I was diagnosed with a myocardial bridge during an emergency angioplasty in April 2017.
I remember freaking the eff out about somemone putting a wire into my heart ... IN.MY.HEART ... while I was awake, no less.
And then afterward, all soupy from the amaze-ball drugs that make you enjoy the trippy movie of a wire -- and dye -- noodling around in your heart ... the doctor telling me he found a 'bridge' but to not worry, my chest pain was just anxiety.
A myocardial bridge is the term for when a heart artery is inside the heart instead of outside the heart.
Here's a normal heart ... and the bright red is the LAD artery.
LAD = left anterior descending.
Sitting atop the heart muscle, the LAD's job is to provide blood directly to the heart. In fact, the LAD provides blood to over half the heart, so he's the big man on campus.
Ever hear someone say "I had a widowmaker block"? All that means is that the center blood supply to the heart stopped... and getting a kink in this main pipe means a much higher chance of dying than if there's a blockage in the other two arteries (the circumflex and the RCA).
Juicy LAD artery in red
Heart with Myocardial Bridge
Dude, where's my LAD?
If you have a myocardial bridge, then your LAD has tunneled inside the heart muscle. Which means that every single time your heart beats, the LAD is squished shut, denying blood to itself.
Fascinatingly, this heart anomaly happens in the first trimester ... so those of us unicorns with a myocardial bridge, we've been walking around with a sad LAD for a long, long time.
Perplexingly, doctors around the globe believe that any sort of squished, mad or sad LAD is utterly benign. Some don't even tell their patients they have a myocardial bridge.
Other doctors see the anomaly on the screen, rub their eyes and say, "Naw, that can't be right! Dang new-fangled mah-chines."
For five months, my cardiologist insisted that the chest pain I was experiencing was "in your head."
In his surgical notes, though, he says that my bridge is "severe." He also adds a postscript, after I've left his care (remarkably, still alive), "in retrospect, patient's chest pain likely due to myocardial bridge." Ya think?