(Foreword: This is the continuation of our response to Macbeth of Generalao regarding her anxieties on aneurysm because her sister has just been diagnosed of this life-threatening disease.)
DEAR Macbeth of Generalao,
Alright, let’s move on. The problem with aneurysm is that most people who have it, don’t know it. But, the time it bursts, it might be so life-threatening that life will have to stop, and if not, then, most likely brain damage will set in. So, you get your pick – Death or Brain Damage? Huh! That’s quite a decision. But, if I we’re to choose, I don’t want any of those – because whichever you choose, you lose.
There are two basic kinds of aneurysm. This is based on their shape. There is the saccular aneurysm or the berry aneurysm. This is the most common type. Here, a small pouch or sac forms on one side of your artery wall, so that it would look like a berry with a short stem. That is why they are called as berry aneurysms. They are often filled, either partially or fully by a thrombus or a blood clot. You see this kind of aneurysm in people who have hardened arteries. This is when cholesterol and other fatty substances build up in your arteries and narrow them. So, guys, will you blame it to lechon, crispy pata, etc., etc. or you?
Then, you have fusiform aneurysm or the spindle-shaped aneurysms. They are variable in diameter and length. Their diameters can extend up to 20 cm or 8 inches. They often involve large portions of the aorta.
So, how do you know if you have unruptured aneurysm? Meaning, this has not burst yet. If you have small aneurysms, they don’t give you any symptoms, but the problem is if you have the larger ones, then, they could press on your brain and lead to problems with balance, headaches, numbness or weakness on one side of your face, pain above and behind your eye, problems seeing, like double vision or loss of sight, trouble talking and widened pupils. So, if ever you feel any of those, you better see your doctor right away. Don’t wait for too long. We can wait, but, the problem is, our body might not be able to withstand the waiting.
Oh, oh, here we go again, we are running out of space, so, let me, continue this in my next issue. Until then!
(Dr. Fritz Legarde Espedilla is an aesthetic dermatologist and surgeon and a clinical sexologist. She is also trained in hypnotherapy and Medical Acupuncture. She has been in the broadcast media for more than a decade and has written a book based on her 15 year stint with her radio program, “Healthy is Sexy Secrets ni Dr. Fritz.” She is also a faculty in a College of Pharmacy. For your questions, you may send them to Dear Dr. Fritz, c/o SunStar-Davao Publishing Inc., Ebro-Pelayo Building, Jacinto St., Davao City, (former Department of Foreign Affairs office), across Ateneo de Davao University and beside Holy Child School of Davao, or you e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you don’t wish your letter to be published, we regret that we cannot answer them. Thank you for your understanding.)