SCAD                    Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection



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1.  Educate yourself! 
Find out as much as you can about this condition.  The more you know about it, the more you will have control of it.  Ignorance creates fear of the unknown.  Scour the internet and books for all the information you can find, and talk to others that have experienced it.  (DO NOT just rely on your doctors)

2.  Learn to listen to your body
If you want to sleep for 12 hours, do it!  Your body is recovering from a very traumatic event and is getting used to being on all kinds of new medications.  You need to treat your body the best you can so it has what it needs to heal which means plenty of rest, healthy nutritious meals, and anything you can do to relax and relieve STRESS!

3.  Do Not Lift!
Lift as little as possible.  Learn to ask for help.  Those of you with children, I know it's hard not to pick them up, but you want to be around for them later, right?  If you want to do what's best for them, then take care of yourself so your child will have a healthy mother!

4.  Keep yourself mentally busy
If you work, then you are probably going to be on disability for awhile.  You will be restricted in what you can do physically, but laying in bed all day is not good for you.  You can move around within the house, and now is the time to get those projects at your desk taken care of.  Get your taxes in order, talk to people online, write a book, organize your family photos.  Keep yourself occupied or it will be easier to slip into the pit of depression.

5.  Take care of yourself emotionally
If you need help, ask for it.  This can be an overwhelming experience and if you are overwhelmed by it, seek counseling, especially if you are having trouble sleeping, because getting enough rest will help you heal.  Your doctor may be able to prescribe anti-anxiety medication that may help, and/or may be able to refer you to a therapist.  SCAD will hit you completely out of the blue, try to kill you, and will completely change your life at least for awhile.  It would be strange if you didn't have an emotional reaction to it.

6.  Realize what your family is going through
This was not only a traumatic event for you, but your loved ones are probably also reeling from the fact that they almost lost you, and that life is very different at least for awhile.  You've been through hell but they are going through their own personal hell as well, and are trying to be strong for you.  Be aware that this is hard on them too BUT.....ultimately, they need you to focus on your own recovery most.  You are not only getting better for yourself, you are getting better for the people who love you, because you love them. 

7.  Medical ID bracelet
You've seen those gaudy medical ID bracelets on old people, right?  Well, they aren't just for old people and they make them a heckuva lot more fashionable these days, and they can save your life.  If you are still fairly young, a paramedic may not think you would have heart issues, and may not administer life-saving treatments that could save you.  Don't put "SCAD" on it, they won't know what that means anyway because it's pretty rare, just put "CAD" (coronary artery disease).  The initial emergency treatment they would give for either would probably be the same.  Any medications that might be pertinent would be good to put on there too, like blood thinners.  Another option is a USB flash drive medical ID bracelet or necklace.  All your pertinent information and an updated list of the medications you take can be uploaded onto it and kept with you at all times.  Any USB flashdrive can be kept on your keyring right next to your emergency nitro pill container as well.

8.  Supplements
Do some research on what kinds of supplements would be best for you.  A good Vitamin/Mineral supplement is usually a good idea as well as a good fish oil supplement and CoEnzyme Q10.  There are others as well.  I know you don't want to add more pills to all the ones you are already taking, but some can really make a difference in how you feel and how you heal.  I recommend the book 'Prescription for Nutritional Healing' which has recommendations for supplements for all kinds of medical problems including heart issues.  Check with your doctor first to make sure that what you want to take doesn't interfere with your other medications


9.  Hit by a car
I equate SCAD with being hit by a car.  It comes out of the blue and WHAM! hits you when you weren't expecting it and could have killed you.  Recovery will be slow and painful.  You are going to have to fight to survive and try to get back to the way you were before.  It will change your life.  It will be something you won't forget and there may 'injuries' from the original incident and treatment.  It's possible you might have to take medicine for the rest of your life.  BUT, unlike other people with chronic heart disease, who can slowly and progressively get worse, SCAD is most often a traumatic event (the tear) that you then heal from.  It doesn't slowly make you worse over time.  (Incidences of repeat SCADs are certainly possible, but it seems much more common for it to be a one time event.) 

You are still here.  There must be a reason for that, don't you think?  I seriously doubt that reason is so you can lay around being depressed that this happened to you.  What a colossal waste of the time you have been given.  You are still on this earth, and can still make a difference.  Be grateful for the time that you still have to live and to love.  Find the positives that have come out of this negative experience.  If this hadn't happened to me, I never would have created this site and helped other people.  I never would have known how much I was loved.  I know that I'm not done with this life, and if you are reading this, then neither are you.

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