Age at time of Dissection: 52
Type of Dissection: Ascending
Date of Aortic Dissection: 30 September 2011
Tell Us Your Story:
Iwas working in my home office on a Friday afternoon, feeling pretty stressed out, from the volume of my work, when I felt a strange ‘fluttering’ feeling in my chest. I knew immediately that something was wrong and asked my wife to call 911. I don’t recall feeling pain, though my wife and the hospital report stated that I did say I was in pain. The emergency folks could not detect a pulse in my left arm. I was taken to one hospital that’s part of my network but they apparently felt that a surgeon at another area hospital was better qualified for this procedure (though of course I was unaware of this at the time). So I was taken to another hospital and operated on that night for about 7 hours. The dissection extended down to my illiac.
The surgeon replaced my aortic valve with a mechanical and did a hemiarch repair. During my recovery I had a collapsed lung and some kind of infection, but after about 2 weeks I was well enough to be released from the hospital. Within a week of coming home, however, I noticed some pain in my left arm and, following instructions, went to local emergency room. They detected fluid in my heart and readmitted me. The procedure went well, I was home again within about a week. I had some pain and seroma in my right thigh where a cannulus (sp?) was inserted during my initial surgery.
This caused swelling in the insertion point in my thigh and a numb feeling in the inside of my right thigh. The swelling has dissipated and I can now walk normally with no pain, though some numbness remains. Since my release from the hospital I have been keeping my BP under 120 through a combination of lisinopril, hydralazine, metoprolol, tamsulosin, and amlodipine. I have also found that the supplements described in Kowalski’s book “The Blood Pressure Cure” have had a noticeably positive effect on my blood pressure. I have kept my weight down around the low 170s (after weighing between 190 and 200 before the surgery) through a low-sodium and low-cholesterol diet. I walk daily but that is my only exercise. I have had multiple CTs and they all show that my dissection is “stable”–not expanding.