Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection

Am I a statistic?

June 20, 2019

March 19, 2019 – Like most stories here, the daily routine is normal until something just isn’t right. My morning routine starts with a cup of coffee and then 25 minutes on the rowing machine. This time I felt a pain in my chest which I thought was a pulled muscle until the pain spread down my arm and I felt sweaty and clammy.

Our hospital is just blocks away. It felt like seconds after the monitor was hooked up I was whisked away to the cath lab. I never realized people were only in a twilight during this procedure and I remember hearing the tech say “i don’t know what this is, what is happening here’. (not something I wanted to be hearing or seeing) Next thing I knew, I was waking up from a triple bypass. It was uncomfortable and scared me; but I was so relieved to be waking up!

The SCAD is so new to me, and I don’t know much about it, but I feel the triple bypass saved my life. Was it an aggressive approach? Reading other stories, I feel like it was the only option in my case. Having bypassed the arteries that did or will dissect gives me comfort. My hospital stay was 5 days. Prior to my SCAD, I was a marathon runner, healthy eater and non-smoker. This lifestyle probably helped me to recover quicker – maybe?

Currently, I am working full time, walking at least 30-40 daily, cardiac rehab twice a week and taking 6 medications which I hope to stop soon. The Coumadin is due to a clot in my heart that developed and I will find out if the clot is dissolved next week. Knowing that my heart attack wasn’t due to clogged arteries, I am hoping the Coumadin can be stopped if/when the clot is dissolved. Is a blood thinner needed for the rest of my life due to SCAD?

I don’t know what to expect going forward, but I will wake up every day and be thankful for Dr. K saving my life and hope those days turn into years…many years.