Dental infections thought to cause brain aneurysms

TAMPERE, Finland: While bacterial infections have been associated with a number of serious medical conditions, such as cardiovascular diseases, their role in cerebrovascular disorders has not been fully understood to date. Now, researchers from Finland have suggested that infections due to oral and pharyngeal bacteria could be a risk factor for ruptured intracranial aneurysms.

Source: Dental infections thought to cause brain aneurysms

Diminished Sense of Smell and/or Taste

During recovery, a good number of brain aneurysm survivors complain of having a diminished sense of smell or taste. This can be irritating and unfortunately, it does not help reduce the anxiety that you are already suffering from. You want to be normal, you want to be able to smell that coffee and enjoy your steak without having to load it up with salt!

We know that the brain is very complex and controls just about all the functions in the body. When a brain aneurysm ruptures, the blood starts leaking into the brain. Depending on the location, quantity and duration of the blood that is leaking, several functions that the brain controls in the body becomes affected.

Diminished sense of smell and/or taste occurs due to the leaking blood that irritates the nerves that control these senses. If the aneurysm did not rupture, smell and taste deficits can occur if the aneurysm compresses the surrounding nerves. Unfortunately, these deficits may not get better with time.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Statistics show that women are more likely to suffer from a brain aneurysm than men.

Besides hormones, have you ever wondered why?

Today, I salute all women, especially those who put their owns needs aside to take care of their loved ones.

….oh well maybe we have so much love in our hearts and so much on our mind that sometimes….the brain just explodes😜.

Happy Mother’s day to all of my fellow survivors and to those who have dedicated their time to care for those special iron ladies.

I wouldn’t want to forget all of our mothers who are dancing with the angels in Heaven. This is especially for my mom. May the almighty God continue granting your souls eternal rest in His glorious Kingdom. We love you.

Headaches during Recovery

Most survivors continue to suffer from headaches following the treatment of a ruptured aneurysm. When the head starts to pound and you think you’ve done everything you can possible do but still no relieve, panic hits in. You start thinking if it’s another aneurysm getting ready to rupture. This panic leads to anxiety and anxiety makes the headache and sometimes BP (if you have been diagnosed) go up. I used to torture myself with this a lot until I decided to get down to business by identifying exactly the symptoms of Aneurysm related headache .

Symptoms: May mimic frequent migraine or cluster headaches, caused by balloon-like weakness or bulge in blood-vessel wall. May rupture (stroke) or allow blood to leak slowly resulting in a sudden, unbearable headache, double vision and rigid neck. The person rapidly becomes unconscious.

Symptoms of a frequent migraine include:

Severe, one-sided throbbing pain, often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, cold hands, sensitivity to sound and light

Symptoms of a cluster headache include:

Excruciating pain in the vicinity of the eye; tearing of the eye; nose congestion; and flushing of the face. Pain frequently develops during sleep and may last for several hours. Attacks occur every day for weeks, or even months, then disappears for up to a year. Eighty percent of cluster patients are male, most between the ages of 20 and 50.

For me, I like to eliminate the anxiety by knowing the exact symptoms.

Brain Aneurysm Recovery continues…: Overcoming Fear-Be Inspired

For most brain aneurysm survivors, the real challenge does not begin until healing is complete. I think the same applies to any serious illness that one might have been faced with. When I was in the hospital, my goal was to get out so I could be with my family. I missed my little children the most.

The entire time I was in South Africa, it seemed like my days were full. After discharge from the hospital, I was with the physiotherapy 3 times per week for 2 weeks while at the same time seeing different kinds of specialists to try and bring my blood pressure to at least a high or normal level. My blood pressure was still considered severely high despite being on moderate to high doses of several blood pressure medications.

The day came, however, when I was considered stable enough to return to the US under the special care of a nephrologist. That was the day that my fears begun. You see, I have always been the kind of a person who is always looking forward to change, always looking for new challenges, and willing to take risks but all of a sudden I found myself numbed by own fears existing in this self-imposed bubble. How could I be afraid of living and dying at the same time? I could not lay down and sleep peacefully without letting go of the feeling that…I might not wake up again. It was better for me to live in the moment than to face tomorrow. I recall that Monday morning in mid-September when we went to the health center at the Embassy to talk about my medical clearance and travel plans. Everything was evolved around “what can happen.” Every decision was made to ensure my safety was made a priority. The airline was chosen intentionally, the doctor had been notified and an appointment was in place upon my arrival to Dallas.  All this preparation acted as a catalyst to my self-imposed fears.

During my last appointment with the neurosurgeon in South Africa, he told me that I was one of the lucky cases he had dealt with. He said that statistics show that about 70% of people who suffer a ruptured brain aneurysm die within 72hours, and the remaining 30%, more than half of them wish they were dead. He then added that I should not limit myself on a “quality lifestyle” but rather enjoy every day to the fullest. One thing he emphasized on is the significance of the mighty power of God that surpasses all human understanding. The doctor’s words from that conversation have remained my main source of motivation. I no longer search for a role model to inspire me. I am turning myself into a role model to inspire others and let them know that if I survived, they too can survive.

For the first 6 months following my return to the US, I could not sleep well at night without taking a sleep aide. My nights were longer than my days. It seemed like my mind become alive at night held hostage and fully manipulated by my own fears. I was afraid of dying…again.

 I was afraid of talking to people due to my slow reaction times. It took some time to regain self-confidence.

I was afraid of not being able to return to work. I have always been independent and having that insecurity meant vulnerability and basically living at the mercy of others.

I was afraid of flying and high altitudes. What if I suffered a re-bleeding or another one? Basically, I was afraid of dying.

I was afraid of my kids growing up without a mother. As I was going through my healing process, I experienced a stage where I was bargaining with God to keep me healthy and long enough to raise my kids to an age where they would be independent and stable. Once in a while my oldest son always goes back to that time when he woke up only to find a stranger in the house telling him that she was there to take care of him and his baby sister until daddy who was with mommy in the hospital returned. He recalls traveling to South Africa to be near mommy while she received treatment in the hospital. Then he recalls the day he came to the hospital to see me and celebrate my birthday. After all that, he asks if I will ever leave him and his sister with strangers again. Sad indeed. I know God is with us.

I had to find an effective way to deal with my self-imposed fears. That is why I started being an active member on the brain aneurysm foundation Facebook page, started this blog, written a book which is due to be released end of this month, and started plans to form a support group in the Dallas area. I have become a doer not a talker.

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