Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection

I am alive because of my Sweet Husband.

August 1, 2013

Jan 18, 2007 My husband was an OTR truck driver, I worked as a Scanning Coordinator for a large grocery store chain. At 48 years young, I had no family history of cardiac problems. He called me at work and asked me to meet him at the local truck stop for supper. While we were eating my stomach turned and I couldn’t eat. I did smoke at the time, and I lit one and put it right back out ( smart body) then the backs of my arms began burning. I thought I was having a weird Fibro flare. My husband asked me to go lay down in his truck to see if the pain would pass. I stood up, and the weakness was overwhelming! I guess my color wasn’t good at that point, and he told the manager to call 911. I had to lay down. Meanwhile everyone was forcing aspirin on me. The ambulance arrived and gave me more aspirin ( I have ulcers so it was a battle to get me to take aspirin). After 8 attempts they started an IV, did an EKG, and kept talking on the radio about “acute….” I couldn’t understand what she was saying.

When I arrived in the Emergency room, some man ( I guess he thought I was deaf) yelled in my face “You are having a heart attack on the back side and bottom of your heart.” Thankfully, the nurse from the cath lab that came to pick me up, turned out to be a co-worker’s wife. She stayed with me through the entire procedure and told me later, she didn’t believe I would live to get off the table. She told me later, my heart doctor’s first words after the dye went to the heart was “holy ****!” My SCAD started at the aorta in the RCA and went through both the first layer and the second layer of arteries, plus two branches were also dissected. The RCA had a huge blood clot, then there were four more. I received 5 stents.

Like many others on here, I could not find a thing about SCAD on the internet. I searched and searched. I was back to work in a couple of months and completed cardiac rehab. Then 2 weeks later I was back in the cath lab because of constant angina. I had scar tissue building up. My RCA is now “full metal jacketed” No room for anymore stents. I have 12 now and a 90% + blockage again from scar tissue. They can’t by-pass it because most of the right side of my heart is all scar tissue. My EF after my SCAD was 34. After cardiac rehab I had it up to 65%. Gradually its dropping and its currently 49%. I walk on my treadmill and use my elliptical regularly. I have been determined to not let it slow me down but it has. Some of it, I am sure, is just aging, some is the weakness of the heart. I won’t go without kicking and screaming and fighting back.

I am really pleased to find the Mayo research, and hope and pray they will find a way to stop this horrible cause of so many heart attacks!