Dima's Heart Story



Photo of Dima

"#HerHeartMatters to me because...
women’s symptoms are often ignored not only by some medical professionals but by the women who experience them.  We need to educate ourselves and normalize talking about it everywhere, all the time."

My name is Dima and I’m 57 years old. March 3, 2021 was the day that changed my life.

I had a headache, sore neck, nausea, and my left shoulder blade had been sore for about a week. I went to the ER when the sore shoulder blade was accompanied by chest pain and was told I had suffered a heart attack (an NSTEMI).

Over my 11-day stay in the hospital, I was given various potential diagnoses - from Takostubo, myocardial infarction with non-obstructive coronary arteries (MINOCA), coronary artery syndrome, to microvascular dysfunction. There is no family history of heart disease, and the only obvious risk factor I had was hypertension.

At the time of discharge, it was still unclear what the cause of my pain was. 

This event started a merry-go-round of many invasive tests, ER visits, and several more diagnostic hypotheses. I endured frequent and severe angina for months and wondered if I would ever get relief. 

When she met me in the hospital, my current cardiologist said it was likely a MINOCA. I participated in patient education by video, the medical team monitored my hormone levels, and I had CT scans and MRIs done. My medication was changed several times to help with spasms and allergies (in case I have Kounis syndrome). 

I have come to accept that my condition is chronic and unpredictable and can be triggered by temperature changes, environmental changes, and allergens.

Currently, I have challenges walking far, I get short of breath and use my Nitro more frequently.  I need to pace myself to manage my energy, ask for help when I need it, use mobility aids on hard days and enjoy the good days when they come. 

I am fortunate to have the support of a good medical team.


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