Portrait: Markéta

After suffering from a brain aneurysm, Markéta’s world was turned upside down. It was her family, friends and online communities that kept her going, after feeling scared about surgery and the future.

My story starts on a normal day after a gym session

My name is Markéta and I'm from the Czech Republic. A week after my yoga retreat in Crete and a fortnight before my planned trip to Sardinia, I collapsed at home an hour after working out at the gym. My symptoms included a huge headache, disorientation, weakness, nausea and confusion. I was taken by ambulance to the hospital with a suspected stroke. After all the tests I subsequently underwent, they diagnosed a brain aneurysm in the middle cerebral artery.

The doctors gave me a date for surgery, but what came with it was feeling scared about the future, both for myself and for my children. I had constant thoughts about the aftermath of the surgery and death which left me with nervous tension. Waiting for the surgery was the most mentally taxing time I've ever experienced.


My surgery and recovery

The operation itself went well, according to the doctor. Physically I felt better after a month and a half, but neurological problems have stayed with me: I have problems with my cognitive function, I get massive migraines, I feel very tired and my head reacts to the weather like a barometer. I once experienced a full moon and felt like it was going to explode. I'm also generally fearful, which I had never been before my brain aneurysm.

All of my loved ones are involved in the recovery process. Mostly though, I'm trying to help myself by searching online for groups so I can engage in discussions with people who are in similar situations as mine. It’s very difficult for me to share my feelings with those who haven’t lived a similar experience, such as my friends and family. They repeatedly ask me how I feel but I can't tell them my true feelings or my fears. They see me talking, walking, laughing with them, responding and the physical and mental scars are healing, but they can't see my condition beneath the surface.

“Brain surgery is like no other procedure. It’s hard for others to understand the effects it might have on an individual unless you’ve experienced it.”

I have started a blog to help others going through similar experiences. Before my brain aneurysm, I enjoyed fitness activities like yoga, swimming, going to the gym and hiking in the mountains. I can't do any of that now and I miss it. To keep myself from going crazy, I started my blog called www.aneurysma.cz. I found out that there’s very little information about brain aneurysms in this country; I didn't even know what this disease meant before. I couldn't find any information from specific people before the surgery about their experiences and emotions. I was eager to read not the raw medical facts, but how patients experience it. That's why I started this blog, to honestly and truthfully describe my experiences for anyone who will be in the same situation as I was.


My advice for anyone who is about to have surgery

I am a month and a half post-operation and at about 30% of my original state prior to my brain aneurysm. I would advise anyone learning about this diagnosis to increase their physical and mental fitness to the max before surgery. My other piece of advice is to not keep to yourself. Surround yourself with friends or whatever makes you happy. This helped me a lot during my recovery. Before the surgery, I met with all the people close to me. I painted pictures and started a blog where I wrote down all my feelings.


What I love about SameYou

I like the idea of your foundation. My fingers are crossed for you and for everyone who has had a similar experience to mine.

I think we need to find what moves us forward again in all situations in life, not give up, accept what we can't change and change all that we can with our own strength.

My motivational quote is: There are three things in life that you should never lose: hope, joy and desire.


Brain injury survivor Merketa pictured by the coastline smiling


As echoed in Markéta’s story, many brain injury survivors struggle to tell those around them how they’re truly feeling. At SameYou, we’re on a mission to help people not feel alone or isolated, and instead build a community where they can share their stories and feel connected with others.

Will you donate to us today and support our work to help brain injury survivors like Markéta on their road to recovery?

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