Brain Aneurysm: Symptoms

From a Distance by Bette Midler.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLHE9jrb_N4

I remember having a constant headache for 2 days or so prior to the rapture. The pain wasn’t overwhelming and I could tolerate it. I would rate it a 2 on the scale of 1-10 with 10 being the worst. New mothers, me being one of them, tend to ignore little things that their bodies are trying to communicate. We give excuses in order to make ourselves feel better. It is very true we are tired most of the time with little to no adequate rest most of the time. We prioritize the needs of our children and our loved ones. The question that still ponders my mind is – ‘was the aneurysm ruptured already prior to my hospital admission and the bleeding just got worse or did it rapture on that hectic night?’ The doctors that I have met with haven’t given me a conclusive answer yet. They tend to say…..in so many words——“we just don’t know”

So what are the actual symptoms of a brain aneurysm?

Please do not sit and start guessing what could be wrong with you or your loved one. Get emergency care if you suddenly get an intensely painful headache, lose consciousness, or have some of these other symptoms of an aneurysm that has ruptured: I cannot emphasize enough to you how critical it is to get that medical care urgently. Get help if you think something is wrong with your body. DO NOT WAIT.

Although brain aneurysms usually don’t show symptoms, they can press on the brain and nerves as they get bigger. See a doctor at once if you’re having the following symptoms of an unruptured aneurysm:

  • Headache
  • Dilated pupils
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Pain above and behind an eye
  • Drooping eyelid
  • Hard time speaking
  • Weakness and numbness in one side of your face

Please remember that no matter what you are going through or how things turn out, you are not alone. God is with you and He has everything under control. He will lead you to where you need be at the right time. He will bring the right people to your case. God is watching us from a distance. You are a very special child of Him. Have faith and trust in nothing else but in Him. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLHE9jrb_N4

Recap from last post: How did it happen? My brain aneurysm story- details unfolded Part 1

  • Let’s just highlight some of the details from how it happened. So, now we know that I have been diagnosed with a ruptured brain aneurysm a.k.a cerebral hemorrhaging and 1 still intact. The doctor has made it clear that I am in the best hospital in the country and he has no equipment of performing the urgent procedure to stop the bleeding. He also notes that I only have about 3days to do something about it. Also, it seems like most of my memory has been affected and I’m only able to remember my husband (thank goodness) and a set of 7 questions that I’m asking in the same order. The other thing that I did not mention in the last post is that, at that time when I arrived at the hospital, my BP was in the 60’s/40’s. If you are familiar with the way BP functions, that is a very low number. My oxygen level was in the 70’s and my respirations ranged between 4-6 per minute. My initial vital signs were abnormal but promising. As soon as I arrived in the ICU and after obtaining those vital signs, they began treatment to stabilize me, thus, my regain of consciousness and ability to ask those 7 questions.  

Fact:

Approximately 15% of patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) die before reaching the hospital. Most of the deaths from subarachnoid hemorrhage are due to rapid and massive brain injury from the initial bleeding which is not correctable by medical and surgical interventions. https://www.bafound.org/about-brain-aneurysms/brain-aneurysm-basics/brain-aneurysm-statistics-and-facts/

What really saved me???

  1. I must say that taking that aspirin when I first asked my husband to give it to me initially before things got worse prevented my blood from coagulating and forming a blood clot that might have caused severe brain damage or even resulted in death https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-1082-3/aspirin-oral/aspirin-oral/details  
  2. The other thing and perhaps very crucial is the knowledge of CPR on my husband’s side. He was the caregiver and his actions kept me alive. First, he established a safe environment to allow him to concentrate on me by keeping the baby in her crib even though she was crying. Second, when he realized that I was vomiting uncontrollably, his goal was to keep the airway open and place me in an upright position or side laying position to prevent possible aspiration. At this stage, most people die from food and fluid aspiration. If you can’t use your hands to keep the victims mouth open, use anything closest to you that is steady such as a nicely folded big piece of clothing, a book…etc. Third, he called for help by screaming and hoping that the guards could hear him and by grabbing the walkie talkie to communicate with post one.  Calling for help is very important because you really can’t tell how things are going to turn out. As a caregiver, you need reassurance and a confirmation that help is on the way. You are exhausted. This is why it is a must you know the emergency phone number of your country’s emergency response system. Teach your children too. Kids will amaze you on how much they are capable of doing. When you shout for help and a lot of bystanders arrive, instruct them on what to do rather than have them crowd the area and limit the oxygen supply and just be observers…..they can be a big distraction. For my case it was different because we were in Uganda under Diplomatic status so we had to follow a different chain of emergency response system. Whatever your circumstance is…prepare for an emergency and know what to do when you are faced with one.
  3. Upon arrival at the hospital, they demanded an admission fee before they could attend to me. As sadly as it sounds, unfortunately, it is the common system in most developing countries. Most people make it to the hospital on time but they die in the waiting room due to lack of funds. I was fortunate that when one of our embassy nurses arrived, she took charge because it was a diplomatic medical emergency and they had to act fast unless they were ready to carry the blame incase things turned out for the worst. My goal is to advocate for the common person in the developing countries who is treated different upon arrival to medical facilities due to lack of funds or insufficient funds that could allow them access to proper medical care.
  4. Now that we know the diagnosis, we probably should dig deeper to learn more about it before we move onto the next step of treatment. In the next postings, I’m going to talk about:
  • Definition
  • Risk factors
  • Symptoms
  • Diagnosis
  • Basic CPR