I received some good health news recently!

Since the heart attack in May 2017, I’ve been seeing a cardiologist every six months to make sure I’m healing well and that I’m not having any complications. So far, everything has been fine. At my most recent check up, I mentioned to him that sometimes when I stand up, I feel slightly lightheaded with a throbbing in my ears that lasts few seconds. This was a fairly common occurrence when I was on a concoction of medication right after the heart attack, which included a beta blocker to keep my blood pressure and heart rate low, but having been off of those meds for about 6 months now, I wasn’t sure what was happening.

We decided that I should get checked outout  a condition called fibromuscular dyplasia (FMD), a condition of progressive twisting of the blood vessels throughout the body, and as the blood vessels become more twisted, blood flow to organs can be affected. It turns out that folks with FMD are at a higher risk of experiencing SCAD — the type of heart attack I had — and, conversely, folks who experience SCAD are at higher risk of having FMD. The positive here is that FMD is treatable, so I wasn’t too worried either way. While my cardiologist didn’t think I had FMD based on what he heard when he listed to my veins through his stethoscope, we wanted to rule it out for sure.

So, I went to the hospital on Friday to undergo some CT scans of my neck and abdomen – also called an angiogram. I had similar scans when I was in the ER for the heart attack so I pretty much knew what to expect. The nice thing was they let me keep my clothes on (with the exception of my underwire bra!) instead of changing into those scratchy hospital gowns. I’m extra grateful for that because it was cold here on Friday.

Nikki by example

CT scanning machine

The procedure itself only took about half an hour. I had to lie down on the table, the nurse inserted the IV, and then I took a few slides in and out of a the machine. The worst part about it for me was the contrast (the dye the use to see the veins) because when they issue it through the IV, your whole body feels warm, but it isn’t a pleasant sensation. But it wasn’t long before I was up and ready to go about the rest of my day.

I found out this week that angiogram showed normal blood vessels with no evidence for fibromuscular dysplasia! Woohoo!

My cardiologist thinks the lightheadedness and throbbing is probably coming from an already low blood pressure/heart rate so he recommended that I add a little extra salt to my diet. How lucky am I that I get to add salt instead of remove it. Good thing I love all things salty (and crunchy and savory)!

Anyway, that’s my good health news. I don’t have FMD and I’m going to continue to be just fine! Thanks for checking in 🙂