I lost my husband a year ago to an aneurysm. Such a terrible disease to which I still wake up at night and go through it all again.
It happened at noon one day and he felt pain in the stomach and thought it was bathroom cramps. This soon passed, and no more problems until 8:30 the same evening when he had the same pain only more severe. Being snowbirds due to his asthma we were away from home so I rushed him to the hospital and they discovered his aneurysm and he taken by life flight to a major hospital for surgery. He was in excruciating pain.
At the hospital they discovered his aneurysm was 10cm and it burst during surgery. After surgery I was told he would probably be in the hospital for approximately 10 days. After about the 3rd day it was discovered he was paralyzed from waist down. I was then told that he would be sent to a rehabilitation facility to learn how to care for himself and build upper strength when he was released.
The continuing problems were, he was placed on the lung machine for his breathing with the tube down the throat, his blood wouldn't clot due to the loss of his own blood at the time of the rupture, his urine was through tubes his bowel waste was through tubes, 2 weeks later his stomach was swelling and he had to go back to surgery and had to have a colonostomy. His incision was wet dry pack so he wasn't stitched closed and he was bleeding from every opening due to the blood not clotting. He was set up on the bed by the therapist and he broke loose at the stomach and the drainage went to the floor, after this he got pneumonia and at the last jaundice.
The last 4 days he didn't awake and the Drs. said he had had a small stroke as his left arm was paralyzed. This is when we took the life support off and I was told he would last from 10 to 20 minutes. I sat by his bed and holding him for 11 hours before he passed away. He was in the critical care unit for 32 days and I was by his side from 15 to 24 hours a day and hope no one ever has to die from such a horrible death. He died organ by organ. My husband had a physical 6 weeks before his attack and it wasn't found.
I am writing to Senators and have 2 that have contacted me and the issue I am trying to get passed is for a Doctor to say periodically when a physical is given, "Lets have a look at your arteries". They do this with mammograms, they test for diabetes and furnish medication, they do other test, but a simple ultra sound would save lives. If my husband had been given an ultra sound it may have saved his life.
I am in hopes of getting help on this so Medicare will approve this as a preventative exam. for the elderly periodically. What I need is for someone to give me a cost/benefit analysis to show that this would be beneficial. The comparison of aneurysm deaths to cancer and aids. The hospital bill for my husband was $300,000. not including the surgeons and specialist, in all he had 15.
In the same Critical care unit there were 3 men with aneurysms and 2 passed away and when I left the other was still there. There is no warning of an aneurysm like that of some other diseases, there is no time to prepare or to be treated. As I think back on it now, he did complain of a low back ache but he thought it was from packing and getting ready to leave, and he did have pain in his stomach but had previously had constipation so he thought this was the symptom.
We are told look for a lumps for cancer and other symptoms of other diseases. We had never heard of symptoms for aneurysms so had no idea what the warning was. Please any help I can get to push for preventative care for this would be most appreciated.
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