Aortic dissection & aortic aneurysm information support group

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

    The  very fact  that I survived is  10 times  more  unlikely  when  one  considers,   a) I  am single  and  lived with my  now  deceased  dog. (I  had  to reconize something  &  call ..  she was a great dog, But..     and  b) My  Ascending Aortic Aneurysm was  not  pre  diagnosed.   I  was  a  51  year  old  Career Firefighter with 20 years (with 5 left to go minumum)    Generally  speaking in good  health and though I'd  had gallbladder ectomy a couple years  prior and had made some changes in my  diet for  the better....

     On  the 7th of  October  2009  I'd  worked a day  shift and  eventually  made my  way  home , I  have   no  specific  recollection, of the day,  but  have  since spoken with co workers  who were with me that  day, One  would  expect  that either  the  drugs  or  stress of  the  incident itself or  combination  would  cause  loss  of  memory...  I  suspect  I did very typical things  eat  dinner take my dog to the park  for  a couple hours see our  freinds  and head  back home..  I  got On the computer...  about  1 am Is  when I  called  9-1-1,  because i live in an older  flat I told them  to  come  round the back to the kitchen  slider, they were there  quickly as they  are  only  3 blocks east of  my  location and  our  local hospital is  4 blocks   west, the  Paramedics recognized my  collapsing as  they arrived inside  the  slider, as a serious  sign so  they  basicly  Scooped me and  ran..  I  Have  yet to make  contact at the local  hospital but have been asked  to stop  to see the ER Nurse who was  dealing with me that night ,  though  she  only  works  alternating days of the week ....

I  have  made contact with both the fire service  medic as well as The transport  ambulance  medic who was  grabbed  by  the ER Doctor to  transport me to Yale New  Haven Hopsital  which  is located 15  minutes  away..  they  called  ahead of course  and  put together the on call  cardiac team who were assembled shortly  after  arrival,  MY  1st  Blood  pressure upon  arrival was  60/30,  I suspect they  did an  Echo and   Concluded  My Acsending Aorta had an  anuerysm  that  disected,  filling  my  Paracardium  causing  Cardiac  Tampinade... the tear  in  my  aorta  allows me  to begin bleeding to death INTO  the Paracardium the sack  that surrounds and protects  the heart as  I bleed   out  the  Paracadium  fills and Pressurizing against  the heart  muscle making  it  harder and harder to  beat.  This  is  the most  basic  form of  Aortic  Disection and  I  was  told BY  the doctors  at  Yale that  I  was  a  1% 'er,  because  while  there are  many  of us who survive various  disections and  valve  replacements  which  are  surely  life  threatening,  very  very  few people  survive  a  full undiagnosed  tear,  and  are able to have  a repair  made and  be  brought  around  and  have  much  brain function, or  organ  function...      ultimately, they threw me  into an  ice  bath that  lowered  my  body  core  temperature down  to around  60 degrees  F, they  split open my chest and a  Vascular  surgeon on call opene d and  removed a piece of  my left  Femoral  artery tied  it back together  and they used the  piece   similarly  to a patch on your   radiator  hose with hose clamps...once   that was  done,   they  refilled  my  radiator with 50/50  (or  blood)  then they  zapped  me to restart  the Heart... and   closed  my chest  up...  sent  me into  recovery ...  My  First  awareness was  shortly  after they extibated me (removed  the breathing tubes) One  of  my  co - workers  was there and he'd  had a history as a Paramedic and  its  hardly worth  explaining  but   he asked me  how i was doing  and  the response was exactly  what  he  would  have   expected  though the nurses attending thought  what I told him was  TERRIBLE  :),   But  he  knew and understood  right away  I  had  my  facilities, which of course  was the big  concern at that  stage,  as I've  stated I  had  some  Major  O2   saturation  problems following the surgury.... had  some   strange dreams and  the best  part  Is  I can tie in  various  visitors   to  events  (actual  visitations by  actual  people, yet  I was IN other  locations In my  mind....strange) anyway,  since  the  disection,  they  found  a Popilteal  anuerysm which  is located  behind  the knee, while it is  an  arterial  issue and an  anuerysm ( Flap) the one  big issue about  popilteals is that because of  the location  when the flap  of anuerysm  opens,  blood flows in, but  often  because on the inflow   pressure,  the blood  cannot  drain  totally and  the undrained blood  becomes  a Clot and  attracts  more  blood... should the clot ever  break loose it would cause Major  problems  from  cut off  blood  supply to the foot or beyond  that  stroke ....  so On November 8th  2010,  I  Had a secondary surgury to  Bi pass  the Popilteal Anuerysm performed By  Dr Bart Muhs the  Vascular  surgion who  worked on my left   Femoral Artery...


Many open  heart  Pts, refer  to they're  "zippers" (scars after surgury) between my  open  heart,  Clavical to below  the sternum,    My  Old  school  Gall  bladder  diagonally along the gut  7 inches,  and  now  my popilteal bi pass  begins inside my right  hip at the waist all  the way  down the inner thigh  to my  knee  and then  below the knee  to mid  Calf

so  far  that has  Caused  more   recover  issue  then the Disection...


One  of the reasons  I  came here  Is  Because  I've   tryed  to help  Lay  people  better understand they're   situation  they find themselves in, I was  lucky  because  I was  "educated" to some extent and  my freinds  are medics and  working on nursing  or  Physician  assistant  degrees,  I am very aware of the "Cardiac  Depression" aspect and  the  feeling  or need  to  help  educate and better  understand  , to stand  beside folks  who are  facing surgury... I   was  lucky,  nothing to dwell upon,  I can  only imagine waiting , contemplating, concern,  what ifs ....  Support!!


I  should  mention That  I am smoke  free  the  last  62  weeks   Yea!!!

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Comment by Jim Sanquedolce on January 25, 2014 at 18:19

"Discovery channel the Wormhole"

Featuring  Dr John Elefteriades who  heads  up  Yale New Haven Hospitals'  "Aortic Institute"  program  the  Video  features  the focus of  Cooling  the  Heart lung  Bipass  Machine and blood  during  OHS   nothing  we  dont know  But  from the  science point  of  view..interesting  watch...

Comment by Jim Sanquedolce on January 25, 2014 at 17:50

January 2014   brings  me  into year  4 , post  dissection,  Primarily 4 years  smoke free,  Medicated,   and  while Its  improved, The  right  lower leg continues  with  Minor  swelling and  pain,  I should  mention  Isaw my  GP who  refered me to a Foot  guy who  suggested PT for  Plantars  Faciatous, And I was  attending  PT  for several weeks until the PT  provider  moved  the  Practice about 6 miles out while  It was  nice to  recieve the care,Alas I gave up on it ... I  continue to  suppliment My  Heart  meds with a dieurtic for the  foot  in 2012,  I was  seen  By  Bart Muhs  vascular  on the 13th and John  Elefeirates who   graduated  Yale  1973 and currently heads  up the  Aortic program ... recently  he was  featured  on a Show "Morgan Freeman's Through the Wormhole"  the  show wasa discussion  of the  process of  the  "suspended animation" as they call it,  it the process of putting  the PT on ice while  doing  OHS...  Pretty  Interesting to  listen to him discuss the  process.....  I''ll  see  if  Im  able to  find  the  video to  post if you  guys  are interested...  I am  slated  to see  Both   Dr.Muhs and  Eleferaides   on the  24th of February  for   echo and  CT  of Both  repairs  with  follow ups                 224 weeks  smoke free!!!

now If  I can  get  active and loose  some gained  weight 


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