Bad news about my aneurysm

If you’ve been following along with my blog, then you know about the discovery of my aneurysm and the complications during the surgery to fix it.

Well, I had another MRA done a couple weeks ago. The aneurysm has grown from 2.5 mm six months after the procedure to 6mm and has developed a second lobe.

Yesterday we saw the neurosurgeon. He has given me a week or so to think about it, but he wants to do another angiogram. That’s where he just went up to my leg to check out the situation. The difference is this time if it looks necessary, he will put more coils in at same time. He says it’s not unusual for an aneurysm of my kind (wide-mouth) to have to have more coils put in a second. He’s doing the angiogram because he says an MRA does not always show everything.

The angiogram only involves sedation, but if he has to put the coils in he will have to put me under. You know, putting something down my throat again! At least he knows what to expect this time.

Musings on Disability and Life

I was diagnosed with RA over 50 years ago…..I have been sick a big part of my life…..never had the stamina others had, but refused to give in to it…..I’ve worked very hard all my life.
I live with RA but its not my life……I applied for disability and was awarded…. eventually I decided to start my own business…..one that would supplement the disability and allow me to work at my own pace…..it’s not about the money because I do not make a lot, but I can be productive….I can be creative, and that gives me an outlet….on the days I feel good enough….from my home….I do not have to work…its perfect for my RA….I still set goals for myself….solid goals I can work towards. This life is fragile….unexpected things can, and do, happen to us….But I have a God who is a great cheerleader…..that continues to push me in the right direction!!! 
It helps when we stay positive.  It does take time for us to re-invent our lives – to salvage and modify what we used to do that has brought us joy all our lives. These are the gifts that make us special, that I believe God has created us for. Our lives are not wasted because we have a chronic illness. We have a lot to offer with our gifts AND we have a lot to offer just because of who we are – nevermind what we do.
We are as limited as we let our selves be limited  our mental outlook is a huge part of our overall happiness and it’s extremely hard to focus on that with pain encompassing every minute of every day.

I have what?!? (Brain aneurysm)

The end of 2015 was a rough time for me. Two very important things happened in October. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and I took a very devastating fall. I will discuss the Hashi’s in a later post, but right now I want to talk about the fall.

I’ve fallen before, in fact at least two other times in the last 40 years. (That doesn’t sound like a bad set of odds to me.) However, this tumble turned out to be frightening. This time I banged my head against the linoleum floor opening up a big gash in my forehead. Needless to say, I panicked–foreheads can bleed profusely when cut. SInce you could see the bone, we decided I should go to the emergency room.

At the ER, I explained that I had a dizzy spell, so the doctor decided to run a CAT scan. On the scan they saw what they thought might be an aneurysm in the brain, and ran an MRI. Unfortunately, the results showed I did have an aneurysm .

I was immediately referred to a neurosurgeon who, after looking at the MRI, decided to do an angiogram. An angiogram is a procedure where they insert dye through an artery into the brain in order to see more clearly what’s going on, sort of a 3D image.

The results of the angiogram suggested that, although I may have had the aneurysm for a while, it is growing 3 to 4% larger every year and needs to be taken care.

There are two ways to take care of an aneurysm. One is to cut open the skull to go in and clipped it so it doesn’t get any more blood. The other way is to go through the same artery that they used for the angiogram and insert coils into the aneurysm. The coils helps the blood clot, also stopping more blood from entering the aneurysm. The second option is less invasive and you can leave the hospital in a day. Thankfully, it is this second procedure that the doctor said he will be able to do on me.

Treatment doesn’t stop there, though. For the next few years I will have to have an MRI done every six months to make sure everything is okay, and I will have to take an aspirin daily for the rest of my life.

This is a scary time for me right now. It is still brain surgery,even though he doesn’t go directly into the brain through the sKull. Obviously, there are risks with this procedure. The doctor went through the list of things that could happen before verify that I was still willing to go through the procedure. Considering the alternative, doing nothing and waiting for it to burst, which could lead to disability or death, I think I’d rather go with the brain surgery.

Right now, I’m waiting for the procedure to be scheduled. I’m nervous, but I know that I have one of the best doctors in the country doing the work. However, I’m still putting my trust in God because He is the actual one in control.

Please pray with me that the doctors hands are skillful and the procedure is successful.

BTW, it’s taken me a while to write this post, because it’s so much to process. I hope I explained it clearly. If you have any questions, or comments, feel free to leave them below. I appreciate you all, and want to thank you for being here for me.

To clear up any confusion

I wanted to let you know, if you ordered this ebook a couple of years ago

 

Rheumatoid Arthritis:A Life-Changing Disease

my new book Diagnosed at Seventeen My Struggles and Triumphs Living With Rheumatoid Arthritis is the updated version. I’ve added more chapters (it now has around 15 chapters), and more personal stories as requested.

You will probably get an e-mail from Amazon telling you about the new update. Don’t be confused because the email will have the new title listed.

Go ahead and update, it’s like getting a new book for free.

Another step taken…

I finished another step towards publishing my book this week. Over a month ago, I got back the manuscript from Lindsay, my editor. She had gone through it word-by-word, and line-by-line, editing grammer and punctuation. My task was to then go through and correct the errors. The work was exacting and eye-straining, but I finally finished it. I sent it back to Lindsay a couple of days ago. I’m eager to discover what the next step in the process is.

line-by-line

Lesson Learned

As I sit here, I have swollen, sore fingers and an achy body. Yesterday I decided to eat a waffle with syrup and peanut butter, knowing the sugar was going to bother me. To top it all off, I had a popsicle later that night! I know that sugar bothers me. But the craving was just too much. So today, I pay the consequences.

Eating healthfully is a process. One that will take a long time for me to master. However, I don’t intend to give up. I know that eventually my cravings for sugar will go away. I know this because most of my cravings for dairy foods are gone after just a few weeks of not eating them. Although, the ice cream I saw on TV last night looked pretty good. 🙂

Food as Medicine

I’ve had RA for over forty years and followed the doctors’ advice without question. Results… all major joints replaced, deformed hands and fused neck, GERD, IBS and who knows what else. I took every med available and felt fine. Now, I’m not saying things would be different if I hadn’t followed traditional medicines protocol, and I’m glad it kept me moving all these years. However, I’m tired of the risky side effects and symptoms the medicines carry with them.

In April I stopped my Enbrel…with my rheumatologist’s permission and am now trying a healthier diet. Six months later I’m feeling great and only needed an ibuprofen a few days in that time.

food as medicine quote by Hippocrates
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