It’s a BOY!

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by Carolyn Thomas      @HeartSisters

Wonderful news for our whole family this weekend – my son now has a son of his own! A beautiful healthy baby boy, Zachary David Dunn, was born at 6:46 p.m. on March 27, 2021, weighing 8 pounds 8 ounces – a second grandchild for me (his Baba), a fourth for Grandma MaryAnn, a sweet baby cousin for Everly Rose, and the long-awaited precious first baby for ecstatically happy parents Paula and Ben, who are exhausted but over the moon!  Mum and babe both doing well. I can’t visit them in person or hold my little grandson because of COVID-19 precautions, but I can have a “window visit” from the hospital parking lot today!        .       .
Continue reading “It’s a BOY!”

Women’s heart attacks (still!) more likely misdiagnosed than men’s

by Carolyn Thomas     @HeartSisters   

My interest in women’s misdiagnosed heart attacks began after my own misdiagnosed heart attack. Despite textbook cardiac symptoms of central chest pain, nausea, profuse sweating and pain down my left arm, I was confidently told: “You’re in the right demographic for acid reflux!” – and sent home from the Emergency Department. 

I know that, had I been appropriately diagnosed and treated on that fateful day, I’d have little interest in this topic. But I wasn’t. So I do.     .         .    Continue reading “Women’s heart attacks (still!) more likely misdiagnosed than men’s”

My year of living COVIDly

by Carolyn Thomas     @HeartSisters   

In Italy, where my sister Bev and her husband Marco live, the government ordered a nationwide lockdown on Monday, March 9th last year. The country’s COVID-19 count there had exploded  from under 10 cases to over 9,000 within weeks. On the same day, we here in Canada recorded our first confirmed death. Three days later, hockey-mad Canadians were stunned when the NHL cancelled the rest of its season.

Suddenly, this was really happening.        .     .   Continue reading “My year of living COVIDly”

A children’s book about living with an open heart surgery scar

by Carolyn Thomas     @HeartSisters

When Zayna’s infant daughter Sarah was just five months old, the baby underwent open heart surgery to correct a congenital heart defect she’d been born with. “The surgery truly saved her life!” says Zayna. “She went from being tube-fed to becoming a bouncing ball of energy.”

But a few years later, Sarah had an experience with her little friends – one that resulted in a new book for kids who are just like her.    .    .  Continue reading “A children’s book about living with an open heart surgery scar”

Heart disease: decades in the making

by Carolyn Thomas      @HeartSisters  

I was surprised to learn after surviving my own heart attack that cardiac events like mine may take 20-30 years to actually show up. In other words, I didn’t have a heart attack because I ate a piece of bacon or had a stressful day at work. I had a heart attack because something – likely decades earlier – had damaged the delicate endothelial cells lining my coronary arteries.          .      .  .    .   Continue reading “Heart disease: decades in the making”

Bereavement eating: does grief cause carb cravings?

by Carolyn Thomas     @HeartSisters

(originally published here after my mother’s death nine years ago today)

I’ve heard it said that some people experience a loss of appetite during stressful times like a death in the family.  These people are not my relatives. Indeed, in our Ukrainian family tradition, we eat when we’re happy, we eat when we’re upset, and we eat during all possible emotions in between.

Every family gathering surrounding my mother’s death in 2012 was no exception.

For example, the delicious lunch following her funeral service was a true labour of love prepared by the women of my mother’s church, just as the women of churches, mosques, temples, synagogues and neighbourhoods around the world have been doing for mourners since time began.         .               . Continue reading “Bereavement eating: does grief cause carb cravings?”