This Brain Aneurysm Awareness Month Reminder Brought To You By An Insurance Company That Doesn’t Want To Insure You If You Have An Aneurysm

So September is Brain Aneurysm Awareness Month, and as it happens, I received this advertisement from AAA life insurance (I added the red box):

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“It’s A Very, Very Bad Thing To Have Happen To You.”

So those who have been hanging around here for at least a year may remember The Event, my six-part writeup of what happened when I had a small (~3mm), undetected (as they usually are) cerebral aneurysm rupture (as they usually don’t). A few days after the rupture I underwent an emergency coiling procedure to basically stuff the aneurysm with tiny platinum steel wool, thus making my noggin slightly more valuable than it had been previously.

Since The Event, I periodically find myself searching the Internet for information about aneurysms. Sometimes this is triggered by aneurysms in the news, as with the recent hospitalization of the famous rapper Dr. Dre, and sometimes it’s triggered by, say, looking up information about the author of a book I’m reading and discovering that she suffered a fatal head injury after collapsing in her driveway due to a stroke. This being the Internet, which, although it has a long memory, very much favors the short term, usually what you find when doing a search will be recent; but sometimes I find old news, an example of which is this piece from The New York Times, which ran nearly 20 years ago:

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September is National Brain Aneurysm Awareness Month

No, really, it is! Or at least, it was last year — Congress passed a bill designating September 2019 as such! It seems even these days, it’s possible for the parties to agree that Brain Aneurysms Are Bad. Of course, in September of 2019, I was still a couple of months away from being forced to pay attention to such things … 🤷‍♂️

In 2020 I guess it has only been designated as such in a few states, but you can read more about National Brain Aneurysm Awareness Month here.

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The Event, Part 6

11/26/2019 and Beyond: Aftermath

Although I had been discharged, that wasn’t the end of the recovery process. As previously noted, I had to stay on the nimodipine for another three weeks, which meant waking up every four hours to take two gigantic pills. I’ve never had so many alarms set on my phone in my life. (The tone I chose for these alarms was the “Barking Dog” sound, because that was the least jolting one I could find. After 20 years of having dogs around, you get used to all the barking.) Annoyingly, my “hip flask” refused to adhere to the same schedule as my medication, so in between the times when my phone was barking at me, I had to get up at odd hours to empty that thing out. As a result I didn’t get more than two or three consecutive hours of sleep for nearly a month, and I doubt my wife did either.

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The Event, Part 3

Saturday & Sunday, 11/9/2019-11/10/2019: ICU

As noted in previous installments, I spent a lot of time on Thursday and Friday being unconscious or semi-conscious, and I wasn’t enjoying it very much. When I had been passed out in the living room on Thursday, and for the next several days after that, every time I fell asleep, I experienced very unusual dreams.

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The Event, Part 2

Friday 11/8/2019: ICU & Interventional Radiology

I remember a little more from Friday, the day after my aneurysm ruptured. Not a lot more, but a little. I woke up in the hospital with no real idea exactly where I was, how I had gotten there, or how long I would be staying. One of my cousins was in the room with me, and I remember being a little surprised by that. All my previous experiences of going to the emergency room (for stitches and kidney stones) had been that I was there for a number of hours and then got patched up and sent home. So why would I have a visitor? It was because this time I had been admitted with a ruptured brain aneurysm and was in ICU. I figured, okay, I’ll be here for a day or two and, and then get sent home, which turned out to be some seriously wishful thinking on my part.

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