Ever since my AVM diagnosis at 15 years old in Dec. 2004, I've definitely made an effort not to let on how difficult such a diagnosis and subsequent experience can be.
Through 8 embolizations, and 6 'fully-invasive' procedures (2 part craniotomy, placement of shunt to prevent hydrocephaly, repositioning the same shunt, replacing the bone flap [done 2 mo. after craniotomy due to swelling, placement of shunt] ,and a utilitarian cranioplasty in Mar 2012 ) I've never once uttered the phrase 'this is hard', 'woe is me',etc. and now that I'm in the clear, lately I've been feeling like the sum of my existence is filling space/worthless/ feeling inconsequential.
The feeling is vague and nagging emptiness. Partly because while an undergrad there was so much I couldn't/didn't do (pick up on apparently simple social cues, drive a car, engage in traditional irresponsible American college behavior). Can having had a cerebral AVM affect one's mood (even though it' was removed almost 9 years ago, or Am I just being excessively hard on myself?
I did, however graduate last May with a Bachelor's degree.
I was laid off from my job this past Dec. with no advance notice like a dispensible cog. I've since applied for other jobs, been denied at all of them.
-Seriously in the Dumps
I should add: I understand that I'm still here for areason. I have no clue what that reason is, but I'm not even considering suicide, not on my radar at all.
Hey Michael....should i be saying you will be pleasantly surprised if we both are on the same boat. I too went through my Craniotomy 13 yrs ago in April 2001 at the age of 15yrs......similar challenges of peer pressure & depression & also getting laid off from jobs....i have attempted 6 jobs in Finance from MNCs and indirectly forced to leave.....i am currently unemployed.....the most common symptom is very strong mood swings & feeling lonely without peer groups......After postponing for 13 yrs I am now in middle of a full fledged professional COGNITIVE REHABILITATION..,,,i must say its easier said than done.
But i suggest the easiest way to face pain & depression is to make sure you are SO BUSY.....start habits like going around wandering & be of some social service to poeple, hobbies like photography....learning to play a new musical instrument...enrol for some camps etc
When your mind is so occupied, your mood swings will reduce...i am not saying they will disappear but it will reduce drastically.
I am glad you posted, Michael. To answer your question, yes, undoubtedly a cerebral avm can still affect your mood years after treatment. We see it often on the site. And the job situation certainly doesn't make that easier.
Sometimes anti-depressants are helpful, so you may want to talk to your doctor about this. Cognitive behavioral therapy may also benefit you. Different solutions work for different people.
Congratulations on your degree -- that is a big achievement.
Keep posting if it helps. We are listening.
Hi Michael and I would like to echo dancermom's comment and congratulate you on earning your bachelor's degree; you should be very proud of that accomplishment. Thanks for posting your comments and Santhosh offers some great suggestions!
For what it's worth, responding to other's posts, statements and questions about having an AVM, what to expect when diagnosed, treated or in going through treatment adds to the feeling of a worthwhile existence.
The fact that earlier tonight I visited with a patient hospitalized for a different reason,and her daughter, knowing that I was there, in this case physically, for someone else made today go little better. (It's unfortunate what the patient is going through, but being able to respond to what I knew the patient wanted& needed, company if nothing else, was reassurance that what I was doing was appreciated).
Also, I heard something tonight that I think is worth a try, meditation. (Not necessarily religious meditation, simply slowing down and decluttering my mind, focusing on the present instead of worrying about the future/past might help too.)
Also, while in my dentist's office I was pointed in the direction of a local employer that is hiring and happens to be looking for recent college grads. Nonetheless, I can go to bed a little happier tonight.
Good, Michael. I'm glad. :)
Well, I didn't see anything about the aforementioned lead in terms of employment, but I did find other opportunities. I applied online by submitting my resume and got calls in return within minutes from both. (I definitely wasn't expecting a quick turnaround considering I applied on a Friday.)In that regard, I'm happy to report that I have two job interviews scheduled for Monday.
Okay, slight setback today, still doesn't trump the fact I got to see today, but It turns outthat both jobs I interviewed for today necessitated the ability to drive. (It would have been nice if that was mentioned in the actual listing.) In retrospect, most job applications/listings I see automatically assume the applicant can drive. Those two jobs are out of the picture..
I did , however, come across an application for a position almost identical to my last job, that requires 0 driving.
I applied for that one 9 hours ago, so we'll see how that one goes.
Michael, thanks for the update and good for you in finding an opportunity that matches you well. Best wishes to you.