Aortic dissection, aortic aneurysm - The aorta - Life after an aortic dissection
Hello to all you fine people.
I have read many stories or posts here, over the last month or so. Was glad to see that people from different Countries were members and posting here since I didn't really find any active boards for the US.
I'll be 60 in Feb 2012, here is what brought me to sign up here, though it is the latest of Diagnoses on the chain.
I was diagnosed with a 5.27 cm Aortic Root Dilation and moderate dilatation of Ascending Aorta, by Echo at the beginning of Sept 2011, and had a CT scan mid Sept 2011 which showed the Dilatation actually at 4.6 cm. I don't know why they didn't call it an Aneurysm in the reports? Also there was some mild regurgitation in each valve.
I had looked up as much information as I could when my Doctors office first told me the Echo report results over the phone and went in for my follow up appointment, and waited until I had my CT scan to see a Cardiologist, thinking he'd need that info also. It was interesting that the Cardiologist told me less than what I already knew or figured out.
Other than that, he just shotgunned fired questions to me and said here's the Plan, another CT in a year, though my Doctor suggested in 6 months, and because I have been having trouble with Shortness of Breath or getting extremely winded with exertion and fatigued, he ordered a Chemical Stress Test for 26 Oct '11.
There was a little more to the visit, but it was pretty much just an in and out office appointment. He didn't even really discuss anything about controlling Blood Pressure, or other cautions, etc.
I was in the process of having physical health issues looked into and I had applied for Social Security Disability Benefits (in June '11) which I should be receiving approval or denial any time. I haven't been able to work since April '11 because of other conditions, and which I've had MRI's, EMG, Sleep Study, X rays etc
I was Diagnosed with:
Degenerative Disk Disease, Cervical and Lumbar
Mild Arthritis in Right Shoulder
LevoScoliosis (had for 25+ years)
Pinched Ulnar Nerve in both elbows
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in both hands
Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea, being treated with CPAP
I had my Deviated Septum straightened in '04
Was Diagnosed in '04 with Crohn's Disease with some Diverticulitis
High Blood Pressure in '07
As mentioned the Aortic Aneurysm was the latest to be found after I was already filing for Disability
Many of you probably took it upon yourself to do personal research, googling and wikipediaing, with all the information that is easily available. It has been a constant study of the Human Anatomy for the last few years trying to figure out my health situation, especially without having health insurance to do anything about symptoms, but have had Insurance since May 2010. Also, it is interesting that I can now follow fairly well any Movie or TV show that deals with Medical plots or subjects (lol).
My frustrating Doctor experiences have been many, as I'm sure most people face. They just kind of want to get you in and out and don't seem to want you to discuss anything more than what they can make an "ah hah!" diagnosis and write a prescription. I'm sure they deal with patients that just jabber on about things, but I have had to educate myself as much as possible to get the Doctors to look past what they think is wrong.
Because of my own study and research, I've had to insist that my Doctors give me referrals to specialists all during this in order to eventually get a Diagnosis. Otherwise, I was told a number of times, that I just needed to be treated for Depression as it causes many symptoms. I actually had to change (fire) 2 previous Doctors for seeming lack of interest.
Even though I listed a number of conditions on my health questionnaire, I was the one who had to direct my Doctor to possible conditions, because I had had untreated Hypertension (for a few years), Sleep Apnea and LevoScoliosis which all are hard on the Heart and insisted that I get some kind of imaging, otherwise he wasn't going to do anything about my symptoms other than a prescription. The same way I had my Sleep Apnea diagnosed, after a Neuro Psychological test, that I insisted on having done, instead of just being prescribed Meds for Depression, but in itself is a cause for certain mental faculty issue I now face besides fatigue etc.
So, now I have one more health issue needing to be resolved, followed, monitored and ultimately possible surgery. It is not known how long or fast the Aneurysm had been growing, but I would guess more aggressively since my (untreated) High Blood Pressure condition started. I went through some extremely stressful situations for a few (5 - 6) years before, during and after getting on Meds.
Last year my sister in law went into the hospital for a heart condition, and I didn't really note exactly what her diagnosis was, but my wife told me after I was diagnosed, that it was actually an Aortic Dissection. So far I've been fortunate not to have had a Dissection, but of all the physical exerting things I've done over the last few years, it was probably Russian Roulette, so now I'm overly cautious.
There is more of course to my overall physical health that is tied together, but it has been getting difficult to even write out (mostly from symptoms from my Sleep Apnea), even though I want to, I end up rambling to no end, so that's all for now. Anything else with the Aneurysm will be future occurrences or dealings I'll most likely report on.
Feel free to ask any questions.
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