Personal Stories: David Mansker
Until my experience with an Aortic Dissection, I had never heard of this
happening. My experience was with my father, a 62 year old nonsmoker
with no prior medical problems. My parents had children when they were
older, so I still live at home.
woke my mother and myself up at 15 minutes till 5 in the morning. He
kept saying that he was in terrible pain, mostly in his back region. My
mother and I thought he was having a heart attack so she made him lay
down on the couch, with much protest on his part, gave him some aspirin,
and had me call 911.
hospital at first was treating it like it was a heart attack, they
checked to see if he was spilling enzymes and monitoring him. When we
arrived at the hospital his blood pressure was low, but it was randomly
shooting extremely high. The nurses called the ER doctor and he wanted
them to do a CT Scan. When he returned they came in the room and told us
he was not having a heart attack, that he had an aortic dissection, and
that the Cardiologist at the hospital could not treat him.
then transferred to the Texas Heart Institute in Houston. When the
doctor talked to us before he went in to surgery he said that my father
had an aortic dissection in both the ascending and descending aorta, and
had dissected to his mid left thigh.
were highly negative that he would not live through the surgery and if
he did that it was likely that he would never wake up again. Knowing
this we said our goodbyes and sent him up. Surgery was 7 hours, they
replaced part of his aorta with the graft and his aortic valve as well.
Recovery has been an uphill battle, two steps forwards one step back.
days he did not make any attempt to wake up or breath on his own,
although he was not receiving any drugs. His liver was acting funny and
his kidneys were not functioning properly. He was not moving his left
side so there was a possibility of a stroke. He spent 8 days in the CV
ICU, and another week on the cardiac floor.
very lucky because we were told my father would not live, but he has and
everything works. Recovery will be long, but each day we make a little
It has been a month since my father's surgery. After two weeks in the
hospital he was allowed to come home. Honestly, this is where the story
gets kinda fishy. My dad was sent home with his knee swollen twice its
size. The doctors did not know what was wrong with it. They pulled a
sample and determined that there was no infection. My father who was
then unable at the time, was sent home. I over heard at the nurse's
station, a nurse telling a doctor, that she had told our doctor to send
us to outpatient because we had no health insurance.
The knee situation was determined, at home, that it was gout. We have
had two episodes in two weeks. I being a future nursing student, I start
in the fall, was looking through the surgery summary. I read that there
was a partial blockage found in one of my dad's blood vessels. To this
date no one has made mention of a blockage. Today, one month and 3 days
from surgery, the doctor's nurse called and told my mother that my
father had been released. My dad will no longer see the cardiologist and
we were told not to call back, that my mother was a smart woman and she
could figure it out.
Does this seem odd to anyone but me?
Thanks for any help or advice.