Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection

Life DOES go on

January 24, 2017

Just after my 43rd birthday in January 2013, I spent a week suffering from a stomach virus. I am not sure if the throwing up caused the scad or was a a symptom leading up to several days of minor heart attacks. I was almost sent home from the hospital and once in for observation no one believed I was having a heart attack until I had to have an emergency angiography and multiple stents put in.

I spent 10 days hooked up to machines and being monitored and had 2 angiograms while being given all kinds of heart meds. I was terrified and I plummeted into months of depression and fear due to the shock of it all happening unexpectedly and no one really knowing what to do with a previously healthy still young woman with this diagnosis. No cardiologist seems to know much about it and I have seen several. Experiencing a rare medical problem is a disconcerting reality, but one learns to live with it.

In the weeks after, I attended cardiovascular rehab and I saw a therapist to talk about my anxiety and fear. That helped me survive those dark first 3 months and to keep going for my 3 children and husband who were afraid to lose me and didn’t really know how to help me. We were all hurting and scared for a time.

It has been 3 years since it happened and this year was the first event anniversary that passed without my feeling scared and anxious like I have in the past. I have little physical signs that this happened and I am now back to health, but I still have some emotional scars from the trauma of it. I am only on a daily aspirin now and I am able to exercise and do what I always did physically.

I just want to let to others know that there is hope for healing and for moving forward, being patient with yourself is important because this will make you hit rock bottom, but you can climb up again from there.