Brain Aneurysm Awareness UK
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Changing attitude to cope with 'watch and wait' decision

Just heard the specialists are not going to treat my aneurysm or at least not straight away. The only way I can cope is to change my attitude. Previously I couldn't stop crying every time I thought about my diagnosis and the potential for death or brain damage. Now I tell myself to accept the situation, trust the experts judgement and get on and enjoy life rather than wasting time worrying about something outside my control. What I can control is my attitude to life and it feels good to manage that. Though i still have my moments which i allow myself. Posts on here have helped me so much along with a sign I saw outside a coffee shop today 'one day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching '.

Would love to hear from others who have been told they're not having treatment as an initial approach and how they're coping.

15 Replies
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Glad to hear you have found the place where you can park the fear. It is immensely freeing and will aid your chances of living successfully with your annie (as we all know stress is no good for our BP).

It will also give you a whole new lens through which to view life and I hope that like me you will find it richer, more beautiful, more full of colour, more amazing and more precious than ever before.

Yes, go live it!

Huge blessings to you

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I was recently diagnosed with a brain aneurysm and the consultant want to see more /find out more by me having a CTscan. At moment my emotions are up Up up and down down down, my bp is higher than is good. I am scared. It is scary! Get on with life was the advice. I am finding it easier for some!

Your attitude is great. Like the previous reply.

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Then you're absolutely normal in the circumstances :) accept those feelings are normal as an initial reaction. Ive learnt it takes time to come to terms with the diagnosis and even there after you'll have moments when your emotions overcome you. Two things I've heard are helping me 1) learning to limit the time I gI've to negative emotions ie telling myself after a few minutes. That's it time up and switching to thinking about something else and 2) reading that it's ourselves (our own brains) that create negative emotions by thinKing about things that make us sad

Every day I practice managing my emotions bit by bit I'm getting better at it.

Hope this helps.

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Thank you. I can't believe the situation I am n so your words spoke a lot of sense.

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I wondered if you can give other advice? I am finding all of this difficult. Not knowing may be better? How do / did you cope with the waves of sheer panic? You may not have them of course.

How did /do you cope with having an unruptered aneurysm? Mine is 7mm and I am going for a CT scan late Nov so the surgeon can see more clearly what is happening and whether it has grown? How do you decide whether to leave well alone or elect to intervene by operation? Do you have any details about the likely outcomes of elective surgery? Sorry to bother you. I am just looking for help.

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Hi Andhaz I haven’t got any answers sorry but here for you if needed My Annie was found in December 2016 by a mri scan then February had a ct scan and then in September I had a angiogram which showed it has grown?!! But in nearly 11 months I have not spoke to any doctor or surgeon I am still waiting but that’s another story. I don’t think a day goes by when I don’t think about it and do feel it’s taken over my and my family life’s

Stay positive and good luck and use this site for support it’s helped me xx

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Oh yes. Feelings of sheer panic I remember them well! They're less nowadays but I still get them occasionally. I couldn't believe the neurosurgeons decided not to operate. I'd read up about the different options and I was convinced I was going to have some type of operation. However I'd also told myself I'd accept whatever the experts decided. So how do I cope? Well I took control of the things I could. I've made a lasting power of attorney, an advanced decisions and advanced statement. I've put all my key documents handy for my kids. So I've covered the risk of the aneurysm rupturing and me living with brain damage. I'd rather be dead. And what a nice way to go .... headache, collapse and die. So now I can be rest assured everything is in place and I can get on with life.

Any help? Let me know if I can help further

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Thank you for taking the time to reply. I hope to get somewhere near to your courage and fortitude!!

I’m in a horrible place right now. Let’shope It gets better.

Have you decided not to be resuscitated?

A brave and wise choice if so.

X

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Yes I have decided no treatment if my aneurysm blows. I know it's not everyone's choice but it's the right one for me. I do feel for you . It is horrible. Another way I cope is knowing that people with cancer in remission live in fear that one day it will come back. So I'm comforted knowing I'm one of hundreds of thousands who live in fear. I'm not alone. My son summed it up nicely. He said life is for enjoying not enduring. Imagine if the aneurysm never 'blew' and you'd spent every day worrying. Try switching your thoughts when that fear starts to rise. The more you practice the easier it becomes.

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Thank you!!

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I am comforted by knowledge that you there. What has my life come to?

Xxx

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It's come to this... a realization that one day we will die. We knew that anyway so that's nothing new. Now I've got all my documentation in order I can sit back and enjoy life. Hopefully it will be my aneurysm that takes me out. What a nice way to go. A headache then lights out. No long dreary illness for me I hope. Though who knows. .. i may be unlucky and my aneurysm may not be my friend then i'll be like too many others. Actually I prefer having something rare. It makes me feel 'special' :)

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Thank you for taking the time to reply. I hope to get somewhere near to your courage and fortitude!!

I’m in a horrible place right now. Let’shope It gets better.

Have you decided not to be resuscitated?

A brave and wise choice if so.

X

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I Am so happy i am not the only one. Talk about good days and bad days. I’ve got a list of questiona aslong as my arm to ask the consultant. Mine is 5mm left opthalmic. The waiting game is killing me and i am getting snappy with everyone....

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I had my appointment with the con sultan last week. I took a friend along. She wrote the answers while I asked the questions. The consultant was very patient and understanding. After a review of my scan and a further scan, he's going to put some coils and a stent in. For many patients whatever the illness waiting is difficult. For us though I think it can be unbearable. Although we're told the risk of rupture is low, we know too well what the outcome could be. We are well within our rights to have bad days. If anyone questions that ask them if they want to change places with you :)

That said, my consultant told me they don't get that many ruptured aneurysms admitted... and that's a top neuro centre!

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