Game of Thrones Star Emilia Clarke revealed in a recent essay that she suffered a devastating health emergency – including two aneurysms and multiple surgeries.
In an essay for The New Yorker Clarke reported on her experiences with two brain aneurysms and several surgeries, the first of which took place in 2011, not long after she found her dream role.
Clarke said that she first realized that while working something was going on a trainer at her gym shortly after filming the first season of Game of Thrones had ended. She first had severe headache and a feeling of fatigue while dressing up.
"I immediately feel like a rubber band squeezes my brain," she wrote. "I tried to ignore the pain and go through it, but I just could not." She told her coach she had to take a break and was "badly ill" in the bathroom. "Meanwhile, the pain – shooting, stinging, contracting pain – is getting worse," she said. "At some point I knew what was going on: My brain was damaged."
A next-door woman helped her and "then everything became loud and blurry, I remember the sound of a siren, an ambulance, I heard new voices, someone said my pulse was weak, I threw bile up. "Clarke, then 24, was taken to a hospital where she was diagnosed with subarachnoid hemorrhage, a type of stroke that can be life-threatening and is caused by bleeding into the brain's environment.
aneurysm, "she wrote.
Later, she learned that many patients die with their aneurysm case – a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) – immediately or soon afterwards. About 25 percent of patients do not survive the first 24 hours, while another 25 percent die of complications within six months National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).
"For the patients who survive, urgent treatment is required to seal the aneurysm because the risk of second, often fatal, bleeding is very high," Clarke wrote. "If I wanted to live and avoid terrible deficits, I would need urgent surgery, and even then there were no guarantees."
Clarke underwent a three-hour operation in which a wire was inserted into one of her arteries through her groin. It soared into her brain, where it isolated the aneurysm . "When I woke up, the pain was unbearable, I had no idea where I was," she wrote. "My vision was limited, there was a tube in my throat and I was dehydrated and sick, they took me out of intensive care after four days and told me that the big hurdle was to reach the two-week mark Complications so long, my chances of a good recovery were high. "After her surgery, she struggled with aphasia, the loss of the ability to understand or express language, but it took a week.
Eventually she recovered, but was told that she had another small aneurysm on the other side of her brain that could "pop" at any moment, even though her doctors said it might remain dormant. Clarke says she was struggling with pain after her surgery and had difficulty shooting in the second season of Game of Thrones . "If I'm really honest, I thought at any moment that I was going to die," she said.
After shooting the third season of Game of Thrones Clarke had a brain scan that revealed that the other aneurysm had doubled. She was told it was "easier than last time," but when they woke me, I screamed in pain. The procedure had failed. I had heavy bleeding and the doctors made it clear that my chances of survival were precarious if they did not operate again, "she said," This time around, they had to access my brain in an old-fashioned way – through my skull. And the surgery had to be done immediately. "She left the operation with an outflow in her head and parts of her skull had been replaced by titanium and she also spent a month in hospital recovering.
What is an aneurysm?  An aneurysm is a bulge or balloon in a blood vessel in your brain that develops due to a weakness in the arterial wall .The weakness progressively worsens over time, causing a bulge that allows blood to leak or even rupture
They may leak or rupture and cause a hemorrhagic stroke ie hemorrhaging in the brain, the Mayo Clinic says.These aneurysms usually occur in the space between the brain and thin tissues, covering the brain, known as subarachnoid haemorrhage.
Both a leaking aneurysm and a cracked aneurysm cause sudden and severe headache. "Most people describe it as the worst headache of their lives," says Matthew Potts, a neurosurgeon at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, about SELF. "It comes from nothing."
But when an aneurysm is torn, the Mayo Clinic says there may be other symptoms, such as:
- nausea and vomiting
- a stiff neck
- blurred or blurred double vision
- photosensitivity  A seizure
- A slack eyelid
- Loss of consciousness
It is possible to have an unruptured aneurysm without symptoms. However, a large uninterrupted aneurysm can affect brain tissue and nerves, possibly causing pain above and behind an eye, an enlarged pupil, changes in vision or vision, and facial numbness, the Mayo Clinic states.
How common are aneurysms in young women?
In general, people over 40 years of age (aneurysms most commonly between the ages of 30 and 60) have untreated high blood pressure or kidney disease, smoke cigarettes, and have a family. The history of brain aneurysms is higher with NINDS Probability. Brain aneurysms are also more common in women than in men, especially in postmenopausal women.
In younger people, "the most likely cause is an innate flaw" in the wall of a cerebral artery, dr. George P. Teitelbaum, interventional neuro-neurologist and director of the stroke and aneurysm center at the Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California, opposite SELF. He added that he even treated children with brain aneurysms. So if you have a family history of brain aneurysms, it's perfectly fine and even recommended to undergo a screening test like an MRI to see if you have early warning signs. med. Ciaran Powers, Program Director of Neurosurgery at Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center, tells SELF.
Nevertheless, brain aneurysms may form sporadically in younger people, and "there can be no reason" Omar Choudhri MD, Coderector of Cerebrovascular and Endovascular Neurosurgery at Penn Medicine, tells SELF.
That is, brain aneurysms are "uncommon in young people," says Amit Sachdev, MD, assistant professor and director of the Department of Neuromuscular Medicine at Michigan State University, to SELF. Dr. Choudhri agrees. "Less than five percent of the people we see in our busy aneurysm practice are in their twenties," he says.
What to do if you think you have an aneurysm?
If you think you have an aneurysm aneurysm, call 911 immediately. The diagnosis and treatment of ASAP increases the likelihood of complete recovery, according to the NINDS.
Once in the emergency room, you will probably undergo a series of tests that include a CT scan for bleeding in your brain, a test of your cerebrospinal fluid (to look for red blood cells in the fluid) MRI and a cerebral angiogram taking x-rays of your arteries, the Mayo Clinic says.
If you are diagnosed with an aneurysm, you probably need surgery. Some people who suffer from subarachnoid hemorrhage have permanent neurological damage, while others, like Clarke, recover with little or no problem afterwards.
After that you must be monitored for the rest of your life. "With an aneurysm, you have a higher risk of developing another," Dr. Potts. "But even if somebody has one, it's very rare to develop another, and we only recommend doing lifelong aftercare so an aneurysm can develop when we're on top of it."
Whether you have a brain aneurysm or a family history of them, it is generally recommended that you do your best to keep your blood pressure under control and avoid smoking as both are at risk of having an aneurysm in the future increase, says Dr. Powers.
Overall aneurysms are incredibly severe and pose a significant risk of death or serious complications. Clark is "definitely one of the lucky ones," says Dr. Choudhri.