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Debi Schweitzer’s Story

SCAD Survivor, Age 60, Cincinnati, OH

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Debi's Story

Life Changes in a blink of the Eye On Oct 21, 2012 a day that was supposed to be a happy fun family event took a turn of another direction.  I woke up on Oct 21, 2012 thinking this is going to be a fun day.  All of my children and grandchildren were coming to our house for a big group family picture.  I had gotten dressed an had eaten breakfast. Then about a half hour later I started with a discomfort in my chest.  We had to go down the street to get something when the discomfort became an intense pressure. We had just passed the fire station and I had my husband turn around and go back to there.  When we pulled in the driveway of the station there was an EMT standing there. As soon as they put me on the monitor they started the squad.  The EMT said we need to take you to the hospital. I kept saying to the EMT I know I am not having a heart attack.  When the cardiac enzyme’s came back at the hospital they were high the Dr.  said you are having a heart attack .  I was totally still in denial I said I’m sure the next set of enzymes will be fine.  Then the doctor came in and said the second set of enzymes were higher.  I was admitted and a cardiologist was called.  The next day I was given an angiogram and when the cardiologist came out he said I did have blockage but he could not get to it.  I was put on blood pressure medicine and sent home the next day.  Two weeks later I returned to work back at full force. Then on Nov 17, 2012 I woke up eat breakfast and then got dressed.  While I was getting dressed I started with that pressure in my chest again.  I told my husband but it kept getting more and more intense.  I had him drive me to the hospital. Those wonderful cardiac enzymes came back high and I knew this was another heart attack.  The Dr. came in and said I’m sorry but you have to be admitted you had another heart attack.  On Dec 19, 2012 we I drove to The Cleveland Clinic Hospital where I was diagnosed with SCADS which stands for Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection. My life feels like a roller coaster I cry a lot just because I don’t know what is in store because this is a rare heart disease and they don’t know a lot about it.   I am still working and I don’t know how long I will be able to keep going.  You see my job is very stressful, but I want to try to work.  You see I was told no lifting  and no stress ha ha this disease is stress. It is so hard for me to believe that I was a healthy person who eat healthy, had good cholesterol levels, and exercised.  Why me please someone tell me why, I guess that is the part that is so hard.  I want to be an advocate for women to let them know how important it is to take care of yourself and never blow off any symptoms you might be having.  As women we put ourselves last or we just ignore the symptoms. I guess if I’ve learned anything out of this it’s take time for me and don’t ever take your health for granted.  This disease will be a learning experience and hopefully they will come up with why this happens to healthy women. �

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