I'm sure that you can relate to the
relief I felt, when I was referred to your website! My only problem
is, I was so overwhelmed and frightened, I kept putting off
contacting you! Your website is awesome, and today I've pushed
myself to really get involved in this, but don't even know how to
begin; again, I feel so overwhelmed by everything about this
My name is Loretta Young, and I just
turned 70, last April. On September 29, 2007, I just felt incredibly
sleepy, so snoozed on my bed with my cats all day. It was a
Saturday, and some close friends of mine had called me in the
afternoon, to tell me that they were in town, and invited me to go
out to dinner with them. I agreed, then got out of bed, after
another 1 1/2 hour nap, took a shower and got dressed to go out.
When they arrived, I was in the process of putting on my mascara.
Suddenly, I got this piercing pain in the back of my head, and it
was like someone was pulling a zipper down, in my head, and the pain
went into my right shoulder. I commented to my friend who had come
up to let me know that they were there, "Hmmm, I am having the most
unusual pain in my head, and I just don't feel right!" My friend is
a nurse (we were roommates in nursing school), and she advised me to
just rest for a few seconds and see if it got worse. It got
decidedly worse! She dialed 911, and I was whisked to the E.R. of
the nearest hospital. I felt so weird, and the E.M.T.s were
obviously concerned about my condition. To make matters worse, since
1992, I've had serious breathing problems, due to a paralyzed
diaphragm (who knows how that happened!), and was forced to retire
in 2001, because even with my portable Oxygen with me, I would have
breathing episodes and have to be sent home.
My friends located my daughter, who
immediately notified my son, who lives in Lodi, CA, who flew right
After rushing me in for various C.T.
scans, and they saw the nightmare they presented, they told my
daughter that I would have to be taken into surgery, to see if any
repair could be done, She was told that I most likely wouldn't
survive the surgery, and with my breathing problems, would probably
be on a breathing tube for the rest of my life, if I did survive.
Just as they were nearly to the O.R. door, another Cardio-Vascular
surgeon stopped everyone and asked to speak to my daughter, in
private. He told her that he seriously doubted that I could survive
the surgery, and his suggestion was to treat it medically. He told
her that his dad had suffered the same thing, and by treating it
medically, he survived 11 1/2 years, and died of something else!
That sounded great to my daughter, so they both came over to me, to
share the information. Believe me, that was a real relief!
I was in ICU for a long time, then
"Special Care," and on Oct.16, I was released from the hospital and
sent to a Convalescent Home until I was released to come home on
November 5, 2007
My daughter, grandson (6 yrs. old) and I
live together now, in a nice, roomy one-level townhouse. We are very
happy together, except that my grandson is highly allergic to most
animals, especially cats, and I had to let my precious little cat
family be placed in other homes. I suffer intensely from this grief;
we were family for almost 15 years. I comfort myself by knowing that
they will all be with me again (never to part), when we get to
What a year this has been, and I truly
need help, and possibly more aggressive treatment for my condition.
I was referred to a Thoracic/Cardiac surgeon, and he was so blown
away by the reports of my condition, he was is shock. He couldn't
believe that I was still alive. He had me undergo another series of
C.T. scans, and nearly fainted when he saw them. I was diagnosed
with Type I Aortic Dissection, from my shoulder, next to my heart,
my abdomen and in the groin. I had four aneurysms. When we got the
results of the latest C.T. scans, the aorta had healed up, and there
weren't any evidence of aneurysms! He wants to see me in a year for
more scans, but in the meantime, it's not easy or pleasant living
with the symptoms, all the discomfort
and feeling so weak, tiring so easily
and sleeping nearly 'round-the-clock!
I gave you this rather long "Thumb-nail
sketch of what I've been, and still am going through. I really am
grateful for this website, and plan to make a lot of use from it. I
just don't know where to begin. I thought I would send you this
much, so that you would have an idea as to where I'm at in this
process, and maybe you can lead me to various people who can
possibly improve my situation. I feel that I'm way too much
medicated, and that disturbs me, and there a lots of things I need
My Sincere Thanks,
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