Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection

The shock of SCAD

June 21, 2018

I am a 51 year old mother of 3 grown sons and granny of 1 beautiful 6 month old granddaugher. My husband and I own a Professional Land Surveying business in Ontario, Canada.

I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 11 years ago and told I was probably going to be in a wheelchair in 4 years. I was also told the meds for it, which cost $1700/m (not covered), would leave me sick feeling 3 days out of 7. Hubby and I felt this was certainly unacceptable and he started research which led us to a complete Paleo diet and an active, healthy lifestyle. We thought we had my health troubles licked as I was doing great! Playing volleyball in a league all winter and golfing once or twice a week in the summer.

While out doing some mild gardening one morning my chest tightened up and both hands started to ache mildly. Heat pad, cold pad, drank a little apple cider vinegar in warm water to treat what I thought might be indigestion, laying down, sitting up….nothing helped. When my throat started to tighten up (like women feel when they get really, really emotional) I started to get concerned and called hubby. He finished up what he was doing and headed home…it wasn’t a emergency at that time. By the time he got home about 15 minutes later, my arm was tingling and he rushed me to the hospital where they realized something was very wrong and ran blood tests, hooked me up to monitors and did an chest xray.

Shortly after that things calmed right down, all symptoms disappeared and I sent hubby back to the office as I was sure everything was fine….just indigestion, no need for him to stay. Wrong. Blood tests showed that I had had a heart attack. Angioplasty 4 days later confirmed a perfectly healthy heart that had succumbed to SCAD.

It is frustrating beyond belief to have seemingly done everything as right as we could possibley do to overcome the effects of MS only to have my relatively healthy body succumb to SCAD. Even more frustrating is the lack of knowledge medical staff had and has regarding the ailment. I was placed on the typical cocktail of drugs for heart attack patients even though I do not have high cholesteral and sport consistently low blood pressure. Until the SCAD diagnosis came in, no one believed me.

My journey has just begun as I am only 5 weeks post SCAD. 6 months of cardio rehab starts tomorrow. I have yet to be assigned a cardiologist but hope to hear back soon.

Hoping I will be able to help with awareness with my simple story.
Grateful to have found a support group of fellow survivors.