I was pleased to find your site. I have sometimes
felt a little lonely and my condition is so rare that I feel a little
like a freak and wonder how and why I am alive. It is nice to meet
others who understand.
I suffered a catastrophic dissection of the abdominal
aorta on 25th March 2003. I was taken to our local hospital
in England, which is quite big and has a good reputation. I was treated
by the National Heath Service, which sometimes comes in for a lot of
stick, but I received kindness, devotion and excellent treatment
throughout. Although the hospital building was only 40 years old it was
showing its age and has since been completely replaced.
The blood pressure test that was given on my
admission showed as normal but the nurse took ten minutes to get a
canola into my arm as it had turned grey and the blood flow - and
possibly pressure - was clearly much reduced. I was probably suffering
My blood pressure was high for several days. At one
point it was over 200/140 and was virtually immeasurable. The doctors
then gave me medication to control it which I still take six years
No one in the medical profession will even discuss it
but I suspect that the simultaneous use of fairly high doses of
morphine, codeine phosphate and Ibuprofen contributed to the high
readings of blood pressure. The doctor’s first priority was to manage
the vicious pain that I was presenting.
Because of the rarity of my condition it took over
three weeks to diagnose. The senior vascular surgeon, who had forty
years’ experience, simply did not believe it was possible that I could
have a dissection and still be alive. I clearly self-survived.
The condition was eventually defined by a CT scan and
extended over a length of around ten inches. I asked the senior vascular
surgeon if he would operate and he responded that he did not do
I had stabilised by this time so I considered that it
was safer to leave well alone so I have never pursued the matter
further. There seem to be few possible benefits for what would probably
be major and risky surgery. At seventy years of age I do not need
anybody tampering with my body.
I lay on my sofa for a year and my only exercise was
walking but the slightest upgrade caused me severe breathlessness. Then
I decided enough was enough and I went and spent the summer ripping the
roof off my factory and renewing it. Then I spent several years removing
several tons of various detritus that remained from ninety years of
family engineering business operations. I did have a little help with
this but did most myself. After about five years I was fully fit. I am
sure my surgeon would have thrown his hands up in despair if he saw the
things I was doing with ladders and scaffolds and bricks and bags of
cement and joist and diggers and fork-lift trucks and cranes and skips.
But it made me well again.
I was seventy last week and I finally dissolved my
company and sold the business building so I have actually retired at
last. But yesterday I spent several hours persuading my daughter to take
over the manufacturing company she runs that was once an offshoot of my
business. I have taken cautions first steps to investing in commodities
on the stock market. I give PowerPoint presentations to local social
groups on the history of my city and am preparing one for the local
Astronomical Society on the Big Bang. I have also written my
autobiography and am considering publishing options.
I am vice chair of our local Civic Society and spend
a lot of brain power on considering how best to guide the development of
our once bomb-destroyed city. In a more immediate situation I recently
defended a local nurse who was threatened with being struck off in an
horrendous witch hunt that would have made Salem look tame. Appearing in
court as an advocate did not phase me at all but my body responded by
going hypothermic and they had to wrap me in a large red fire blanket.
Needless to say proceedings were suspended and a good walk in a nearby
park in London brought my system more or less back into line.
I used to work eighteen hour days as standard but now
I can only manage about ten hours. When I get too tired my back starts
to hurt and I must rest. But otherwise my life is fairly normal for a
seventy year old and I do not dwell upon my slight affliction. Most of
my friends of similar age are in worse condition than I. I had a
ultrasound scan last week and learned that I have an aneurysm in the
abdominal aorta about six centimetres across but that it has not changed
The doctors insist that my condition must have been
caused by severe trauma but I had never suffered with high blood
pressure and certainly suffered nothing on the day of the event. My life
went onward and upward for sixty years without any major traumas that I
could not handle. Then in the first two years of this millennium I
suffered around twelve major life crises. In retrospect it is not
surprising I finished up in hospital.
I have not changed my essential lifestyle but have
retired and do only what I enjoy, not that I did not enjoy most of my
life anyway. But sometimes things go wrong and they did for me in 2000 –
2002. Now I never get into conflict situations and have learned to lay
back and take things easy. But I still have a lot of things to learn and
I hope this helps some of you others who have
suffered this strange phenomenon of dissection - being undead so to
Man when life wants to get hard,,,,,it really gets hard.
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