Written one month after my heart attack, June 2008:
“It isn’t the moment you are struck when you need courage, but the long uphill battle back to sanity and faith and security.” Anne Morrow Lindbergh
The wisdom of this quote strikes me every day. In hindsight, the time I spent hospitalized in the Coronary Care Unit after my heart attack four weeks ago seems like the easiest part of this adventure.
Back then, I was surrounded every moment by round the clock state-of-the-art technology and highly-trained professionals whose only goal was to save my life and make me well enough to go home.
I didn’t appreciate this at the time, but later learned that my hospital has an outstanding cardiothoracic surgical, research and teaching reputation, enough that it attracts skilled cardiologists to come live in our beautiful seaside city. I was treated with compassion and respect from the moment I was admitted to Emergency after a terrifying cross-country flight from Ottawa rife with increasingly debilitating cardiac symptoms.
But it’s only been in the weeks spent recuperating here at home since I was discharged from CCU that the full impact of this uphill path to recovery has hit me. Continue reading
by Carolyn Thomas
There are enough surprising ingredients in this recipe to make you suspect that the more of these brownies you eat, the healthier you’ll actually become. Just kidding about that last part, dear Heart Sisters. But who puts black beans, coffee, cayenne pepper, and the kitchen sink into a heart-smart brownie recipe? It’s a hybrid of a number of different recipes – a bit from here, a bit from there. Even vegans will love these unique chocolate brownies. Hint: don’t spill the (black) beans when you serve these to family or friends. Let people guess in advance what the secret ingredients are. So far, we’ve never had anybody guess correctly! keep reading to find the full recipe
Martha is one of those young women who believes she was born to have babies. “I’ve always been a nurturing person - and bossy to boot!” she laughs. ”And isn’t that what mothers are made of?” So she and hubby Joseph were thrilled when, at the age of 26, she became pregnant with their first baby.
“In the last month of my pregnancy, I began feeling bloated, tired, had trouble breathing and also had what seemed the worst flu of my life,” Martha explains. ” I told my obstetrician about my symptoms, but she said that it was ‘normal’, that I was ‘over-reacting’, and to stop worrying. When a bad cough got worse and I just couldn’t sleep, I called my doctor and she told me to take some cough syrup, and to stop worrying.” read more of Martha’s amazing story
by Carolyn Thomas ♥ @HeartSisters
For some time, doctors have observed that some diseases seem to come in pairs. The known link between migraines and cardiovascular disease is one example of these shadow diseases.
Further linked ailments are being investigated, and researchers are zeroing in on why some diagnoses appear to travel in pairs. In some cases, one disease creates damage that causes the second illness. In others, troublesome genes or poor lifestyle behaviours may trigger one problem, and then the other.
Some likely cardiovascular ‘shadow diseases’ include: Continue reading
Tai chi is often described as “meditation in motion,” but it might well be called “medication in motion.”
There is growing evidence that this mind-body practice, which originated in China as a martial art, has value in treating or preventing many health problems. And you can get started even if you aren’t in top shape or the best of health.
In this low-impact, slow-motion exercise, you go without pausing through a series of motions named for animal actions — for example, “white crane spreads its wings” — or martial arts moves, such as “box both ears.” As you move, you breathe deeply and naturally, focusing your attention — as in some kinds of meditation — on your bodily sensations.
At Mayo Clinic last fall, those of us attending the annual WomenHeart Science & Leadership Symposium worked very hard for five days. Well, as hard as a bunch of heart attack survivors can collectively work, that is. The intensity of world-class cardiology lectures on women’s heart disease was interrupted by lovely mind-body breaks like Meditation or Pilates or (my favourite) Tai Chi for Heart Health.
Tai chi is often described as “meditation in motion,” but it might well be called “medication in motion.” There is growing evidence that this mind-body practice, which originated in China as a martial art, has value in treating or preventing many health problems, including heart disease. Continue reading
Now here’s my kind of research study: a U.K. university is looking for 40 women to find out if eating Belgian chocolate every day might help diabetics ward off heart disease.
The University of East Anglia, in its first round of this project, studied 150 women to assess the potential health benefits of eating dark chocolate.
Dr. Peter Curtis, of the UEA’s School of Medicine, says: “Our first volunteers are about to return for their final visit to see if the markers of heart health, such as blood pressure and cholesterol levels, have changed. A successful outcome could be the first step in developing new ways to improve the lives of people at increased risk of heart disease.” Continue reading