An inspirational, true story about one woman’s life altering journey from surviving a ruptured brain aneurysm, to the realization that through God’s ever present love and nurturing, anything is possible.
God’s funny that way…”
“It was a cold, snowy day on January 28, 1988, a day that would change my life forever. I was being rushed to the hospital, only knowing that I had so much pressure in my head that I thought it would explode. I was initially
diagnosed by the ER doctor with having a migraine and a sprained neck, but the ER nurses knew better. After some testing, their thoughts were confirmed. I had a ruptured brain aneurysm which statistically has a 10% survival rate. There was nothing that they could do. I was bleeding into my brain and there
was a good chance that I would be gone by morning…”
A cerebral aneurysm (also known as an intracranial or intracerebral aneurysm) is a weak or thin spot on a blood vessel in the brain that balloons out and fills with blood. The bulging aneurysm can put pressure on a nerve or surrounding brain tissue. It may also leak or rupture, spilling blood into the surrounding tissue (called a
hemorrhage). Some cerebral aneurysms, particularly those that are very small, do not bleed or cause other problems. Cerebral aneurysms can occur anywhere in the brain, but most are located along a loop of arteries that run between the underside of the brain and the base of the skull.
Brain aneurysms can occur in anyone, at any age. They are more common in adults than in children and slightly more common in women than in men. . The incidence of reported ruptured aneurysm is about 10 in every 100,000 persons per year (about 27,000 patients per year in the US), most commonly in people between ages 30 and 60 years.
Most cerebral aneurysms do not show symptoms until they either become very large or burst. Small, unchanging aneurysms generally will not produce symptoms, whereas a larger aneurysm that is steadily growing may press on tissues and nerves. Symptoms may include pain above and behind the eye; numbness, weakness, or paralysis on one side of the face; dilated pupils; and vision changes.
When an aneurysm hemorrhages, an individual may experience a sudden and extremely severe headache, double vision, nausea, vomiting, stiff neck, and/or loss of consciousness. Patients usually describe the headache as "the worst headache of my life" and it is generally different in severity and intensity from other headaches patients may experience. "Sentinel" or warning headaches may result from an
aneurysm that leaks for days to weeks prior to rupture. Only a minority of patients have a sentinel headache prior to aneurysm rupture.
Other signs that a cerebral aneurysm has burst include nausea and vomiting associated with a severe headache, a drooping eyelid, sensitivity to light, and change in mental status or level of awareness. Some individuals may have seizures. Individuals may lose consciousness briefly or go into prolonged coma. People experiencing this "worst headache," especially when it is combined with any other symptoms, should seek immediate medical attention.