A cardiologist’s own family calls 911 – but has to beg for help

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters  ♥  June 16, 2019

Dr. Jennifer Co-Vu is a pediatric cardiologist at the University of Florida Congenital Heart Center. She recently shared on Twitter a chilling report of what happened when 911 was called to help her own mother-in-law who was experiencing crushing chest pain. The ambulance arrived quickly, but paramedics told this 65-year old woman with diabetes that she was having a panic attack.

Unlike other women who are misdiagnosed in mid-heart attack, however, this patient had immediate access to something few of us have: doctors in her family.   .. Continue reading “A cardiologist’s own family calls 911 – but has to beg for help”

Fun facts about my women’s heart blog

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters    June 9, 2019

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters    June 9, 2019

I celebrated an anniversary last month, dear readers. It’s now been 10 years since I launched my Heart Sisters blog. I started writing the year after my heart attack (and my subsequent trip to Mayo Clinic to attend the WomenHeart Science and Leadership patient advocacy training).

Here are some fun facts about Heart Sisters:     .. Continue reading “Fun facts about my women’s heart blog”

Denial? Or doctorly deference?

by Carolyn Thomas     @HeartSisters  ♥   June 2, 2019

Last week, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) ran a compelling opinion piece from Boston physician Dr. Abraar Karan on why some patients just don’t seem to understand what their doctors are telling them.  Here’s how he opens his essay:

Why am I here?’ Mrs. S looked up at me for the first time since I had entered the room and begun speaking to her. I had spent the past five minutes talking about the need for her to start new medications for her heart failure. She had nodded along for most of the conversation, but I wondered if she had heard, or more importantly understood, anything I had been saying. She had had three admissions for worsening heart failure in the past few months. And yet she looked at me and said, ‘Do I have heart problems? No one ever told me!'”   . Continue reading “Denial? Or doctorly deference?”

Yentl’s bikini: Dr. Martha Gulati on women’s most deadly heart attacks

 

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters    May 26, 2019

I’d love to believe that if both a man and a woman suffering the same type of serious heart attack showed up together at the same Emergency Department, their treatments and outcomes would be the same. I wish I could believe that, but as cardiologist Dr. Martha Gulati wrote last week:

“Despite progress, gaps still persist in how we treat women, and the impact on outcomes. Decades of tracking outcomes continue to show gaps in the treatment of women, and similar findings have been replicated throughout the world.”    .

Continue reading “Yentl’s bikini: Dr. Martha Gulati on women’s most deadly heart attacks”

This is NOT what a woman’s heart attack looks like

thatguy2.pngThis is a man told by the photographer to act like he’s having a heart attack.

 

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters  May 19, 2019

One of the reasons that I knew I wasn’t having a heart attack (even while I was actually having one) was my very inaccurate stereotype of what a woman’s heart attack can look like.

I used to think that heart attacks happen only to men. Old men. Mostly out-of-shape chain smokers and heavy drinkers.  Old, out-of-shape, smoking, drinking men, who one day out on the golf course suddenly clutch their chests in agony and keel over, unconscious. CPR. 911. Golf buddies yelling. Ambulance sirens. Paramedics. Defibrillator paddles. That’s a heart attack, right?

Wrong, my dear heart sisters. That’s NOT a heart attack.  Continue reading “This is NOT what a woman’s heart attack looks like”

A Mother’s Day without my mother

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters

As Christopher Buckley wrote in his memoir, Losing Mum and Pup, when the last of your parents dies, you are an orphan. This is poignantly true if that parent is your mother.

“You lose the true keeper of your memories, your triumphs, your losses. Your mother is a scrapbook for all your enthusiasms. She is the one who validates and the one who shames, and when she’s gone, you are alone in a terrible way.”    ..  

Continue reading “A Mother’s Day without my mother”