Personal Stories: Tammy Mayes

Hello Brian and everyone who comes in this great place. My story isn't quite like everyone else's. I am 35 yrs. old, married almost 16 yrs. with a 15 yr. old daughter and a 14 yr. old son. This is my story: In December 2003 right after Christmas I started feeling tired and didn't have much energy. I thought with the holidays and my job, which was home health aide had just ended due to death, and I just thought I was under a lot of stress.

I went to see my doctor who sent me for blood work and she ran an EKG- which came back normal. The following week I went back for the blood test results and found out that I had diabetes. I was sleeping 7-9 hrs. a night and napping for 2-4 hrs. a day. I expressed to my doctor my concern and she sent me to mid Ohio heart clinic. My appointment was 3 days later (Monday).

The doctor put me on a beta blocker and aspirin that day and wanted me to come in 3 days (Thursday) later for a stress test. On Monday they had me come in for the results. I thought the urgency was because my mother had her first heart attack at age 36 which resulted in an angioplasty and then at age 48 she had a quadruple bypass, and my father having his 1st heart attack at age 40 and quadruple bypass at age 46.

On Monday the doctor told me the bottom portion of my heart was not pumping as quickly as the top and wanted me to have a cath on Wednesday. I agreed of course. But then I started to wonder why they was being so aggressive with me. Well I just brushed it off as again to my parents history.

On Wednesday while they was doing the cath., the doctor asked if I was ok, yes I said, again he asked "are you sure you're ok?" Just as he was asking the second time I felt as though I was laying on hot coals, then my chest felt as though someone put me under a press machine. I blacked out and when I came to they was trying to put a tube in my throat.

They didn't because I was awake thank God. The doctor explained to me that my left aorta had ruptured when he injected the dye and they had to rush me downstairs to do emergency bypass surgery. I was totally shocked. Nothing like this had ever happened in my family. They still don't know why. They did triple bypass surgery. I was awake on Friday and they let me come home on Sunday.

I am so thankful I am here. I am dealing with a lot of issues, diabetes, high cholesterol, depression, I quit smoking and wondering why I've had so many health problems at a young age. Some of them I know why others I'll never know. I just wish I knew what caused my aortic dissection, so maybe my kids can be more aware of it. But like I said I am just thankful I'm here. The healing process has been a slow one for me, I'm still very sore. I'd love to hear from anyone else who has had a similar experience.

Thanks for letting me tell my story. And much more thanks for developing this website.

Tammy Mays

Mansfield, Ohio

Contact Tammy


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