Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection

Heart Attack at 6 months Postpartum

July 22, 2017

On Monday afternoon, I started feeling a strange sensation in my chest. Like my heart and my lungs were one entity that was stretched out the expanse of my chest and like a dull ache. I imagined it to feel like the “opposite of an asthma attack”, if anyone else is able to relate to that sensation.

I knew that a woman’s heart attack is different from a man’s, so I looked up the symptoms before laying down with my baby for a nap. When we woke up, both of my arms also felt strange. They felt exhausted, and like the ligaments were being stretched out through the tips of my fingers. Not the bones, not the muscles…so I’m kinda just saying ligaments because I don’t know that much about arms.

Feeling a little panicked that I had 2/6 heart attack symptoms I also started feeling a bit nauseous (ie 3/6 symptoms); but am also now questioning whether this was just psychosomatic. Luckily for me, my husband was home sick that afternoon, and he encouraged me to go to the hospital if I really felt like I was having a heart attack. I ate a sandwich, deliberated a bit, and then went off to the ER.

They saw me quickly (given my symptoms), and 4 blood tests and a few hours later, I’m checked into the hospital for two days. When I arrived at the hospital my troponin levels were 22, then 64, then 700ish, then went to over 1000 over night. The next morning I was zipped into surgery for an angiogram which confirmed that my artery was torn and the lower part of my heart is a bit weaker because of it. I have to have another angiogram in 6 months to check in on it’s progress.

I was prescribed Apo-Metoprolol beta blockers twice a day in hopes that my artery will heal on it own without intervention. These particular beta blockers were prescribed because they were the only beta blockers my Dr was able to find research confirming they were safe to use while nursing.