Name: Marie Fishwick
Age at time of Dissection: 56
Type of Dissection: Descending
Date of Aortic Dissection: 31 October 2012
Tell Us Your Story:
My name is Marie Fishwick and I was very busy 56 year old working upto 42 hours per week caring for others. I have a back ground of high blood pressure for around 20 years and although I always took my medication I didn’t always keep my checks ups (stupid I know) due to fear of knowing what my blood pressure was. I wish I had now.
On Wednesday 31st October 2012 I woke up at 7am to get ready for work then ten minutes later while still in bed I had sudden severe pain in my lower abdomen at the front, within minutes it went round the back the upwards to my chest. I knew it seemed serious but thought I would try painkillers and indigestion remedies first, after an hour I got myself to the hospital and explained what was happening. I was immediately taken through to a&e and checked for heart problems but nothing was found.
I have never been in as much pain, nothing they gave me stopped it and I couldn’t keep still. After xrays, blood tests and different pain relief I was eventually sent for a ct scan more than 6 hour’s after arriving at hospital. I had moved to the assessment ward by this stage where a sister in charge and a training specialist came to me and pulled the curtains round the bed. They told me I had a descending aortic dissection and it was serious, I knew quite a lot about the body and knew immediately what I had, I was alone and scarred as I had sent my family home to return later at visiting time. My daughter was pregnant with her first child and I hadn’t told her I was in hospital- how could I tell her. I rang a good friend to come immediately and explained I couldn’t tell my family but knew I had to.
At visiting I told my husband and mum and was taken on to coronary care unit, I was put complete bed rest with oxygen, monitors, catheter, drip and various other things and was told it could mean an operation. I could hear them on the phone all through the night talking to other hospitals about me and putting them on standby. The hospital I was in didn’t see many people with an aortic dissection. I survived the night and was told the first 72 hours were critical. I knew I had to try and keep calm due to my blood pressure going up, I survived the critical time limit and was given morphine all the time I was in but it was never enough to get rid of the pain.
After 16 days in hospital I went home with lots and lots of medication and I was petrified of dying, the amount of fear is unbearable and you feel so alone. I knew no one with the condition and knew of no backup on the Internet. I had the worst time over the next few months, couldn’t eat, sleep and lack of interest. I should have had a hospital appointment after six weeks but it turn into 16 weeks, I though I was losing the plot and went to the doctors for an increase in my antidepressants, he was very supportive. I cried and cried for months. Now I am nearing my second year a things have changed so much in my attitude towards my condition, yes I’ve got it but I need to live my life without fear and I do. I have found groups on Facebook with similar and much much worse, I consider myself lucky. Please try to let your fear go or it will eat you away