Heart Event #2, Check!

wp-image--810048212On 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. 🙂

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Just hanging out with 3 awesome Kiwis

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.

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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…♡

51 thoughts on “Heart Event #2, Check!

  1. I am so sorry. On Saturday I noticed you weren’t around. I was wondering what was going on. I should have asked or messaged you. At least you have a better diagnosis. You are stronger than you think. You can do this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Susan. It was such a bummer not being there on Saturday–I missed it for sure. And don’t worry, I didn’t really want a lot of people to know at the time because I didn’t want anyone to worry–and there wasn’t much info to be given. Thank you for your wishes…you’re the best! ❤

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  2. Denielle Bernauer

    Sending you hugs my friend … having had a procedure myself a couple of weeks ago, I understand the BLA feeling … luckily its almost the holidays and thats bound to cheer us up – right? Keep smiling you gorgeous thing, have a wonderful Christmas and just relax and enjoy every minute of it xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh my gosh Shannon!! I am so, so sorry this is happening :(. I am praying for you and hope you get some answers soon! You are an inspiration & you will overcome this too, I am sure of it!

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  4. No wonder I didn’t get to meet you. I am so sorry you had to go through this again. I am also happy to know that you are okay in this moment. I heard your speach & loved it. Thank you for sharing this part of your story. It must be so scary, but you are changing people’s lives in so many ways. Please keep inspiring. But first and foremost, take care of you. OXO

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  5. Rhonda Morgan

    Shannon, I am SO sorry that this happened again. How SCARY for sure! I also wondered as I didnt see you on Saturday – was waiting to see what fabulous outfit you were going to be wearing. Many prayers for answers and some relaxation and destressing – sit back and try to enjoy the holidays and may God send many blessings your way.

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  6. Tammy Richard

    I LOVED your presentation. I felt your heart in your voice. My dad had heart condition, he passed at such a young age (61). I am happy your going further to get as much info and help as possible. ~hugs~ 💕❣️

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  7. Ginny Duncan

    So sorry you are going through another scare – and how good that you were at home when it happened. That angel on your shoulder was watching out for you! I can’t imagine ever choosing Cheetos however, so hoping you can find a new (and possibly healthier) snack when you are feeling down. Thanks for sharing your journey – we all need to be aware of what our body is telling us 😀. Hugs 💕💕

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  8. Claire Daly

    Hugs there gorgeous. What a tough journey but you are strong and resourceful and seeking out people and answers to help you have more acceptance and empowerment. I think much of good health care incorporates empowerment. I hope your appointment with the SCAD research guy helps.

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  9. I’m so glad you shard this! The video was very informative! SCAD is such a rare condition…I’m sorry it had to happen to you! Hopefully the new doctor will have more insight on how to treat you. Have a wonderful Christmas and enjoy your family!! {{{HUGS}}}

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  10. Shannon – you are so beautiful and with such a *big* heart….I am convinced it is sort of an “end of the Grinch story” sort of phenomenon and your heart, quite simply, is too big for your chest! I can almost see the neat and tidy heart-holders in your chest straining to contain your big beautiful heart. Oh my. No wonder you’re in such pain. NO ONE’s body is big enough to house your heart!! Still — I do hope the doctor’s figure out how to bring you comfort and piece of mind.
    We all love you so much! I’ll offer up some prayers on your behalf! God Bless, love Cynthia < XOxo

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  11. Phyllis A. Walker

    Oh, Shannon, I’m so sorry this happened after you being so careful and eating good. Take care my friend. Prayers and hugs your way.
    Phyllis

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  12. Oh my gosh Shannon yoy scared me and no doubt it’s been a scary, emotional and draining experience. Keeping you firmly in my prayers and praying this new doctor can give you some answers and direction. Love you big time ❤💕

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  13. Judi Hill

    So sorry Shannon to read that yet again your having issues. I can imagine all the thoughts of “why did I bother doing life changes with food fizzy drinks exercise etc” only to be in same position. I’m sure I would have also asked for all the naughty not allowed foods.
    But you kicked this before and you will kick it again. Try and keep cool and calm.
    Good luck with the SCAD guy hope you get some answers xx

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  14. Trish

    So sorry you are having to visit the ugly monster again. Praying that God walks right by your side in your journey. If it is any comfort, depression has been a harder battle than usual this fall/winter. I have no triggering life events as you have, just the regular day to day.

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  15. creativejaxnz

    Oh my Shannon! What a rollercoaster you are on! The exchanging pieces of our heart with others was such an inspirational take-home from SLC. You’ve made the world a better place by you’re willingness to share your heart – and journey – with so many. Thank you. I hope Thursday brings some answers 💞

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  16. Oh Shannon…how scary is that? Not sure why things like this happen,especially when you have towed the line and been so good. That’s evident in the way you look, which is stunning and beautiful by the way! Please know that you will be in my thoughts and prayers. Glad to know you’ve found a doc that is researching this too. Keep your chin up and keep fighting. It will get you through. Hugs!!!

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  17. Karin Braxton

    Shannon, you looked so pretty on-stage with that turquoise blouse. As you were talking about hearts, I kept thinking about your heat attack last year. I too was sorry we didn’t see you around after that. You will be in my continued prayers. Stay strong. You are stronger than you think!

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  18. Shannon, what a strong woman you are! As I read your message, I take inspiration from you as you deal with the emotional and physical stages of SCAD. I’ve bought a bag or two of Cheetos myself. Congratulations on the 82 cholesterol results. Keep up the fight. I hope the new doctor offers hope for a treatment and cure. Kick SCAD to the curb. You will triumph over this.

    Merry Christmas
    Lori

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  19. Lorri

    Thinking of you Shannon, you are always in my prayers. Thank you for sharing your journey. I’m learning a lot through this!!!! Extra hugs and Merry Christmas!

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  20. Robyn Ryan

    Oh, Shannon….#WOW! I, too, missed you on Saturday as it was strange not to see you (and your fabulous outfit choices) and I felt something was awry. I am truly sorry that you are reliving this again, but I am glad that you were in SLC when this happened and that your doctors were nearby. I continue to pray for you for healing, strength and wisdom as your story continues. Thank you for sharing. I’m so glad you’re feeling better. ♡♡♡

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  21. What a crazy journey, you got that right!!! I hope you do find out answers… when I saw you at OnStage, I wondered how you were feeling. I am so sad you had to go through all of that. Thanks for sharing it with us. I just adore you!

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  22. Becky Fredericks

    WoW. I am so sorry you’ve experienced another heart event, but glad you may now know what is going on. It will be interesting to know if Event #1 was also a SCAD. I pray for your healing and look forward to hearing more from you about this journey. For sure, you are bringing awareness and illumination to so very many, hopefully saving lives in the process. Keep Strong and Carry On! XOXO

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  23. I will continue to pray for you Shannon for good health and no more heart issues. I know how scary life can be living with heart issues as my husband has an aortic aneurysm and gets tested every year and we watch for any symptoms of it getting worse. Be still and Breath and know that God’s got you! Merry Christmas.

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  24. Jean Bard

    Shannon, I’m so sorry you had to go through this again. Anything involving the heart is pretty scary. I’ve recently been having an issue with an irregular heart rate….the other night it was 135 for an hour… very scary. My cardiologist is trying to figure it out. Frustrated a little!! Hoping you continue to feel better and have a wonderful and blessed Christmas!

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  25. Kay Kalthoff

    I was so shocked to read about this and I think I would be feeling a little bit of a rebellion kicking up too if I were you.I do hope that you can find out some good information and that you can cut down on your meds. Sending you hugs in my mind via my heart. Love you so.

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  26. Ginger Toivonen

    My heart hurts for you Shannon. I can’t imagine the terror you must have felt. Praying that you get the answers you need. On another note, you looked fabulous at OnStage and you were amazing – such an inspiration.

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  27. Such a crazy journey – and I’m so sorry you are having to go through this. Please know you’re in my heart and prayers! You can do this! There are so many conflicting stories and reports about what’s good and what’s bad. I’ll be praying that you’ll know what’s the best path for you.

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  28. Mo Dickie

    Glad you received treatment so promptly – I know first hand how scary it is – the emotional impact can be just as overwhelming as the physical condition. Feel better and have a wonderful Christmas!

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  29. Angie Dimenna

    Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers, sweet friend. I hope you will get answers you need and peace of mind soon! So grateful you are ok and able to tell us all about your experience. Warm hugs and well wishes, Angie

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  30. Lin Hense

    Shannon never give up…keep searching for the answer/s. HOPE and healing to you and your heart. Blessings and prayers for a beautiful Christmas and songs of joy in the New Year. Hugs

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  31. Carolyn Susi

    I missed you in SLC. I’m so glad you are ok. But Cheetos? Really? Anyway, unless you are planning on branching off with a “hospital johnnie” fashion blog, I pray for the return of your strength and good health and more happiness than you’ve ever know. You are THE BEST! 💕

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  32. Mickey Roberts

    Huge hugs, Shannon. Do the best you can with the information you have. It’s all you can do. Loads of prayers coming your way.🙏🙏🙏

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