Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection


November 8, 2020

I am a 48 year old who exercises regularly but has also been battling a tendon injury for the last 2 years, which has been frustrating. A friend loaned me her Peloton to use to manage stress at home (my mom had a stroke and I was caring for her). It was life changing, and was helping me to overcome my injury and get stronger. Started thinking I would be able to do that sprint triathlon that I always wanted to do. I am also a cardiovascular clinical specialist in physical therapy, so I help people with CV issues on a daily basis. One day I developed chest and left arm pain while working out at a high intensity. It went away quickly and I wondered if it was posture related. It occurred 3 days in a row before I called a cardiologist. Thank god my doctor recommended a stress test even though she said she thought my risk was very low for ischemia.

Fast forward, and after an abnormal test, reeling from the possibility of having early CAD, relief when I didn’t, then learning that what I have may be worse in some ways, I now feel so much uncertainty, despite my unique position of understanding this condition more than the layman. Next up is a CT scan to look for FMD which potentially raises a whole other myriad of issues. I am grateful for a good doctor and that I didn’t actually have an MI, but am mourning the very active life that I have always strived for, and what this means for me long term.