Personal Stories: Kim Blakeney


I'm Kim. I live in Sydney, Australia. I have been a constant viewer of this site for several months now, and thought it was probably time I contributed.

2005 was meant to be my year. My son had started work and I no longer had School or Uni fees. My husband was progressing well at work. Time to look at all the areas I'd neglected for a few years.

The morning of my dissection, 10/02/2005 I had a breast mammography and bone density scan, all part of my get fit campaign.

I returned to work, took my vitamin pills and drank some vitamin drink I had got from a nutrionist. The drink seemed to get stuck on it's way down. I raced to the Ladies room, but the pain just kept on getting worse. As the pain spread I lost the use of my right leg.

I dragged myself out to the hallway and waited until someone came along and found me. Moving ahead, workmates called an ambulance and I was taken to a large hospital.

At the hospital, they gave me many tests and repeated the same questions over and over. My answers never seemed to satisfy them. Apart from being scared, I also felt that there must be something lacking in my communication skills.

After about 6 hours at the hospital, they advised me that they were going to send me home, and that I should make an appointment with a cardiologist for a Stress test. I found this so scary as I couldn't believe I could go through so much pain, without there being something wrong.

Fortunately, blood test results came back and they decided to keep me overnight. I think it was around lunch time the next day when a diagnosis was made.

Graft and resuspension of the valve was performed. As they had been plying me with blood thinners, they had to delay sewing me up for 36 hours after the initial operation.

I left Intensive Care after about 7 days and spent another 8 days in hospital.

I get the impression that our work conditions in Australia are more generous than those in USA. After less than 6 years with my company, I had 60 days sick leave built up and 9 weeks of holiday leave, so time off work was not a problem.

I am currently working 4 days a week. I get tired quickly. When I get tired I have a pain that starts in my shoulder and if I don't sit or rest, spreads down my back. After 5 months my ribs still hurt, and feel as if they have a clamp around them.

My current status is - I still have a dissection from the arch to the aortic bifurcation and in to the left common iliac artery. The false lumen supplies the coelic axis. This is still fairly unknown language to me.

I haven't read over this, as I know if I do, I won't send it.

I have to add though. I feel so blessed, lucky , whatever you want to call it. I am alive. I have a husband I adore, a wonderful son. Every day is a bonus, and those that mean the most to me I will constantly remind, how much they mean to me.

Contact Kim
Phone: 206-550-7957
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