Portrait: Rose K

I am a survivor of 2 brain injuries within the course of a few years. One by rape and one from an aneurysm.

A little bit about Rose 

I am a survivor of severe rape with a knife which also resulted in a head injury, severe PTSD, and this event was closely followed by a brain aneurysm.  In August 2016, I was attacked in my home and sustained a frontal lobe concussion which caused seizures and severe headaches.  Then in 2018, I had a massive headache and was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm. The aneurysm was the size of a small pea but before the surgery occurred, it had turned into an oval shape with one end opening and some blood was leaking out. I was given a stent in the neck to open a vein and then another stent by the aneurysm. Coiling was a 10-hour surgery during which I stopped breathing and they had to jump-start my heart.  


Ongoing symptoms 

Since the surgery, I have severe fatigue, I am super emotional, it takes me longer to process things, and sometimes my speech is jumbled up. Every year I get an MRA of the brain to look for brain aneurysms. Sometimes when I get headaches and when they occur, I am fearful it might be another aneurysm. My neurosurgeon makes me log the headaches and if I feel weird, I was told to go to the Emergency Room and have them airlift me back to UCLA Hospital in Los Angeles as I live 4 hours away. My most recent MRA shows white spots on my frontal lobe where the first head injury occurred and it also shows decreased blood flow into the brain.  I will see my neurosurgeon soon so he can explain what we are going to do about this issue.   


Specialists that were the most helpful during my recovery 

The most helpful person in my recovery was my neurosurgeon.   The next person who has helped me to deal with my mental health recovery has been my therapist. My therapist has helped me to understand that a sin was done to me and that I am not the sinner, the attackers were the sinners.  My therapist has helped me with the night terrors.  By amending the story, I have fewer nightmares which allows me to get some beneficial sleep. 

I used to have night terrors every night and through therapy, I now sleep 5 hours about 4 times a week; the other nights I am still up triggered and pacing the floor.  It has taken me 5 years to find someone that can actually help me with my PTSD.   


What I find pleasure in 

The hobbies that I enjoy are Nature Photography, Watercolor Painting, Embroidery, Crochet and I enjoy helping others do DIY projects to help interior decorate their homes; I will be doing that soon for myself.   


My support system 

The people that help support me are my son and his wife, my therapist, and reaching out to others like “key” friends have also helped me through this period of my life.   


What’s been successful during my recovery 

The most helpful things throughout my brain injury recoveries included keeping journals for my neurosurgeon to track the headaches or any pain in regards to my head, letting myself feel the pain in regards to my attack in 2016, and really talking about it without holding back which puts the power back into my own hands. 

I still have a long way to go to recover fully from my PTSD, but providing my story to SameYou has been a release of the negative, allowing me to turn it into a positive. 


What advice would you give others? 

The advice I would give to others is to find a doctor that takes the time to explain the MRA results, shows you what everything is on the brain scan, explains the surgery, and who explains the long-term side effects of having a frontal lobe concussion, brain aneurysm, or any other brain injury recovery. Understanding my injuries has been tremendously helpful for me throughout my ongoing recovery.   


Quote or saying that helped me during recovery 

My grandmother used to say when I was growing up;

“If you touch someone's Heart, then you have healed their Soul” and my neurosurgeon and therapist have done that for me. 

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