January 6th I went to see a new neurologist hoping for more answers about my migraines. After many tests I got a phone call saying that i was to go see a brain surgeon, one of the best and so January 31st I went back to the University of Chicago where he diagnosed me with a 4mm brain aneurysm…
He said we could do two things. Wait and watch, or have surgery. The more he talked to me the more he talked about how my history ( my biological father died of a ruptured aneurysm) and my age made this aneurysm a ticking time bomb. So it really wasn’t much of a choice and we chose a date for the surgery. March 9th
On our way home me and my wife were talking about how great this was…but all I could think about is how far away March 9th is..and how long I have to wait with a ticking time bomb inside my head. That night, I researched everything I could on unruptured aneurysm and craniotomys. Looking at everything made me realize the seriousness of all of this.
I couldn’t sleep that night, or for a few nights after. I became afraid my aneurysm would rupture in my sleep. My anxiety became so increasingly bad with every passing day.
I started getting angry at anything and everything…because why not? Why was everything happening to me?
One night my wife and I were talking and I told her how I felt entirely alone and like all my freedom was taken from me. My right to drive, my right to be alone, my right to feel safe. Everything. But then she told me, ” I cannot imagine what you are going through. I cannot even begin to imagine. But I am right beside you, I am with you. I have lost my freedom with you. I stay home with you, I don’t go out. Please understand, you are not alone. I am with you.” Throughout this entire time, my wife has never left my side. She always talks to me even when she doesn’t want to talk, she sits with me while I cry, or get extremely angry at the world for no reason but to just be upset. She has also reminded me daily that I have an amazing support system. I have a family that loves me and is there for me as well as friends who also love and support me.
When I thought life couldn’t get more stressful…..My insurance called to tell me that they would not pay for the surgery…My life at that very moment crumbled. ALL the struggle that I had for this surgery…the doubts..the fears Vanished. What replaced it was absolute panic that I would no longer be able to get the surgery that I was scared of…but I needed.
I just broke. I began to cry uncontrollably about anything and everything because all i could do was panic. Me and my wife went home and I just sulked for a little bit. Then we went out with friends. The next day we went to work, and called the insurance with our boss where again, they told us they would not pay a dime for the surgery, I would need to pick a new hospital a new surgeon, and inevitably I would have to wait. Again, Panic rose and I broke down and began to cry. We both came home from work. The funny thing was….My wife ended up getting sick with a bad chest cold. And as awful as that is, it helped me a lot. I got to tend to her needs, take care of her, comfort her…it was the first time in months where I actually felt very needed.
My anxiety isn’t gone…but I am finally calm about things. Whatever happens next will happen next….we will go with the flow…we will be brave…we can do this.