Aortic dissection & aortic aneurysm information support group

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

I'm sure other long-term members will have noted this, but it's worth pointing out - if you've only recently had your surgery - healing takes a while. And I'm still experiencing it, albeit in more subtle ways than before.

When I first came home after having the ascending aorta and arch replaced with Dacron, I felt very disconnected from my chest and my lungs (although painfully connected when I moved). It's taken a long while for my breathing to feel like mine again, and my lung capacity still isn't what it used to be, but the body is mine again. It was such a strange and unpleasant sensation, and I'm glad things are more normal.

Although my resting blood pressure is about 90/55, pulse about 65, I don't get dizzy when I stand up any more, and in the main, I feel like me again, which is so reassuring. The worst of the toxins are long gone from my body, and my skin and colour have returned to normal. My chest doesn't hurt often now, and though I still have some nerve damage to my right hand from the surgery, even that is now pretty much in the background.

I've found that I'm doing things normally at home without thinking, which is great. It's only when I decide to do things in the evening or have a day out that I realise I still don't have the stamina and energy I used to have, but hopefully that will return. Mentally, I feel whole again.

It's a hot few weeks here in Gran Canaria where I live, so I've not been doing as much exercise as I'd like - and by that, I mean walking. As soon as it cools down a little (in about a fortnight or so) I'll start doing more. I think improving my fitness gently will get me even better.

Of course, we're all different, and our pace of recovery varies. I honestly felt so damaged and poorly when I first came out of hospital I worried that I was unlikely ever to feel as well as I'm beginning to now, and would have to lower my expectations. Happily, so far, I've been proved wrong, but you need to give things time.

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Comment by Kev A on August 21, 2011 at 21:28

Good to hear Mr Manning (really want to put Mannering)


Keep well

Comment by Cheryl Kerber on August 17, 2011 at 22:04

Thank you for your post as I sit here 5 weeks post surgery and disappointed that I'm not as far along as I would like to be, but know I have to allow my body to heal at the pace it needs to.

I don't like being on the pain meds as it leaves me empty/lonely feeling inside even though I have life going on all around me.

I too have most of my energy in the morning/early afternoon but then as 3 pm arrives, it totally decreases as do any ventures out (like to dr appts and blood draws).

My memories from 6 years ago flood in and remind me how long this whole thing takes and that feels like a punch in the gut of course because I want more.

But at the same time, I am thankful that I have survived the second surgery ---- My body with all the scars and such, could make an interesting art project :) --- kind of look like a shark took a bite out of my left side.

I appreciate your update as it helps me put my life in perspective and that it will take time.  I knew this going into the surgery as after 6 years from my first surgery I did get alot of my life back --- not 100 percent, but definetly more energy than I'm feeling now.  So thank you for helping me stay grounded!



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