Yesterday was a major outing for me and a major event for the state of Maine and anyone who has been effected by brain aneurysms.
The first meeting of the Maine Brain Aneurysm Support Group was held in Portland and by all accounts it was a great success. The Brain Aneurysm Foundation sent two of their most notable representatives to join us and helped us get the ball rolling. The medical community was also highly represented, which was most important.
We have been trying to get a support group going for years and it took getting the Brain Aneurysm Foundation directly involved, to get the local medical community involved…which was what we needed and had failed to do successfully in the past.
When I left the hospital after my brain aneurysm ruptured in 2006, I was given nothing but a book on traumatic brain injury, not an aneurysm, and sent on my merry way. If I hadn’t found an online community of other brain aneurysm survivors, I would have floundered and felt very alone. My doctor at the time had nothing in his office on what to expect while recovery from a rupture nor any info to assist newly diagnosed patients.
That is our goal with this support group: to assist those recovering, to comfort those who have lost, and to educate those who are newly diagnosed. And now, with the local medical community involved, our mere existence will be generated amongst medical newsletters and calendars and we hope to help many more people…and perhaps save lives through our Brain Aneurysm Awareness events.
It was wonderful to see new faces and hear their stories. Some more challenging than others and it makes us aware we’ll need to address many different topics throughout the months as each story is different. The brain aneurysm is what binds us and simply knowing we’re not alone in our struggles is what this group is all about. There IS a community of people effected by brain aneurysms throughout the state of Maine.
I was exhausted afterwards, but it was worth it. I wouldn’t have missed the first meeting unless I had to, because we’ve worked so hard to get to this point. For some reason the side of my face near my incision around my jaw and ear has been swollen the last couple of days and remained so last night, so I put ice on it for a time, then promptly fell completely asleep for the entire night. I needed that full-night’s sleep that’s for sure.