Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection


August 15, 2019

I have watched videos and read stories from other SCAD survivors and what stands out to me is how different each of our stories are, there may be a few common threads, but our symptoms are varied. One common thread throughout is disbelief.

I was 58 at the time of my SCAD, I was under tremendous stress, I first realized that I wasn’t feeling quite right on Monday, but as most women do, I kept powering through. As the week progressed I noticed that my left arm felt a bit numb, but not my whole arm, and I thought maybe it was the underwire of my bra that was poking into my arm and hitting a nerve, I also tucked my phone into my bra on the left side and thought that might be the cause of numbness.

By Wednesday my symptoms were intensifying, I felt some indigestion that caused me to burp, and Wednesday night I could not sleep on my preferred left side, I was very uncomfortable that night. Thursday morning I called my doctor and they made an appointment for Friday, my doctor called me back and said why don’t you go to the emergency room, I said no, I will wait to see you tomorrow. Again, disbelief. I was working and that day I walked about 8,000 steps.

Friday I went to work as usual, and then at mid-morning to my doctors appointment. They did an EKG and my doctor said that it was a little abnormal, and he wanted me to go to the ER. I was shocked but my doctor was so calm and said he wanted to be sure everything was ok, then he tells me that he wants me to go via ambulance! Disbelief.

In the ambulance, I sent my husband a text that I has an unusual EKG and that I was on my way to the ER, this was the first that he had heard there was anything wrong with me because I simply couldn’t believe it myself! At the hospital they did blood work and found that I in fact had had a heart attack, I went to the cath lab and the tear was so small that they couldn’t put a stent in.

I spent one night in the hospital. I had two cardiologists the first one was the on call doctor, the second did the angiogram. One of the residents on my case pleaded with me to choose the second doctor to be my cardiologist, she said she didn’t feel the first doctor took my case seriously enough. I did see both doctors about 10 days later, the first doctor said it was time for me to go back to work! I didn’t feel ready and also felt dismissed so that is in part, how I chose the second doctor. I didn’t feel ready and also felt dismissed so that is in part, how I chose the second doctor, Dr. Sanjay Kumar, I couldn’t be more happy with him!