"The next step was surgery again. I did not want nearly 2 months recovery again! I was devastated!"
Hi! My name is Jean Martin. I am a vascular patient of Dr. Nicholas Morrissey at NY Presbyterian/Columbia.
Eight years ago, on December 30, 2004, I decided to make some healthy changes which included quitting smoking. After several attempts to quit, I was truly ready to give up this bad 30+ year old habit.
In April, 2005 I began running. By 2007, I was always having pain in the left calf while running. I just thought I was a poor runner. I was able to have a super running year in 2010 through October. In November 2010, I ran the Philadelphia Marathon which I suffered a lot of calf pain the last 1/3 of the race.
In February 2011, while running the NYRR Al Gordon Classic, a 4 mile race in Prospect Park, not only did I have the usual calf pain, but my thigh was in pain. I had to walk more than half the race.
It took months to find out that I had a blockage in the left external iliac artery. I was told that the artery could not be opened with angioplasty and a stent. So, in July, 2011, I had a bypass surgery of the left external iliac artery. I felt great after my 6 week recovery. Unfortunately, I had to defer my registration for the 2011 NYC Marathon.
I was back to running and happy. But again, 5 months later, in January, 2012 I felt the same pain in the thigh. After several visits to my doctor and the surgeon, I was told that I was fine. My walking up stairs or quickly walking and exercise soon became very difficult. I was eventually unable to run.
In early June, 2012, I saw a vascular surgeon that attempted to open the bypass during an angiogram and inserted a stent. After an overnight stay and laying flat on my back for many hours, the procedure was unsuccessful. The next step was surgery again. I did not want nearly 2 months recovery again! I was devastated!
I quickly called my podiatrist who knew what was going on. Earlier he told me that he knew a doctor at NY Presbyterian/Columbia and he strongly suggested I get a second opinion and see Dr. Nicholas Morrissey, vascular surgeon. I met Dr. Morrissey on June 25th. Dr. Morrissey told me that he would not do anything with the bypass. Rather he would do an angiogram to do angioplasty and a possible stent. And Dr. Morrissey said that he WOULD open the iliac artery. Dr. Morrissey needed me to have blood work as well which showed that I have a mutant gene that causes more clotting and it is confirmed that I have atherosclerosis just like my dad. Being armed with the right information, Dr. Morrissey did open it with an angioplasty and a stent was inserted on August 10, 2012. It was a success!
My recovery was only a few days. I was climbing the stairs the day I came home from the hospital without any problems. I was walking some short mileage by the end of the week. By week two I started to slowly jog.
I have been able to continue my running and train for the NYC Marathon on November 4, 2012 as planned because of Dr. Morrissey. This was one of the smartest decisions I have ever made.
And now, as a part of Team Heartosaurus, I will run the 2012 NYC Marathon with my brother, Dr. Nick and all the great members of this team while bringing awareness to others about heart and vascular disease.
I am running this marathon in memory of my dad and his courageous fight against atherosclerosis and all the many complications because of this disease.