Name: Peter Rose
Age at time of Dissection: 67
Type of Dissection: Descending
Date of Aortic Dissection: 10 January 2013
Tell Us Your Story:
Iexperienced what I initially thought was a heart attack a strong pulsating in my heart with Pain about 6/10 but it radiated to my back and pain intensified to 11/10. I lay on bed and my wife called an ambulance. I thought I was finished and said goodbye to my wife. The Ambulance took me to Taree Hospital in NSW Australia where they checked everything and gave me a CT Scan. They diagnosed a type A aortic dissection and at Taree they were unable to operate.
The ER doctor came and told me I was very sick and needed surgery. I asked what my chances of survival were and he said about 60% but I suspect he thought I was going to die. I was flown to Newcastle in a twin engine fixed wing air ambulance where I was instantly admitted to Intensive Care. I knew I was very sick when my family including Grandchildren suddenly started arriving in the ICU of a hospital which was 180klm from where they lived I was given Xrays ,Ultra Sounds and another CT Scan and after several days of lying in ICU they told me I had a Type B descending dissection and that they would not be operating.
The treatment was aggressive control of blood pressure with regular CT Scan to monitor situation. After several weeks in Hospital I was able to come home. Initially I experienced some pain in my upper legs when walking more than 50-80 steps and I thought this was deconditioning caused by being in a hospital bed flat on my back for several weeks but later found out it was because the blood flow to my legs had been compromised. Apparently I am lucky because people can experience Kidney. lung and other organ failure as a consequence of aortic dissection.
I am now stable ( touch wood ) taking pills each day.
I live with the pain in my legs but try to exercise when possible. Apparently my aorta has about 50% effective blood flow and my legs have less. I feel tired all the time and some days have difficulty getting the energy to get out of the chair.Its difficult to get GOOD Information as most GPs don’t have up to date knowledge on the condition and the specialist I see every 9 months only rely s on his notes.
Recently I found that I was getting side effects from the beta blockers and visited my GP who ordered blood tests and found a skin cancer on my shoulder which needs removing ,suggested I had a irregular heart beat but after 6 weekly visits I had to remind him that the reason I went to see him in the first place was a Type B dissection and side effects of the drugs. I am lucky to be alive 3 years later but I wish there was more information available about my condition.