My Migraine Turned Out To Be A Life-Threatening Brain Aneurysm- Meredith Staggers

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : October 3, 2022

One morning, Meredith Staggers woke up feeling strange; she wasn’t quite sure why, but felt off and not herself. Meredith’s doctor sent her for some routine blood work, which revealed that Meredith had a brain aneurysm and was in danger of dying at any moment if it burst. 

Fortunately, Meredith’s doctors saved her life and now she shares her story with other migraine sufferers to help them recognize symptoms of this condition and prevent others from suffering from it as well.

The Diagnosis

Meredith Staggers says “I had just gotten off the phone with my husband when I felt this searing pain in my head. It came out of nowhere and within minutes I was unable to speak, see or walk.”

My Migraine Turned Out To Be A Life-Threatening Brain Aneurysm- Meredith Staggers

I thought it was probably just another bad migraine and tried taking some Excedrin, but nothing helped. The pain didn’t go away, so I went back to bed and willed myself to fall asleep. 

But when I woke up again, it was still there – the same excruciating pain as before. My husband drove me straight over to the ER where they ran several tests including an MRI of my head.

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The Treatment

I had no idea that the pain I had been experiencing for years was actually a life-threatening brain aneurysm. I just thought it was really bad migraines. -Meredith Staggers 

A few days later, I found myself on the operating table with doctors working to save my life. They were able to stop the bleeding and give me an MRI. The MRI showed that there was a large rupture in my brain, which needed immediate attention. -Meredith Staggers 

Doctors were able to successfully remove the ruptured portion of her brain and she has been recovering well since.

The Warning Signs

I was on my way to the hospital, and I felt like I was dying. It was the first time in my life that I couldn’t think straight, and I could barely see out of one eye. 

As it turns out, what happened next changed my life forever: The migraine wasn’t just any old headache—it turned out to be a life-threatening brain aneurysm.

I had no idea that this kind of thing even existed, but as soon as doctors told me the truth about what had been going on for the last two weeks, it all made sense the intense pain in my head, neck and back; the blurred vision; headaches that would come and go without warning. 

Suddenly it all started to make sense how scary this really is.

Communicating with your Doctor

It was over two years ago when I had my first migraine. I knew that it was different than all the other headaches I had experienced because the pain was just too intense. 

In fact, it wasn’t until a few months later that my doctor finally diagnosed me with chronic migraines. After suffering through them for three years, I finally started treatment and things were going well. 

That is, until one day when I came home from work and collapsed on the floor in agony my head felt like someone was squeezing it in an iron grip with spikes piercing me from all sides. 

From there, everything happened so quickly: my husband took me to the ER where they gave me pain medication and sent me home with instructions to follow up with my neurologist as soon as possible.

Meredith’s story is an extremely powerful one, and I think it might be worth encouraging people to get themselves checked out if they have some of the same symptoms. 

That being said, even though she had been experiencing migraines for years, she didn’t seek medical attention until the pain became so severe that she passed out and had trouble breathing. 

It took over a week for her diagnosis to come back from the MRI – but when it did, her doctor was shocked that she hadn’t gone in sooner. The doctors told her that if she would have come in earlier, chances are good that they would have been able to save her life.

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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