I visited my optician last week for the first time since my ruptured aneurysm…um…that was in 2006! Not good.

So, understandably, I was nervous about my eyes. I knew my eyesight has been on the decline as I’ve had to start holding small text away from me to see it and starting to squint to see things far away. Ah, the joys of getting older!

The good news is that my eyes looked healthy and no significant issues that can’t be resolved by getting a stronger prescription. The Dr. was alarmed to hear about the aneurysm and pleased that I was doing so well. He showed me the photos/xrays of my eyes that he took and pointed out that on my right eye there appeared to be what I believe he called a watermark on my eyeball. He indicated it was caused by the pressure on my eyes from the ruptured aneurysm! Kind of like when the ocean pushes sand and debris onto the shore but when the wave goes back out to see it leaves an edge of “stuff” on the shore, That “stuff” was on my eyeball…or at least an impression of the “stuff” remained.

#1, I found it quite interesting and it kind of made sense and #2, I was surprised he said it was my right eye and had to ask him to confirm it was my right eye. He said it was and that the opposite of the brain issue was where that would occur. My aneurysm is behind the left eye. The watermark doesn’t cause any issues and wasn’t a problem, he was just pointing it out on the photo, which was interesting.

The bad news is that I need bifocals or progressive lenses. I am NOT looking forward to that adjustment. I’ve had glasses since the 4th grade and know that any major prescription change can take some time to get used to and can cause headaches and often times an upset stomach. I was debating whether to get them before our trip to the UK in May or after, but I supposed I’d rather SEE what I’m looking at than have to guess what it is….so……I’m off to make my appointment for old-lady glasses….errr…..progressives.

Angiogram Check-Up Scheduled

Even though I thought we had discussed doing this after our trip to the UK in May, the Dr.’s office called and said I was schedule for my year checkup on my aneuryms, stent, and recoiling from last spring.

Dave and I weren’t prepared for this call, nor expected to even think about this until we got back from our trip, but this now forced us to. I had a decision to make.

Of course, every scenario started going through my mind. What if something major has occured with the coiled aneurym? What if the tiny aneurysm has grown significantly? What if the stent has failed? What if? What if? What if?

Then I’d think, but I’d rather do this and get it over with and if everything looks fine, then no harm, no foul and life goes on!

The Paranoid Mind and the Common-Sense Mind had some serious battles all night.

The next morning, I woke up prepared to make the final decision to wait until June when we got back from the trip. Fine! Decision made. THEN….my Paranoid Mind spoke up and said “Heidi, what if you don’t have the angiogram and something happens half way across the Atlantic and there is no place to quickly land to take care of it medically and you suffer severly.?” Well…I didn’t want to have to say “If I had only had the angiogram prior to flying, I would have known there was an issue”. It’s all about the “knowing”….it truly is.

So, then my even Calmer Common Sense Mind spoke up and said Dr. Ecker wouldn’t let me fly if he felt there were serious issues and he felt he had done such a good job with the stent and recoiling last year that I shouldn’t be concerned about the coiled annie. The odds of the tiny annie growing to such a significant size in a year are pretty slim…so……I reversed my decision and decided I’d just rather know. We kept the appointment and I’ll go it on April 11th. That’s a month before we leave for Europe.

It’s Brain Aneurysm Awareness Week

Hello, I’m Heidi and I’m a survivor. I’m one of the lucky ones. The statistics are quite sobering and I am trying to do my part in raising brain aneurysm awareness this week.

A diagnosis of an aneurysm isn’t necessarily a death sentence, nor should it be viewed as a “ticking time bomb”. I would think a person should consider themselves lucky. Lucky that it was discovered. Lucky that they have options. Lucky that THEY have the power to do something and lucky to be alive. The medical procedures available today allow a person to LIVE with an aneurysm, not necessarily die because of one. Those are much better statistics.

Understanding the signs and symptoms (if you have any) as well as diagnosis with early screening are vital to survival.

I have two first cousins who had aneurysms. If I had been more informed to the risks of hereditary aneurysms, I may have found my aneurysm before it ruptured. I now have another aneurysm, but I know so much more as a result of the first one that I have a fighting chance….but only because I survived the initial rupture.

Like I said…I’m one of the lucky ones. Please help us raise awareness.