Personal Stories: Andres Story

Hi, I am a 46yr old male that was diagnosed with abdominal aortic dissection on 5/04/08. Pain in the lower back and abdomen caused me to go to the ER with what I initially thought was a kidney stone (since I've experienced one of those).

The hospital kept me for observation for 3 days while administering BP meds. Last Friday I met the vascular surgeon from the hospital. He indicated that the it could be managed with BP meds and that the location of the tear was not near the renal arteries while the circulation to my legs seems good (strong pulses no tingling numbness). He would only recommend surgery if gets larger. He did say that it was small but couldn't tell me the size (cm). Just as a precaution I am going to get a second opinion. It's now almost three weeks and I've been getting adjusted to the meds (usual fatigue, some dizziness, etc).

I asked the vascular surgeon about physical activity and his response was fairly vague. "You can do some lifting 20, 30 lbs. but not 100's". Also keep "stress situations to a minimum". I have always been active in some shape or form most of my life. Athletics in HS and college, strength and cardio training etc. Prior to the AD I was doing 30-45min cardio 3x/wk and strength/cross training 5x/wk. I feel good but I'm definitely confused as to what's next in terms of maintaining overall health.

Any insight or information you can provide would be of great assistance.

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