Mended Hearts Open Forum

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AAA aortic dissection

  • 1.  AAA aortic dissection

    Posted 08-02-2021 12:52
    Hello everyone,

    I'm new here and I haven't quite figured out how to navigate the site yet. I'm actually looking for any group that can talk to me about aortic dissection.  I'm a 46 year old man and back in 2015 had a AAA aortic aneurysm resulting in immediate surgery. Luckily I survived by the grace of God.

    I just want to talk to people because since my surgery things in my life has changed. My strength isn't the same. Im tired all the time and I am on a load of medications that are responsiblefor the tiredness but the weakness I dont know. is there anything else I will experiencefrom this surgery. I have already had a blood clot issue that nearly took my life a month and a half ago that is now leading to me lose my right big toe because the residual clot got lodged in my toe vessel.

    I'm just wondering if I can expect my quality of life to get worse. I guess I'm worried about what I can expect.  it's already interfering on my work life and I don't know what to do.

    John Bittner
    Cicero NY

  • 2.  RE: AAA aortic dissection

    Posted 08-06-2021 17:46

    Hi John,
    I'm relatively new here too. I just wanted to say what you're going through sounds tough! And I empathize with you. I don't have any experience going through a dissection, but I do have a thoracic aortic aneurysm ascending (in the watchful waiting stage),  and my mom had a dissection on her descending TAA. She wassn't able to have a surgery even though it was an emergency because she was on blood thinners for something else. She was treated with meds in ICU / got her blood pressure down and she's doing okay12 years later. She only had one setback which was ischemic colitis which he believed was caused by Aortic insufficiency. 

    Praying for you to experience peace and health going forward ! 

    Debi Ries 

    Debi Ries
    San Diego, Ca
    AVR / Open Surgery 2011/ TAAA 4.2 cm / Afib

  • 3.  RE: AAA aortic dissection

    Posted 08-07-2021 17:51

    Hi, John
    i just had another thought about you feeling so tired all the time. Have you looked into the meds you're taking? So many of them cause fatigue… just a thought 

    Debi Ries
    San Diego, Ca
    AVR / Open Surgery 2011/ TAAA 4.2 cm / Afib

  • 4.  RE: AAA aortic dissection

    Posted 08-07-2021 17:58


    Oops, I'm embarrassed that you already said you know it's the meds you take that make you tired…only other thought is about your aortic valve. Is it functioning at full capacity? 

    Debi Ries
    San Diego, Ca
    AVR / Open Surgery 2011/ TAAA 4.2 cm / Afib

  • 5.  RE: AAA aortic dissection

    Posted 08-07-2021 11:27
    Hello John Bittner
    Am celebrating 3 years Post Op this week, was going to do some
    bragging and complaining and then read your note to the Forum
    and had to reply to you...
    It is difficult to say what is normal for the post surgical complications
    you mention, I don't know what you had going on when you went in
    to have the surgery, and what the surgeon has told you and if your
    post surgical cardiologist is also aware of what you are going through

    I was 65 when I had my OHS 3 years ago this week.  I was in decent shape
    for an older woman, I do not drink, had given up the smoking and lost
    20 pounds before the surgery.  I love potato chips, its my only vice, 
    but now I buy the nearly 0 sodium ones.

    There are days I was dragging through, could not make a day without a nap,
    but I think I was dealing with depression or intense sadness instead of anything
    medical.  I joined an online counseling group, and am a happy and busy once
    again.  I paint every day and do Meditation and am thinking of taking up
    drums or guitar.

    All of our Heart Recovery takes time.  Time is different for everyone, some
    people go through it really fast, get on a program, learn new hobbies and put
    the Past to Sleep and come out on the other side of the Surgery.  I do hope that
    for you John.  Good Luck and Be Well Soon

    Mary H

  • 6.  RE: AAA aortic dissection

    Posted 08-07-2021 12:06
    Hi Mary. Thank you for the reply. To answer your question about my lifestyle. I WAS a smoker in fairly good shape, worked 60 hrs a week. I dont drink or do drugs. I am a homebody but turn wood in my spare time and I still do that.

    But, I feel physically weaker now, I can't lift what I use too and I've tried. Activities wear me out faster then they use too and I'm constantly tired. Sometimes I feel like my Grandfather, falling asleep in my chair when I sit to watch a movie. The Dr tested me for sleep apnea and I dont have that.

    They just CT scan me yearly and give me an EKG everytime I visit the Dr. No strange abnormalities have been revealed. So idk. I just know my employers aren't happy with my performance at all. I'm just trying to save my job its the only way I know how to make a living. This is the worst time for me right now, emoyment wise. Luckily I am working for now.

    I work in the Asbestos removal field. A totaly safe job.

    John Bittner
    Cicero NY

  • 7.  RE: AAA aortic dissection

    Posted 08-07-2021 12:56
    Oh yes John....I had a boyfriend in the Asbestos Removal Field too...

    I would imagine that if they are giving you a updated EKG check every year, that
    blood tests also are given ....I know this is only  a support Forum, but have
    you had a CBC including thyroid levels and markers for possibly high inflammation
    levels or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome that might be throwing you off.  

    My mind was different after my OHS John.  The surgery brought home to me that
    my days are numbered.  No matter how long those days are, I had never looked into
    the abyss and realized that I would not be here forever.  As a child and a person
    who never had a life saving surgery before, if it doesn't change you, then you are
    not looking at what might be making you so tired.  My father always told me that
    when you fight the sadness so hard because you don't want to feel or deal with 
    it, it darn well will make you tired.  

    I am sorry John, I am not implying anything, just letting you know that I am
    pulling for you and you get to the root of the tired problems soon

    Mary H