Name: doug holmes
Age at time of Dissection: 69
Type of Dissection: Descending
Date of Aortic Dissection: 7 October 2012
Tell Us Your Story:

I awoke on the sofa with a strange pain down both sides that seemed skeletal rather than internal; funny, this is where i also awoke with vertigo about two years ago;eventually, the pain moved to my abdomen and was severe enough that i was sure it must be a gall bladder attack similar to what i experienced during the ’90’s;by afternoon, it was time for me to go to the pool for my daily exercises; i thought if the pain continued, i would detour to the emergency room which i did;there, they did a chest x-ray, as i remember, and some tests and released me with the proviso that i should go to the big hospital if pain worsened; i don’t think they had an mri machine;by that evening,

I was reluctantly headed to the big hospital with chest pains, too; they admitted me to a room, and i stayed there about 4 days; an mri or ct scan revealed an aortic dissection which i had never heard of; they kept me on morphine because pain raises blood pressure and gave me iv and pills;upon release, i was given a half dozen prescriptions which i didn’t immediately fill because i use united healthcare’s mail order with no additional cost for generics;the next day i was back in the e.r. with a non-stop nose bleed (which i’d also had a few years ago) and pain; the vascular p.a. (i think) was not pleased that i hadn’t immediately filled the prescriptions and said the vessel may have further damage, and i would die without the blood pressure under control;

They were most concerned about the systolic (upper number) being under 120, which i might have seen once in my adult lifetime! i always had thought the lower number (dystolic) was more important;they kept me another 4 days with the same deal as before; this time they released me with 10-days supply of meds which i’m taking religiously; btw, look at your med names and research if possible; one of these i was duplicating with other meds;i already had a 4.1 cm aneurysm of the ascending aorta (bad place), but i’m told there’s no intervention unless it reaches 5+cm;also, while in the hospital, i contracted pneumonia which led to deep, painful coughing;