Name: ann quinn phyfer
Age at time of Dissection: 72
Type of Dissection: Descending
Date of Aortic Dissection: 20 October 2010
Tell Us Your Story:

Iwas bending over my laptop, which was on the floor. I felt what I thought was an electric shock going through my body. I jumped up and ran to tell my husband what was happening to me. He’s a physician and said he would take me to the ER. I said no, the pain isn’t as severe as it was–it feels like I’ve got a knife in my back. The fact that it kept getting better but stayed made me underestimate it.

It was hard to get into a comfortable position. I finally, after three days, went to an emergency med service and the doc asked me why I had waited so long and I told her I thought I would die. She said I needed to get to an ER and should get into an ambulance NOW. After an hour in the ER, I was told I had had an aortic dissection, descending. I was in intensive cardiac care for ten days. I stayed on the couch or in bed for six months, gradually building up my walking distance by making trips through the house.

I read the statistics and couldn’t believe I had made it so far. I read a research study on the internet about mice that are bred to have aortas that dissect easily so that they can learn how to make their aortas stronger. They fed the mice about 24 supplements, and I ordered them all. I took the supplements and by July I felt well enough to go alone to Cleveland Clinic to see if I needed surgery.

They said I’d been through a lot but blood was flowing through the partially thrombosed false lumen as well as the true lumen. I had refused my regular physician’s urging that I would have to take a blood-pressure lowering med or I would die. Those meds made me feel I had already died so I stopped them. It has now been about 16 months since the AD and I feel better than I did before it. I’m still taking the supplements!

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