March 28, 2015
Eighteen years ago I had my first SCAD at age 42 involving the left anterior descending artery at a time when I was under immense stress and fatigue. Fortunately, once the “clot was busted” with TPA, my vessel was open, so it was treated medically with no stenting. I thought by managing my stress and getting enough rest I could prevent another. After all, I eat a whole-food, plant-based diet (now vegan for 15 years, vegetarian for 35), exercise regularly, BMI of 19, and have excellent lipid lab values (total cholesterol 140, LDL 71, HDL 62, triglycerides 34).
Two weeks ago, the chest pain, diaphoresis, nausea and anxiety struck again. I was well-rested, not overly stressed, and was chatting on the phone after returning home from a mindful meditation class. This time the dissection caused 99% blockage of the circumflex artery and required a stent. I feel like I have a time bomb in my chest. I want to continue living a full life, but fear that this will strike again when I am out in the boonies or away from a cell phone signal!