My craniotomy without ruptured aneurysm

Brand new to this group and oh so thankful to have found it! It is been five weeks now since I had my craniotomy. I’m a 72-year-old female who was very healthy and very active previous to all this. Obviously my goal is to get back to my pre surgery lifestyle. It is worth mentioning that after the angiogram post surgery my neurologist told my husband that I had the arteries of a 20-year-old! Never smoked and don’t drink because I got migraines so badly. I know from all the reading I did that I was supposed to expect fatigue and major tiredness. I did not expect anything like this! At about week three I felt like I could do a little more each day so I started walking quite a lot around my house. I live in Minnesota so you know we have snow outside and it’s very cold. It was at that point that I started going out a little more with my husband still driving because I was still occasionally taking oxycodone. Somehow I got this terrible horrific cold that is going around the whole nation and it has just thrown me for a loop. I am coughing almost constantly and I’m exhausted most of the time. Now I don’t know if my fatigue and tiredness is from this cold or can I expect this from the actual surgery five weeks ago? I would really love to hear from anybody that had surgery for an unruptered aneurysm like I did and what to expect.


Welcome to this group! I don’t have experience in what you’ve been through but I’m sure other nice folks do! Just wanted to welcome you.

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Welcome, and great you’re here. I see Richard passed a couple links you might find beneficial on another thread. I’m north of you in Manitoba, and yes its been cold! I didn’t have a craniotomy, I had gamma knife. I did have a bleed and can tell you early in my recovery I slept most of the time, even the smallest tasks exhausted me. Even people talking over stimulated me and I had to go to a quiet place and lay down. Slowly over time this subsided, mostly. I’m equating a craniotomy as a type of trauma that may be similar in some ways with swelling etc that I experienced post rupture. Not sure if there is a similarity but I think the tiredness is common. Take Care, John

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Thank you so much for your reply. I know that my situation is different since my aneurysm did not burst thankfully! I don’t even know what gamma knife is. All I know is that I would like to know how much longer I will be so darn fatigued!

Diane Everson

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Hi, I’m just starting out. Having angiogram at UCSF. I have not had anything happen to my head except wrong words when I speak. Confusing and my head is a little tender. I will let you know what I experience. Thanks for sharing.

Yes please keep me posted. Obviously you do not have a burst aneurysm correct?

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Yes, correct.

Hiya! my AVM was found by a stroke of luck and a terrible car accident. You can read all about it in my profile.

Best advice…take recovery very very slow.

I’ve always been very active. Not big on sitting around. So endure the restlessness during the slow healing process. And listen to your body.

You WILL get back to pre-AVM life. I promise.

Keep us posted!


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Hello and welcome to the group. I, like you, had my AVM found before a rupture. I had been dizzy off and on for a year, but thought it was part of aging and working in my garden. I turn 65 one week from today. My craniotomy was February 2013. I will write more tomorrow.

Hello and welcome. I am a 44 yr woman and suffered a ruptured AVM. Please know that rupture or not we must start understand that we are all miracles. I was in the bathroom at work washing my hands and suddenly I was not able to speak. When I walked into my the office my phone was ringing and I answered it. At that point all I could say was " ITS NOT WORKING" I was rushed to the hospital and for the 1st time my family was informed that I had an AVM that ruptured and I would need to have surgery. I was sent home after a few days to allow the swelling in my brain to go down as the bleed in my brain had stop. As we were preparing for surgery we were informed that due to the location of the AVM my survival rate was 13%. When we went into the hospital I said my final goodbyes to the kids, my wife, sister, brother and my parents. Nine and a half hours later I survived!!! Yes I had to learn to speak, read, write and everything a child learns in their early stages of learning. That bringing said I did everything the Neuroligists said. The kids that I once taught to read were teaching me. I returned to work on January 13th., yes that is right a little over 40 days from when we were told I had a 13% of survival. You may want to consider a therapist just for someone to talk to in addition to support groups. I am still going through some ups and downs but with medication and therapy everyday is something I am greatful for…Best wishes to you and again YOU ARE A MIRACLE!!!

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Sorry I could not finish my response last night. My husband has dementia and requires a lot of my time. As I was saying last night, my AVM was found by an act of God. At my regular checkup with my doctor I asked if a rash on my face could be causing crazy headaches on the top of my head. He said it was possible, but to be on the safe side he’d order an MRI. Five years ago, on my birthday, the 18th of January, I was having that MRI. That is how they found mine. It was in the right frontal lobe and way too large for anything but surgery. After two embolization procedures, my surgery was February of that year. The neurosurgeon told me if mine ruptured before he could get it out, I would just fall down dead. There would be no time to get to him. Obviously, that didn’t happen. I had the surgery and understood from the surgeon that it would be a long recovery. Well, I’ve always been the over achiever-type and thought I’d surprise him. Long story short: He was right and I was wrong. Patience was not my greatest virtue, but I had to learn patience. During the months of recovery, when I couldn’t do anything, I think I lost all my muscle. I, like you, walked as far as I could each day and built up the walking time. Then I started working in my garden again. Even now I don’t have the strength I had before the surgery, but not sure how much is from aging and how much I just never got back. But I’m alive and doing most of the things I want, so I can’t complain. I know everyone situation is different. So you may have different results. I just keep walking and gardening, when the weather permits. If my husband and I were not so busy all the time, I’d like to go to a place here that has an inside walking track and gym. I used to walk 5 miles at a time before the surgery. I think I might still be able to reach that mark. For now, with limited time, I walk from 1 to 3 miles everyday. Maybe, once you get fully over the flu, you will surprise yourself. Just hang in there and get well soon. The flu is a bear this year.

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I look forward to hearing more from you tomorrow. Thank you

How kind of you to give this lengthy reply. Yes I know my level of fatigue will definitely improve once I get over this cold but it’s been about two weeks already an . coughing is continual. They can’t give me anabiotic‘s because it’s just a bad cold. I know it will get better it’s just a true test of my patience.

I hope you are feeling better soon. It is bad enough to be recovering from surgery, but throwing in that bad cold must be frustrating. I don’t think any of us have an abundance of patience, but I’ve learned to have a little more after my surgery. I had it in February of 2013 and was diagnosed in October of the same year with cancer and had that surgery. So I understand about double-whammies. Just hang in there. Things will get better. It just takes time.

Wishing you all the best!!

Hi again Athena, I cannot imagine hearing you had cancer after already going through brain surgery! God bless you as you continue to heal after all of this time. My cold is finally better so I am ready to start moving forward on slow exercising, etc. My appetite seems to have improved as well. Thank you for the kind words of encouragement!

I am so happy to hear that you are feeling better and that the cold is better. When you are sick everything seems worse, especially if you are already trying to recover from surgery. I’m sure you will be feeling a lot better as days go by. It sounds like you stay very active. Encouragement and support is what the site is all about. I was blessed to find it after my surgery, wish I’d found it before. I got frustrated and depressed for a while after surgery. I was a goer and doer too and didn’t like the being a princess thing. Now I’m so grateful to be this far passed surgery and 2013. You hang in there. You are going to be just fine.