I had been working a lot of hours at work and remodeling a house with
the little time I had left. I was working on the house (putting up a
closet rod in the bedroom) when I felt something flip me in the chest.
Moment later I was on the floor trying to crawl to the living room
couch. I was unable to stand and in to much pain to yell for help. I
thought I had done something to my back.
I was on the couch for about 15 minutes, constantly moving and
rotating around, trying to find a position that didn't hurt. My wife
finally said she was going to take me to the hospital, and with some
arguing, I gave in and decided to go. At this point in my life I had
never been injured, never been really sick, and had never even sit on a
The hospital was about 35 minutes from our house and it seemed liked
the longest trip I had ever taken. About half way there my chest started
to hurt. The only way I could describe the pain was it felt like
something was pulling my shoulders back while a truck was parked on my
chest. I WAS IN REAL PAIN.
We finally made it to the hospital and luckily went right to a bed
from the emergency room. I told the nurse of my back and chest pain.
After jotting a few notes down she left my wife and me in the little
curtained area. I was constantly moving trying to find some comfort and
a doctor noticed my movements through the curtain. He stuck his head in
and asked if I was having a lot of discomfort and asked me to tell the
story again of why I was there. He then said he was rushing me to have a
ct scan. I kept asking him if he could see my back with a ct scan. He
just told me to remain calm and not worry just let him do what he was
trained to do. After the scan they were rushing me down a hallway and he
was running beside of us saying that I had a tear in my aorta that was
22" long and that they were not equipped to handle that kind of surgery.
He told me that he had a helicopter ready to take me to a hospital that
could help me and that if I wanted to survive the trip I needed to stay
During the flight nothing excited happened. I just lay on the cot and
talked to the paramedic (I guess I was pretty pumped up on pain medicine
or I was in shock). When we landed I was rushed into the hospital. I
can't remember much, except for throwing up a lot (a whole lot) of
blood. I remember my family freaking out with I began to throw up blood
and the doctors telling them to leave.
Next thing I remember is waking up and the doctor telling me that I
was stable and that they were going to treat it with medicine and see if
it would heal itself. I was in the hospital for 19 days. On the 19th day
the doctors told me that would give me a ct scan and if everything was
well they would let me go home. So they took me down and I had the test
and was brought back to my room. I was told if the test came back "o.k"
I would be allowed to leave. Shortly the doctor came in the room and
said something I will never forget, "The dissection is continuing to
tear. It is doing something very uncommon and is tearing upward and is
1/16 of an inch from the artery that go to your brain. We must do
surgery immediately. This surgery is going to be very dangerous and you
may not make it through it. You should contact you family."
Needless to say, I lived. The doctors replaced 6" of my aorta and
bypassed my subclavian artery. They will continue to monitor the other
16" that remained dissected. I now go to Cleveland Clinic to get scans
and when it reaches 5.5cm I will have another surgery. My life has
changed tremendously and I really don't like the lifestyle I have been
forced to live. I'm now 34 years old and have a life threatening
Man when life wants to get hard,,,,,it really gets hard.
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