Loyal British reader Lorraine Gradwell responded to a recent post here (Heart Disease Within “The Comfort of Denial“) by revealing that its post-heart attack emotional roller coaster message had resonated with her. Like many other women, this 58-year old Manchester mother of two felt frightened and confused after surviving what doctors call a “widow maker” heart attack last fall. And like many other women, her cardiac symptoms (crushing fatigue, light-headedness along with chest, neck, arm and shoulder symptoms) had been initially misdiagnosed as panic attacks.
“I had my heart attacks early last October; I didn’t know what was happening and this left me frightened that I could have more. I began a creative writing course the same week and wrote this poem.” Continue reading
When Britain’s Dr. Richard Smith speaks, I like to listen. He’s a former editor of the British Medical Journal (and also, coincidentally, a former med school prof who in 2001 resigned from his University of Nottingham teaching post in protest over the school’s acceptance of a £3.8 million gift from a tobacco company). Dr. Smith now offers a cheeky yet revealing overview of what’s wrong with medicine. In fact, I feel compelled to share with you his recent BMJ article, published shortly after returning from the World Cardiology Congress in Dubai. He writes:
“Doctors are not interested in health“.
To: Dr. James M. Wright, MD PhD CRCP(C) Editor-in-Chief, Therapeutics Letter, Therapeutics Initiative: Evidence-Based Drug Therapy*, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC Canada
From: Carolyn Thomas
Dear Dr. Wright,
I’m a heart attack survivor and patient advocate who blogs about women and heart disease at Heart Sisters.
Recently, a well-known family physician doing a presentation on heart health to about 200 members of our local cardiac rehab alumni group told us about a new protocol to be followed at the first symptoms of a heart attack - one that’s apparently superior to the current “Call 911 and chew one full-strength aspirin” patient recommendation.
Instead, he favours something new that he called “Axe the Aspirin”. He waved a little plastic baggie with two pills in it as he spoke, adding that he carries this in his wallet at all times, “just in case”. What he was waving overhead was a mega dose of the anti-platelet drug Plavix (600 mg – about nine times the standard therapeutic dosage that heart patients take) along with the statin/cholesterol drug Crestor – to be taken together at the first symptoms of possible heart attack. He told us, quite emphatically:
“We used to recommend aspirin, but this Plavix/Crestor combo is better!” Continue reading