As Memorial Day came and went, so did the two-year anniversary of my heart attack.
Two summers ago, I had just returned to work from a brief maternity leave and was looking forward to a long weekend of baby snuggles and a nice family picnic. However, instead of spending that time on a blanket in the warm sunshine with my boys, I spent it in a cold hospital room in the cardiac ICU recovering from a spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD). It was truly one of the most scary things to ever happen to me. Because I didn’t get that picnic two summers ago, I decided that a do-over was just want I needed to celebrate my first year of survivorship. I had planned to have another picnic this year to start a new tradition, but unfortunately, Sebastian came down with a fever so we’re having to postpone it for another time.
Two years later, I’m in very good physical health and my mental health has improved tremendously. My health anxiety has subsided significantly, and any symptoms I experience now is more general in nature thanks to getting more sleep and drinking less caffeine. I have fewer panicked moments, I worry less about it happening again (although I don’t think that worry will ever go away completely), and I’m enjoying life much more. In fact – and I know this is going to sound very cliché and mushy – everything feels brighter and newer. Some of that is probably due to getting more sleep now that Sebastian has transitioned to his own room but it certainly helps that I’m not focused on every little pain and twinge like I was last year.
In this second year:
–I’ve been tested for FMD with negative results. Fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD) is a condition where your veins can become twisted, making it harder for blood to pump to your heart. Usually, folks with FMD are more prone to SCAD and, conversely, folks who experience SCAD have FMD. Luckily, the CT scans showed that I don’t have FMD!
–I’ve joined several online support groups, including a SCAD Survivors NC Facebook group where I can connect with and support survivors who truly understand what I’ve been going through these last two years because they’ve experienced it, as well.
–I’ve started eating better. My diet has never been horrible but we now make it a habit to go to the farmers’ market every Saturday morning to ensure we’re eating fresh fruits and veggies.
–I’m trying to be more active. I haven’t been able to create or stick to a specific workout routine, but now that the weather is nice, we take family walks most night after dinner. They’re constructing a new building next to my office that is supposed to open soon with a gym, so soon I won’t have ant excuses to workout 😉
All in all, I’m doing very well. And I’m still looking forward to a long lifetime full of sunny, warm picnics but I’ll take coffee shop breaks with my family in the meantime 🙂