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So Scary To Miss A Check Up On A Brain Aneurysm.

Updated: Oct 19, 2023

I have to  close my eyes and take a deep breath.  I had been dreading this moment for weeks, but it is finally here.  I was supposed to have gone in for my yearly appointment at UCSF last year, but between the VA hospital and UCSF there had been some miscommunication and now I’m left with an unchecked brain aneurysm still in my head.



I always think about five years earlier when I first felt the pain of a ruptured aneurysm that nearly killed me.  At least this one hasn’t done that yet, but it makes me all too aware of how quickly things could change. My neurologist said he wanted to check every year on any changes being made by the 3mm size aneurysm still in my brain, but I missed last year's appointment and now here I am - scared out of my mind about what might happen if they decide to take action or not.


What if they don't do anything?  I don't know what I'll do then.  I’ll be happy but then go through all of this again.  The truth is that most doctors don’t handle cases like mine unless the size reaches above 3mm - which is unlikely since it only measured 3mm last time.  I fear it all because it’s reality, rather it’s handled now or later, it’s something I’ll have to deal with the rest of my life.



But then another thought creeps into my mind: What about all those people who were just like me? Those who were scared to get checked even though their aneurysms weren’t larger than mine - did anything ever happen for them? Were they okay? As these thoughts swirl around inside my head, I start thinking about those I’ve known in the past online that didn’t make it.  No matter what happens today, whether or not UCSF decides to take action on this small aneurysm still present, I know it will be important to make absolutely sure I don’t miss this again.


After undergoing surgery to repair my ruptured aneurysm, I realized that my life had changed forever.  The possibility of another rupture weighs heavily.  I prefer to just enjoy my life.  I try to deal with this one day at a time but I find myself focusing on life insurance and my burial plans.  It’s not that death scares me.  I just don’t want people I care about to have to figure it all out when I die.



The fear of a brain aneurysm rupture is something that we who suffer from this often live with.  It’s so scary to have even the slightest risk of another aneurysm burst.  This is why regular check-ups are imperative for those with this medical condition. In my case, a miscommunication between the UCSF and Veterans Hospital led to me missing my brain aneurysm CTA.  But that’s no excuse.  I could have been more aggressive.  I’m so scared of it all that I just didn’t want to go through any of it again.  It’s my fault for missing check-up, and not prioritizing my medical check-ups.


When I suffered from my first brain aneurysm rupture, I became aware of how life-changing this condition could be. The fear of experiencing another aneurysm rupture is always present, so I have to take every precaution. Regular check-ups would allow me to feel more confident and to know exactly whats going on with my condition.  My life could never go back to how it was before the brain aneurysm. It had an immense impact on my family and me, so I have to take control of my health.



As someone who has experienced the fear of ruptured brain aneurysms, I know how essential follow-up check-ups are. The first year after my surgery were critical, and I had to see my Drs. every day, then every week, then finally, just every year.  Afterward, I would still have to undergo routine checkups consistently. Regular CTA scans allow doctors to detect tiny changes in the aneurysm before it ruptures, resulting in serious complications or death. Through regular exams, I can manage my condition and ensure that I'm taking every precaution needed.


Missing your brain aneurysm check-up can be incredibly concerning. If I didn't happen to read records from my doctor about when to have my checkup, I may not have known until it was too late. The realization that I’ve missed out on something so critical to my health is both scary and frustrating. For me, it means that I was unable to detect any changes that may have occurred.



One of the most important things I learned about the brain aneurysm's condition is that it's unpredictable. You can't foresee when it'll rupture or if it will ever rupture at all but you can take measures to possibly handle better if needed.


The fear of missing out on brain aneurysm check-ups is something I will do my best to never go through again.  As someone who has experienced this first-hand, I have to know the importance of routine examinations. Regular exams can help detect any changes in my condition before it becomes life-threatening. So, if you're someone who hasn't been keeping up with regular check-ups, please make it a priority. Your health is your greatest asset, and taking care of it should always be your top priority.

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