Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection

SCAD Survivor

October 15, 2015

I am a 65 year old relatively healthy female. I came to Germany one month ago with my husband to visit family who live in Frankfurt. We did extensive sightseeing including walking up to five miles per day. Also we climbed to the top of St. Peter’s Basilica on a side trip to Rome. Our visit was anything but docile. I walked the stairs up 6 flights, etc.
We were to return to the US today, however this past Thursday changed all of that. I had ridden the Ubahn to a store where I was leisurely walking in the parking lot when I had sudden classic chest pain. It was chest tightness and pain, pain in the abdomen radiating through my chest clear through to my back and in my jaw. I had profuse sweating and nausea. I was in a sports store where there was an excercise table. I reclined on it and an ambulance was called.
As I reclined, the pain started to subside and never returned. The ambulance arrived approximately 15-20 minutes after the onset of the pain. I was taken to a hospital within 2 miles of the store. I received a short evaluation in an ER and fairly quickly transferred to a semi private room where I was not monitored. No treatment was started that day. Because we were not from Germany the financial details had to be verified before treatment administered. Although we had good travel insurance, payment had to be made in cash.
The next morning (Friday) the cardiologist ordered an ultrasound of the heart and then a CT. The Ultrasound was good. The CT showed a narrowing in the right anterior ascending coronary artery. We made the decision per the advice of the cardiologist to proceed with a heart cath with probable stent. There were no areas seen of any other occlusion or any calcium deposits.
The cardiologist found that the narrowing vessel was very fragile and barely able to pass the guide wire. When he did introduce it he said it tore further and he had to add an extra section of the stent to stabilize that torn area. I had an adverse reaction to the dye with itching and swelling of my throat for which I was treated and then sent to ICU for the night. Saturday I was transferred to a room and had a remote cardiac monitor placed. I was started on Aspirin 10 mg 1 per day, Atorvastin 20 mg 1 per day, Rampiril 5mg/25mg 1/2 per day, Pantoprazol stada 40 mg 1 per day and Brilique 90 mg twice a day. I was discharged on Sunday and walked 6 blocks home to my family’s apartment. Very few restrictions were discussed except for no lifting for 3 months of 10 lbs or above and a week travel restriction before returning to the US. To follow up with a cardiologist at my local medical facilty.