Personal Stories: Jim Goldsmith

Hello Again Brian:


I had terrible, terrible, pain in my back running up and down the whole core of my body. I thought I was passing a kidney stone or having a heart attack! Dr. Coan was on duty that day at the hospital. (I guess many regular Doctors alternate pulling emergency room duty at this big hospital in Atlanta.) Dr. Coan is a top Vascular surgeon and he quickly recognized from what I described and from his experience what was happening to me.

I remember he said: "You're not passing a kidney stone and I don't think you are having a heart attack", probably from the blood tests they did, etc.' but then he said "You're blood pressure is off the chart it's so high" and he ordered a CT scan right away. I was all drugged up and the next day he came by my room and told me I had had an Aortic Dissection. Dr. Coan is still my Vascular doctor and he said they could either operate or treat me with blood pressure medicine and monitor the dissection to see if it changes.

I have a MRI/CT scan twice a year and the dissection has not changed over the past four years. He says that if it starts growing in size he will probably want me to get the operation. I see another doctor twice a year for my blood pressure medicine.
I take Labetalol and Lisinopril for blood pressure, Pot Chloride, Furosemide (water pill), a low dose Lipitor, and an aspirin and day.
Dr. Coan told me that Aortic dissections are often mis diagnosed and I feel I'm very lucky that he was on duty that day!
My younger brother got a check up after my dissection and discovered he had the same condition! He died a year ago while at work!
Thanks again for you great web site!
Best regards,
John Goldsmith


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