Aortic dissection & aortic aneurysm information support group

Aortic dissection, aortic aneurysm - The aorta - Life after an aortic dissection

After a family meeting on Sunday, I have decided to go for the endograft. But I still have the feeling of taking the easy road. I have reasearched one surgery vs the other and I feel totally overwhelmed. However, I do not feel physically and emotionally ready to deal with another major surgery. The last one was only a year in a half ago. I am very scared. I can tell you because you understand the process of our emotional and physical healing. Although the people in my life love me and they want the best for me, sometimes they make me feel that I am weak and negative.
I spoke to the doctor yesterday to let him know my decision. The surgery will probability be this week or next week because they have to order "the parts." They have to fit my body.Sometimes I wish I did not know anything, like the first time.

One of the things I have been wondering lately is if I did something to hurt myself. Because when I feel good, I forget my condition and pretend to be "normal." And when I have bad days, the feeling of not being here for long is very strong. Reading your postings leads me to wonder what are your daily lives like. How often and how strengnous are your workouts? Working out is one of my favorite things to do. Work is another one. I am one of those people that wants to save the world and the job that I have allows me to try that. I have so many plans for the future...Do all of you struggle? Or is it just me? How do you cope when your strength fails? As you can see, I am feeling sorry for myself right now. I want to be strong and live my life without fear. I take five full years of life to 20 with limitations.

Thank you for taking the time to read my postings and I hope to hear from you on this one.

Hugs to all of you!

Maria T

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You are not the only one that struggles, as I read through your post it was almost exactly something I have said or wrote. I think coming so close to death keeps our thoughts of our own mortality so close to the surface of our daily thoughts. Every strange pain or feeling, or even just feeling exhaustion we think about dying. I miss the days when I didn't think about it. I can only imagine how knowing before hand gives the fear time to escalate into something overwhelming. But you've made it through once and from everything I read a very strong woman, you will make it through this, never doubt that. So much of surviving and recovering is a persons own will to survive, to want to be here, go in there with the attitude that you WILL survive, that you ARE strong, that you ARE a SURVIVOR.

You sound so scared about the surgery and my heart goes out to you. Now also keep this in mind: from what you wrote you have an amazing heart, a heart that wants to save the world, this world needs you. There is not enough unselfish people who want to help the world and the life on it. This world needs you, your family needs you and everyone here(also your family) needs you. You will make it through this surgery and you will be with us for a long long time. Please let us know the surgery date and time, I want to make sure I'm thinking of you and sending my love and all the strength I have to you exactly when you need it most. You are not alone and you never will be.


Hi Maria,


I read your post understanding how you feel. I am going through the same emotional ups & downs, my second opp if on May 4th.

You need to remain positive, at all times. Hard i know, but you can't let those negative thoughts take over your life. Its "very" important you go into your opp with a positive attitude & focus on getting well at the end of it.

I have taken external counselling as one route. This allows you to share your thoughts with someone outside the circle of family & friends. They have helped put things in perspective & may be a route you should consider.

I know we can't do the same things ever again. Pain is a constantly lurking in the background, but we made it & i am happy to carry on 80%, if not 100% - never give up!


You need to carry on & make your plans, work through your usual routines. Letting negative thoughts creep in are defeatist, it will drag your down & that will effect your recovery & health.


Be positive, stay focused on what needs to be done & prepare mentally & physically as best you can. Make sure you have a good support network & all will be well.


Good luck!!


Maria.. hugs to you too...


Yes.. I sometimes have felt like you do ... especially on a dark winters night in bed when the house is quiet as a mouse with the wind howling and the rain lashing the roof of our converted barn ..... You feel so alone, frail, helpless and very much the 'why me' I gues this is where faith comes in - faith in your god, faith in yourself, faith in your partner, family and friends.. but - it is TOTALLY natural! And, in the morning when daylight streams in the window and the rain has gone - it seems like it was just a bad dream. Fear is a natural emotion. For all of of the human race. We are just a little closer to the core than most normal people. So remember and take on board all the good things about your life and try and put the scary things outside ... It sorta seems to work with me anyway! I know just how scared you are over this new development. Remember thought - that we - your friends - are all here for you..


take care





You'd be a very strange person indeed if you weren't scared! It's the doing it anyway(didn't someone write a book on that theme? lol) that comes from your inner strength. We forget that it takes much courage to fight for our lives and take these decisions sometimes. I had to have a small op to take a couple of loose sternal wires out. 10mins. Nothing. I was admitted the day before so they could run a whole load of tests while they'd got me there. The last time I was there was for my emergency operation when I dissected. SO much easier when you have no choice or decisions to make!!! Don't think I stopped shaking until I woke up after the very, very short minor op - so believe me I really can believe you're scared of this operation. I would be. It's a big step but no bigger than the one you already took. You're not being negative in voicing these fears - you're just saying it as it is. It's better to voice it and confront it - at least then you know when you're stomache flips over and your chest gets tight and the pounding in your head gets louder - it's fear. Nothing more. Nothing else to panic about.


I only walk for cardio exercise because of my long dissection but rush around at work all day. I dance around the house  when no-ones around or just stretch out with some yoga or pilates. You won't have damaged yourself, I'm sure. It's the condition. 

When it's too much?? I run a bath, fill it with oils, light a candle and cry it all out. Just howl until the calm comes. Silly, but it helps - if nothing else to keep your blood pressure down!!! 


Be kind to yourself


Allie x x x

The mental similarities amongst all of us is sad to say comforting as it lets me know I'm not the only one. 

There are times pretty much every week that I feel like I'm now manic/depressive - basically bipolar!  But I know it's just the mental game AD plays on us.

There isn't anything you have done to hurt yourself --- as I'm sure they can't pinpoint exactly what caused your situation in the first place -- it just is.  I know that doesn't help and I know we all question ourselves when things seem "off".

You might not be able to keep the pace you have been recently once your surgery is done, but don't ever let go of that inner desire and guiding force - it's there for a reason, and maybe it's what made you survive the first time and what will make you survive and conquer it this second time.

I can question my decisions over my lifetime leading up to my dissection, but there really isn't anything I would change.  I wouldn't have stopped exercising, or working, or having my 4 kids --- my life just wouldn't be real if I had.

My surgery has redirected my life - especially work wise, but it also let me know how much I want to be here, what is most important to me, and what I still want to accomplish while I'm still here.

You have goals and desires of what you want to accomplish and I think that's a huge plus going into your surgery!

I just happened to check on the site tonight and found your discussion so I don't even know if you already had the surgery, but just know, you've been on my mind alot and all my prayers and positive thoughts go out your way --- I'm not too far from you -- just a bit Northwest from you in Minnesota --- but my heart and optimism are there with you!




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