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The Great Wall of China in Mutianyu

The Great Wall of China is referred to in Mandarin as Wanli Changcheng (10,000-Li Long Wall or simply very long wall) BEIJING, CHINA- S...

Monday, March 21, 2011

I survived brain aneurysm

I find brain aneurysm almost unique in its ability to strike like lightning, without rhyme or reason, and too often without mercy.

When the cerebral artery bursts and causes brain hemorrhage, sudden death may result.

1/3rd of people with ruptured aneurysm die before they get to the hospital.

1/3rd die after they get to the hospital.

1/3rd survive after they get to the hospital. Of these, 40% end up with neurological problems that make life difficult.

The mortality rate following a rupture aneurysm is about 60 percent, and another 25 percent die from complications

For those whose precious lives are snuffed out in a brief moment, and whose loved ones' lives are dramatically altered forever by the same event, there seems to be no justice that I can comprehend.

For those fortunate enough to survive the rupture, a battle begins for the amount and quality of life that can be recaptured. Your doctors and nurses are only one part of your armor.

The key to your victory, your healing, is your will, not only to survive, but to conquer.

Mental positivity and for some, spirituality, along with a focus on personal health and well being like not smoking, a nutritious diet, lots of sunlight, and a regular exercise program, a strong social support network like relatives or friends in a social circle are all critical.

Do not be burdened by statistics. Every battle is unique and, if fought well, won. 

I am presently recuperating from my operation and I am glad about the progress I am making. My left eye still has no vision. I still could not walk. But my doctors assured me that I will be back to my normal self in 6 months to 1 year, not 100% though. But within that time, I will have my eyesight back and I can walk already.

The doctors said that I was very lucky. I escaped death by a hairline. My aneurysm ruptured last January 18, 2011. I never knew that I had aneurysm until that fateful night, when I lost consciousness inside the toilet. My left eye might have hit the lavatory. And the pail of hot water that I was supposed to use might have spilled, thereby causing a huge 2nd degree burn on my left thigh.

When I regained consciousness, I tried calling for help from my house boy downstairs but he did not respond to my cry for help. Maybe you can call it a miracle. I was able to walk from the toilet towards my room and made it to my bed. I had the worst headache ever and I kept on vomiting.

I then sent text messages to my cousins since I don't have my parents with me anymore. They have both passed away. But my cousin said he couldn't contact his driver.  So I was bought to the hospital only the following day by another cousin. Lucky me! According to statistics 1/3 of those who had a ruptured aneurysm died within 3 hours.

A CT Scan was performed and a lot more medical procedures were done. Then I was brought via emergency ambulance to UST Hospital where a brain aneurysm coiling operation was performed by 2 neurosurgeons assisted by a cardiologist, an anesthesiologist and some nurses last January 22, 2011.

Since returning home to our townhouse in Manila, I kept on going back to my doctors for follow-up check ups and I was not allowed to go back home to the province just yet. 

So what would an active travel blogger like me do at home since I cannot walk or see yet from my left eye?



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