“I was a fit and healthy 48 year old; with a 15 year old son and a 10 year old daughter. Working as an Accountant I’d recently started a new job where I’d encountered issues which were causing me severe emotional stress.
In trying to mitigate the stress, my daughter and I had been going for daily casual cycles to local cafes. The day prior to my SCAD Heart Attack we have gone for a cycle to get milkshakes; on the way home my daughter was attacked by a nasty magpie, who had sat on her helmet angrily and adamantly trying to peck her eyes. Needless to say the next day my daughter was not that keen on a cycle! I assured her all would be ok, and we set off in the opposite direction for coffee and hot chocolate. On the way home we cycled past a friend who we’d not seen for a while, we stopped and had a chat. She asked how we’d been – as soon as I replied that I’d been having a stressful time at a new job I got a terrible striking pain across my upper chest. Like I was being cut with a knife.
We were about a 10 minute cycle from home, so we set off towards home, my daughter happily chatting as we cycled along. The pain got worse. After 5 minutes I stopped on the pavement and collapsed, intense chest pains and sweating; I told my daughter I felt really bad. I asked her to find my phone and call my husband – he didn’t answer. I asked my daughter to pray for me. Then I decided I just needed to get home, there was no other option – we had bikes! So I instructed her to just get home – no chatting! We got home and I collapsed on the bed, my daughter brought me cold face cloths to place on my face. After about an hour the intense pain passed, so I drove myself to the Doctor. They did an ECG which was normal. I explained to the Doctor what had happened and he said it was most likely a panic attack. I told him it was pretty bad pain for a panic attack, but as I’d never had a panic attack I wouldn’t know any different. He did a blood test ‘just to be sure’. I drove myself home and slept. A few hours later the Doctor called and said I needed to get to Emergency as I’d had a Heart Attack – troponin was found in my blood. By now my husband had come home and so he drove me to The Alfred where we parked a few roads away, walked in and stood in the queue as Reception. Looking back I was so incredibly dumb, but I had no idea I was a candidate for Heart Attack. The SCAD Heart Attack was diagnosed the following morning by Angiogram via my groin. After 3 years of living post heart attack I have now been diagnosed with Fibromuscular Displasia (FMD). While this is another valley for me to find my way out of; one thing is for sure – I will never be so dumb again! I will also take every opportunity to raise awareness of this little known disease.”