On Friday, November 10, I was having a blast at the Salt Palace with 2200 of my best stamping friends. The selfie above was taken right before the show started that morning. Oddly enough, in my presentation that day I talked about exchanging pieces of your heart with others to make life happier and better. 🙂
A few hours after that, I felt chest pain again. The pain came on more quickly and intensely than it did last December–and I was feeling it in my arms and hands again as well. Before long I was in an ambulance on my way to the hospital.
In the ambulance, the EKG was lighting up in the same 3 areas where I had my heart attack and now have 2 stents. But then…the pain just disappeared. When we got to the hospital, they took blood tests and lots of other tests. The troponin in my blood registered as slightly elevated so they kept me overnight.
Saturday morning they did a PET scan (which by-the-way was kind of awful). They could see the portion of my heart that was damaged last December (which is really small) but there was no new damage. My troponin levels were dropping so I left the hospital that afternoon.
The question I keep getting asked is “How could this happen again so soon, and after all the changes you’ve made this year–you’ve been so good!” Believe me, one of the first things I said in the hospital was “I’d like a cheeseburger, milkshake, french fries, and throw in some tacos for good measure.” They just told me no–I needed to fast for upcoming procedures. 😦
But the partial answer to this question came on Saturday afternoon when a cardiologist told me he didn’t think my arteries are full of plaque but rather that I had a Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD).
Well isn’t that interesting.
If you’d like to read more about SCAD: Here’s some info from the Mayo Clinic.
The doc followed up with telling me they don’t know that much about SCAD, what causes it, etc., and that they would just treat me like a regular heart patient. He also added another pill that I have to take every day. But on the flip side, he cut two of my prescriptions in half–one of which is a statin drug to lower cholesterol–I’m guessing this decision had something to do with my cholesterol currently being a total of 82.
To be honest, the last month has been pretty rough. Physically, I’ve felt a little weak but now I’m pretty much back to normal. Emotionally, there’s a very different story. I’ve been ticked off, depressed, confused, exhausted, overwhelmed and rebellious with eating and exercise (I actually bought a giant bag of Cheetos! That’s as fake as a food can get–what even are Cheetos?)…fortunately, within the last week I think I’ve finally entered the acceptance phase, thank heavens.
I’ve been doing what I can to learn about SCAD online, and connecting with a few people who are in the same boat. The best moment was when I found a cardiologist in Salt Lake who leads a SCAD research group. I have an appointment with him on Thursday and I’m hopeful to get some answers…answers about if my arteries really are dissecting, how I treat this condition, whether or not I need to keep taking all these drugs, etc.
And so this crazy journey continues…♡