Aortic dissection & aortic aneurysm information support group

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

Do any of you, or did any of you remember having such tiring back/spinal chord pain after your surgery? 

I have reached that point in my healing process.

I know from having to sleep in a chair and such doesn't help, and the fact they cut thru my core muscles contributes, but I'm finding my pain meds do nothing to alleviate this issue.  I have tried icing my lower back and even tried lying slightly on my right side just to take the tension off my back.

Do any of you have any suggestions?

My doctor wasn't like agreeable about physical therapy -- but I might have to venture on my own to seek it out for some slight movements/exercises to rebuild my core.



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Comment by Harry on September 7, 2011 at 5:46

Thanks Cher,


I managed to get one of ebay, somone spelt it wrong & i got it for £6! I will try & increase my lung volume once it arrives. More worrying is my loss of voice, but again i will find a solution once i know all the facts.

Commented on your lack of iron, try what i wrote, it will help.

Take care


Comment by Cheryl Kerber on September 5, 2011 at 17:28

Harry I found a website but i don't know if you can order from the US or not, but it's   the item I have is called Airlife volumetric incentive spirometer and it's about 8 dollars in the US.  I'm sure the hospital charged us way more for it, but that is what I found. 

My spinal drainage tube was removed during my first trip to the hospital. I just remember having a headache for a couple days that my pain meds didn't touch.  So I figured my body was adjusting to the fluid change.

I'll check with my dr. at my next visit.  Now my iron is low ---- it always appears to be something - after one thing gets better, something else replaces it!


Comment by Harry on September 5, 2011 at 2:14

Hi Cher,


Thanks for your feedback & support!!


I don’t get on this site often enough, but a quick hint is I type in word & copy & paste, saves time & with spelling etc.


Sorry to hear about your back pain. Have you thought about the spinal fluid pressure? Maybe worth a question to your Doctor, I know I have a spinal tap inserted as the body produces excess fluid during the operation – anyway it may be an avenue or not?


Another external off the shelf med I am using is called “arnicare” it’s a deep rub for internal bruising & seems to help, especially at night – worth a look/go.


I also had a look at the lung spirometer you suggested, its very expensive here, over £150, but I will seek a cheaper option.


Maybe this will help, but I am taking my paracetamol every 4 hrs & only extra pain killers when needed. I am also using external rubs( as above), around the wound, to help relax the muscles & aid healing.


I am also trying to walk around the garden every 2/3 hrs just to get out & also aid fitness/stamina.


I know what you’re going through; I feel your pain……. But we will get through this & get our lives back on track.


Take care for now.



Comment by Julia Holley on August 30, 2011 at 9:38

Hi Cher, I bought the bog standard one as I am financially challenged too!.  It has the option of wheels or not and its too low for me without them so there on all the time.  Mine in made by Evolution and black with black separate plastic base.  I´m sitting on it now.  You do need to take care when it has the wheels on that it dosent slip away from you as you sit down.  A non slip mat is the key.  You will get better at moving with it once your core muscles start to strengthen.  It made me feel considerably stronger generally very quickly especially when out.  I still have a long way to go but I am an optimist so always looking forward.

Get the cheapest once as soon as you can and initially have someone with you to practise using it.  Good luck and keep me posted.  Love Julia xx

Comment by Cheryl Kerber on August 30, 2011 at 1:56

I started to research the evolution chair.  There are a couple different options - did you have a recommendation as to the adjustable height ones?  And does price matter?  One down fall with all of this whole 2 surgery bit, is it forced me out of my job and I was self employed - so of course expenses have to be weighed.  Just wanted to know if the 80 dollar chair could be as good as the 140 dollar one?

Thanks for the info and take care,


Comment by Julia Holley on August 29, 2011 at 11:37

Hi Cher,

I had severe core issues from being totally immobile in ICU for 1 month and was just like a rag dolly after.  I couldnt even move the top half of my body unaided even after I get home.  Now a year plus on I still have some considerable weakness.  The main thing that helped me and still does is I sit on an Evolution Pilates ball for all PC work.  Ii is really is a core muscle builder and I have been progressing much better since I had it. 

You have done so well so far it a shame to be dragged down with continual core weakness.  Do get a ball chair. Go to  I love mine and use it for all tasks requiring sitting.   Cher, I am a bit like you in that I feel I have been given back someone elses body but hope to one day get it in shape enough to return to normal, whatever that is I have forgotten!   

Also I have always used a waterbed and I didnt get a proper sleep till I managed to get back in that.  Took me about 7 weeks but the comfort was exquisite.  Recently I had to move rooms again for renovation reasons and had a few weeks in a regular bed and could hardly move in the morning.  I`m back now on the waterbed a sleeping like a baby again.    

Your obviously getting better quickly now as your writing is right back to normal.  All in all Cher your a Champion.  Well done.  Keep up the good work and buy a ball chair.  Tons of love   Julia xx


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