It was almost 3 weeks later that I have clear memories of being in the hospital. Somehow, I knew that I had a brain aneurysm burst and that I was in the ICU but I only have few memories of that time. The neurosurgeon told me that would happen, and I am pretty glad that I don’t remember all that had happened to me during those first 3 weeks. I spent another week in the hospital on the neuro floor where my recovery continued. Finally headed home using a walker since I had just spent a month in the hospital laying in a bed with limited opportunities to stand up.
I started with the physical therapist immediately upon my release and got off the walker within the first week. It was then that I understand a comment made to me by the doctor, “You cannot stop events like this from happening to you no matter how well you take care of yourself. You take care of yourself so that you can recover, and recover quickly, from something like this.”
I was, and still am, determined to get my life back. It’s been 2 ½ months since the aneurysm bust and I am now back to work, take long walks at least once a day, take spin classes on my Peloton, lift weights, drive, cook and bake and have taken back control of my life and body. There is still a way to go as I am a runner and want to be back on the road with my running teammates from Jersey Women Strong, but I see that I will be there soon. I have good days and rough days. Recovery is not a straight line up but rather filled with ups and downs. Fortunately, I am surrounded by an amazing support network and talented doctors which make me certain that I will be 100% by the spring, just 6 short months after the aneurysm burst. This whole experience has taken a toll on me physically and mentally, but I work everyday to make sure I am stronger than the previous one. There is a life after this, and not just any life, but an amazing one! My name is Tricia and I am a 53-year-old brain aneurysm survivor!