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Theresa Ihl

Theresa Ihl
Apple Valley, MN United States
Stuff About Me:

A few weeks ago, I had my third heart attack. My first was in 2009, and my second was in November of last year. Each time, I had chest pain that radiated to my upper back, arms, shoulders, neck, and jaw. After the last one, I was diagnosed with spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD), a tear in the inner wall of one of my coronary arteries. A couple of weeks later, I was diagnosed with fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD), a malformation of some of my arteries in other places in my body. Both are unusual, and underdiagnosed. If you're interested, the Mayo Clinic website has great, easy to understand information about both.

I posted that post about a month after being diagnosed with SCAD. I'd like to catch everyone up on how things are going now and how I'm feeling.  For the most part, things are going well!  My heart function is back to what it was before my SCAD and other than feeling a little tired, but probably no more than usual, life is back to normal.  I've started taking care of myself better than I did before. The truth of the matter is that my doctors have very low tolerance for high blood sugar, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol with my history, so unless I want to be on more meds, I need to do this. I also want to be as healthy and strong as I can be in case I were to have another heart attack or a stroke. So physically, as my husband Siegfried and I like to say, things are great, until they're not.  

How I'm doing emotionally depends on the day.  I am so, so grateful to be alive and that I have not had any permanent damage since my first dissection in 2009.  The possibility of another dissection is always in the back of my mind and in most situationns when I'm out of the house, I will take a few minutes to think about what I will do in that situation if I should start having symptoms.  I feel like I'm peaceful about my diagnosis, but also  feel the need to be prepared.  The hardest part is when I feel a little chest pain or indigestion and wonder if it's the start of something more sinister.  But, mostly I am just grateful to have so many people in my life who love me and who I know will be there, and have been there, when I need them.  And I am thankful that I can trust in the Lord, that He already knows His plans for me and has already numbered my days, and I rest in this.   

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.  It is good to know that people care.  


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A Heart Attack Can Happen to You (even if healthy)

A Heart Attack Can Happen to…

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