Personal Stories: Bill Hakonson
I experienced the dissection in 2003 while going down the road at 75
mph on a
motorcycle. The feeling was like a big thick rubber band broke in my
I think I heard it. I should have gone to the nearest hospital but I
continued my trip (with chest pain) thinking it would go away -
indigestion, etc. The next day my chest still hurt and my wife and
INSISTED I go to the emergency room. Their tests didn't show the
but the emergency doc KEPT ME THERE. Only when a radiologist
to the doctor on call that I have a spiral CAT SCAN was the
The time that elapsed from the "break in the rubber band" until
I went to the emergency room was about 27 hours and the time that
the emergency room until they discovered the problem was 8.5 hours
surgery followed 8 hours later after a life flight to Denver (I lived
Lander Wyoming at the time). So a total of 43.5 hours elapsed.
Long story short I made it - my wife and daughter insisted I go to
emergency room, the emergency doc kept me there and the radiologist
family friend) stayed with the problem.
I am not sure what I could do to help you in your effort to address
misdiagnosis problem but I am willing to try. Surely there could be a
procedure in emergency rooms that could be implemented to check for
Perhaps a part of the education ought to include those of us
dissections - which probably includes a broad spectrum of folks (I
rheumatic fever as a kid and higher than normal blood pressure as an
Had I known the symptoms perhaps I would have been more attentive.
Until it happened to me I didn't know what an aortic dissection was.
happened to me when I was almost 59 years old.
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