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Old 03-06-2007, 03:42 PM   #1
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Brain aneurysm...I am so scared!

Hello everyone,

My name is Angela. I am a 29 year old wife and mom of two. I've always had severe health anxiety, so when I started feeling "off" and getting weird tingling sensations I asked my doc for an MRI because I thought I might have MS. Honestly, I thought that they might find nothing and just tell me I am a hypochondriac.

They found no cancer or MS, but did find a "questionable small 2mm aneurysm near the left MCA bifurcation meaning that one of the arteries at the base of the brain (left middle cerebral artery) may be more dilated than normal."

Being that I already suffer from severe anxiety disorder, I am now in a state of constant panic. This all sounds so frightening, like a nightmare. I am going for a consultation on March 16 with a neurosurgeon. I don't know how I am going to wait that long without going crazy. I cannot sleep, I can barely eat. I am afraid to drive, shower or be by myself because I am afraid the aneurysm will rupture. Every little sensation in my head worries me. My doc has me on Lexapro and Ativan, which seems to be helping the anxiety a little but not totally.

I don't know anything at this point about my prognosis, whether the location is operable, whether the annie will get bigger, my chances for a long life...I have so many questions, concerns and fears. All I am doing is trying to survive until my appointment. I am also scared that I will have to have a CTA scan, I have heard CT scans and the like can cause cancer. I had one a few years ago so I definitely don't want another one, but I want to do the right thing for the aneurysm. I am a total nervous wreck and so afraid of hospitals, tests, radiation, pain and dying. I am a big sniveling coward, I'll admit it.

Any information or reassurance is welcome.

 
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Old 03-07-2007, 05:15 AM   #2
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Re: Brain aneurysm...I am so scared!

I too had a questionable annie a few months ago. I always have bad headaches, lightheadedness, and head pressure. Mine was suspected to be 3mm. An MRA showed this. Then I had an angiogram to see how it was. Turned out to be a branched off bloodvessel instead of an annie. No harm. Still don't know where these headaches are coming from. What I'm trying to say , is try not to panic. It may not be an annie. Mine wasn't. And if it is, they can usually fix it. Don't be afraid to get tests. Unless you have many, many of them they the amount of radiation in them usually won't hurt you. I've had 6 or 7 mris, i don't know how many cat scans, (many of them that's for sure) xrays galore. Keep your faith up and stay positive.

 
Old 03-07-2007, 05:59 AM   #3
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Re: Brain aneurysm...I am so scared!

Thank you so much for posting. I am trying to stay hopeful and positive. Just trying to survive until my appointment in ten days...The NS isn't even doing tests at that time, it's only a consultation but at least I can get some questions answered.

 
Old 03-07-2007, 05:59 AM   #4
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Re: Brain aneurysm...I am so scared!

i guess i am wondering about the need for a CT,instead of an MRA(very very similar to MRI but only highlights the arterial structures within the brain and nothing elase)did they happen to say why?you DO need that MRA in order to really define the aneurysm.by the way,the one you have would be considered to be very small and much less risk of rupture,just so you know.also having an angiogram which will tell them what treatment options you may have would be the next step after the MRA.i have a coiled aneurysm inside my brain too.mine was about twice the size of yours.thankfully it was coilable.hopefully yours will be too.the big thing here is to keep an eye on your BPs,if they can stay low or normal,thats great.but you really DO need that MRA next and not the CT,a CT in the case of aneurysm,quite honestly would just be a complete waste of your time and money vs the MRA whcih would define that aneurysm much much better than any other test right now(except for the angio which you will eventually have).you will be referred to a neuroradiologist,or interventional radiologist for an eval on a possible coiling.hey really wont know if this is possible til they can get a really good look with thie angiogram to see what the "neck' of the aneurysm actually looks like,this will determine your actual treatment options.

but i would most definitely ask the doc who wants you to have that CT just why he or she feels this particular type of test is being done.it really,honestly wont give you the very fine definitive info you need right now,the MRA is what really needs to be done.i would push for this if i were you and make him justify the CT to you cuz quite frankly,it is NOT actually needed in this instance.you need a good look at the actual vessel structures and the CT just is not the right type of test to do this.

like i said,your aneurysm is rather small in size which reduces the risk somewhat so in that you can feel a bit better,tho they can sometimes rupture when small,it would be highly unusual for yours in the size it is to actually do that at this point anyways.i know this is very scarey,believe me, i know just how you feel right now,i was the same way,but the more you worry about it,the more stress you place on yourself,the higher or more fluctuations you will have in your BPs,so just try and take things as they come and not dwell on things so much or honestly,you will make yourself crazy.been there done that ya know?

just try and hang in there til you can get more info on whats up and the treatment options.and ask for that MRA,i can guarentee you that any neurosurgeon you see is going to order one anyways,this will save some time for you.and lose that CT thing,you don't need it and it wont give you anymore info than you already know,really.if you have any questions,feel free,K? good luck,Marcia
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Old 03-07-2007, 10:16 AM   #5
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Re: Brain aneurysm...I am so scared!

Thanks for your helpful reply. I may have already had an MRA instead of an MRI. They did inject something into an IV near the end of the procedure.

The ER doc that I saw for a headache who read the results was the one that mentioned the CTA scan and told me the neurosurgeon I needed to call.

As of right now, I have an appointment for a basic consultation (no tests or anything) on March 16th. Part of the reason for the delay is that I am uninsured and must get all my paperwork in order for financial assistance Off topic, but boy, they really treat you like dirt if you're uninsured in the US.

I don't know what should be done...I'm so confused and scared. I have a list of 25 or so questions to ask this neurosurgeon when I go. Now the tricky thing is living my normal life while I'm waiting...

 
Old 03-07-2007, 10:17 AM   #6
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Re: Brain aneurysm...I am so scared!

One more question...

I have chronically low blood pressure. Every time it has ever been checked, it is low. Is this a good thing as far as the annie is concerned?

 
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