Monday, January 23, 2012

Recovery & Rehab for a Torn Aorta

I have some really great news! My aorta is healing just like the Drs. want it too. :-) Yeah!!!!  It does take patience and time. Remember, the information I post here is not to be medical advice of any kind. But instead, a resource and to encourage those who have been diagnosed with torn aorta otherwise known as a dissected aneurism of the descending aorta type B. 

If you have been diagnosed with this condition and are reading my post on this blog, then consider that you are able to do so by the grace of God through the Lord Jesus Christ. Most people are diagnosed on the autopsy table. Once diagnoses is made, your recovery chances are very high. I have a level 4. Level 4 and lower are typically treated medically. Mainly getting the blood pressure down through scripts, etc. The first few weeks are more critical than later on in the recovery process. It will get better. :-) My GP put it the way, "slow down and smell the coffee." 

This experience has brought my husband and I closer together. We cherish time together, with our daughter and as a family. We are not letting 'little things' bother us. We just let it 'roll off'. If you are not doing that, you need to learn. It will do wonders for your attitude and blood pressure. 

Yes, we are told to exercise. When your Dr. tells you to go on a regular exercise routine. Make sure you get clarification on that. Before they knew I had a torn aorta, I was released to go back to exercising "build up slowly to what you used to do.." And I could go back to lifting weights. It would almost make me sick. So I slowed down. I still did not seem to get any better. Then they found the torn aorta. Rehabbing for a torn aorta is different from rehabbing for a heart attack. Really, you do not need to 'work up a sweat' if you know what I mean. Forget intensity. The most I can do is to work up to a 30 minute mile for 4 months. After that I can start lifting again and build from there. 

Then why exercise???? While the 30 minute mile seems like nothing, one walk will lower my blood pressure by 10-20 points for a couple of days. It has something to do w/the constant moving and blood flow. I know it seems boring if you are used to Hi Intensity, lifting, cross training, etc. But you have to do it. The walking needs to be on a treadmill or a flat even surface. My neighborhood is full of hills, way too much intensity so not a good place to walk. We have school tracks nearby that I can walk at before or after school. Our church has a wonderful rec center that I go to and walk on the treadmill. 

OK, a 30 minute mile only burns about 73 k calories. And I know from personal experience that you will start spreading like butter. I have increased almost 2 dress sizes w/out gaining more than 3 lbs or so. What that means is I am going to have to cut back on food intake. Smaller portions, and this is so hard to do, but cut sugar out of my (your) diet. I can do this for a short period of time, but it is very hard long term. 

About Sugar... If you read much of this blog you will see that I am in favor of sugar fasts. Or rather a 'white fast'. Sugar can stimulate (very temporary) your heart rate and raise your blood pressure more than caffeine will. In addition, what is not burned up for energy will be stored in fat. Not a good thing. I have been saying for years that if you want to see a difference in your body, cut out the white stuff and just cut back on your fat intake. You will see more results whether you are training or rehabbing. It works! 

I will post more about additional exercise that you can do as time goes on. Have a blessed day for now! By the way, non spammed posts are welcome here. I have to moderate b/c of the spam, but myself and others would love to read of your recovery journey's as well. 


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