Aortic dissection & aortic aneurysm information support group

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

Happily, it's hard to recall exactly how much it's improved, but at almost four months since my surgery, the pain and discomfort as a result of having a chainsaw or angle grinder (or whatever) taken to my chest seems largely to have eased. The sensation of having a prickly barbed wire fence down the middle has finally gone, as has most of the associated muscular pain, which always panicked me into thinking I had angina, until I thought about it a bit more rationally, although there are still odd moments when it pulls and reminds me what took place.

The scar is fading and I'll soon be able to take my shirt off on the beach without worrying that people will faint or make zombie jokes. Until my AD surgery happened, I had no idea that one's chest muscles were so involved in so much activity: but now I know.

This week, I reached a healing milestone. I can sneeze without fear. The approaching sneeze has been one of my most feared moments, since it's been capable of undoing a couple of days of Being Very Careful. And although I have no wish to sneeze more than is absolutely necessary, there's a sense of achievement and recovery about being able to do so without worrying just how much it's going to hurt....

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Tags: AD, chest surgery, pain, recovery, snezze

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Comment by Kimberlee Jones on June 26, 2011 at 23:33

I remember those day...the dreaded sneeze, hiccup, or cough.  Now and then those things still cause a sharp pain in the middle of my sternum but not like it did that first year.


Congrats on being able to sneeze!!!!




Comment by Kev A on June 26, 2011 at 10:24

Good to hear Tim


Had any diced carrots? ☺


I couldn't help youtube'ing a sternotomy and it looks as bad as it feels.  Mind you, I've convinced myself that the team at my local hospital had been gearing up for the bank holiday DIY season and the power tools were all out on loan or something - so I've envisaged a hammer and chisel approach / that seems more appropriate for the pain I think! 


Time wise you're a little ahead (but to borrow Graeme's terminology) I think my 'train crash' has been cleared a little faster than your 'plane crash'.  I've been sneezing now constantly for weeks - the fear has long since gone and I think it's actually helping now, so much I embrace them - multi sneezes are the norm.


Ref your scar.  Over here in 'scorching' northern England - the NHS blue bible they give you says to avoid direct sunlight on the scar - as it'll heel darker than otherwise kept shaded.  Though I can see how Spanish directives may differ from that given to 'pasty northerners'!  Did they mention anything like this to you?  (I imagine you get more than the 3 scorching days a year we do though, so it may not be an issue)


Enjoy the beach


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