Saturday, May 17, 2014

Post-dissection Repair Everyday Challenges, Vertigo and Dizziness

I don't want to fall so I pace myself and have learned how to look for the signs of a vertigo or dizziness onset.
Post-dissection repair cycling has its own set of challenges, but is good PT and good for my mental state too!
I am also learning to recognize some of the post-dissection repair triggers.  This is good because I do not want to fall.  Falling and cutting myself or breaking a blood vessel while on Warfarin could be bad.  As it stands I still have a bruise and lump on my left arm after a small tumble almost two months ago.  Any type of trauma where bleeding is involved can have serious results while on anti-coagulants.

Most of the time I do not black all the way out and if I do it is only briefly so it seems.  But the sensation starts with a quiet ringing in my ears and head.  Very quickly my vision goes from ok to grey out.

When this happens I need to lower my center of gravity quickly.  Sit down Kevin, sit down now.  Falling over while sitting on the ground is much easier on my body than a tumble from way up there where I usually am in a standing position.

These sessions typically occur when I transition from laying or sitting to a standing position, though they can happen anytime during the day.

I suspect that they are a result of my very low pulse rate (less than 40) and lower blood pressure than what I have been used to for most of my life (now running 110/65).  Possibly though the dissected descending aorta and the huge false lumen hog most of the available blood leaving my heart, also contributing to the dizziness.

Either way, it is the new normal for me.  I am slowly learning to deal with it.

If I feel like I a going to pass out I sit or lay down.  I just need to reduce the risk of trauma from a tumble.

Honestly, a couple of times when I was out hiking last year I got so dizzy for so long I thought I was going to the great hiking trail in the sky, sat down, held the cross and hearts hanging around my neck and waited.  But the dizziness left, like it always has so far.

Yesterday on my bike I had a similar incident and had to sit down until the vertigo and fuzzy vision left.  Falling off a bike would be bad too.  So as soon as the ringing starts in my ears and the tingling begins in the top of my head I find a nice grassy area, dismount and plop myself down.

The doctor and the medicine containers all warn of dizziness.  Yes, the whole thing is an inconvenience  but it is the new normal.

So those of you out there with seriously dissected aortas on all types of meds who live with the lightheadedness, I can relate.  You are not alone.  It is a strange new normal.

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