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I just hate everything today. I’m so close to finishing my degrees. I had another surgery recently (not AVM related). Everything is rough. It just brings back all those memories. I am reading When Nietzsche Wept and I think that he may have had an undiagnosed cerebral AVM. thoughts?

I think it is quite possible that Nietzsche had an AVM. I mean, it is rare, but wholly possible. He definitely suffered from migraines from a young age and had dementia and strokes and was in a terrible condition by his forties. According to different sources he may have suffered from a neurosyphilic infection but there is also a paper out there suggesting CADASIL, which is an inherited condition (so far as I can tell, that is more akin to atherosclerosis than to having an AVM) it sounds like his strokes were ischaemic rather than haemorrhagic.

Nietzsche died about 1900 – long before the ability of medicine to understand and do anything constructive about neurovascular conditions.

I worried about my own grandfather when I was first diagnosed with an AVM. He was born in 1892, served in the trenches of the Great War, and then, aged 29 (after the war) started getting migraines. He died in 1953 after many years of dementia and haemorrhagic strokes. My mum (aged only ten when he passed away) describes massive nosebleeds that he used to suffer from, a clear indication that his dementia was probably due to bleeding going on not just out of his nose.

So I wonder about him. Again, there was just nothing that medicine could do to treat such things in the 1940s.

So, personally, I comfort myself with the wonders of modern medicine. It may not be perfect but I feel very lucky to have much better options for treatment than my grandfather.

Best wishes,


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Hey BunnyFriend,
Welcome back.
This is Merl from the Modsupport Team.

Bunny, if you feel the need to talk to somebody, please reach out.
I’m in Australia and I’m a little unsure of services that maybe available to you. On the top bar of this page is the contact information for Crisis Help Line. Please utilize the services available to you.

I think we all have ‘those’ sort of days (sometimes weeks) at times. When we have a continual, ongoing health issue, adding that little bit more it can all become overwhelming really quickly. I’ve not too long ago had additional surgery myself, add that to my headaches and blahhhh. Just YUCK. And, YES, at times things are fairly rough, but slowly, slowly… …it does get easier. And easier isn’t really the right word. I think we slowly learn to ‘manage better’, rather than it becoming easier.

Yea, it certainly does. I find, for me, I need to ‘try’ (not always successfully) to divert my mind. I’ve fallen into that whirlpool of repeating negative thoughts before. When I can identify in myself when I’m heading there I need to change my mindset. Change my activity, occupy myself in another way. If I’ve got too much time my mind can lead me down some awful dark paths. I know this, so I try to avoid them.

OK, not my sort of reading material. Not exactly what I’d call light reading. He could well have had an undiagnosed cerebral AVM. But as @DickD states ‘…1900 – long before the ability of medicine to understand and do anything constructive about neurovascular conditions…’ I think some of the advancements just in the last 30yrs, since my journey started, are just amazing. Their knowledge of such things back then, 1900, was minimal at best.

Crisis/Help Line - Support - AVM Survivors Network

Merl from the Modsupport Team.

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