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I'm scared and I'm a coward




OK. Now I admit it. I'm scared. I'm a coward. Have been all my life but now it really shows. I am just about 1.5 years past my stroke. This past Monday, I went to the dr. and he read the results from my MRI and MRA. I have a calcified aneurysm on my brain stem. I have gone on the internet and tried to decipher this but I have only found medical language that I cannot understand. I don't know if its because I am emotional about this and my brain won't process it for me or if I've suddenly become really stupid.


The bad part is, on Wednesday, yesterday, I felt really horrible. The worst I have felt since my stroke. I have plans. I told the dr. I want to get into the best physical condition I can to go to Africa to volunteer. I told him I want to go back into therapy so I can work w/ a therapist who can help me work towards my potential oustide of therapy. They can coach me on what muscle groups to work on and how much I should exercise w/out overdoing it. I have signed up to volunteer at the local SPCA (but that won't happen until sometime in May and I can't go pet the animals until I have the volunteer training).


Well, feeling so horribly on Wednesday has really put a damper on my plans. Now I am worried if this is all due to the calcified aneurysm. When I was in the office, I told the dr. that because the aneurysm is calcified, that it is stronger than if it were a regular aneurysm, is that correct? He said that was true. So this translates to my living longer. However, feeling as I do right now, how much longer? I am not a drama queen and I don't like thinking like this.


If this is the case, then I want to plan my life, as we all should, to live it as I want. I want to have my friends around, I want to laugh, I want to go to Africa, I want to be effective, I want to volunteer and be helpful. The last thing I want to do is languish in my living room and do nothing w/ my life.


A calcified aneurysm lasts longer or is not as potentially dangerous as a regular aneurysm. So does that mean I laugh at the gods because I've gotten away from their grasp? Did I get away w/ something? Should I be out in the streets laughing and jumping for joy?


As my son says, we don't know what will happen the next day. I am a coward. I don't know how to die. I am scared. But I am putting my toe out w/ trepidation to touch the water of life. Please support me. Thank you. Take Care. LK



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:friends: :hug: to you as you face this ordeal. What is the doc recommending to do to take care of this calcification? I hope the therapy can assist you in your goal to go to Africa.


From what I know about you here on the site, your positive outlook and attitude will carry you through any rough tiimes

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Guest lwisman




I am so sorry to hear about the aneurysm. I have never heard of a calcified aneurysm. Keep looking for answers. Have you spoken with a neurologist?


I would think that the decision on whether or no to go to Africa depends on your value system. I lived in Africa for two years 25 years ago. So, my experience is not recent, though I have been lead to believe that the situation has not changed dramatically. The short of it it that most countries in Africa do not have a medical system that is anywhere close to a medical system in western countries. This means for one thing that if you would have an emergency they would probably not be able to handle it well. Even if the doctor was trained the west, they would probably not have the equipment.


If going to Africa is a high priority and you realize that you might be putting your life at risk and are ok with that, go for it. It is your decision. Just be sure you have all the facts.

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I have never heard of an aneurysm such as yours. My stroke happened during the clipping(operation) of a bleeding brain aneurysm. But I am here to speak about the experience. I say Go for laughing at the gods and you'd better be out dancing in the street! I don't think I have to remind you that life is meant to be lived to the fullest or else it is all a waste.

I don't think you need to give much thought to knowing how to die, I don't think I've ever met anyone who knew exactly what to do in order to die. I'm still working on the living part and have given very little thought to the dying part, I only know I hope to go with dignity and courage or else really quick.

But a coward you aren't....and I know this because I have read your blogs and enjoyed them all. Besides won't your doctor be keeping a close eye on the aneurysm to see how quickly it grows?

Take this opportunity and live life to the max!


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I agree with yin completely, live life to best of yur ability, by worryng about how you are going to die, you will be wasting your present which is still yours, do what you love to do today, laugh more often, volunteering right in your neigbhourhood will also bring same joy you might get by going to Africa.




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I agree with Lin and Asha comments.


Calcified means it has been there a long time and is made of calcium much like an egg shell. If that is what your Doctor meant then there is probably a very good chance that it will never bother you. The calcification may be what is protecting you - but I am NOT a Doctor.


You should trust your Doctor and as you are very worried, make an appointment to go back next week or have him call you. Stress is the worst thing you can do to your body, and if it can be resolved with a ten minute talk to the Doctor then do it. If you do not trust your Doctor then get a new one or go to the emergency room to get a second opinion.


Kind regards,


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Thank you all for your support. Believe me, I don't wish to focus on dying. I want to live everyday to the fullest, I just haven't figured out how to do that, yet (that's frustrating!).


Dickons: you are right. The calcification protects the aneurysm. If it does burst, I won't feel a thing and I won't exist. I would like that. I just don't want to be a coward; I want to die w/ dignity, when the time comes.


I am researching this phenominon but there isn't much out there. One of my best friends is researching the medical field to see how this can be medically treated. My son said there is a procedure done in Ontario called Guglielmi Detachable Coils. We have to find out the successes of this and, of course, as I have read on this site, there is always a possibility of blood clots for any surgery. Another concern is my veins keep growing and branching out (I told you I'm SP-E-SH-UAL!!!). So, whatever surgery I have, how long will it be that my veins will grow back and how many more will be created (like Medusa's hair). Historically, that would be another 7-10 years, so maybe that would be worth the risk.


The dr. didn't come up w/ anything to do. I was surprised to find surgery is being done, even on the brain stem, which is my stroke site.


Again, I thank you all for your support. My aim to live and laugh and make each day special. Pls don't think I want to live a life of doom and gloom. I know people like that (I think they are living vicariously through me! They love the negativity). That's not for me. Take Care. LK

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