The beginning of my cardiac adventure
Updated: Aug 24, 2020
The following is what I posted on my CaringBridge site on August 2, 2020.
I (Gale Whitman) had a heart attack on Monday morning, July 27, 2020. It was caused by a SCAD (Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection) of the left anterior descending artery.
It was quite a shock/surprise as I'm relatively young (55) and healthy! I'm happy to report that I returned home from the hospital five days later (Saturday afternoon 8/1/20), and that I'm feeling quite well. The cause of my heart attack was a dissected coronary artery, meaning that there was a tear in the lining of the artery on the front wall of my heart. The torn flap blocked blood flow to the bottom tip/apex of my heart, and there was some damage to that part of my heart tissue. Fortunately, my heart function is still good – at the low end of “normal” – and is likely to improve. I'm now on blood thinners, anticoagulants and a beta blocker (blood pressure & heart rate regulator) as my heart heals and regains strength.
I will take it easy for the coming week, and begin cardiac rehab the following week. That will be 2-3 times per week for 3 months, and will allow me to test my physical limits in a safe environment. I'm optimistic that I will be able to return to my normal active life!
It's great to be home; I'm so relieved to be free of the IV needles and to sleep in my own bed! The new medication regimen is a bit overwhelming, though, and it's tricky to transition home after 6 days/5 nights in the hospital.