Aortic dissection & aortic aneurysm information support group

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

Instead of Greg himself, this is Eve, his wife. Yes, I do read his messages sometimes!
I'm proud of him, he is doing quite well, even if he gets a bit despondent at the slow rate of recovery. Do other people still get dizzy spells after 14 weeks post-op? Certainly the beta-blockers take the edge off things and that includes a glass of wine or any other euphoria! No more disappearing to the shed for a quiet puff on the pipe, that's for sure... Well, he was lucky: for me to be there and for him to pull through. We're still waiting for a first hospital check-up: top-rate surgeons seem to be much in demand - for conferences! My question is: should Greg start a rehab programme, doing a few more exercises than just the gentle (sometimes brisk) daily walks? He could ask his GP for a referral - is it worth it, should he start on some cardio-vascular exercises? Alright for me to advise, but I'm no expert and so far there is no advice from any other corner. There's a drop-in centre somewhere, but not so handy if you're not sure about driving and not fainting..
Good to hear all your experiences - and to see so many make it through alright!

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Comment by Kimberlee Jones on October 29, 2010 at 18:51
They didn't send me for any rehab program, just sent me home until I came back a few weeks later for an extremely rapid pulse rate, then sent me home when that was under control, then I went back a few weeks later for extreme pain which turned out to be another aneurysm 5.1cm. Still no rehab. I've been scared to exercise since I"m afraid of my aneurysm growing larger or dissecting, cardiologist said light aerobics would be good for me though. Hearing how much everyone else is doing makes me think I should get back to my step aerobics on my Wii Fit.
Comment by Graeme on September 8, 2010 at 14:40
Ooops...Men can't multi task...!! Doing to many things in big hurry today...! Of course Richard is correct - my INR is the measurement of my warfarin dosage which is 7 - 7.5 mg on alternate days. My INR is the measurement of this which has stayed constant at around 3 - 3.2 for the last 7 years... sorry!

cheers

Graeme
Comment by Richard Deal on September 8, 2010 at 11:37
hey eve,
it is "only" 14 weeks, so still early days. my first check up with a cardiologist/radiologist (apart from in hospital and at rehab) was at 6 months post op. don't be surprised if there are only a couple of check ups at 6 monthly intervals before it gets put out to yearly checks.
my rehab program here in germany consisted of 4 weeks of walking, rambling, cycling, qi gong, massages, aspiration and psychological and neurological counselling. I guess i was doing roughly 2 hours of "exercise", 1 hour of other stuff (massages, qi gong etc.) and 1 hour of sitting around talking about my heart, and my experiences and doing coordination tests - this was 3 weeks after my operation... everyone is different though, and at rehab we were all monitored for blood pressure and pulse at least every couple of minutes during exercise to make sure we were not in any "danger". so unless you, or greg, are sure that everything is in the green, don't overdo it!
i still get dizzy spells, although i think my last one was about 3 months ago, so at least the intervals are increasing...
graeme means his INR is set at his therapeutic range (normally 2.5-3.0) at a dosage of 7.5mg - an INR of 7.5 is distinctly unhealthy... i take 3mg coumadin daily and stay relatively constant at 2.5... if i have eaten a lot of greens i might see a fall in inr and i might preemptively take an extra half a tablet, but i generally never get up above 3.2.
take care both,
r
Comment by Graeme on September 8, 2010 at 9:49
Hi Eve..

Sadly..thre does not seem to be any co-ordinated rehab programme in place with the NHS or local trusts for recovering AD survivors. I was lucky though in i had a great GP who took a real interest in my recovery - he actually was the one who pressed the button - so as to speak - and saved my life on the day it happened - along with my wife! He got me onto the Alexander breathing technique and also the local NHS physio clinic who were very helpful during the first stage post op recovery.

After this (a year or so) I just did it myself and now keep reasonably fit by walking (as briskly as possible) as much as i can every day (2 -3 miles) and a little work a few times a week on a rowing machine - especially in the winter when it is too wet/cold to walk outside. We have a few on here that swear by using cross country training machines as well. Apart from that - a good diet - and - NO reason why he cannot have a glass of wine every night - beta blockers or not - (!) I do this on a regular basis as it allows my INR to be set on the basis that it includes a glass of wine daily ..my INR is set at around 7.5 daily and apart from a big scare with antibiotics which reacted badly with it - it has been very stable over 7 years..

The dizzy spells..hmmmm ..Unfortunately I still get these - although infrequently - but still after 7 years - so have said bugger it - and learnt to live with them - as i also get attacks of double vision - however i generally get some warning so thank goodness have not been caught short driving - so far - as usually get enough time to pull over - and it has only happened twice driving in 7 years - so playing that one by ear..Im NOT giving up driving - same as Greg should not give up riding !!

In summary - anything that gets the heart revving fast is good - but in moderation for the first year or so as it takes time for the graft to heal inside and regrow..but no reason why he cannot work up to a good level of fitness again - and in many cases we have people running marathons, swimming (is very good for rehab) and semi competitive bicycle riding. So - get Greg to look at the Alexander technique - even Yoga would be good as well! He should continue to take it easy and work up to a good level of fitness that is appropriate for age/weight!

Hope this helps..

Graeme

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