Post-stent chest pain

by Carolyn Thomas     @HeartSisters 

A friend’s daughter (who happens to be a cardiac nurse) phoned to check on me a few days after I was discharged from the hospital following my heart attack. I felt so relieved to hear her voice because  something was really starting to worry me:  I was still having chest pain.

Hadn’t the blocked coronary artery that had caused my “widow maker” heart attack just recently been magically unblocked? Wasn’t that newly revascularized artery now propped wide open with a shiny metal stent? Shouldn’t I be feeling better?

And that’s when I heard the words “stretch pain”  for the first time.    .       .  Continue reading “Post-stent chest pain”

A professor’s take on women’s heart disease

by Carolyn Thomas     @HeartSisters 

The ominous title of this 2019 report,Cardiovascular Disease and the Female Disadvantage makes it fascinating reading for all women, but potentially repellent for the minority of physicians who still dismiss the entire notion of a gender gap in cardiology(1)sadly, the ones least likely to read it. Yet I know they are out there, because some of them openly call me names on Twitter whenever I cover a scientific paper on this topic.

Luckily for the rest of us, however, the expert writing this report is the very credible Professor Mark Woodward at the University of Oxford (who also teaches at Australia’s University of New South Wales, and at Johns Hopkins University in the U.S.)         Continue reading “A professor’s take on women’s heart disease”

Craving post-holiday solitude

by Carolyn Thomas     @HeartSisters

The holiday season seems to be a good time to revisit the importance of solitude.

Don’t get me wrong: I’ve truly been enjoying the lights and music of the season, family traditions (oh, those homemade perogies at our Christmas Eve feast!), the joy of watching 4-year old Everly Rose embrace in equal measure the arrival of Santa and the Baby Jesus story, out-of-town visitors, and the seasonal open-heartedness one encounters even from passing strangers in the Village.

But I’m physically craving some delicious solitude right about now.         .      Continue reading “Craving post-holiday solitude”

The Christmas truce – 1914

Christmas Truce 1914by Carolyn Thomas        @HeartSisters

As World War I raged on in the trenches of Europe in 1914, Christmas Eve arrived cold and bleak. But German soldiers put up Christmas trees decorated with candles, on the parapets of their trenches. Although their enemies, the British soldiers, could see the lights, it took them a few minutes to figure out where they were from. Could this be a trick?

British soldiers were ordered not to fire, but to watch closely. Instead of trickery, however, the British soldiers heard the Germans singing carols and celebrating. Here’s what one young soldier wrote home about this remarkable event:     Continue reading “The Christmas truce – 1914”