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

Gregory Smith's Blog (14)

8 years coming up.

On 2nd June, it will be 8 years since my AAD. Everything has been going fine with no problems until January this year. I blacked out at the cardiac rehab gym and was taken to hospital to be checked out. Because of my medical history they were very concerned with my heart, thinking that it may have suddenly stopped beating for a moment but despite all their tests they could find nothing wrong so after 2 days they sent me home. Shortly after, I had a very intense pain in my back, so I returned…


Added by Gregory Smith on May 17, 2018 at 9:46 — 2 Comments

Six years and counting.

Yes it's 6 years since I suffered an acute aortic dissection. I'm still here and going strong. Recovery has been slow but steady and apart from the occasional dizzy spell, I'm doing fine. I go for long walks every day and ride my motorbike whenever the weather is good enough. In a couple of months I'll be 70! My son asked me what I wanted and I said, "another 10 years". Here's hoping.

Added by Gregory Smith on June 4, 2016 at 15:08 — 5 Comments

Five years today!

Yes it's 5 years today since I was operated on for an acute aortic dissection. At the time, my wife was told I wouldn't survive. But look, here I still am, and since that fateful day, I've been skiing, ridden my motorcycle to the Italian Alps and Southern Spain, and been on two narrow-boat holidays. In two weeks time, we'll be off again. So, there's hope for us all. Just stay positive and enjoy life to the full - it's the only one you've got.

Added by Gregory Smith on June 2, 2015 at 11:53 — 4 Comments

4th Anniversary of my AAD

Today I celebrate 4 years of survival after suffering an Acute Aortic Dissection. It was only the quick action of my wife Eve, and the skills of the cardiac surgery team at Southampton General that saved my life.

Next week, we are heading for the South of Spain on my BMW R1200RT motorcycle after crossing by ferry from Poole in Southern England to Gijon in Northern Spain. We'll be back on June 29th.

Added by Gregory Smith on June 2, 2014 at 9:24 — 6 Comments

2 years since my AD

On 2nd June, I celebrated the 2nd anniversary of my Type A Aortic Dissection. On that day I had arrived in Gargnano, on the Western side of Lake Garda in Italy, having ridden my BMW motorcycle through France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland, over a period of 3 days, to get there. This was some achievement for me, as only a few weeks before, I found it hard to do more than a few tens of miles without getting very tired. I stayed with several other biker friends at our hotel in Gargnano…


Added by Gregory Smith on June 13, 2012 at 13:22 — 2 Comments

Longest ride since my AD

Sunday 22nd April 2012

Did a 200 mile round trip on my BMW R1200RT motorcycle today.

This is the longest trip I've done since my AD 22 months ago. A mixture of motorway, A-roads and country lanes. Wasn't too bad. First 100 miles was pretty easy. Stopped for one hour for lunch then headed back home. Hands were a bit tired and bum was a bit sore by time I got home. I need to get more riding practice in, doing longer trips, in preparation for my trip to Italy at the end of May, as…


Added by Gregory Smith on April 23, 2012 at 12:15 — 4 Comments

65th Birthday present...

I bought myself a new bike.


You can see it here:

Added by Gregory Smith on October 26, 2011 at 14:36 — No Comments

Annual Check-up

Today, I had my first annual check-up (at Southampton General) although it's actually been 15 months since my AD.

CT scan OK, ECG OK, weight OK, blood sugar OK, cholesterol OK. Blood pressure is still a cause for concern since it rises during the day. It's nice and low shortly after taking my meds in the morning but by the end of the day it's much higher. The German doctor (consultant's registrar) suggested alternative medication, something new which has shown good results in trials.…


Added by Gregory Smith on September 13, 2011 at 16:54 — 4 Comments

First time on the bike this year

10 months since my AD.

Went out on my BMW K100 yesterday, with Eve (wife) as pillion. First time on the bike since last summer. I may have lost a lot of things but I haven't lost the skill and joy of riding a big, fast motorbike :) Looking forward to lots more riding this year.

Added by Gregory Smith on March 21, 2011 at 12:04 — 1 Comment

The rehabilitation lottery

Southampton NHS, where I had my aortic surgery, runs a cardiac rehabilitation service which features an 8 week monitored course of exercise and relaxation classes. However, because I do not live in the Southampton catchment area, I do not qualify. I come under Hampshire NHS which does not seem to have a similar rehabilitation service and will not fund me to attend the Southampton one. The only option I have is the GP referral service. This should allow me to attend the local sports centre for… Continue

Added by Gregory Smith on November 1, 2010 at 11:17 — 9 Comments

First follow-up

On Tuesday this week, 28th September 2010, I had my first follow-up appointment since my operation. It was supposed to be 6 weeks after the operation but ended up being 17 weeks, due to the consultant having been on holiday, having to attend a conference or two and spending time on the lecture circuit. As it happened, I didn't get to see the consultant anyway. I had to settle for his registrar. (So why did I have to wait?)

Anyway, I got weighed and measured, had an x-ray and a ECG and… Continue

Added by Gregory Smith on October 1, 2010 at 14:37 — 5 Comments


Instead of Greg himself, this is Eve, his wife. Yes, I do read his messages sometimes!

I'm proud of him, he is doing quite well, even if he gets a bit despondent at the slow rate of recovery. Do other people still get dizzy spells after 14 weeks post-op? Certainly the beta-blockers take the edge off things and that includes a glass of wine or any other euphoria! No more disappearing to the shed for a quiet puff on the pipe, that's for sure... Well, he was lucky: for me to be there and for… Continue

Added by Gregory Smith on September 7, 2010 at 20:14 — 4 Comments

Three months and going strong

It's now 3 months since my aortic dissection. The chest infection cleared up a couple of weeks ago and my sleep patterns are improving - 2-3 hours at a time instead of the one hour I was getting.

I went out on my motorbike today for the first time since the operation. It was terrific! Best medicine ever. 40 mile round trip through fast twisty country lanes. No problems whatsoever.

I was a bit hesitant about doing it at first as I have had the occasional dizzy spell - once when… Continue

Added by Gregory Smith on September 1, 2010 at 19:30 — 16 Comments

Just joined - looking for info, help and advice

My Type A Aortic Dissection occurred exactly 8 weeks ago and was surgically repaired.

I found this site and came here looking for information but it seems very thin on the ground and difficult to locate (if it exists at all).

Information I'm after:

Drugs & their side effects - for example, I'm on beta-blockers (bisoprolol fumarate 2.5mg) and diuretics (furosemide 40mg).

I'm also on antibiotics for a chest infection… Continue

Added by Gregory Smith on July 28, 2010 at 11:30 — 7 Comments


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