Personal Stories: Robert Turowski

I woke up the night after my 39th birthday with an intense burning in my chest. It felt like I had a burning pocket of gas stuckin my chest, I thought it was heartburn even though I never had heartburn before. I ran around the house trying to get rid of the sensation. My wife told me the go to the hospital bit I refused. The pain eased up about a while and I fell asleep.

In the morning I called off sick because I was tired. I still felt a small burning sensation but nothing like the night before, so I must be OK. As the day went on I noticed that is seemed like my leg was dragging slightly and one of my eyes was fluttering. I finally called my doctor and got the last appointment of the day. the doctor said that he hear a slight whooshing when he listened to my heart and would not let me leave the office unless I went to an ER, he wanted to call an ambulance but I refused. He finally let me go but only after my wife came and picked me up and drove me to the hospital.

At the Er all tests were great. Pulse was good, EKG was good. The ER doctor said it was probable acid reflux and they would keep me the night and release me in the morning after a TREADMILL test. He then called the cardiologist that my doctor had called about me. The cardiologist said that I should have a CT scan but the ER doctor said that me was not impressed with my symptoms. I finally did have a CT scan and the say the dissection. The heart surgeon was called and I had the surgery, started bleeding in post op and had the surgery again to stop the bleeding.

I recovered well but always felt like I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. It dropped the following year due a follow up examine. It seemed pseudo aneurysm has developed and was pulling my heart valve apart so the valve was not closing. My first surgeon said he was not comfortable doing the surgery so he referred me to DR Svensson at the Cleveland Clinic. It had the second surgery on 12/13/04 and have been recovering fairly well. I had the first surgery totally redone and an artificial hear valve out it.

It is had the put the doom aside as I was put on an anti-depressant, but it is still rough some days.

My original surgeon did not feel that I should risk the surgery with anyone except Dr. Svensson since it was so complex. The Cleveland Clinic is outside my HMO network. I sided with Dr. Marsh my first heart surgeon because me was already inside and knew what was there best. My insurance has only paid for 70% because I went out of the network. Now I am not only depressed about possible further problems but I have a staggering debt.

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