Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection

Scad at Age 51

March 5, 2014

At age 51 I was prescribed bio identical hormone replacement therapy by my doctor who was also at the time my employer. I had been on the prescribed medication for approximately 4 to 5 months. I had recently undergone an EKG and an Echo Cardiogram which showed a healthy heart with no plaque build up. I was under some stress at work but other than that was feeling well. While working at my desk one morning I experienced pain in my chest, up my neck and left shoulder followed immediately by a severe pain in my back between my shoulder blades, much like being punched hard. At that time I also experienced a strange sensation in my jaw and in the back of my tongue as if I had a metal rod through that area. I was familiar with heart attack symptoms and immediately notified our medical assistant and the doctors of my condition. An in office EKG indicated I was indeed having a heart attack but there was also something unusual showing in the EKG. I was immediately transferred to emergency and taken in for an angiogram where it was determined that I had had an Arterial Coronary Dissection. I was place on a  diltiazem and a beta blocker  and was over medicated to the point that my body went into intestinal esccemia and I lost almost 40lbs and now weighed in under 100lbs. I continued to have tachycardia for more than one year until I went back into the emergency room with ongoing chest pain. The same Dr. who had previously treated me in emergency during the original event, after seeing my current condition took me of all medication. I gradually regained strength and a little bit of weight. It is now almost 5 years later and I still experience frequent chest pressure, pain and heart palpitations as well as shortness of breath and fatigue. My fingernails often have a bluish hue showing a lack of oxygen saturation to the blood. I am extremely frustrated that Doctors do not seem to know how to treat this condition. They pat me on the back and send me on my way without any recommendations except if it becomes critical, I should go to emergency. Well by then it could very well be to late. I would really like to know if my ongoing symptoms are normal under the circumstances and what the long term effects might be? I was told that my heart may adapt by a spontaneous enlargement of the surrounding existing arteries, or that my heart could grow new arteries to take over the flow of blood. I was also told that it may not. What happens then and is that why I feel the way I do? I would appreciate any insight or recommendations regarding this. There doesn’t seem to be much information, support or follow up on SCAD patients. Thank You for you time and consideration.