Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection

My Story – SCAD at 38

July 31, 2015

Just four days after turning 38 years old, I woke up suddenly with pain in my left arm. I had never had this pain before. I checked the symptoms of a Heart Attack on the net and I did not fit any of the symptoms/signs. As I was laying in bed, I started to get this pressure in my chest like an elephant was sitting on my chest. I ended up going back to sleep and woke feeling really sick like I was coming down with the flu. I felt weak and like I was going to faint. I went to my GP who then run an urgent blood test. He also done a ECG.

I then went home and later that evening, my GP rang to say I had had a Heart Attack and that I needed to go to hospital urgently. He said my troponin levels were double what they should be. Whilst at the hospital they had done another blood test and ECG. This time my troponin levels had tripled from what they were that afternoon. I was admitted into the cardiac unit in the hospital. Whilst the cardiologist came to see me the next morning, to discuss having an angiogram, I had started having another Heart Attack. They gave me something that opens all my blood vessels and it felt like my head was going to explode. They rushed me for an angiogram. I woke up and the cardiologist advised I had SCAD.

I was in shock. I kept thinking, there is no way I could ever have had a heart attack, I am too young, I don’t drink or smoke and am reasonably healthy. I have never had a problem with my blood pressure or cholesterol levels, they have been normal. Since having my SCAD, life has been different. Trying to move on and live my life, knowing it can happen again is hard and why it happened or what is next? I guess what I take away from this is getting the word out there to other women and to get help even if they don’t think they are having a heart attack to seek urgent medical assistance just to be sure.

At the end of the night, before you close your eyes, be content with what you’ve done and be proud of who you are.