Aortic dissection, aortic aneurysm - The aorta - Life after an aortic dissection
May 31st, 2009 was like any other day for me. I was tired from doing yard work the day before and hadn't been feeling very well but contributed that to the extreme heat here in Kansas. I had been lying down on a futon reading a book in the spare bedroom I had turned into a little sitting room. It was 9:30 p.m. and I sat up as I needed to change positions. In the process of sitting up the most excruciating pain shot through my upper back clear through to the front of my chest. I felt like I had a mac truck setting on my sternum and I could hardly breath. I contributed the severe pain to an old back injury that has been the source of chronic back pain for twenty seven years. Although, this pain was different. It was horrible and I couldn't sit straight up. Because the futon sets low to the floor I slipped off the cushion and onto the carpet and laid on my back. Not a good idea. It only made things worse. I managed to get into a crawling position and get to my feet, but was still unable to straighten up. I managed to walk across the hall to the kitchen and bent over the kitchen sink. I was moaning loudly by this time and feeling slightly nauseated.
My husband who is hard of hearing was in his downstairs man cave with the TV on and managed to hear my moans. He is used to my aches and pains and came upstairs and asked teasingly, "Woman, what have you done now?" One look at my face told him this was no teasing manner. I told him about the pain and how I couldn't breath very well. He walked me back to the futon and got me to sit down again and kept asking if he should call 911. I couldn't honestly tell him if I needed help or not since I didn't have a clue what was happening. He decided on his own that this could be a heart attack and made the call for emergency assistance.
Forgive me if this next part is too much information, but since we share medical/physical facts on here I think it is important to tell all of my story. I had been experiencing some constipation issues for several days prior to that night. For whatever reason, I suddenly felt as though my bowels were wanting to release while my hubby was on the phone. I managed to get up and go into the bathroom in the hall. I was straining very hard and was sitting on the toilet when the EMTs arrived. One of them knocked on the bathroom door and kept insisting if I didn't come out of the bathroom he was going to invade my privacy and come in for me! I finally gave in to his demands and walked into the living room and let him begin his routine check on my condition and medical history. It was quickly determined that I needed to be taken to the hospital across town and was loaded into the ambulance. Before the ambulance could begin the transport to the hospital an IV had to be started but the EMT couldn't find a vein. After multiple attempts on the left arm he asked if he could try on the right arm. I told him he could try one more time but if he didn't get a vein that time I was refusing any further attempts as it was too painful. Luckily that time was successful. The ambulance then pulled away from the curb and got lost trying to get out of the neighborhood. Little did anyone know that precious life saving minutes were quickly ticking away. End Part 1 of Miracle Woman
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