About 8 years ago, I suffered from a bilateral pulmonary embolism, resulting from a mild ankle fracture. These blood clots interacted with a myocardial bridge, triggering a heart attack. The heart attack scarred my heart and allowed a blood clot to form over a 2-year period. One day while working out, I experienced sudden extreme pain in my arm, rushed myself to the hospital and underwent emergency surgery to treat the blood clots in my arm. The following day, I had open heart surgery to remove the blood clot in my heart, which had broken apart.
My story took about 5 years and multiple specialists to figure out and fully understand. During that time I had to take coumadin, metoprolol, lisinopril and aspirin. Since my doctors connected all the dots, I no longer take coumadin. I currently have a great cardiologist in Denver and I see a world-renowned specialist at Stanford on occasion.
I currently have no symptoms from my bridge or blood clots. I'm fully recovered and love to be active. Shortly after my ordeal I got into trail running. Over the last 5 years I've run trail marathons and ultra marathons, the longest being 50 miles, but the doctor would like me to keep it "in moderation", so I'm limiting myself to 50-Ks now. I'm just grateful to still be able to do the things I love, and the experience taught me valuable life lessons.
The diagnosis was scary and still is scary. I wear a heart rate monitor and try to keep my heart rate below 80% of my maximum heart rate when I'm working out, though this is easier said than done sometimes. Until I found Charlotte's blog post, I had not found another story of another runner (or even someone active) with a myocardial bridge. Reading the comments section made me think that we need a better place to communicate with each other and share our unique stories, so I made this forum with that hope. It also reminded me of how lucky I am to have got through all this mostly unscathed.
Please feel free to ask me anything. I would love to hear other peoples' stories of living and exercising with a myocardial bridge.