My sister has been having severe headaches, on the left side of her head AND face, for the last month...she was originally told it was allergies but was finally sent for a CT Scan. They said it was either a meningioma or a very large aneurysm. The MRI showed aneurysm...
BUT the doctor said the aneurysm must've been there for a while because the artery had apparently sealed itself and blood from the right hemisphere was rerouted to the left. Said that's the best possible scenario someone could be in and that it didn't appear to be leaking. It's possible this has been there for 8 years, when she developed a problem with her 6th cranial nerve (lateral eye muscle) that was diagnosed as a type of strabismus. We asked why she would have headaches all of a sudden then and why her 7th cranial nerve would be affected (the one that controls facial pain) unless the aneurysm was growing...dr. didn't answer. He wants to do the thing where they shoot dye in and look at the flow (angiogram?).
The headaches developed the same time she was vomiting for hours, put down to the flu. However, I've read that vomiting and sudden severe pain are symptoms of an aneurysm rupture. So, does anyone have a clue what could be going on or any experience with this? Dr. said they'd leave it alone if it wasn't leaking, but we're like, "what about the pain??!" Could the bulging part of the artery still grow without blood going through it? What are possible treatments...can any type of medicine be used instead of surgery?
I can't tell you what to do, but I know you are worried about this. Aneurysms are a scary thing to deal with. There are many reasons why doctors chose to leave them alone. Somtimes, they are in an area that isn't condusive to going in and doing surgery.
The angiogram may give them a better picture of the scope of her aneurysm. There are many treatments for this depending on the size and location of the aneurysm and the possible risks versus outcome of that treatment. There are as mentioned by the doctor ways to go in and clip it, and there are also medications that can disolve them as well.
My only piece of advice is to ask lots of questions. Write them down before the appointment and take them with you so nothing is forgotten. Do lots of research because an informed patient is more equipped to deal with their situation.
Also, if you are not comfortable with the treating doctor, go for a second opinion, even a third if needed. Do a web search for the neuro surgeons in the area and try and find one that specializes in aneurysms if at all possible.
I hope your sister will be able to get concrete answers and will be able to be presented with some acceptable and successful treatment options soon. Best wishes, and keep looking for answers!!
Thank you for the reply. Looking for a specialist is a good idea, although this neurosurgeon was smart enough to override the radiologist's initial diagnosis of a meningioma...and he was recommended by the hospital where she had the CT Scan. Guess we'll have to see.
Glad to hear there's a possibility of medication. I forgot to mention my sister is 22...we're thinking this might've started when she was 14 or so...so maybe age has something to do with her being "lucky" so far. Anyway, I'll give an update after the angiogram.
I only know firsthand three people who dealt with aneurysms. One, she had one and did not know it was coming. She did have headaches and such for weeks but ignored it. After the aneurysm, half of her body was paralyzed for months but she is more or less normal now after a one year recovery period. However, the doctors said that even knowing in advance it was coming there was not much they could have done other than some blood thinning drugs. Apparently there are severe limits to modern science as far as the brain is concerned. By the way, she is in her thirties.
The other guy I knew just plain died right in front of us at the gym. We only found out why later - brain aneurysm. He was about 40. Also a friend of ours had one and died in his sleep, but I did not personally witness that. He was in his 60s.
So, that's all I know. I think a neurosurgeon is what is best in this situation.
Well, she had the angiogram today and the doctor said the aneurysm has completely sealed itself off...which is great news, I suppose, but I still don't understand why pain started all of a sudden if it has apparently been there
We are still not sure if they can do anything for the pain...the doctor said it isn't in a spot that's good for surgery but he mentioned radiation. Does anyone have any experience with that?