St. Paul, MN (PRWEB) September 22, 2009
The National Brain Aneurysm Center announced today the launch of a new patient blog designed for brain aneurysm patients and survivors to come together and share their experiences. "Brain Storms: Inside the Mind of a Brain Aneurysm Survivor," (Brain Storms Blog) is written by former patient Barbara Ladd McNamara, a survivor with a one-of-a-kind story about brain aneurysms.
Two years ago, McNamara suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm. She was rushed to a local hospital and then transferred to the National Brain Aneurysm Center at St. Joseph's Hospital, where physicians Eric Nussbaum and Michael Madison, M.D.s were able to fix the rupture, but found a remarkable 12 more aneurysms to address. Over the course of several months, McNamara underwent several procedures to treat her aneurysms, including minimally invasive coiling and open brain surgery relieving the severe headaches she suffered for years and giving her a unique perspective on aneurysm repair.
"I like the term brain storms because that is really what I had - a storm in my brain," McNamara explained. "When I talk to patients and survivors, I tell them about my brain storm and how lightning cracked inside my head. It is really the best way to describe it."
A writer and public relations professional, McNamara wanted to provide a forum to openly communicate to and engage with patients, survivors, family members and others. In the past, she has talked to support groups at St. Joseph's Hospital, helping patients cope with such significant surgery. Dr. Nussbaum, chair of the National Brain Aneurysm Center, said McNamara brings perspective to her posts that no medical professional could.
"Barbara has a great outlook and has been such a positive source for other patients through her support group work," he explained. "Her blog is an extension of her outreach to patients and really, no one can speak to what it is like to have a brain aneurysm than a person who survived 13."
In her first post she writes: "I survived and I know now that I'm not alone. It's time to talk about these ticking time bombs. It's time to help each other get through our tough days and celebrate our good ones. It's time to share our stories, laughter, worries, questions, advice and wisdom. We are not alone. We have each other. We are survivors and I look forward to hearing from you!"
A brain aneurysm is often called a "ticking time bomb." It occurs when the artery wall in the brain becomes weak and forms a small balloon where blood collects. Over time, the artery wall will weaken further until the balloon, or aneurysm bursts, bleeding into the brain. One in 20 people has a brain aneurysm, most without ever knowing.
When the aneurysm bursts, patients must be rushed to a hospital to repair the rupture and stop the bleeding. Fifty percent of the time, the patient will not survive the aneurysm rupture. Many who do are often faced with months or years of rehabilitation to recover. Individuals who discover the aneurysm before it bursts can opt for surgery to repair the aneurysm. McNamara went through both scenarios.
McNamara plans to post three to four times a month, sparking conversations and seeking insight and feedback from other survivors and patients. For more information on the blog and to join the conversation, please visit Brain Storms Blog.