Brain Aneurysm: Recovery continues…

As I had mentioned before, recovery following treatment of a ruptured brain aneurysm is a lifetime process. Based on my own experience, I think the recovery process mimics the stages of grief in the Kubler-Ross Grief Cycle .

  1. Denial

From the moment I regained my consciousness while in the ICU unit and had to face the facts, I went right into denial. This could not be happening to me, I thought. I convinced myself that it was only a dream and I would soon wake up from it. The last thing that I remembered was going to bed in our house in Kampala on a Friday night and I was feeling alright. How could I have woken up on a Wednesday morning in a Hospital bed in South Africa? Then when the physiotherapy tried to help me initially with ambulation, I thought that I did not need her help but the reality was different.

2. Anger

This stage lasted for quite some time and I must admit that I haven’t fully recovered from it. I have spent a lot of days questioning myself and God for why it had to be me. 5 months prior to that I was back in the US to have my second child when I ended up having her at 35weeks due to elevated blood pressure. I witnessed God’s miracle during that childbirth. We proved to science that God rules over everything.

When we returned to Uganda, we had just stabilized ourselves and ready to make the very best of our stay when things turned upside down overnight. I was angry for not having a chance to say goodbye to our staff and friends. I wanted to find out who did this to me and why. I was angry that because of me, my husband’s job, my son’s school, and our staff’s jobs had been impacted forever.

3. Bargaining

I slowly transitioned into the bargaining stage. I started to avoid talking to people and just begged God to take me instead. I was blaming myself for having turned my family’s life into a completely different direction. This feeling became more intense when I heard my son talk about all the things that he missed while in Kampala especially his school, the chickens, and the staff. My husband wasn’t so thrilled about his new position and traffic in Dallas either.

However, I could not imagine my children living without a mother. They were too young and needed me. So, I started to bargain with God just to give me enough time to raise my children to an age where they would be independent. I knew my husband needed me as well.

4. Depression

This stage was brief for me. My children, my husband, and my family members had given me a good reason to live. Their love and care renewed my hope for the future. I had refused to have my other aneurysm that is still intact to be monitored, but I decided to keep up with it.

5. Acceptance

Finally, I learnt to accept that God chose me for a reason and I decided to start looking at my life in a completely different angle. I had to move on. I had to find things that make me happy and do them. I started living by a check box rather than spend an eternity in the planning face. I spend more time in the implementation phase now because I want to check all of my boxes. Above all, I have learnt to rely not only on my own understanding but from the Almighty God who is responsible for all of us and whose powers surpasses all human comprehension.

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