Things I wish someone had told me during my Brain Aneurysm recovery!

“As a Brain Aneurysm survivor, I wish someone had told me...”

I need a lot more rest than I used to. I’m not being lazy. I get physical fatigue as well as a “brain fatigue.” It is very difficult and tiring for my brain to think, process, and organize. Fatigue makes it even harder to think and work.

Recovery will take time. Accept the changes and limitations but don’t get lost in it.

Rest! Be patient and let your brain heal..

Focus on what you CAN do rather than on what you can’t. Take one day at a time.

I could have trouble with my memory or sometimes I couldn’t find the right words.

See a therapist. I didn’t think I would have so much anxiety afterwards.

Ice will be your friend after surgery.”

Recovery can be a rollercoaster – one day great, the next day not so good.

Don’t push yourself to go back to work as fast as I did. I am grateful that I was ABLE to go back, but I should have given myself a little more time and grace.

It’s okay to grieve for who you were, but remember to celebrate the new you. You are a survivor.

That a healing brain needs lots of rest. Take naps and go to bed early when tired. You’ll recover better and sooner.

Surround yourself with people who truly care about you and with whom you can easily communicate your needs and fears.

Your emotions might change, you may get panic/anxiety attacks, or you may get angry faster than before the stroke.

Recovery will take time even if it’s a small stroke. There might be changes in you that will not all go away. Learn to accept what you cannot change. Don’t let others make you feel bad about what you can’t do.

Keep a journal and share your feelings.

Fatigue – I had no idea what it was before my stroke. There were days at first that I could not move.

Go slow. Enjoy the moments with the people you love. Be patient with yourself.

Be sure you have a family member or friend be your medical advocate to get answers to all your questions and concerns.

Take one day at a time. Give yourself time to heal mentally and physically. Ask every question you have.

No aneurysms are exactly the same and neither is your road in life. I’m not calling it a “recovery”. Because you won’t end up at the exact same point you started. Do not try to be the “you” from the past. Accept the new “you”.

Recovery may seem slow at first but things will get a little better each day and each week.

Patience is the greatest gift you can give yourself. It will allow you to heal at your own pace and rebuild the pathways in your brain.

I was told that I might suffer depression or “survivors guilt” after my rupture. Talk with a professional and get the help you need.

There is no rush. Everything is a bonus.

Join a survivor Support Group that truly understands what you are experiencing. You need to find survivors like “us”, so you don’t feel “crazy and alone”.

Comments above came from brain aneurysm survivors sharing what they learned during their recovery at a recent support group meeting. For a printed version, please email:

“As survivors, we have experienced what you and your family are going through.
Talking with others can be so helpful.”

Caregivers and Family Members also need support

Our monthly support group is not just for survivors. If you have a loved one you're caring for or have lost a loved one to a brain aneurysm, we encourage you to join us.

The often-repeated phrase, “you are not alone and things do get better” is more than just a slogan, it is what our Support Group is all about.

Visit our Support Page for more information.

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