Personal Stories: Jeanne

Hello Everyone

I’ve been trying to write my story since I found out about this web site last August. Ridiculous as it might sound I still have a hard time thinking & talking about it. My dissection happened in Feb. of 2002 & it was Type B so I didn’t have surgery.

About a week before it happened I had gone to the Dr. to start my physical. For the first time since I was pregnant my blood pressure was a little higher than normal for me. The dr. wasn’t concerned but she gave me some BP pills to offset any problems. My upper back started hurting but I just thought it was another getting older ache.

Sunday night my back was hurting & I had a headache which wasn’t unusual. I took my pain pills & started to get into bed. At that moment that I bent down it felt like my whole back exploded & I felt the most excruciating pain that I’ve ever had, plus I had trouble breathing. My daughter heard me & rushed into my room then she called 911.

I was praying to pass out because it hurt so bad but I wanted to make sure I told EMS that I had factor 5 (that’s another story) & to try & keep my daughter calm.

By the time I got into the ambulance I went in & out of consciousness. My daughter told me every time the EMS driver went over a bump I screamed in pain. They arrived at one hospital & luckily the ER Dr. knew what was happening to me. That hospital was not equipped to take care of me so other hospitals & a helicopter were called.


I woke up Tuesday afternoon not knowing anything. My family tried to explain what happened but there was so much morphine & demerol in my body that I couldn’t understand or focus on what was being said. Plus I lost a kidney. The doctors told my family that it would heal on its own but that the healing would be a long & painful process. So far that’s almost the only thing they’ve been right about.

Needless to say that was the beginning of a total change in my life. I’m so very thankful that I survived it but I’m still having a very hard time adjusting to everything. The excessive weight gain, the lack of activity etc…….

Obviously God isn’t finished with me yet because this is the 3rd time he’s given me life. Once when I was born, I almost died when I had my daughter & with the dissection. I just wish I could figure out what my purpose is.

From reading other stories, I see I’m not the only one with depression & frustration. But yet we are survivors & very grateful for each day we wake up.

Also the more I find out about dissection it doesn’t seem to be as rare as the doctors make it out to be. More needs to be made known about this illness.

There I finally did it. Thanks for reading this.

Jeanne