Name: Lisa L
Age at time of Dissection: 49
Type of Dissection: Descending
Date of Aortic Dissection: 5 February 2012
Tell Us Your Story:
2012 Super bowl Sunday I woke up early (around 5:30) and turned the TV and enjoyed a cup of coffee. About an hour later, I had this pain in the shoulders. I thought it was gas because it was a sharp pain, so I took some Gas X and tried to lay down and get comfortable. Didn’t help. I tried walking and walking and walking, pain was still there. I talked to my daughter-in-law about 10:00 and mentioned my pain. I guess about 10:30, I found myself curled up in a ball with a pillow on my chest because I was about to lose if from the pain.
My daughter-in-law texted me and asked how I was, well, I caved and said something is WRONG. We decided to go to the ER. So now I sitting in the ER and since I presented with “back pain”, I was not a priority. I paced back and forth and after about an hour and a half, I was called back. Still not a priority. They took blood and started asking me questions. At this point, the pain was so bad I could not speak and I could barely breath. FINALLY pain meds! It eased up some.
Next thing I know, someone is in my room and moving my bed. I had to ask where I was going and why. The ER doc came in and said I needed to have a CT scan just to make sure I was ok because some of the blood tests came back elevated.
After the CT scan, I was back in my room in the ER. I sent my kids home earlier so they didn’t have to just “sit” there all day. Well, I really lost “time” after the CT scan because of the meds and the pain. I’m guessing a 1/2 hour later, my room was FULL of staff. I was being pulled and poked and IV’s, etc. I kept asking WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? The ER doctor finally said your aorta is dissecting. (My mom had an aortic aneurysm and had open heart in 1992), so I knew that this was NOT good! I asked the ER doctor if I was going to die and she wouldn’t answer me. All she kept saying was that I had to calm down because of my blood pressure. I asked her the same question again and she walked out.
While all these people were working on me, I sat up and said I need to call my family because apparently I might die. The ER doc called my kids for me and they came right away. I really don’t remember much for a couple of days. I spent 5 days in ICU (Cardiac Care). No surgery, just control with BP meds. Low dose since I don’t have “high” blood pressure. So that’s the only medication I am on. Metroprolol Sodium 25mg per day.
That’s my first story.
2 weeks later, I was at home and my BP spiked out of control and I had severe pain in my lower back. I was not having it so back to ER I went. I got a CT scan and aortic dissection was the same, however, I now had bladder issues. I was ambulanced that night to a heart hospital for observation and to see what to do with the bladder (I seriously think the ER doc, who was so sweet, was scared and thought I should be at the Heart Hospital). So sweet. My bladder was not draining all the way so I had bladder / kidney infection. Spent 4 days in the heart hospital.
So, that’s my story. I went back to work at the end of March 2012. I am trying to keep my stress low and maintain balance in my life (I have to just say, I can’t do it all).
Well, I pray everyday that the dissection doesn’t progress, but as we all know, that is unpredictable and the chances of that happening are pretty high.
I thank the Lord everyday I wake up!!!
Now I am working on turning 50 and the possibility of permanent disability from work to relieve stress.
Thanks for listening.