Last week I was diagnosed with a condition called SCAD. Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection.
I had all the classic symptoms of a heart attack. The shortness of breath, fatigue, dizziness, the swooshing in my head, rapid heartbeat, and the crushing pain in my chest.
Except I wasn’t your typical heart attack victim.
I’m in my early 50s. Active and healthy. Yes, my blood pressure may have been a little high. I have a family history of hypertension and cardiovascular disease but I rode bikes, schemed about planning dinner parties. Heart problems was no where on my radar.
What seem like a flurry of rapid doctor visits, tests and finally an angioplasty to conclude what I know now.
I am forever grateful to the staff at my cardiovascular team. They acted swiftly and compassionately to give me the care I needed.
I’be been home a week now and the new reality has now sunk in. I’m moving slower than I’m used to.
Every breath, every ache in my chest set warning bells in my head.
I’ve been instructed to slow down and go easy. I’m on a micromanaged regiment of blood pressure and cardiac medication. I have more tests coming up to see if there are other artery tests in other organs. More doctor visits and cardiac therapy.
I trust the team in getting me through this. They’ve been down this path before.
I am trying not to panic. I am trying not to bury myself and hide.
Trying to slow down and move one step at a time.