Unruptured aneurysm and driving
I know you have to tell dvla if you have an aneurysm ... mines 5 to 6mm... but what's the rule on whether you can drive or not?
My licence was revoked about 6 years ago because of another neurological condition affecting my legs and cognitive processing. That stabilised over the last couple of years and last summer after reapplying I got my licence back - three weeks ahead of surgery to put a flow diverter device in below my 9mm annie. I think it is safe to say that as long as they know about it, your consultant hasn't said it is about to blow any minute (which they won't have done - else you'd be in theatre) they don't seem to mind. My annie has partially occluded following treatment - but I am still left with a 5m annie on the opthalmic /internal carotid artery junction. And yes, I am still driving.
Inform them. I don't think it will be a show stopper.
Thank you. That's reassuring. My Annie is in the same place as yours ! What are they planning to do for your ica Annie?
My annie was a 'double bubble' - a bilobed 9mm aneurysm that had formed on and next to the junction of the ICA and opthalmic artery. The opthalmic artery has been subsumed by the annie and now comes out of the top of that part of the bubble. Nothing can be done with that because of the risk to sight.
They put a flow diverter device or stent in the ICA last June, and when I went in for my last neuroangiogram it showed that the part of the annie that comes directly off the ICA had deflated, leaving only the opthalmic artery part of the bubble in place, at the junction with the ICA. So that was good news. Hopefully there is now a lot less of the high pressure ICA blood flow circling round in the part of the bubble that has formed and still remains on the much smaller and thinner opthalmic artery.
There is nothing more that can be done, unfortunately. Clipping/coiling weren't an option because of the size of the neck of the original aneurysm, and because they were reluctant to do any invasive procedure because of the proximity of the annie to the nerves to the eye - it has poked through into the cavernous sinus and the nerves run directly alongside it. Also, because it would have disrupted the bloodflow to the eye, it would have rendered me blind in that eye. Going in after a stent has been placed is only apparently done in an emergency, because there is all that metalwork now in the way...it's just a whole new ballgame. So it's wait and watch now. And hope and pray.
Generally, after being really quite terrified of the thing and wanting it gone at all costs, now I just feel that I'm lucky to still be here. Of course, with an unruptured annie, a stent in the brain, and taking aspirin to avoid that clotting up, and neuro-angios in the calendar for life, it's not something that you can avoid thinking about, but these days it's less 'in my face', somehow less terrifying, having lived with it for 2 years now, and more just something that colours my world. In a good way, too. Which is just as well, since I don't have any choice in the matter...
Thank you for sharing your experience.
I'm pleased to hear you're living your life without constant worrying. Though I know the worry will never go away.
I've seen my Annie on scan. Whilst I'm no expert I think it is non sacular and possibly fusiform shape... ie wide beck and not bubble. As soon as I saw the radiologists report saying it was resting on my left optic nerve I knew the cause of the sporadic sharp pains I've been having for several years. Id put it down to stress!
Oh I was soooo scared to start with. And then I thought 'Well, at least they know what this is and can fix this' (I also have ME and FND of gait which mean that between them I've spent 5 out of the last 7 years unable to walk more than 100 yards at times and I don't know how many hours in neurologist's offices). The day I left my neurosurgeon's office in tears, after he told me that no, actually they couldn't fix it, I honestly thought I was going to spend every day of the rest of my life totally petrified.
I could have punched my husband on the train home when he said to me 'don't you know how lucky you are to know just how special every day is? Some people go through the whole of their lives and never realise that for one day, even if they live to 100'. As I said, he nearly walked off the train with a black eye......but actually, that is where I have got to. When I wake up I thank God that I have another day ahead of me. I try to make every day count. This has gone from being something of a 'try and swallow the fear' mantra to something that is one of the most affirmative and life enhancing moments of each day. Because, you know, my husband was (annoyingly) right - I am blessed to know - to REALLY know - how good and how special a gift each day of life is. And I am so happy every morning to get another crack at it.
And no, they couldn't fix me. (And they couldn't fix the ME or the FND either. My body did that itself in the end, at least so far so good...) but even were it to come back and grow to a point where they will have to operate on me in future, I think having faced it all first time round I'll be much better equipped to deal with it. In fact, I can honestly say that I am not worried about it at all.
It didn't happen overnight, and it didn't come without a lot of soul-searching and crying into cups of hot chocolate and large glasses of the red stuff. But me and Annie, whilst we will never be best buddies, we're on ok terms right now. So long as she behaves!
I love your story ... so inspiring. I have other conditions too. The Annie was found after a massive fit. They were looking to see if I had epilepsy. .. which I don't. .. and found the Annie. The fit is believed to be due to reactive hypoglycaemia.. I have to eat every 3 hours. After the fit I had a bad hypo but I'm managing keeping the blood sugar level through diet.
Do you get headaches ? Ever since the fit I've had daily headaches. Almost constant.
I do get lots of headaches, yes. I have had migraines since I was a teenager. My migraines triggered my original collapse 7 years ago today. That day I thought it was a hemiplegic migrainè and having monitored them more closely these last 7 years I think I am having regular HMs which are knocking my legs out for 72 hrs on ave each time. But at the moment and for the last 12 months I am picking up again afterwards.
I had seizures too - 1 about 20 years ago which left me with a 3 year driving licence for the rest of my life - hence it was so easily revoked the first time my legs packed up - then 2 more out of the blue in 2012. Nothing between or since. It is just one of those flick a switch things....can't say why or when so best just to carry on regardless. Licence is, not surprisingly with that AND the annie, still under 3 yearly review....
All the online literature says unruptured aneurysms don't cause headaches but we have them! I think I'll have to look up HMs. My headaches seem to have come on after the fit. I was admitted to hospital this week as they thought my headache could be a leaking aneurysm. It wasn't but how the heck would we tell if it was???? I can't keep going into A and E.
Oh, so looks like my licence will be something that is under regular review oh well, I've become accustomed to not relying on the car anyway and its saving me tons of money!
thanks for your response. Really finding it helpful to talk to people like this on here
You will be a regular cat scanner! As my mother commented anyone who thinks you will be able to tell 'the worst headache of your life' from a migraine has clearly never had a proper migraine! It is a problem...but worry csn only make it worse, so best not to!
Yes. We'll just have to play it by ear
I'm wondering if you have had any progress in your driving at all??
I voluntarily gave up my licence for six months as i had a seizure. After the six months i was advised I could drive and if necessary to produce such letter. However i haven't got my licence back yet. They said their medical specialist is still looking into it though my case is complicated ie the cause of the seizure which they seem to be more concern about
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the coil may have damaged the 3rd cranial nerve. There doesn't seem to be much that can be done. I \"equalise\"...
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