Personal Stories: Tina Smith
Hi everyone. My name is Tina Smith and I'm 38 now. I had never heard of
this before and when it happened to John Ritter I thought what a loss of
a funny man. That's it. I had been sick a lot with pneumonia.
different occasions I went to the emergency room and was sent home after xrays and CT scans with pneumonia as the diagnosis. I was finally asked
to see an Internal Medicine doctor to discover the cause of my
pneumonia. She diagnosed me with a heart murmur and suggested that I see
a Cardiologist for treatment.
The cardiologist told me that I had a bad
valve and would in the distant future have to have it replaced. I went
in a week later to have a echocardiogram and a ultrasound of my neck.
The ultrasound showed that I had both carotid arteries dissected and the
echo came back with the aortic dissection. Immediately I was checked
into the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at St Francis Hospital in Blue
There I learned the severity of my situation and the
mortality rate. On December 11, 2003 in an 11 hour operation I had my
aortic semilunar valve replaced and my aortic arch replaced (or
ascending aorta) and my carotid arteries were bypassed.
I don't remember waking up after the procedure. I can't remember
anything for 4 days. Basically I lost 4 days, but it's a small price
to pay for my life. I'm grateful to be here everyday. The road to
recovery was long, hard, and painful but it's worth it. I will be
celebrating 1 year of re-life this December 11th. I'm scared everyday
about the unknown.
The cause, could it happen again, will it affect my children. I was
a normal healthy mother of two before all this. Just couldn't shake a
bad cold. Today my ticker is crisp (according to my doctor) but my
carotid arteries haven't healed like they should. So now we are
talking about stints in my carotids. I don't know how I feel about
that right now. I'm just trying to understand the problems I have
occasionally with my vision.
Currently trying to see a specialist in neurology and ophthalmology
to rule out them as possible causes for my vision problems. I haven't
wanted to find out anything about my condition because I was too
afraid. I haven't as of yet let myself cry or grieve about it.
My support team throughout all of this has been amazing and without
them I don't know if I would of made such a quick recovery. This all
happened to me during finals week at school. I missed finals but went
home 7 days before Christmas. Returning to school was my goal and on
January 14th I was cleared to begin classes again. Today I'm taking
Phlebotomy and I have to write a research paper and thought that this
would be a good start to my emotional recovery.
I'm glad I came across this site and hope that everyone whose posted
before me is doing well. Although I have to be honest I hate seeing
people I haven't seen in awhile and them asking, Are you okay? How are
you feeling? I just want to be normal again.
Contact Tina Smith
| Contact Us |
Link To Us
2003-2008. All Rights Reserved.