Aortic dissection, aortic aneurysm - The aorta - Life after an aortic dissection
Back in May of 2010, I was on a business trip in Brazil, a country I had spent a good part of my life in. I was engaged to be married that December to a wonderful woman, and was quite happy. The following is what has been told to me as I have no memory of the events. I began feeling strange and called my fiance who told me She'd be right over.
Upon arrival She saw that I was very pale with cold sweats and took me straight to the hospital (Brazil's best). I checked into the hospital and while conducting tests they rushed me to immediate surgery as my aorta had torn and I was bleeding out. I was told I'd lost 5 liters of my blood and was put on a heart-lung machine. Surgery that was supposed to have take 5 hours lasted 11 hours due to some complications with the surgery. I survived however was left legally blind and paralyzed from the chest down (with my arms working). I was taken to another hospital shortly after surgery and developed pressure sores which got to stage 4 meaning bone could be seen (sores were in my behind). As a result, I could not travel back to the U.S. for post surgical acute physical therapy. There is a window of opportunity in these cases where the sooner You get intensive therapy the better Your odds are of regaining mobility. My pressure sores kept me in Brazil until June 2011 after several surgeries to close the sores (Stage 4 sores - could see bone). I finally was well enough to fly.
I got to Boston at the end of June and upon landing had a minor heart attack which landed me into Mass. General Hospital where I was kept for a month or so. Best part of this was I got to take a picture with the National Hockey Leagues trophy, the Stanley cup as some of the Boston Bruins hockey players brought it by the hospital to cheer folks up. From MGH I went to Spaulding rehabilitation and was there 2 months or so. I still had a tiny pressure sore so I was not able to take full advantage of the physical therapy but did my best.
Currently, I am at a skilled nursing facitly near Boston and doing all I can to stimulate my body with exercise.
As a result of having lost so much blood during the event a part of my optical nerve was not irrigated and I lost peripheral vision ... best described as tunnel vision. I hope to get help with that and do what I can to relearn how I see. Heavans I wish Stem Cell technology was a bit further advanced than it is!
Well that's my story. Hope it wasn't too long sometimes I tend to get "wordy" when I write. As I'm keeping up a good attitude and plan to beat this thing. The AD does not concern me at all. My vision and mobility are my big issues as far as I'm concerned. I'm very happy to be alive and realize how close I came as told to me by the medics and friends who went though the early days with me. That is why I say "What doesn't kill You makes You stronger"!!! :-)
Cheers and a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
Add a Comment