Dec 5
scrubt115 , Posted on SUPPORT NETWORK Blog

Dissecting Ascending Aorta then a large right cerebellum stroke

I went to the ER October 9th 2016 at around 10:30 with pain in center of chest. They did test and said no heart attack. They kept me overnight for observation and to do a stress test the next day. I went for the stress test late morning and it came back normal. Then within minutes my chest was hurting so bad, my back and my head. It was excruiating pain. On a scale from 1-10 it was a 20!! The ER doctor called for a chest cat scan being where my pain was. It was center more between the breast bone. And thats when they came back and said I needed immediate open heart surgery fo a dissecting ascending aorta!!! My wife and I were in shock, how could this be? I am 62 and pretty fit! I ride my bike 6-8 miles a day, I play softball, I just laid a small patio for my grill! So I told my wife she would never know how much I loved her and told her how she taught me to love again. I could see she was crying I told her not to cry it will be okay. My wife told me no matter what dont give up and dont quit no matter what my brain or body was saying. I told her I am a fighter not a quitter!! I was also on Eliquis which has no clotting reversal medication, the doctor told my wife if I started to bleed I would bleed to death. Adding more craziness to an already crazy moment. I went into surgery at 4:15 and surgery started at 5:12. I came out at 1:45am. To find I was alive but had a right sided stroke. I spent 2wks in SICU was on a vent than I was put on a trach and sent to a acute care hospital that specializes in weaning vent patients. 4 weeks later I was sent to a top rehabilitation center where I currently have just strated, I still do not speak much, or I am not able to sit up, brush my teeth or walk or eat. I have a feeding tube my wife calls a smoothie. Hopefully soon I can start eating some puree foods. I am going tomorrow for a barium swallow test to make sure I am swollowing correctlt. Fingers crossed. Oh did I mention I  lost the left side of my vision in both eyes, talk about a string of luck. By the way I am his wife. I am writing his story because he can not do so. I was just wondering if anybody out there has had a similar situation. And if so how did things turn out for you. I am so scared I may never get a piece of my husband back but worse he wont get himself back... I appreciate any feedback sometimes i just feel so alone. We have just moved to Florida, no family and he was retired and I have a full time job which I have taken alot of time off from. They have been excetionally good to me but I have just gone back and cant feel anything but guilt for leaving him and so scared for us both.
  • cdameron
    I can't give you any reference to what has happened to you because my experience was my heart attack in January. But, I can tell you I will put you and your husband in my prayers. I don't know if that will mean much to you but there is strength in knowing that someone out there cares! It also helps to know that when you do what you must to survive you are always doing the right thing. Your husband would understand all too well your need to return to work.
  • AHAASAKatie
    Thank you for sharing with us! Katie
  • JaneV
    Although our issues are NOT alike they really are! My husband has a very very weak heart after several attacks and his diabetes, multiple other neurological issues connected to a spinal surgery. He has had a change activity in his life much like you describe. What I picked up on from your comments was the journey you have made from October 9th to now. We have had health issues 7 of our 8 years of marriage and are both 72. We also have a tiny family that cares and a small family we never hear from even in the darkest times. What I understand about your post is the "scared" and the "alone". What I have had to do is take a day at a time. People tell you that all the time but it is finally, yes finally, part of my daily reminders to myself. Some are easier than others. Celebrate the small victories. Know time does make a difference and you do what you can and you make the very best memories you can. Hold tight to your faith and pray often. If you do not have close friends in your new location reach out to old friends or reach out like you have already done with this message to others that can understand your words. We are here and we hear you. Others will answer some of your specific concerns since they have experienced exactly what is happening to you and your husband. Others like myself know the path seems long, lonely and scary but I can tell you after 7 years as a caregiver in many forms that everyone going through health issues emulates some of the same feelings. Do not feel guilty about going back to your job. You need that job to refresh yourself to be a better caregiver. I know I have been at burn out where I could not leave my husband and concentrate on even simple errands for fear something would change at home. That is NOT healthy for either of you. If your husband has help or can care for himself safely for short periods go to work knowing this is a part of healing for both of you to have some normality in your life, even a new normal. I am blessed to work from home; yes still working as things are very expensive. It helps to get my mind on other things and it helps him too for me to be able to come back to our issues after I have had a time-out to do something else that is necessary for us. I hope every day that my husband's quality of life will improve. I brought him home from the hospital again today after another heart procedure and I am trying to get to the point to put up the Christmas tree for the 2 of us plus our dog Jack. We continue to be thankful everyday for what we have and to find hope in others, and the random acts of kindness that are there if we but look for them. Hang on, pray and give your worry, your fear, your guilt and your loneliness to God. I did and I now can cope far better than ever.
  • scrubt115
    Thank you for your responses. I do pray I have faith and hope. It is just so horrible when i have to make the choice between my job and cheering your husband. Therapy said it is good to come cheer him on as he faces the toughest fight of his life! But I am working and can not.... I have some neighbors that can possibly go up for a while to cheer him on. It is so difficult as I stated he is 62 and I am 56 it just seems so unfair and sometimes I get angry but I guess this comes along with the stress and seeing my husband suffer everyday... Thank you again and I hope you both heal and get strong and move on with the beautiful lives we have been give...
  • dwaynec
    Have you tried Nitric Oxide therapy? The medical community is calling Nitric Oxide the miracle molecule! Along with lifestyle change it's helping people who suffer from cardio vascular disease. I do a health awareness webinar every Monday and Wednesday at 8 pm eastern to help fight CVD. Please feel free to join in on our next webinar this Monday or Wednesday by clicking this link: or you can dial in 712)770-4010 code 594427. Also check out "The Whole Heart Solution" by Dr. Joel Kahn MD. To Your Health!! Dwayne
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