Personal Stories: Jim Goldsmith
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
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
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
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!