Aortic dissection, aortic aneurysm - The aorta - Life after an aortic dissection
A close encounter.
My story began back in May 2008…was I 60 or 61, oh well, it was there about’s.
I had just closed down the pc after a bit of surfing, it was around midnight my wife and step daughter were already in bed.
I started feeling a discomfort in my chest…to start with I thought it was a touch of indigestion. The discomfort grew more intense to the point where it felt like something was being ripped from my rib cage, the pain was excruciating. I stumbled into the bedroom and woke my wife who immediately called the ambulance.
It was shear luck that we have a paramedic living close by who had just gone off shift; he had picked up the call on his radio and was at the door within 30 or 40 seconds.
He began treating for what he believed to be a heart attack; approximately 5 minutes later the ambulance arrived and I was taken to the local Hospital.
While on route to the Hospital the pain in my chest subsided and I began to feel more comfortable…believe it or not I began to wonder what all the fuss was about, I even found the energy to have a laugh.
The doctors began making their tests; it was three days later before the doctors realized that something more than a heart attack was trying to pull me to the other side.
They decided to give me a CT scan, that’s when they discovered the tear in my aorta, by then blood was already leaking into my chest cavity.
I was immediately rushed to the London chest Hospital in east London where they began the fight to stabilise my condition.
It was four days later that I awoke in intensive care with no memory of those four days. By all accounts I had been on the operating table for ten hours with a 20% chance of surviving.
After being moved to another ward the surgeons came round to explain what they had to do…it was pretty scary stuff! All of which is probably familiar to the group.
It was while they were explaining the OP that they told me about the tumour on my left kidney…which had apparently showed up after a scan they took, they also explained that my aorta had dissected down to my groin (which explains the pain I was getting there). My recovery was somewhat inhibited by my emphysema but after about six weeks I was aloud home. No one as yet has mentioned whether my dissection can be repaired…this leaves me wondering if I’m walking about with a ticking bomb.
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