Author Archives for The1Rose

About The1Rose

Hello friends, my name is Veronica Field, thank you for visiting my site. I know you are here because you are either a brain aneurysm survivor, you have lost a loved one, you are a caretaker or simply curious to know about this condition. Please know that you are strong, loved, cherished, highly favored by God and never alone. It is my hope that together we can educate ourselves with as much information as possible and spread the awareness to as many people as possible and to as far as we can while making effort to advocate for programs that will help save lives. I am a brain aneurysm survivor (1 raptured and coiled in 2017 and 1 still intact that is being monitored) and I must say the road to recovery has not been that easy. Just a few days to my 31st birthday, my family experienced a life changing moment that I have since named it The nightmare on Naguru Vale Rd. My husband and I together with our 2 children (3 year old and 5 months old then) were residing in Kampala, Uganda on a US diplomatic assignment when I suffered a brain aneurysm in the middle of the night. I cannot recall exactly what happened and how it happened except for what my husband tells me. The only thing I recall doing last on that Friday was putting my kids to bed in our house in Uganda. The next thing I remembered was “waking up” in a hospital bed in the ICU unit with tubes all over me in South Africa. It was everybody’s worst nightmare but the reality to us. This entire experience has been a true affirmation on just how much God loves us. He surely cannot give us a burden bigger than what we are capable of handling. Just like we are told in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” We are alive for a reason, we experienced what we did for a reason, we are chosen for a reason. I have spent quite some time trying to figure out “why me”, that I actually forgot that it had to be me because God saw something in me that He had to choose me. My purpose for starting this blog is to: 1. Use my story to help spread awareness to the world on Brain Aneurysm and also on other types of aneurysms. 2. Help eliminate some of the anxiety that I have by engaging others into my conversation and getting to know their stories. 3. Establish a community where people can learn and teach others about Brain Aneurysm and other types of aneurysms. 4. Start a conversation on teaching basic CPR to everybody including children above the age of 5 years old and advocate for it. Knowing what to do in the case of an emergency can help save a life. It is more critical in the developing countries where access to emergency medical care is limited. Please follow me on my blog where I will be using a combination of my own story and information from other accredited sites pertaining to brain aneurysm to give you as much information as possible so we can help spread awareness. I love this song, it just gives me the motivation that I need to get through the day and live not in fear but in courage and determination….And when that final day comes that I have to cross over and be with my savior, I will do so in faith and dignity because I know that He Reigns. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4M-zwE33zHA Because He Lives God sent His son, they called Him, Jesus He came to love, heal and forgive He lived and died to buy my pardon An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives. Because He lives, I can face tomorrow Because He lives, all fear is gone Because I know He holds the future And life is worth the living Just because He lives. How sweet to hold a newborn baby And feel the pride and the joy he gives But greater still the calm assurance This child can face uncertain days because He Lives. And then one day, I’ll cross that river I’ll fight life’s final war with pain And then, as death gives way to vict’ry I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He reigns. Because He lives, I can face tomorrow Because He lives, all fear is gone Because I know He holds the future And life is worth the living Just because He lives Because he lives Because he lives Written by William J. Gaither and Gloria Gaither

Enjoy the free book promotion for the next 3days amid covid-19 pandemic. Educate yourself and your loved ones about brain aneurysms. Check this out at Amazon.com. If you are outside the U.S., simply go to your Amazon page and search for the book.

Tips on Surviving a Brain Aneurysm: For Survivors, Caregivers, and Loved Ones https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07R56DN1L/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_i_HrGCEbFD8WEDD

What is a brain aneurysm? Symptoms, kinds, what to do | Miami Herald

https://www.miamiherald.com/living/health-fitness/article240658871.html

Such a young soul gone too soon due to this monster- Brain Aneurysm. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

How much do you know about brain aneurysm? It’s never too early to start educating yourself and your family. Know the signs and symptoms. Remember that the initial actions taken are the ones that are critical in determining the outcome of the results from the treatment given. Join the movement #1in50 and let’s save a life.

https://www.miamiherald.com/living/health-fitness/article240658871.html

Brain Aneurysm: Diagnosis

Can you spot the 2 aneurysms? The big balloon was the largest and below it was the smallest one that is still intact. This is one of the pictures from my angio showing the aneurysm before the embolization. Zoom in close for details.
This scan compares the brain pre-embolization (top half) and post-embolization (bottom half). Zoom in close for a clear view and details.

Most brain aneurysms go unnoticed until they rupture or are detected during medical imaging tests for another condition. https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Cerebral-Aneurysms-Fact-Sheet#5

If you have experienced a severe headache or have any other symptoms related to a ruptured aneurysm your doctor will order tests to determine if blood has leaked into the space between the skull bone and brain. 

Several tests are available to diagnose brain aneurysms and determine the best treatment. These include: 

  • Computed tomography (CT)This fast and painless scan is often the first test a physician will order to determine if blood has leaked into the brain.  CT uses x-rays to create two-dimensional images, or “slices,” of the brain and skull.  Occasionally a contrast dye is injected into the bloodstream prior to scanning to assess the arteries, and look for a possible aneurysm.  This process, called CT angiography (CTA), produces sharper, more detailed images of blood flow in the brain arteries.  CTA can show the size, location, and shape of an unruptured or a ruptured aneurysm. 
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).   An MRI uses computer-generated radio waves and a magnetic field to create two- and three-dimensional detailed images of the brain and can determine if there has been bleeding into the brain.  Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) produces detailed images of the brain arteries and can show the size, location, and shape of an aneurysm. 
  • Cerebral angiography.  This imaging technique can find blockages in arteries in the brain or neck.  It also can identify weak spots in an artery, like an aneurysm.  The test is used to determine the cause of the bleeding in the brain and the exact location, size, and shape of an aneurysm.  Your doctor will pass a catheter (long, flexible tube) typically from the groin arteries to inject a small amount of contrast dye into your neck and brain arteries.  The contrast dye helps the X-ray create a detailed picture of the appearance of an aneurysm and a clear picture of any blockage in the arteries. 
  • Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis.  This test measures the chemicals in the fluid that cushions and protects the brain and spinal cord (cerebrospinal fluid).  Most often a doctor will collect the CSF by performing a spinal tap (lumbar puncture), in which a thin needle is inserted into the lower back (lumbar spine) and a small amount of fluid is removed and tested.   The results will help detect any bleeding around the brain.  If bleeding is detected, additional tests would be needed to identify the exact cause of the bleeding. 

In the next segment, I will talk about treatment.

Brain Aneurysm: Risk Factors/causes

Brain aneurysms/cerebral aneurysms form when the walls of the arteries in the brain become thin and weaken.  Aneurysms typically form at branch points in arteries because these sections are the weakest.  Occasionally, cerebral aneurysms may be present from birth, usually resulting from an abnormality in an artery wall. Reference          

Risk factors for developing an aneurysm

Sometimes cerebral aneurysms are the result of inherited risk factors, including:

  • genetic connective tissue disorders that weaken artery walls
  • polycystic kidney disease (in which numerous cysts form in the kidneys)
  • arteriovenous malformations (snarled tangles of arteries and veins in the brain that disrupt blood flow.  Some AVMs develop sporadically, or on their own.)
  • history of aneurysm in a first-degree family member (child, sibling, or parent).

Other risk factors develop over time and include:

  • untreated high blood pressure
  • cigarette smoking
  • drug abuse, especially cocaine or amphetamines, which raise blood pressure to dangerous levels. Intravenous drug abuse is a cause of infectious mycotic aneurysms.
  • age over 40.

Less common risk factors include:

  • head trauma
  • brain tumor
  • infection in the arterial wall (mycotic aneurysm).

Additionally, high blood pressure, cigarette smoking, diabetes, and high cholesterol puts one at risk of atherosclerosis (a blood vessel disease in which fats build up on the inside of artery walls), which can increase the risk of developing a fusiform aneurysm.

Risk factors for an aneurysm to rupture

Not all aneurysms will rupture.  Aneurysm characteristics such as size, location, and growth during follow-up evaluation may affect the risk that an aneurysm will rupture. In addition, medical conditions may influence aneurysm rupture.

Risk factors include:

  • Smoking.  Smoking is linked to both the development and rupture of cerebral aneurysms. Smoking may even cause multiple aneurysms to form in the brain.
  • High blood pressure.  High blood pressure damages and weakens arteries, making them more likely to form and to rupture. 
  • Size.  The largest aneurysms are the ones most likely to rupture in a person who previously did not show symptoms.
  • Location.  Aneurysms located on the posterior communicating arteries (a pair of arteries in the back part of the brain) and possibly those on the anterior communicating artery (a single artery in the front of the brain) have a higher risk of rupturing than those at other locations in the brain.
  • Growth.  Aneurysms that grow, even if they are small, are at increased risk of rupture.
  • Family history.  A family history of aneurysm rupture suggests a higher risk of rupture for aneurysms detected in family members.
  • The greatest risk occurs in individuals with multiple aneurysms who have already suffered a previous rupture or sentinel bleed.

For my case, I had been diagnosed with high blood pressure in the first trimester of my second pregnancy and the condition was being managed when I suffered the brain aneurysm. No family history of brain aneurysms that I am aware of. No smoking, no alcohol abuse, and absolutely no drug use except for the ones for BP and vitamins. My take from this is that we are all pretty much at risk. I have heard stories of completely healthy people, very athletic, and with no family history get them. The more information we know about brain aneurysms, the more lives we can help save.

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