Category: Descending

Rick Tomasinski

Personal Stories: Rick Tomasinski

Came across your site via Google as I was looking for information on the Aorta.

I have read the personal stories and noticed that most have had an operation although my doctor informs me that many are treated with medicine to control blood pressure.

I had my aortic dissection on April 4 ,2004 and was rushed to our acute care hospital in Melbourne Vic, Aust by air ambulance.

To my surprise when I came to was that I did not have an operation to fix this dissection, but was advised that we need to control my blood pressure and have been prescribed just about every blood pressure tablet ever made.

Currently I am finding that the blood flow to my right leg has been compromised and my Vascular doctor says we need to monitor this over a period of time.

At present I feel that I am just waiting for the big event to happen is this part of depression or do others feel this early in their recovery.I dont know what to think.

Sorry if my story seems a bit over the place.

Rick Tomasinski

20 Cross,s Road

Traralgon, Vic

Australia

Thanks for stopping by to view our stories. Please help me keep the site going by shopping at Amazon.com-It’s very much appreciated. Brian Tinsley founder of AorticDissection.com (please book mark the link once you get to Amazon.com for future purchases!)

Paul Oberle-64

Personal Stories: Paul Oberle

Brian, you may have already received a message similar to this one, but since I wasn’t sure it went I decided to write again.

I suffered a descending aortic dissection on March 20 extending from my subclavial artery to the bifurcation. Subsequent to that other complications include, loss of my right kidney due to lack of blood flow and a bleed in my basal ganglia resulting in a minor stroke (if there is such a thing).

The stroke was caused by drugs to reduce my blood pressure, that reduced my heart rate to below 40 bpm. I feel pretty much recovered from the stroke. I’m very weak and most anything exhausts me. For example, just taking a shower.


My questions are:

What’s the mortality over 5 years? How all this is going to end? I feel I’m screwed although it seems odd to say, my health otherwise is good. I’m 65, never smoked, run all my life. My Doctor told me that if my dissection blows it won’t matter where I am any way, thus he’s allowing me to take a short motor home trip next week.

Thanks for the website. Paul Oberle

Thanks for stopping by to view our stories. Please help me keep the site going by shopping at Amazon.com-It’s very much appreciated. Brian Tinsley founder of AorticDissection.com (please book mark the link once you get to Amazon.com for future purchases!)

Update: 9/1/2004

At the time of my Dissection, the CT scan showed a mass in my abdomen. We have not been able to do a Biopsy until today. It showed I do not have the big CASINO. Rejoice with me. PO sr.

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Barbara Stevens-60

Personal Stories: Barbara Steven

I’m a 60 year old female who I thought was in relatively good health until on a Friday evening last June when I got home from work and started experiencing some unusual chest pains. I finally had my son call the local squad and that’s the last I remember..them putting me in the ambulance.

I woke up a week later in a Columbus hospital (100) miles from where I live) and learned I was life-flighted there by helicopter. I had been on a respirator for several days and all I could remember were terrible nightmares and pain. I was so weak I couldn’t hold a paper cup of ice. I didn’t understand what any of the nurses or doctors had told me at that point as I was still weak and on heavy medication. After some additional tests, they sent me by ambulance to the Cleveland Clinic from Columbus.

I was in ICU for 5 days there and that’s when the doctors started explaining to me I had a descending aortic dissection B and an aneurysm. I’m still not totally clear on all of this. They told me at Cleveland that they wouldn’t do surgery at this point as it was too risky and usually the aneurysm had to reach 6 (whatever) before they’d consider surgery. Controlling my blood pressure is the most important factor they tell me.


I’ve been back to Cleveland twice since then as my blood pressure was out of control both times and the local hospital life-flighted me to Cleveland. I’ve had 3 cat scans since last June and have one scheduled for next week on my chest, abdomen and pelvis. Having this done locally. I am depressed most of the time and when I finally got the nerve to ask one of the doctors in Cleveland how long I had to live he said “that’s in the hands of the Lord”. I want a clearer answer than that ( a medical answer) but at the same time am afraid of what I’ll hear.

I can’t really enjoy life now as this is always on my mind and I feel as though I’m walking on eggshells. I am a Christian and attend church regularly but I just can’t seem to shake the “doom and gloom” feeling I always have. If anyone can share with me something positive about your experiences I’d surely appreciate it. I know I’ve rambled on and on but this is the first time I’ve really talked to anyone much about this. Everyone now (at work) and at home seem to avoid the subject and I feel like I’m being pitied all the time which I don’t care for. Please someone, I could use some encouragement. Thanks!

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Thanks for stopping by to view our stories. Please help me keep the site going by shopping at Amazon.com-It’s very much appreciated. Brian Tinsley founder of AorticDissection.com (please book mark the link once you get to Amazon.com for future purchases!)

My Husband-57

Personal Stories: My Dear Husband

My husband had his aortic dissection 2 years ago. We were sitting down to dinner when he got a pain in his back that radiated to his chest. We are married 37 years and he had a look on his face that I had never seen before and never want to see again. I dialed 911 and the paramedics came and took him to Kennedy Hospital in South Jersey.

The doctor there did a chest xray and a cat-scan. He then told us that the hospital was not equipped to handle his problem and that we should pick a university hospital in the city. Since his primary doctor was at Thomas Jefferson hospital in the city of Philadelphia, that is where we decided to go.

They wanted to use a helicopter to transport him but the weather would not allow this. We got to the hospital by ambulance, where they proceeded to do a test. After the test my husband lost blood flow in both legs and was taken into emergency surgery. He has a tube running from his shoulder to his groin to correct his blood flow. After this surgery, and being in the hospital for 3 weeks, they still could not control his blood pressure.


After considering many options, they decided to move his kidney from his back to his stomach. We thank God that this worked and he spent another week in the hospital. My husband never had high blood pressure and was in good physical condition before the dissection. He went for a physical once a year and is in construction work.

He is now on three different types of blood pressure medicine and returned to work 3 months after the dissection. He has some trouble with his legs aching and the side effects from the blood pressure medicine but He continues to live life to the fullest. His most recent cat-scan was good and he just had a echo cardiogram last week.

He still sees a cardiologist, a vascular surgeon, and a transplant surgeon. They keep a close watch and I take his blood pressure on a regular basis. I wanted to share this story so that people will know that there is life after a aortic dissection. I would like to thank you for starting a web site like this one so that people have some where to go to read other stories of hope.

Sincerely,

Kathy Eckert

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Thanks for stopping by to view our stories. Please help me keep the site going by shopping at Amazon.com-It’s very much appreciated. Brian Tinsley founder of AorticDissection.com (please book mark the link once you get to Amazon.com for future purchases!)

Henry Church-62

Personal Stories: Henry Church

Hi Brian,

I live in Zimbabwe and constantly travel the continent of Africa. I had been in some pretty rural and backward areas just days before my Type B Dissection, which occurred within 15 minutes of Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, IN. What a blessing for me, and most likely a “life saver.”

I was in ICU for 4 days and a regular room for 3 more, then discharged.

I have had 2 CT scans and have another on the 19th of this month. The dilation of the aorta was between 3.5 – 4 cm. I know that is within the safety guidelines but don’t know how serious. I have not had any pain since leaving the hospital but am still not very energetic and tire rather quickly, especially in my legs. Not sure why.

This is totally new to me. I didn’t even know what it was until it hit, suddenly like a bolt from the blue.


How soon should I expect my energy level to increase? I am eating salt and pretty much cholesterol free. I am keeping my bp down. Have lost about 15 lbs. Have been granted a 3 month medical leave by my employer, but would hope to resume most of my work after this is over. Is it ever over?? What are the chances of renewed travel? Anyone have any experience??

Update Dec 12th, 2004:

Greetings Brian and other Aortic Dissection survivors.  I had an extensive descending dissection on the 31st of March, while I happened to be in Indianapolis on business.  I live in the back woods of Africa.  I thank the same Good Lord for putting me where I was at the time, and getting me to Methodist Hospital where I met Dr. John Fehrenbacher.  Dr. John does about 70 or so resections each year.  I spent time recovering from the trauma of the dissection then went in for a full resection.  I had a 5.5 aneurysm and knew I could not continue my work in peace without taking care of it.  The surgery was extensive, as you know.  12 hrs. later I had a new aorta.  That was on the 19th of July.  On the 17th of November we left for Africa and I am in Zimbabwe as I write this.  I have no ill effects other than post surgery tightness, etc..  My energy level is good though not quite up to what it was before.  I am just very thankful to be alive, thanks to the grace of God and the skills of Dr. Fehrenbacher.

Thanks.

Henry Church, Warsaw, Indiana

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Thanks for stopping by to view our stories. Please help me keep the site going by shopping at Amazon.com-It’s very much appreciated. Brian Tinsley founder of AorticDissection.com (please book mark the link once you get to Amazon.com for future purchases!)

John Goldsmith

Personal Stories: Jim Goldsmith

Hello Again Brian:

I had terrible, terrible, pain in my back running up and down the whole core of my body. I thought I was passing a kidney stone or having a heart attack! Dr. Coan was on duty that day at the hospital. (I guess many regular Doctors alternate pulling emergency room duty at this big hospital in Atlanta.) Dr. Coan is a top Vascular surgeon and he quickly recognized from what I described and from his experience what was happening to me.

I remember he said: “You’re not passing a kidney stone and I don’t think you are having a heart attack”, probably from the blood tests they did, etc.’ but then he said “You’re blood pressure is off the chart it’s so high” and he ordered a CT scan right away. I was all drugged up and the next day he came by my room and told me I had had an Aortic Dissection. Dr. Coan is still my Vascular doctor and he said they could either operate or treat me with blood pressure medicine and monitor the dissection to see if it changes.

I have a MRI/CT scan twice a year and the dissection has not changed over the past four years. He says that if it starts growing in size he will probably want me to get the operation. I see another doctor twice a year for my blood pressure medicine.   I take Labetalol and Lisinopril for blood pressure, Pot Chloride, Furosemide (water pill), a low dose Lipitor, and an aspirin and day.   Dr. Coan told me that Aortic dissections are often mis diagnosed and I feel I’m very lucky that he was on duty that day!   My younger brother got a check up after my dissection and discovered he had the same condition! He died a year ago while at work! Thanks again for you great web site!   Best regards,   John Goldsmith

Thanks for stopping by to view our stories. Please help me keep the site going by shopping at Amazon.com-It’s very much appreciated. Brian Tinsley founder of AorticDissection.com (please book mark the link once you get to Amazon.com for future purchases!)

Tim Bailey-48

Personal Stories: Tim Bailey

Brian,

My husband, Tim, had a dissection of the aorta in October. He was not properly diagnosed for it for an entire week. He had visited his doctor with shortness of breath, prior to that he had a vicious pain in his back that was at first diagnosed with being a back muscle spasm.

We live in a small rural town, so we understand that they had difficulty diagnosing him properly. He is 48 and never been in the hospital for anything prior to this. He is now considered a walking miracle. We are very thankful to God for sparing him


I was glad to find your site as I still continue to worry about his health and the damage this may have caused to his heart. He was out of the hospital in 4 days, and back to work in 6 weeks. Any information you may have about rehabilitation would be very helpful.

Thank you for what you are doing.-Janie in Iowa

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Thanks for stopping by to view our stories. Please help me keep the site going by shopping at Amazon.com-It’s very much appreciated. Brian Tinsley founder of AorticDissection.com (please book mark the link once you get to Amazon.com for future purchases!)

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