Hello, yogis! I wanted to let you all know that I will be having surgery to fix a brain aneurysm on Tuesday, April 24th. Please know that our committed, loving, and wonderful instructors will continue to provide classes and run the studio while I am in the hospital and in recovery. As soon as I am able to, I will respond to emails, messages, and phone calls. Please contact Elise Marien Steger (612.532.3272) or Riana Kritz Hansen (612.816.2014) if you need immediate assistance. –Molly
My Journey (if interested):
On Monday, February 26th, I woke up with pain in the back, left side of my neck that radiated up the left side of my head and behind my eye. I thought that maybe I had just slept on it wrong, but it felt different. I made an appointment with my doctor for after school to get it checked out and to rule out anything serious. She wanted me to get an MRI to make sure it was not a small tear in an artery in my neck (artery dissection), which can lead to a stroke. My symptoms matched, and it was important to make sure this was either the case or not.
The MRI results came back negative for the artery dissection, but they saw something that looked like an aneurysm, so they wanted me to get a CTA scan to get more information. The CTA scan came back that it was/is an aneurysm, so we were directed to two doctors who treat aneurysms in St. Paul. We learned that there are two ways aneurysms can be treated: coiling or clipping. Coiling is where they treat the aneurysm by going through a main artery in your leg/groin with a catheter all the way up to your brain, and place tiny metal coils inside the aneurysm stuffing it full. Their thinking is if blood can’t get in, blood cannot get out. Hence, it can’t rupture. Clipping is where they do actual brain surgery and go in and clip the aneurysm.
We met with the coiling doctor first, Dr. Madison, and then met with the clipping doctor, Dr. Nussbaum. Dr. Nussbaum said he wanted and needed an actual angiogram to get better, more detailed pictures of my aneurysm in order for him to actually consult with us as to what he would recommend. We scheduled my angiogram right away. The angiogram provided much better quality of pictures AND also showed that I had an artery dissection like my Primary Care Provider originally thought; however, they are totally unrelated.
Shortly after, we met with Dr. Madison (coiling) and found out that even though my aneurysm is in a common spot, it is irregularly shaped and is extending in a not-so-common direction; therefore, coiling would not necessarily be the best option due to the level of risk. After that, we met with Dr. Nussbaum (clipping) and discussed the risk level of his procedure. The decision was made to go with the clipping procedure due to less risk as well as it being much more of a permanent solution (less follow-up and no need to maybe have to go back in and add more coils at some point).
This was a huge decision as its impact on my family and everyone around me is much larger, which I don’t like; however, we made this decision together and feel settled with it as it has to be treated one way or another. My surgery is scheduled for April 24th at 12:30. They expect me to be in the hospital for 3-5 days and then home to recover for 4-8 weeks. We are very thankful that it was found and can be treated, Maya and I are looking forward to a new haircut that I can hopefully rock, and remind ourselves often that it could be worse.