Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection

My favorite time of year

January 6, 2016

Fall, it is my favorite time of year. You can be outside in the sunshine at noon but by 5 you can curl up with a blanket near a fire. The leaves have a color that I’d so hard to describe but yet I can remember everyone. So, that day, that beautiful fall day October 11, 2013 I can see those colors and remember that day before my scad. I am blessed to be a stay at home my for my two incredibly strong kids. So my usual errand to the grocery store and drug store had occurred. The grocery bags felt a little heavier that day, but I ignored it. I guess you could say I ignored a few signs 2 weeks prior to that day

I have sharp pains on my side, as if someone had stabbed me. Well I have no idea how that feels, but they were sharp and I felt I was going to loose my breath. These symptoms passed, but the day my grocery bags felt heavy, it didn’t go away. So I was a stubborn 42 year old at that time, an avid runner, and didn’t eat very much. I didn’t drink enough water either. So after the groceries were all put away, I went for my afternoon run. Had to get in my 4-5 miles before my son was dropped off from school. So I began and had a great run. Saw the bus coming and headed back home. That was it. I couldn’t believe how hot I had gotten in that last sprint. Meet my fella on the driveway, took his book bag, he went to his friends I went in to take a shower.

So I said to myself, I’ll sit on the couch for just a minute, then the shower. So I sat, then my heart started to race, so I’m like I need a drink or something, I couldn’t get up. The fridge seemed so far away. I somehow managed to get to the fridge, but couldn’t open the door. Went back to the couch. By then I was sweating large drops of sweat. Bigger than I have ever seen. My chest felt so bad, it hurt to breath. I called my husband. He works an hour or a little longer away. I told him I was having a heart attack.

Now, looking back, I should have called the ambulance, but I’m stubborn. So once he made it home, I somehow managed to put clean clothes on we headed out. My breathing was somewhat better, but I knew something was not right. We headed 30 minutes away to a better hospital. So my phone call was at 3:15, my husband came home, had to pick up one of our kids on the way, we dropped off both kids with different people, and it was a Friday at 5. We made it to the hospital 5:30. I do not know how we did all that, but I know God’s hand was in that.

They immediately took me back for an ekg. It was normal. My best friend works at Moses Cone, in Greensboro NC. (One of the reasons we went there, and she works in the cath lab) So to the waiting room I finally go with my husband my parents. We do not wait long, my friend had gotten off work but saw my dad in the parking lot and knew something was not right. My husband called her and she came back. Her team worked on me. My tripeon had triggered. She knew, I could see it in her face. . But my incredible dr. said, you had a scad. We are like what is that? The tear drops I could hear hitting the floor from my husband was so loud as we went over my “history “. Let’s see, no cholesterol, no family history, no diabetes, only migraines and getting really hot. I guess hot flashes. So by then it’s probably 8:30 or so. My team should have left at 7, but they stayed with me. One nurse asked if she could pray with us, I said yes. My friend, being a Christian, also bowed her head. I’m like prayer meeting right here, let’s do this Lord, I’m not dying tonight.

So up to the cath lab I go. Once again my best friends team worked on me. I saw the inside of my heart. They went through my arm, I could feel it. It was creepy and scary and cool all at the same time. Guess it could have been the drug they gave me, but whatever it was there was my heart. Beating and beautiful. God’s creation on camera, amazing. Then the dr. said, I’ve found it. It’s a scad. (I had no blockages either, he said it looked like a 20 year old heart) I could see it, torn but not big at all… no Stent. Yes, no surgery for me!

This was Friday, so by midnight I was surrounded by an incredible team of drs. Guess they do not see a scad patient very often. Little did I know that there are not many of us. Anyway, I meet Dr. Stuckey. I will never forget the nurses saying they got him out of bed to meet me. Well, he was awesome. He, at that time, was working with the Mayo Clinic about research on SCAD. That is how his teams of Dr’s knew what I had.

Lots of test were run on me for 4 days. My heart function was lower on the left owe chamber, three weeks later, it was back to normal. So on Monday they did a test, where the die is injected, makes you feel like you have to pea, and put me in a tube. When the results came back, they could not find my tear in my artery. Praise the Lord! But then fear set in about 5 days after I got home. Is this going to happen again?? So for the next year and a half I was on meds. It has put weight on me, I feel miserable about my appearance, but I’m a stubborn survivor. So I’m walking again, I do not know if I’ll ever run again, but I’m trying to drink more water and eat I guess better.

My story is long, sorry. But that day will live with me forever. I hope to meet a few more people. I need a support group. Love and strength to all who have survived and for the families of those who passed. Prayers for each of you. I hope for more research and a cure.

Robyn…wife of Cory, mother of Eden and Elijah, daughter of Jennings and Florence, child of the King.