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

I forgot to say, the doctor checked my husbands pulse in his left and right groin and said they were both good and strong. He is medically managed (AD type B) and is still well controlled regards his BP. I just feel so scared for him

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Comment by Cheryl Kerber on October 15, 2011 at 20:57

How are things going?  Any improvement with the leg?  Or any new info from his doctors?

Cher

Comment by Cheryl Kerber on October 5, 2011 at 20:10

Take your time - no rush to write your story, we just appreciate you sharing - life continues as my husband always assured me when ever I'd feel guilty watching him have to take care of so much while I was pretty much useless -especially after my first surgery.

I was given limitations to follow after finding out what I had and especially after my first and 2nd surgeries.

Follow what they say - like the weight lifting restrictions - no push mowing or shoveling - and for me (much to my dismay as believe it or not it is something I like to do) vaccuuming (it's the pushing forward and pulling back - I never knew vaccuuming was so strenuous according to the doctors!).  Nothing that would cause you to bare down or hold your breath for great lengths.  I realize this is in regards to your husband - don't know if he is willing to share his feelings too.  There are plenty of men on this site that could relate to your husband and if he is willing - I know they would be there for him!

You will need to take care of yourself too.  I know that is hard to do especially by what I have read from you so far.  You are all heart and your husband is lucky to have you by his side. (as I know you are saying to yourself now that your are the lucky one to have him :)  .

You still can dance - don't give up - you can laugh and walk and enjoy each other.  He has AD but it doesn't have to rob you of your lives.

For almost 7 years I didn't need surgery after my first one but that was because they didn't fix the original dissected aneurysm that I had.  And because of the monitoring (drugs and CTscans) they were able to watch it and knew when to take action (my 2nd surgery).

My husband always said not to worry about something you can't do anything about and save it up for if and when you need to take action.  We can't take back what has happened, only take one step forward (again - easier said than done) but it does get easier day by day, month by month.  It doesn't go away in our thinking, you just cope with it differently and usually it comes from seeing life differently and enjoying things we never saw or paid much attention to before.  If there is a gift in all of this - that is what it is - a new appreciation for life.  You might not have thought you didn't have appreciation before, but it amazes me at this point in my life, how the little things slipped by - even just watching 3 black crows in a huddle in your back yard.  I had to laugh yesterday as they looked like they were actually having a conversation.  Even the way they were kind of walking/pacing back and forth, looking at each other, like as if they were neighbors that just happened to run into each other and they were catching up on things.

I can't express it the way it really looked - but believe me, I don't think I would have noticed before my AD.  My AD made me more mindful of what I thought, what I did, and how I treated others.  It also made me respect and appreciate the body in which I live - though I have/had my AD, I'm still amazed at how our body heals and functions.

Take care, and always come here to vent - I have so many times and it takes a load off of your shoulders and clears your mind and heart for awhile since everyone on this site truly understands.

we are here for you and your husband!

Cher

Comment by Sharon Masterman on October 5, 2011 at 16:22
Thank you every one for your replies. I am reading them in tears. I still can't believe whats happened I know its true but how can we be dancing together one night and laughing walking home and the next day this, its so absolutely hard to take in. I'll get back to writing our story on here but I am working night shift tonight and I must go to bed! I stay up a lot with my husband.
Comment by Cheryl Kerber on October 5, 2011 at 13:55

The strong pulse is a good sign and you said they were going to check into it, so keep on them and don't let them drop the ball at this point.  Maybe an ultrasound can help at least check the blood flow - that is how they confirmed my blood clot post surgery (but my leg hurt to walk on all the time and even to touch it) so I don't want you to worry that he has a clot as he wouldn't be wanting to walk at all.

I don't know what led up to you finding his AD?  It very well could be a pinched nerve or some inflammation in his tailbone/spinal chord that with the longer distance walking causes it to swell and cause more pain.

A catscan would show whether his AD has grown or if there is a leak.

The other hard part like Kimberlee has stated is the fear.  The fear that everything you are feeling is due to the AD and most of the time it isn't thank God, but fear plays a nasty game on our minds.

I walked around for a year before they found my AD, but once I knew, the anxiety/fear really kicked in and maybe was more of the cause that I went into the ER 6 weeks later and they "thought" they saw a leak so ended up doing major surgery.  I won't know for sure one way or the other, but I hadn't even been put on heart meds yet and noone ever suggested something to deal with the anxiety part of just being told what you have.

Granted my aneurysm grew - but they caught that by my every 6 month catscans - I had put it off for a year due to my husband being laid off - so it was that scan that showed my aneurysm had grown to the point of them strongly encouraging surgery.

Surgery is a huge decision as ours is not a simple one -- their probably really isn't such a thing as a simple surgery as there are always risks.

But for now - see what further tests they could run and consider other options (like sciatic nerve) and so forth or if it is a vascular issue in the legs maybe they will suggest those compression socks (I have to wear them if I'm traveling for more than an hour or sitting for great lengths) but that was due to the blood clots.  If your husband has vascular issues, they might suggest it just to help push the blood back up the leg --- they would be much better at explaining this than me.

My leg issues aren't due to my AD - but definetly from inflammation in my tailbone/spinal chord area from the surgery itself as I didn't have the problem before and that was with the AD.

Other things to consider is maybe changing exercise choices -- if you have an access to a pool I know that walking in the water can help take the strain off of our joints/muscles and so forth.

It is still good to get exercise because our hearts need to stay healthy, but if this pain continues - see if there are other tests they can run.

Be careful what you research on the internet also in regards to AD's as it totally can freak you out.

 

Try not to fear - I know that is easier said than done --- but don't let the AD run your life, because then you aren't really living.

Take care,

Cher

 

 

Comment by Kimberlee Jones on October 4, 2011 at 23:28

I know fear is a normal response to what has happened and it will be a part of your life for quite awhile. Just don't let it take over you life. You and your hubby need to live. Save the fear for small short moments and enjoy the beauty and joy of the life you both have.

 

*hugs*

Kimberlee

Comment by Kimberlee Jones on October 4, 2011 at 23:26

Fear is normal, just don't let it overwhelm you. Life is short, sometimes too short. Make sure you spend most of your time enjoy life and all it has to offer, save the fear for small short moments.  I know it's easier said than done, but you and your hubby need to live.

 

*hugs*

Kimberlee

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