July 25, 2020
I was playing tennis on a beautiful summer day, when I started experiencing pain in my chest and left arm. I played a bit more until my tennis partner noticed I didn’t look well. We sat in the shade and after 15 minutes the pain subsided. I resumed playing but immediately the pain returned. I decided I should quit playing and sit again. After lots of water and a power bar, I felt better and returned home. Once home, my pain returned and I began looking online for heart attack symptoms. In many ways I thought it couldn’t be possible because I was 45, healthy and extremely active. As well as there was no heart disease in my family. I had a quiet evening, the pain left and I had an early night to bed, praying I would wake up feeling better.
At 4:00 in the morning the pain returned with a vengeance and woke me from my sleep. It was much more intense and now in my back and jaw. So off to the ER I went. After some immediate testing, I was told I was having a heart attack and would be taken by ambulance to a larger hospital in another city. From there, much is a blur. Lots of people, an emergency cath lab, cardiac ICU for a few days and then to the cardiac floor for a few more. I was told I had a SACD heart attack and Was diagnosed with FMD, 2 things I had never heard of before. I had many questions and lots of fear, yet I felt I was in good hands with my medical team. I must admit it was hard to be in the hospital with no loved ones due to COVID. I was released 5 days after entering the hospital and the start of my life began. One full of fear about the future, a search for answers, concern about how might life might look from here on and an array of varying emotions. Yet, the love of friends and family was on grand display and my heart was full even though I now had a tear there.
I’m very committed to healing, learning and helping others. Also, bringing awareness to this seemingly unknown diagnosis. Each day I feel a little bit stronger and I’m learning to extend grace to myself in hard moments. I’m grateful for my expert medical team, dear friends, loving family and my faith. I do have more hope than fear most days…..feeling grateful I’m still here and believing things will get better. Sending love and healing thoughts to all that are effected by SCAD.