As many of you know, I’m taking part in a study into SCAD (spontaneous coronary artery dissection), which aims to better understand what causes this rare type of heart disease and what can be done to prevent it. It mainly occurs in women, and the main flashpoints are post childbirth or in perimenopause.
So today, I saw the lovely Dr Abi at Glenfield in Leicester for a battery of tests. For those SCADsters who are due to take part soon, I thought I’d share my experience, which I have to say, was extremely positive.
- Fasting for five hours prior to the appointment
- Meet with Dr Abi and brief discussion
- Urine sample
- Ultrasound on neck to look at arteries
- Cuff test – using a band to temporarily interrupt blood supply to lower arm and use ultrasound to check how the body responds once blood supply is resumed.
All of this was completely painless, maybe number 6 was a bit uncomfortable, but nothing more.
- Ultrasound on neck to look at flexibility of arteries
- General flexibility test
- Medical history/family history/medication review
- MRI scan – this was the part I was dreading, but with a little help from a sedative, it was absolutely fine, taking just over an hour. For Miss Claustrophobia, this is was major obstacle overcome!
- Skin biopsy taken from my arm – painless, just a bit of gentle tugging when the stitches went it.
Finally a long chat to discuss findings and MRI. This was really interesting and encouraging and I feel so much better about SCAD now I’ve seen Dr Abi who really does understand the condition. The things I’ve experienced since the heart attack are all common with SCAD and with a few tweaks to my medication I’m looking forward to fewer premature atrial contractions (which Abi assures me are not something to worry myself senseless about) and more importantly, confidence that I can have a normal life and that post menopause, when all this hormonal stuff has gone away, my heart will settle. My ejection fraction is 68% and there is no evidence of heart muscle damage, so all good!
If anyone want to talk to me about Glenfield, you can contact me via the SCAD facebook group.