I have seen those two acronyms more than I care to! SCAD (Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection) is what caused my two heart attacks. I was told that my SCAD events were because of pregnancy hormones and that a small percentage of women are affected by it. I was told that every day that passed that the hormones were returning to normal and decreasing my chances of SCAD reoccuring. I was also told that on record there were a few SCAD women that had SCADs 4 months post partum but most were within a few weeks after pregnancy like mine and that once I made it to the 6 month mark, I would be good to go.
After the 6 months passed, I breathed a sigh of relief. I had made it! I was then left with the possibility that scar tissue could block my stents but that this usually occurs by 12 months. Scar tissue can always grow to block the stent but over time it becomes less of a possiblity. Always a possiblity but not a major concern. Since I do have stents, I am at a slightly increased risk for having a "normal" heart attack caused by plaque build up. This is the type of heart attack that we are all most familar with. The kind that is caused by plaque breaking free and clogging an artery. The plaque can be caused from cholestrol, smoking and other environmental things. I knew that I was doing everything in my power to prevent that (exercising, eating healthy with very little cholestrol and taking my statins) so I just remained in prayer over my body and had come to a place of acceptance with SCAD and just felt like I had to go above and beyond to keep my body healthy to prevent future heart disease.
This place of "okayness" was changed a few weeks back. I was sitting with my husband and girls at a restaurant at the beach and I happened to pull up my Facebook page and saw yet another SCAD sister report that she had been diagnosed with FMD. What in the world?!?! It seemed like everyone that went to the Mayo clinic to see Dr. Hayes was being diagnosed with FMD (Fibromuscular Dysplasia). I began to research FMD and could not believe what I was reading. Everything that I had been told about how rare SCAD was and that I had a better chance of getting struck by lightening twice than having SCAD again was possibly not true. I remember feeling like I had been hit by a truck. I kept it in and did not say anything to my husband because I just wanted to process this "horrible" news. I could not get it off my mind, I researched for several hours and the next morning, I just broke down which is something that I do very rarely. My sweet husband asked if I was okay and he received the response that he almost never gets, "No". I wasn't okay. My biggest fear was that I had passed this on to my girls. It ate me up. I cried and cried and cried. My husband comforted me and I prayed all day about it and slowly I became peaceful again. Its tough to receive bad news but especially to learn that your rare heart episode was possibly caused by yet another rare disease is super tough. I bet you will never guess what I found?!?! A Facebook support page for FMD! I asked to join and let them know that I had not been diagnosed but was waiting on a referral from my cardiologist but had so many questions about this rare disorder. They welcomed me with open arms and made me feel so much better! In fact, I think I scared some of them because I had already had two heart attacks where they are just now finding out that FMD may not only affect the Renal, Carotid and Iiliac arteries. It has been a blessing to be a part of this group as well. To see their posts and to learn more about the disease has helped calm my mind. The best thing about it is to see that they still have normal lives. I am still waiting on my referral from my cardiologist but his sweet secretary is working hard on my behalf. I hope to have that appointment set up soon so that I can have the tests ran. I intially thought that I didn't want to know if I had it because it may make me worry but then I saw several women on the FMD page that have to be screened annually for brain aneurysms so I decided it was quite important to be diagnosed if I do have it! Thankfully the treatment for FMD is what I am already taking for SCAD, good ol "Granny pills" as I call them! I laugh becuase when i go to my pharmacy they pull my prescriptions out because I guarantee that I am the only 31 year old with blood pressure medicine, blood thinner and cholestoral meds!