Are you a cardiac muggle?

by Carolyn Thomas  ♥  @HeartSisters

The term cancer muggle is what many people living with a cancer diagnosis define as “a person who thinks they know anything and everything about cancer, although they have no clue.”  (A muggle, by the way, is a term borrowed from Harry Potter, referring to humans who aren’t part of the wizarding world).

You’ll know them by the frightening tales they found on Facebook about people who died of exactly what you have now, or conversely by their eternally positive platitudes like: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!”  Messages can often pretend to be genuine optimism – but aren’t always interpreted by cancer patients as positive.  They can instead feel more like what’s known as toxic positivity (also as dismissive positivity). The unintended implication is that if only you had a more positive attitude, you’d be able to “beat” this cancer.

And in cardiac circles, heart patients can also face our own muggles.          .      .

When I was discharged from the hospital after my own heart attack, I received plenty of unsolicited advice from muggles (although I didn’t know they had a designated group name at the time!)

This advice ranged from breaking news about what “your doctor doesn’t want you to know”*  to  (the worst!) a barrage of daily emails and phone calls  from one particular  acquaintance involved in a pyramid marketing scheme selling expensive bottles of some kind of magical juice that “could actually reverse heart disease” (if only I’d buy enough of it).

Pouncing on the freshly-diagnosed with products that you stand to make money from is unforgivably tacky.  I somehow picture a person like this squealing with delight every time she hears bad news about a sick friend.  Another potential customer!

*And by the way, there is no such thing as something my doctor doesn’t want me to know. If there were, Big Pharma would have already patented it and be making a fortune. . .

Marilyn Gardiner, who shares her wisdom about cross-cultural communication at Communicating Without Boundaries, wants us to consider carefully before sharing platitudes with sick people. She cites this popular example:  “God will never give you more than you can handle!”  Here’s what she thinks may work better:

“While some may believe this is theologically correct, depending on your definitions, it is singularly unhelpful to the person who is neck-deep in a crisis. Instead, a wonderful phrase recently came from Support for Special Needs.

“They suggest changing this – from “God will never give you more than you can handle” to ‘Let me come over and help you do some laundry!’ 

“This strikes me as even more theologically correct!”

Psychotherapist Dan Mager, writing in his Psychology Today column, explained why toxic positivity seems so pervasive:

“Most people naturally try to avoid emotional pain. After all, who wants to experience pain? This relates to our own emotional distress, as well as the distress of others – especially those we care about. Seeing those we care about in emotional pain is painful, and even hearing about or being in close proximity to the pain of others can be – well, painful!

“Often patients can feel pressured to ‘fake it til you make it’ – even at the expense of denying or minimizing difficult experiences and the distressing emotions that walk hand-in-hand with them.

“When an emphasis on being positive is used to cover up or silence the deeply real human experience of pain, it effectively becomes toxic.”

No wonder we may believe that what people in emotional distress need is a cheery pep talk – instead of what they really need, which is almost always simply to be heard.  Or this, also from Psychology Today:

“People who exude positivity and ignore negativity often mean well. They may think they’re offering encouragement and support, or they may not know what to say during a difficult conversation and wind up saying the wrong thing.

“While toxic positivity may not be ill-intentioned, it can still be unproductive and hurtful. People may feel like their emotions are being dismissed, or like the other person doesn’t understand, care or empathize.

“But acknowledging and validating the emotional experiences of those we care about is one of the most helpful things we can do for them.”

Sometimes, the muggle can even be another patient, although you’d think another person with lived experience would get it. But as I wrote in “Oneupmanship:  You Think YOU have pain!”, it can even seem like a type of competition between some  patients comparing notes to score more suffering-points than their peers.  I recall telling a man in cardiac rehabilitation about my heart attack, adding: “I had a stent implanted. . .” – at which point he interrupted me to exclaim loudly:

“I have THREE stents!”

Now there’s a conversation stopper. As I walked on the treadmill beside his, he  went on to describe in exquisite detail every moment of every cardiac procedure he’d ever had.  See also: Choose Your Listeners Carefully

Other things to avoid saying around newbie patients:

  • Don’t start in on that endless story of your Uncle Stan and his much more fascinating heart disease – heart patients simply don’t care about other people’s medical drama at this time.
  • Don’t try and push any life-saving miracle cures, Facebook gurus, supplements,  products, or anything Dr. Oz recommends, particularly if you are selling them.
  • Don’t try to cheer us up – we’re entitled to have a bad day once in a while because we’ve just had a frickety-frackin’ heart attack, for Pete’s sake. A listening ear over a nice cup of tea will likely make us feel a bit better.

If you’re not a muggle, you are probably already intuitively responding to  struggling patients with validating and supportive responses like these suggestions from  Dan Mager:

And back to cancer muggles: over at the blog called Thanks Cancer, Mimi Hall  and Leanna House are two friends in Boston diagnosed with breast cancer. They remind us:


“It is inevitable. Some people will say dumb things because they are trying to connect and don’t know how. Some people will say dumb things because they are too wrapped up in their own shit that they can’t even see anything else, much less help you.  It’s because: a) there is nothing you can say to make it better and b) you don’t know what to say because c) none of us have done this before.”

Have you ever noticed that the inconsiderate people of the world often jump in to say whatever they feel like saying, while the considerate people stand around quietly and allow them to go on and on? Let’s not encourage behaviour that we honestly wish would stop.

Instead, if you ever find yourself one day trapped by a cardiac muggle trying to sell you their magical juice, Mimi and Leanna suggest you immediately interrupt them with responses like:

  • “I’ll think about that.”
  • “That’s an interesting opinion, but I prefer to do it this way.”
  • “I’m actually not looking for advice.”
  • “I can’t talk about that right now.”
  • “I’m not going to do that.”

And today’s important lesson: whenever you’re with an overwhelmed freshly-diagnosed heart patient, try not to be a cardiac muggle.

NOTE FROM CAROLYN:   I wrote much more about what’s helpful for patients to hear – and what is NOT – in my book, A Woman’s Guide to Living with Heart Disease” . You can ask for it at your local bookshop, or order it online (paperback, hardcover or e-book) at Amazon – or order it directly from my publisher, Johns Hopkins University Press (use the JHUPress code HTWN to save 30% off the price).

Image:   @crazyheadcomics

Q:  Have you encountered a cardiac muggle in your own experience?

See also:

Why you must stop saying “Well, at least. . .”

Post-Traumatic Growth: how a crisis makes life better – or NOT

Why “Call me if you need help…” is not helpful

What (not) to say when you’re visiting the sick

I don’t want to talk about it. . .

25 thoughts on “Are you a cardiac muggle?

  1. I can relate to this. I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure last April at the same time I was preparing for dialysis for renal failure.

    My brother lives with me, and has his own heart issues. He’s definitely a muggle. He loves to use Dr. Google to find out things and then tell me what I am doing that I should not be doing.

    He often says things when I talk about my health that suggest his condition is worse, he will die before me…

    His muggleness isn’t just cardiac though. He is an omni-muggle. He knows better about anything and everything. Sigh.

    But I need him to be my partner when home dialysis training starts. Not sure I can handle it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Carol – You’re in a real pickle, living with an “omni-muggle” – a new yet perfectly appropriate word for your brother! It’s hard enough to have a muggle in the family, but one who lives with you 24/7?

      Yet no matter how you feel about his “muggleness” (another great word! You are brilliant!), the reality seems to be that his presence will serve a useful purpose to you once home dialysis training starts. Arrrgh. What an awful dilemma! Do you think you can tolerate putting up with him until then?

      I’m sure you’ve entertained all possible alternatives to tolerating his know-it-all oneupmanship and generally tiresome personality. In my experience, simply telling such people to ‘shut up already’ rarely works, because they typically care only about themselves.

      But I still hope you can somehow come up with practical ways to protect your own sanity and to limit the time he gets to tell you what you’re doing wrong or compete about which of you will die first. A friend of mine, for example, had a husband who sounded much like your brother. He drove her stark raving mad with his non-stop “muggleness” until she handed him a special project: a story of a casual acquaintance with a rare condition who had lots of complicated and unanswered questions about it. Hubby threw himself into that project, which became his sole obsessive focus. It didn’t last forever, but meanwhile she did get months of relief while he was preoccupied with becoming the world expert on that rare condition – before she ultimately divorced him! Sadly, you’re not able to divorce your brother!

      Thanks for introducing us to new words like “muggleness” and “omni-muggle”! You made my day!

      Take care, and please stay safe. . . ♥


  2. Oh my goodness, Carolyn, I can think of so many responses I could make to this article and all the comments here!

    I was just remembering last week when I had to go to pay my property taxes at the village office and a small line was gathering because it was the due day. I was third in line and the woman who had just finished at the window turned and looked at the line and said to me, “Well, it looks like everyone is coming in today.” I agreed with her and then I mentioned that I was also going to ask about replacement tags for my dog because she lost hers.

    Her response: “Oh, my dog died so I don’t have to worry about that anymore.” Surprised at her comment, I said, “Oh no, I’m so sorry,” and then she left.

    After she was gone, the guy behind me went into hysterics. (He struck me as being a real live wire.) He had heard the whole thing and thought it was terribly weird and funny that she would respond to me like that. We laughed and had a lively conversation about “Why do people do things like that?”

    Was she trying to make me feel bad, or was she grieving and just had to say something, or what? I said that in all honesty I probably would have said the same thing if I were in her shoes, actually. Now I’m wondering why I shared about the dog tag to begin with — I think I was just making conversation. I certainly never meant to be insensitive to her — how could I have known?

    I think when some people go through trauma they just want to tell everyone about it and in a weird way you feel safer sharing your heart with a stranger sometimes. And it can make you insensitive to others at times. Now you’ve got me thinking about why I thought I might have done the same thing as that lady. Looking back, I know I have been insensitive without meaning to be at times. Knowing this about myself makes it easier to forgive others for it, though — we all need forgiveness sometimes.

    I have had many conversations with people where every sentence of their response to me starts with “I.” These people will never listen to you or validate what you’re going through (are they narcissists?)

    I find I want to avoid people like this. I’ve become sensitive to that over time and try not to do this myself. I know I do have a tendency to talk about myself too much, so I always make it a point to stop and ask how whoever I am talking to is doing.

    Thank you for giving me food for thought today Carolyn! Appreciated as always!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Meghan – I was thinking as I was reading your comment “when some people go through trauma they just want to tell everyone about it” – in my experience that can be very true!

      And there’s another commonly reported reaction post-trauma in which we suddenly look around the world and cannot quite believe that people are just going to work or riding their bikes or going for coffee – AS IF THEY DON’T KNOW that the whole world has been turned upside down. So even the most casual comment (e.g. dog tags) offers an opportunity to let the world know. My guess: I don’t think she was trying to make you feel bad (you did bring up the subject of dogs in a friendly chatty way). Losing a pet is a devastating tragedy for most families – so they’re never NOT thinking of/missing that pet, especially in the early days/weeks/months. You just happened to say the word “dog” – and of course you could never have guessed her own situation!

      I agree with your urge to avoid people like you describe (non-listeners who talk only about themselves – I just don’t have the energy anymore!) but running into them is a good thing for a weird reason: it reminds me that I also don’t ever want to BECOME that person. It’s a good lesson that I need to keep learning in new ways!

      Take care, stay safe. . . ♥


      1. How true, Carolyn — everything you said.

        I remember when my husband had his car accident back in 2009, was in the hospital and rehab for a month after surgery to put his broken femur and hip back together. I felt like our lives were changing forever. I remember being shocked when our family doctor issued a handicap parking permit — a temporary one for 6 months! I thought, this is forever! Doesn’t he get it? Doesn’t he see, as you said, that our whole world has been turned upside down?

        But my husband’s leg eventually healed, although he had to go through a second surgery and still feels pain in that leg on a regular basis. Today he no longer even needs a cane. Yes, I can totally understand people thinking life will never be the same. But it’s amazing how the human body heals.

        And in reference to comments made here about God, we learned a lot about His faithfulness and love during that time. In Psalm 23 we are told He walks with us through the valley of the shadow of death and His goodness and loving kindness follow us all the days of our lives. I’ve walked with Him over 50 years and I can say that this is absolutely true. I wish your mom had presented that side of God to you as a child — how He loves us even when we deserve it the least.

        In all honesty, and I hope this isn’t anything offensive to you because I certainly don’t mean to be (hope I’m not being muggly here), but when I read your blog posts I often thank Him for His mercy in preserving your life in the valley and enabling you to help so many others struggling with heart disease.

        I wish you had never had to go through what you went through, but thank you for choosing to take that bad experience and turn it to good to help others.

        If only more people would do that instead of becoming insensitive muggles!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hi again Meghan – that car accident must have been an awful shock for your whole family. No wonder you thought that life had suddenly changed forever. It’s not surprising that when a traumatic event like that happens, we may immediately go to: “Things are bad now, and they’re going to get worse!”

          The human body is indeed amazing. Some people of course in the same scenario suffer poor longterm outcomes; your husband has had a remarkable recovery despite the trauma of the car accident – one of the lucky ones.

          I too wish I’d skipped the heart attack/coronary microvascular disease diagnoses. I’m not one of those people who somehow believe this was all a “gift” that I must have needed to “live life to the fullest!” (I was already living a full and remarkable life, pre-diagnosis!) My public relations friends often joke that this is just what happens when a PR person has a heart attack – we write and speak and look stuff up – because that’s all we know!!

          Thanks so much for your kinds words. . . ♥


  3. This article resonated on several levels, Carolyn – it was a validation of what we don’t need to hear, what we would appreciate, and a gentle reminder to not be a muggle myself (I know I sometimes say the wrong thing or start to “hog” the conversation).

    As always, thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Lauren – I hear you! Depending on the specific problem – and how empathetic the listener – it can be easy to “hog” the conversation once things get rolling! And sometimes the problem is so overwhelming (I’m thinking of a newly-diagnosed patient here) that talking it through is really helpful. Ideally, conversations are balanced so that even if we make muggle-like comments, we can take turns.
      Take care, stay safe. . . ♥


  4. Hi Carolyn, thanks for another great post! I love the term ‘muggles’ and I am certainly starting to experience them.

    I had a friend pop by recently that I hadn’t seen for well over a year, and she asked me about what happened and when I shared the type of heart attack I had experienced (STEMI – widow-maker) she said “Oh lots of people have those” and then started to tell me what’s been going on with her health (not cardiac related).

    Her comment really upset me and it felt very ‘dismissive’. I politely listened to her own health story and said “That must have been a hard thing to go through.” I just kept listening. She didn’t stay long. The other thing that upset me was the dropping in on short notice, so after the fact I reached out and let her know I wasn’t a big fan of drop-ins, and I would prefer some notice in the future. Felt good to establish some ‘boundaries’ even though I didn’t say it to her while she was at my house. Having this heart attack is helping me establish more boundaries.

    I have also had people say “you look great” and I thank them and leave it at that, as they must have a pre-conceived idea of what a heart attack survivor should look like so I don’t always feel like clarifying “Well actually I feel pretty crappy”.

    I had someone on FB challenge me to a 10-day photo challenge with the theme “My Life is Good” which is a tad insensitive given my current health. So I reached out and said I would participate in a challenge if we could call it “What brings you Joy”. A re-frame of sorts.

    Joy could be a wonderful trip memory, a fantastic experience with family and friends, looking at my garden, watercolour painting, and equally right now it could be as simple as “I have a bit more energy today” or “my heart rate is in a better place today” or “I walked a bit further today”.

    It’s so important to feel ‘seen, heard, and understood’ and while the muggles out there don’t necessarily meet those needs, I am grateful that the majority of friends and family are here to just listen and the ones who ask “What do you need right now?”

    Thanks for giving us a welcoming and safe space to share our thoughts.

    Kathleen 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Kathleen – that “Oh, lots of people have those!” comment from your friend felt dismissive because it WAS utterly dismissive. Ouch!

      I think establishing boundaries can be a challenge for many of us. Partly because we’re socialized to be polite, as you were being when you quietly listened to your friend talk – even though she didn’t seem too interested in listening to you. I wrote more here about the importance of setting clear boundaries – especially for heart patients.

      The dropping-in issue is a matter of personal preference. I grew up in a family where my parents’ friends and neighbours were always dropping in – for visits, for meals, for card games, you name it. My mother loved having company, any day, any time. We used to tease her that she always seemed to have a baked ham and homemade potato salad in the fridge “in case somebody drops by.” But this always-available/open house policy could be completely stressful for others. It sure wouldn’t work for me at this point in my life!

      We don’t need all the muggles of the world to smarten up – as long as we have somebody like the majority of your close friends and family for support.

      Take care, stay safe. . . ♥


  5. Hi Carolyn,
    I really hate when people use those lines and I tell people every day that if our conditions were curable, your doctor would be the first to give it to us.

    The worst of which are those pushing CoQ10, the modern day snake oil that cures every ailment. They claim it’s all natural and has high doses of different form of pain killers.

    I hate companies and people who prey on the sick. What I tell new cardiac patients, if you become anxious or afraid give me a call – the best medicine is sometimes is another heart patient’s voice, so that they know they’re not alone in this struggle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Robin – I like that approach about the best medicine often being another patient’s voice. So many women feel very alone, especially in the early overwhelming days, post-cardiac diagnosis. I recall a hospital volunteer visitor who came to see me in the CCU (the intensive care unit in cardiology) to invite me to attend an upcoming series of educational classes for newly-diagnosed heart patients and their spouses. I was so stunned to see this person, very much like me – walking, talking, laughing, looking “normal” – whose heart attack had been 10 years ago! Chatting with her that day was so helpful at the time, and just what I needed.

      When I had my heart attack almost 15 years ago, CoQ10 was widely recommended by cardiologists to heart patients who were taking statins (the belief at the time was that the muscle pain side effects often reported with statins would be relieved by taking this supplement). It’s produced naturally by the body. But according to Mayo Clinic cardiologists, the studies since then have not been able to prove benefits in taking it, despite the ads that tell you about its miracle results.

      They add: “If a blood test shows your CoQ10 level is lower than normal, you may first want to consider making dietary changes: eating at least five fruits and vegetables a day, fish 2-3 times a week, and nuts 2-3 times a week.”

      Take care, stay safe. . . ♥


    1. Oh Genevieve. It’s so tough when the one person in the world you might expect to be the most supportive turns out not to be – especially when it’s your own mother. I’m sorry about that. I can sure relate. Dr. Wayne Sotile talks about this in his excellent book Heart Illness & Intimacy: How Caring Relationships Aid Recovery“.

      As his title sounds, he mostly focuses on healthy families – but does acknowledge that it’s common to compare our own families “negatively with some imagined standard of perfection. Somehow other families just seem to struggle less, enjoy more, and manage better than the people in our family.” I couldn’t even tell my mother (who lived far away) about my own heart attack. My brothers and sisters all agreed. We all knew she would either forget what I’d tell her, or say hurtful things.

      I think that’s why “choosing your listeners carefully” is such an important topic. When your own mother is, for whatever reason, not the listener we need and deserve, we have to make other choices for our own sanity.

      Take care, hope you’re doing well. . . . ♥


  6. Wonderful post! Can I turn this into an informational pamphlet? Just kidding but the term muggle will give me endless amusement when needed.

    When I recently had a breast biopsy resulting in a new cancer, the best response came from a friend who asked, “What does support look like for you now?” And offer to set up a helper calendar for the days post-op. She will also reliably bring cookies.

    A related and excellent book on this topic is Kate Bowler’s — Everything Happens for a Reason and Other Lies I’ve Loved.

    Muggle. Great term to tuck in my back pocket.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sara – would you consider renting your friend out to new heart patients? 🙂 Every woman needs a girlfriend who wants to know how best to support her, organizes her helper calendar – plus COOKIES?! What a darling person!

      I like your informational pamphlet idea. I think it would be a time-saver. Imagine the convenience: the minute you hear muggle comments like what Joan Clark’s neighbour said (see her comment below) – who told Joan after she got home from open heart surgery: “You know if you didn’t eat meat, you wouldn’t have had this problem!” BLAM! Out comes the muggle pamphlet!!

      Oh my – Kate Bowler’s book sounds fantastic! I not only want to read it, I wish I’d written it!! Her bio speaks volumes, doesn’t it? e.g. “. . . a modest Christian upbringing, the study of the prosperity gospel, a creed that sees fortune as a blessing from God and misfortune as a mark of God’s disapproval.” That kind of attitude is ripe for muggle responses! Speaking of God, when I was a little girl, every time I hurt myself (stubbed my toe or fell off the swing, etc.) my mother would automatically say: “See? God punishes bad children!”

      And she was NOT joking. I eventually started wondering how God could possibly find the time to be constantly punishing me like this – along with punishing all the millions of other “bad children” out there. Yoiks.

      Thanks for your comment – and for the book recommendation!
      Take care, and stay safe. . . ♥


  7. Hello Carolyn,
    I think the principles you are talking about here are applicable in almost any situation where we encounter someone experiencing difficulties in their life. It could be, heart disease, cancer, divorce or the death of a pet…

    What should we say? What should we do? Our true human nature is to be compassionate for other human beings who are struggling. But sometimes we can be totally self-centered in our response. We don’t really listen, we don’t put ourselves in their place.

    Distressed people make us uncomfortable because we are so glad we aren’t them. We react by saying the first thing that comes to our mind to relieve our own discomfort rather than considering how it might make the other person feel. We say “dumb things”, satisfied we have helped in some way and we walk away without really helping the other person at all!

    I’ve been on both sides of the muggle situation.

    I have learned that being quiet, listening and saying “I hear you” is more powerful than any advice I can give.

    I would offer to do their laundry but I can barely do my own LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jill – love your laundry disclaimer! I agree – that and changing kitty litter boxes I just could not offer to do!

      I also love your astute observation that it’s our own discomfort which motivates much of our response. It’s why people often say “You look great!” to a recently diagnosed patient. It rarely, in my opinion, reflects the fabulousness of the patient’s appearance, but our own relief that the patient does not look as hideous as we had feared – which eases our discomfort.

      Meanwhile, the patient (who probably has access to a mirror) knows what’s up. She knows that such a comment is so irrelevant to how she’s feeling inside (thus the frequent urge to snap back “If you only knew. . .”

      I suspect you’re 100% correct: muggles lurk in every possible diagnosis out there. “I hear you!” is a comfort to all people in distress.

      Thanks for sharing your perspective. Take care and stay safe. . . ♥

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Carolyn, you never fail to validate heart patients’ struggles.

    My cardiac muggle is the cardiology Physician Assistant. Rather than give some words of encouragement, i.e. I’m sorry you have to go through this, she mentioned a patient she had who was in the hospital with severe swelling in his legs.

    I took that to mean you’re not as bad as this guy and that should give me perspective and also, maybe I should ask for meds to adjust. At my last checkup she compared me to another patient with 17% ejection fraction and how much exercise she was able to do.

    I don’t think those numbers indicate what your endurance is and no way can you compare two heart patients. Where are these people educated???????

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Sandy – thank you for your kind words.

      I simply cannot believe that P.A.’s behaviour! Those kinds of comments are SO inappropriate – like saying “You think YOU have pain – let me tell you about REAL pain!”

      I’m guessing that you cannot be her only patient being spoken to this way – a word to your cardiologist about her lack of communication skills might be in order. This has to stop!

      Comparing patients is deliberately dismissive and unprofessional. Arrrrgh!

      Take care, stay safe out there. . .♥


  9. Carolyn, I just finished your book. Thank you!!!

    I did not have a heart attack but I had 6 bypasses done and then a stent. I hit a wall 3 years ago at the beginning of COVID but not related. I couldn’t exercise. No endurance and always out of breath. I went from a half hour walk every day to no walk. Extreme shortage of breath.

    I begged to go back to rehab. I finally did and completed it in December 2022. The rehab cardiologist started me on a very slow progressing exercise program at home. 3 minutes 3 times a day. Increasing by 0.5 minutes every 2 weeks if angina is good!!

    I start 8 minutes 3 times a day tomorrow. Am I feeling better? Maybe a tiny bit. I still have severe angina. Class 3 angina. My cardiologist increased my nitro patch again this week. She is going to book an in-person appointment. They are talking about small vessels not supplying enough oxygen to a part of my heart.

    When I finally got to go outside after my open heart surgery, a neighbor came right over to talk to me. Things were going OK until she said, “You know if you didn’t eat meat, you wouldn’t have had this problem”.

    I wanted to punch her. I just walked away!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Joan – congrats on your impressive restraint in that urge to punch. A perfect example of that “well-intentioned” muggle: your neighbour may sincerely believe she knows precisely WHY you have heart disease and thus she may sincerely want to be the one to solve your problem. The reality: even your cardiologist doesn’t yet know.

      I’ve recently observed what seems like an ironic split in Twitter discussions between dueling cardiologists: the plant-based diet fans on one side, the Keto (LOTS of meat!) diet fans on the other. And these are CARDIOLOGISTS!

      I’m so glad you went back to rehab. Every little bit of improvement helps, but it sounds like the resulting bits are not coming as fast as you were hoping. “Severe angina” is so debilitating – I admire you for those 8 minutes/3 times a day exercise goals.

      But *something* is causing your symptoms (coronary microvascular disorder – once known as small vessel disease) would be a good guess – ask your cardiologist about specific diagnostic tests for that; if she won’t refer, get a second opinion).

      Good luck to you in seeking an appropriate cause. Hang in there!

      Take care, stay safe. . . ♥


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