Feeling Dumb!

Hi all! I recently had gamma knife for avm with annuerysm unruptured in left frontal lobe ( month and a half ago) and I feel dumb. I am a mom of 3 and a nurse and used to handling many things at once but lately I can’t. I forget what things are called and I get overwhelmed quickly which is not like me. I go to neurologist next month. Just kinda feel like I’m going crazy and feel like the docs will just think its all in my head (pun intented). Just looking if anyone has/does feel this way? Will it go away? TIA

Lord yes. I tell people frequently that I feel like I get overwhelmed easily. I have trouble getting words out. Just today I forgot what number to dial on the phone to get an outside line at work. I forget things my husband tells me, although I think sometimes he thinks he tells me things when he didn’t. When I get overwhelmed at work, I feel like people look at me like I’m on drugs or something. I get flushed easily on my neck which is very embarrassing. But, my colleagues tell me that’s not true. But it isn’t them that is experiencing it. I too am a nurse. Thankfully I work in a blood donation center, so my job is a lot more routine than in a hospital setting. If I lost my current job, I don’t think i would EVER be able to work in a hospital setting again. I have to do routine things, i always liked to have a routine. I too have had radiation, plus mine is in the left frontal lobe. We could be twins. Lol. I have seizures too. Started because of the AVM. I don’t know if you ha e that situation or not, but the medicine that you have to take for those kinda makes you loopy too.

Hi! It’s comforting knowing I am not alone! I had 1 seizure at 15…but not on any meds for it. I was an ICU nurse for awhile…then management then switched to high school nurse to have summers off with kids. But I kept getting dizzy spells and that’s how they found avm. Been out fmla for few months. Hoping to go back start of next school year. Am anxious I won’t get back to myself! Just keep plugging along I guess and have a restriction not to lift more than 40 lbs until obliteration so I am not even sure yet they will take me back next year. I just pray one day I will feel like me again and be able to handle life the way I used to! Good luck! Prayers for you too

My first patient as an ICU nurse was a 19 y/o girl with a ruptured avm…when 1st got diagnosis thats all I thought of

I just want to second, third, or whatever this post. I feel at times merely a shell of what I once was. Moreover, I have forgotten most of my long term memories as well as much of my short-term. I tell my wife and friends it’s like Groundhog day and Memento rolled into some sick bad joke.

But never fear, with time, patience, and new skills learned, you can become a functional adult again! There are some wonderful tidbits and insights on this site, as well as your brain aneurysm contact https://www.biausa.org/.

Praying for you as you continue!

Sounds like you may have a touch of Aphasia, it can present in varying degrees. After my bleed I lost a lot of words, slowly came almost back over time. Now it sometimes takes me a little longer to find the word I’m looking for, not that often and most don’t notice, but I do. I didn’t have anything similar post gamma knife and it didn’t get any worse. It is a test in patience for sure and hopefully what you are noticing subsides. Take Care, John

Oh Lord. Prayers for you and anyone going through this.

I am by no means making light of your situation here, but isn’t it odd how when you’ve been in a caring role and go through something similar you think of those clients. I do the same, even years later and those people still pop into my head.

“…I feel dumb…” and I strongly believe we all do at times. We now have deficits that we didn’t have before, to self examine is pretty damn normal. But come on, give yourself a break. You have been through some trauma, MAJOR trauma, we all have. Some things, yes, we regain, but some we do not. For a while I had a bit of what I call the ‘poor me’s’, but then I think of my former client’s and (selfishly) think “Well, at least I ain’t ‘there’…” and I know I so easily could be.
One of the big things I have learnt through this whole awful process is that I have to be thankful for the little things, ALL of the little things. JD12 talks of aphasia, me, I have ‘foot in mouth’ disease, that is I say the wrong things at the wrong times and can offend without even trying. I’m often saying ‘Can you only imagine if I tried to offend, I’d have it down to a fine art by now…’ :blush: and I try to laugh it off, but inside I’m often so embarrassed.
The reality is I can’t change it. I try to consider my words more before I say them but still I cock it up at times. I have to accept it all and that is really difficult, especially when we know that we used to be able to do these things and now we can’t. the frustration and the acceptance are 2 things I have a HUGE issue with. But I have to accept because the reality is I can’t change it.

Merl from the Moderator Support Team

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Thank you. Your right and I appreciate your response. I am truly blessed they found this before it ruptured. Many of you are not as fortunate. I am having a hard time excepting this new reality and this is the only place where people get how I’m feeling. I am totally a pick yourself up and move on kinda gal. This just knocked me down longer than I thought :slight_smile: Thank you all for your responses and keep on pushing on!

Hey Meg,
I fought like hell after the first surgery with the mindset 'This ain’t gonna beat me" and for the most part I eventually came good. Then came the second operation and I took the same attitude and it didn’t work, so I pushed even harder. Too hard as it turned out and did myself more harm than good. I did not listen to my own body, it was telling me, but I ignored the signs. I had the idea I simply needed to build up stamina, what I really needed was rest. The more I pushed the more my body pushed back.

If anybody tells you that this journey is easy, I can assure you, they have NEVER been here themselves. Your recovery is going to take as long as it takes. Some of us recover really well with very little in the way of deficits, like I had from my initial surgery.


I have now endured 6 neurosurgeries, no 2 have been the same and neither have any of the recoveries. With the last operation REALLY knocking me badly, so badly I have been unable to return to my former employment, it’s now been 6years since my last surgery and that ‘acceptance’ thing still fluctuates even today. I do try to move on and I’m getting better at it, but I certainly haven’t mastered it yet. ‘Frustration’ and I have become close friends. I have learnt I NEED to listen to my body and not my mind, my mind says continue but my body often says stop. I know I can push on through but I have learnt that if I do so I will pay for it in agony later.
This is all a new learning for us all and it is hard, damn hard. We know 'cos we’ve been there too.

Merl from the Moderator Support Team

I also have found myself struggling maintaining the brain power I once had following my AVM surgery. I find lots of sleep, and especially a longer afternoon nap very helpful. I also take ADD medication which has helped my focus and attention … ultimately improving my mental capacity to do all of those things that life still requires. Good luck to you.