Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection

Severe Heart Failure at 27

January 15, 2018

Hello, I am new to all this and had no idea I could even be worrying about the state of my heart at such a ypung age up until about a month ago..

For the last 5 years every time I have gotten a flu it would turn into pneumonia and I thought maybe that is what I was experiencing. Except it was a little different. I had a persistent cough that would make me bark until the point I had no air left. Very undignified in itself. But I am also one heavy sleeper. The only thing that wakes me at night are the sound of my children. Until this bout of what I thought was pneumonia. I was waking during the night absolutely breathless and couldn’t find a position comfortable or easy enough to sleep. Especially laying down. I don’t normally go to doctors neither, but I did. As it was interrupting my sleep. He gave me a course of antibiotics and antihystemines incase it was allergy induced asthma. It didn’t work.

I went back the following week still no better. I was finding it increasingly hard to remain active and thought the sleepless nights were leaving me more fatigued than usual. I did, however, manage to walk 20kms a week before being hospitalised. My doctor sent me for an x-ray, puzzled. I went the following day and the radiologist seemed a little concerned and asked me if I wanted the results sent to my doctor asap. I said it would be fine, just whenever she had the time. The next day my doctor called and told me to come in as soon as I could. I have never received a phone call back from a test. I very rarely even went to a gp as it was. So I went back in wondering what it could be.

My doctor told me my heart was enlarged and my lungs were full of fluid. I asked if that meant heart disease and he stopped typing on his computer. He looked to me and said “No, you are likely looking at heart failure.” I really had no idea what that meant. I knew it was quite serious, but I’m only 27, right? Can’t be something that will knock me down for too long.

I was wrong. At first they thought I had an infection attacking my heart. If only it was. The hospital I was at couldn’t figure out the cause for my heart failure and flew me to the states capital where the proper machines were. Angiogram, echo-cardiograms, heart mri, ecg’s every morning and not to mention the amount if times I had been stabbed with needles and canulars replaced in the few weeks I was in there. In the end the angiogram pulled through and showed that I had experienced at some point a spontaneous coronary artery dissection that had caused a heart attack and had gone untreated. I remember having the heart attack and didn’t do anything about it, thinking I would be fine. If only I wasn’t so stupid. The heart attack left my heart starved of blood and so my heart has scar tissue that will never heal. My heart is in bad shape. Under 35% ejection fraction is a severely damaged heart. Mine is 19%. No pacemaker or artery stent will help my heart and if my heart doesn’t help itself or there is no sign of improvement my only option is a heart transplant.

Please don’t be stupid about it. You are never too tough. Any chest pain is a warning sign. Listen to your body. I have 3 beautiful children and I want to see them grow up and see my grand children. They are only 5, 4 and 1 and a half and the reality is I might not. Your heart cannot fix itself like a wound on your knee. It is your most important organ. And I wish I had of looked after mine better.