Does anybody remember this classic I Love Lucy episode in which Lucy and Ethel land jobs on the chocolate factory assembly line? Sometimes ya gotta do what ya just gotta do. Thanks to Dr. Laura Imola of Niagara Falls for reminding me recently that laughing out loud is very good for our hearts.
by Carolyn Thomas
One of the small joys of having launched this site is discovering by happy accident the wisdom of other writers – even when they’re writing on unrelated topics not remotely connected to my favourite subject which is, of course, women and heart disease. For example, I happened upon a link to Sandra Pawula‘s lovely blog called Always Well Within. Sandra teaches mindfulness meditation, and she lives in Hawai’i (note her correct spelling).
She also has a hubby and three cats. I don’t even know this woman, but I like her already. And while scanning through her beautiful site, I was stopped cold by an article she called: “Why Sadness is the Key to True Happiness“. Continue reading
by Carolyn Thomas ♥ @HeartSisters
When my little green car started making a funny ♦PING!♦ noise recently, I tried to talk myself out of what I was hearing. “I don’t think it’s quite as bad as it sounded yesterday . . .” And when my heart attack symptoms became more and more debilitating, I tried to talk myself out of them, too.
And besides, hadn’t the E.R. doctor emphatically diagnosed those symptoms as merely acid reflux just two weeks earlier? In both cases, I guess I was being unrealistically hopeful. But as writer Margaret Weis once warned:
“Hope is the denial of reality.”
Denial has a bad name. To be “in denial” – whether it’s about a niggling noise coming from under the hood or about something as serious as a health crisis – is to be called foolhardy or just plain stubborn. But in some cases, according to the world-famous Mayo Clinic, a little denial may actually be a good thing. Being in denial for a short period can even be a healthy coping mechanism, giving us time to adjust to a painful or stressful issue. Continue reading
by Carolyn Thomas
Before surviving a heart attack, I knew virtually nothing about pacemakers (they were just something that old people have to get, right?) and absolutely nothing about the cardiac device called implantable cardioverter defibrillators, or ICDs.
In fact, the first time I laid eyes on a person with an ICD was at my 7-week Heart To Heart cardiac support group after I was discharged from hospital.
One of the people in my group was a lovely, athletic 24-year old woman who had been diagnosed with a rare and serious heart arrhythmia called Long QT Syndrome.* Her sister had recently dropped dead due to the same condition.
As I write this, my heart has beaten 2,382,051,24 times since the day I was born.
I also have taken 496,260,675 breaths since that day.
I know this because of a nifty little Beats & Breaths calculator tracker tool that I found online. Continue reading
by Carolyn Thomas
Dr. John Henning Schumann, who blogs at the always-intriguing Glass Hospital, is a general internist and medical educator at the University of Chicago. This year, he made a personal New Year’s resolution to become a vegetarian. Or a ‘mostly vegetarian’, as he calls it.
“I’ve been thinking about it for a long time, but with young children who love meat and don’t have the broadest palates, I think it’s important to feed them protein any way I can get it in them. Having passed 40, I’ve finally realized that I can no longer eat what I want with impunity. Further, as a doctor, I believe in practicing what I preach, and my legs could no longer straddle the gap between action and rhetoric.
“That, and I hit 192 pounds on the gym scale. Continue reading