KAT-Walk and Karo-5K Run for Maine Brain Aneurysm Awareness

Lace up your walking and running shoes and join us for the KAT-Walk & Karo-5K for Maine Brain Aneurysm Awareness. This annual event benefits the Brain Aneurysm Foundation in their efforts to support early detection, education, fund research and create awareness about
brain aneurysms.

A brain aneurysm is a weak bulge on the wall of an artery in the brain and can catastrophically rupture. Up to 1 in 50 people in the U.S. will develop a brain aneurysm during their lifetime and each year about 30,000 people will suffer a ruptured brain aneurysm. Almost half of the victims will die and of those surviving, only a third will recover without disabilities.

This year’s event will be held on Saturday, September 15, 2012, around the Back Cove Boulevard in Portland, Maine. The event starts at 11:30 a.m. on the pathway across from the Hannaford Plaza and the walk & run will take place at 1pm. The whole family is invited for a leisurely walk or to enter the timed 5K run. A Silent Auction, 50/50 raffle and many new attractions will make this a special day.

The KAT-Walk originated in memory of Kimberly Ann Tudor, a Portland native, Deering HS and UNE graduate and athlete, who lost her life to a sudden brain aneurysm in December 2008. The Karo-5K is in memory of Karolina A. Kurka, a Scarborough HS and UNH graduate who passed away from an undetected brain aneurysm in July 2011.

September is Maine Brain Aneurysm Awareness Month. Join us as we “share our tears, remember with love, walk & run to honor” those families affected by this silent killer and help save lives!

More information about the event can be found at: MaineBA.org or find us on Facebook at: KAT-Walk.

Angiogram Check Up

I had my 1-year angiogram (video) check-up yesterday at Maine Medical Center in Portland to see
how the stent, re-coiling, and small aneurysm were doing. I was a little nervous, but more concerned about experiencing pain at the onset of the procedure than anything else. So, I expressed my concern with everyone who would listen. LOL You’re not put completely “under” because they need you to be semi-awake to participate in the procedure when they ask you to hold your breath or hold completely still at certain times.

I was given some minor meds that made me very, very dopey, but I still felt quite a bit of discomfort in the groin when they started to insert the wire (video). I have to believe this particular area of the artery has endured quite a bit over the last 5 1/2 years with multiple angiograms, coiling, stenting and recoiling. There MUST be some scar tissue or something there that makes this part particularly painful. Once that part was over I did not recall too much pain.

Dr. Ecker uses a much smaller catheter which means the puncture hole is so small that an angio-plug or seal is not needed. Unfortunately, that means one poor member of the procedure team is in charge of putting pressure on my groin until it stops bleeding after the angiogram. LOL Thank you Brian! The plug is painful…you were not.

As usual, the staff in the Radiology department at Maine Med were fantastic. From the main reception area to the medical team involved with the pre- and post-procedures, they’re very professional, fun, and attentive. I recalled several names and faces and they even remembered me too, which is kind of sad! LOL That means I’ve been there enough times for them to recall who I am, even with the number of patients they must see on a daily basis.

While I was being wheeled out of the interventional radiology suite, they informed me that Dr. Ecker was already showing Dave the 3D images that had just been taken. Because my glasses were taken away from me before the procedure, I couldn’t see anything or make out any faces, but I heard Dr. Ecker’s voice and Dave’s and as I was being wheeled by they gave me the good news that preliminarily things looked good! So that was fantastic news.

Another off-shoot of using the thinner catheter is that the stay for the patient at the hospital is much shorter as well. Only two-hours in recovery where I had to keep my right leg still and flat and couldn’t raise my head too high in the bed. MUCH better than 4-6 hours afterwards. Two-hours was very doable. I was able to eat a yummy turkey & cheese sandwich, a bowl of fruit and a cookie with Dave’s help. Difficult to eat half laying down without making a mess or choking, but we did it.

So, we left the hospital around 1:30 and were home shortly before 3. After calling my mom, I promptly went to bed and slept for 3 hours. I’m sore and sleepy today, but overall pretty good.

I’ll have my follow-up, in-office appointment with Dr. Ecker a week after next because he’s on vacation next week. I’m hoping that after closer inspection and comparison with last year’s pictures he doesn’t find anything of interest and that we’ll still be cleared for our trip next month. I think, and know, that if Dr. Ecker had seen anything major yesterday he would have informed us of it at that point. He doesn’t mess around and is a straight shooter, which I like.


Got a very good report at hospital. Dr. said things look good. I’ll still have a follow-up in his office on 4/23 but we’re cleared for the trip so I’m VERY relieved. I am sore and need to take it easy, but other than that, no complaints. What a fantastic staff in the Radiology Dept. at Maine Med. Thanks for the prayers and good wishes.

Another Angiogram Tomorrow

1-year angiogram checkup tomorrow to see how my stent and re-coiling is doing. I’m feeling good, so I’m hopeful. I’m not really nervous, more anxious. We leave for the UK next month and I’m hoping for a clean bill of health. I’m going anyway, but I don’t want to be thinking about it while there.