Aortic dissection & aortic aneurysm information support group

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

As a fit healthy 65 years old enjoying my recent retirement I was a very happy bunny!

On July 10th after driving my friends to the next town for a garden club meeting I was sitting happily listening to a talk, when a pain across my back forced me to leave the room!

I never told anyone and as I visited the loo often! no one took any notice.

I went out side where I realized I was going to collapse, so I got back into the building by which time the pain was circling my chest, the pain in my legs meant I could not stand, I was cold shaking, sweating and could not speak!

By banging on the wall I raised my friends who soon called 999, the ambulance arrived, along with two police men who arranged to have my husband brought over!

I was given 2 Paracetamol, a spray under my tongue and taken to A & E!

After the usual tests, a chest x ray I was sent home with the diagnosis of a spa Oesophagus, a letter for my doctor a prescription for Omeprazole.

A pre planned telephone appointment with my doctor later that day on another matter, she said she had read the hospital letter and would she me in 2 weeks!

I was sore and taking pain killers but other than feeling a bit fragile seemed okay, till night time when I really did not no where to turn as the pain returned!

So it was a surprise for my doctor to see me there the next morning! she gave me stronger pain killers, and decided to refer me for an ultra sound, suspecting gall bladder, gall stones.

Over the course of the next couple of weeks I saw 2 more doctors, had blood test etc, stronger pain killers!

A phone call re ultra sound, told me there was a 2 week waiting list to get on a 6 week waiting list, at this point I was desperate so phoned the private hospital, but I needed a referral for my doctor!

Dr Lui is a very stern looking little Chinese girl who looks about 12, but she went all the way back  checking the hospital, bloods etc and examined me, then said she did not want me to have a private ultra sound, but would fast track me to see a Gastric surgeon!

5 days later I saw a Dr Beckley who sent me for an cat scan!

So three days later on Saturday 6th August after my scan, sitting there waiting for my cannula to be removed, I was surprised to be told I had a life threatening condition and needed to go straight to A & E( oh and just as an added bonus they had also found two nodules on my breast)

I was whipped through as if by magic, and a team and bed awaited me and I was told I had an aortic dissection type B!

I was admitted to CCU, ordered bed rest, catheterised and BP meds, drips etc started, this all linked to the near by University hospital who were instructing my care!

I think the seriousness of my condition finally hit home, when I had a doctor with me for further scans, echo's etc!

Then I was discharged, with no information other than don't lift anything heavy, have a little walk and afternoon nap every day!

The last few weeks have been listening to my body and not doing much at all, I started getting really quite low as I could not find out any information on life after AD!

Thankfully my friends husband come home from appointment with some booklets which she passed the information on to me, an email to BHF i think, gave me this link

and HALLELUJAH I discovered this site!

My spirits were raised immediately I am not alone, people do live with this condition, stories so similar!

So there you go, I shall live for today!

Slightly restricted at the moment as dh has had hip replacement, no flying for 6 months, and was told that planned hysterectomy is a no go, but appointment with Gynae clinic at the end of the month might give more information/solutions!

Thank you all for being here and telling your stories xx

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Comment by Graeme on December 29, 2016 at 12:08

Hi Carol. Nearly 14 years on now since my Type A dissection. Have also survived cancer now and to top that off sepsis - still going strong! Listen to your body. Your new bits frankly are stronger than your old bits. By far! I have a Dacron sleeve to replace my aorta and a Mechanical Heart Valve. All good. Have a great New Year!

Kind regards

Graeme Archer


Aortic Dissection Support Group 

Comment by Julia Holley on October 7, 2016 at 10:30

Once you get to grips with life being different you will adapt quickly and then progress is possible.  Once I accepted my situation I was able to start working (I am a painting teacher) for a few hours a week.   Just doing that made me feel more normal.   Give it time Carol and you will settle to your new life.  Best wishesxxx

Comment by Carol Buckley on October 4, 2016 at 16:39
Thank you Julia.
Just finding this site cheered me up.
I know that worrying can't change anything so try not to be too negative.
Just need a bit more patience to get used to life in the slow lane!
Comment by Julia Holley on October 4, 2016 at 14:32

Well done Carol for surviving all that.  What a long wait you had before diagnosis.   Sounds like you have the right disposition to survive this condition!    I am now 6 and a half years from my dissection and feeling good apart from needing new knees!!   I did have emergency surgery back then but my aorta is still dissected.   I live for today, keep going with that.  Try not to worry as anxiety dosent help.  Keep us updated on your progress and dont forget you are not alonexx


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