Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection

A Humbling Experience

October 16, 2012

The week from hell started with my brother that I was very close to and was looking too for the male role model in my kid’s life, (due to their dad, my husband having a brain tumor) dying on Tuesday Nov.28th 2006 after a 9 day battle of AML Leukemia. He was ok one day and gone the next. The very next day Wednesday, Nov. 29th 2006 My 98 yr. old aunt passed away. Which at 98 we should not have been too surprised about it, but to have it happen when it did was a little mind blowing. On Friday we buried my brother, Saturday morning my aunt. Then on Saturday, Dec. 2nd 2006 in the evening. The nursing home where my husband was, called to say he would not make it through the night. My kids and I and a family friend rushed out there to be with him. The moment we walked into his room I began to feel sick and like I and swallowed a big rock. I thought that I was reacting the way any normal person would under those circumstances. But after about 45 min. It was getting hard to catch my breath and I was a getting so weak I could not stand up. My daughter ran to get one of the nurses to check me out. She told them to get me to the hospital right away. So we left my daughter and youngest son with their dad, with my other brother on his way, our family friend and my other son took me to the hospital. When we first got there they assumed I was having a major panic attack. After all I was a healthy 42 yr. old woman! But when I told one of the nurses through labored breathing to please get some aspirin and do an EKG because I really thought my heart was stopping. I remember her tilting her head to one-side and looked at me kind of funny, and then she turned left the room to return a moment later with the EKG and some aspirin. The next thing I knew I was being moved to larger room had 15 people fluttering around me and pumping nitro into me while life light was on its way to take me to Billings MT. I live in a small city in WY so we have not got the medical tech-knowledge to handle such a serious problem. When I finally got to Billings, they rushed me straight to the cath lab to do an Angiogram, where they discovered that I had a dissection in my left anterior descending vein, not be confused with an aortic dissection. So that was what was causing the heart attack in such a young women. I am told it is a very rare type of heart attack. I needed to have a triple bypass right away but I had too many blood thinners in my system so they had to wait 8 hrs. to operate. I don’t even to know how to describe what I was feeling or thinking. I know that I spent that night being very single minded and it never came to my mind that I could die and I know at one point during the wait I started to crash and this little green eyed nurse got up on the bed with me and took my face in her hand and told me to come back to her that my kids had lost one parent that night and she was not going to let them lose both, not on her watch! After the operation when I awoke with all the tubes and wires it hit me I could die! I was terrified to move to I even kept holding my breath because I was afraid I would bust my chest back open. I had no stitches but was GLUED back together with super glue! OMG! Each day was a new lesson in being humble for the simple things in life, like being able to sit up straight or walk to the commode stored under the bedside table, 2 steps away.