I’m still alive, post-influenza. I think. . .

by Carolyn Thomas     ♥    @HeartSisters 

        Where I’ve spent the past 19 days…

I’ve missed a bunch of really good stuff during the past few weeks: walking our Everly Rose home from Grade 2, watching Baby Zack take his first steps, long phone chats with my sister up-island, or writing last Sunday’s blog post here on Heart Sisters. Also:  Getting dressed. Brushing my teeth. Washing my hair. Feeling like a human being. In fact, I’ve been at death’s door (sort of) with a brutal case of influenza – commonly known as “the flu”.  And let me assure you, the flu is NOT “just like a cold”.         .    Continue reading “I’m still alive, post-influenza. I think. . .”

Chronic heart failure: the true heartache of living with “FAILURE”

by Carolyn Thomas     ♥    @HeartSisters 

 A small Australian study published this month explores two elements that seem pretty darned important to patients and their families following a diagnosis of chronic heart failure (CHF) – yet may often appear to be minimized or even dismissed by healthcare professionals.  In this study, participants were asked to report their lived experience through two key themes:  1. Heartache and 2. Living with Failure.             .
Continue reading “Chronic heart failure: the true heartache of living with “FAILURE””

Where do those post-stent bruises come from?

by Carolyn Thomas  ♥  @HeartSisters

After being discharged home from the hospital following my heart attack, I didn’t know that one of the new heart drugs I was now taking had dramatic side effects:   technicolour bruising. All over!   One day in the shower, for example, I noticed two perfectly round small bruises on my lower abdomen, side by side, exactly the same size. Where on earth had those two distinct bruises come from? It was only much later I figured it out.  Lilly, my fluffy calico cat, would regularly “make biscuits”  before settling down for a lap nap by kneading her little paws into my lower abdomen.  Even a petite 8-pound creature could cause deep purple and blueish bruises!

Here’s why bruising like this is so commonly seen in  heart patients – even those without cats!       .      . Continue reading “Where do those post-stent bruises come from?”

Weird facts about women and heart disease

by Carolyn Thomas   ♥   @HeartSisters

Every February is Heart Month – when facts and stats about heart disease flood our screens. But Heart Month facts and stats are so pre-COVID – when we also learned the truly discouraging results of the latest American Heart Association (AHA)’s national survey.  This survey found that women’s awareness of heart disease actually DECLINED over the previous decade – despite all the inspiring Red Dress fashion shows/awareness-raising/Go-Red-for-Women campaign efforts out there. So instead of repeating more scary statistics as if I hadn’t read that survey’s results, this time I’m simply offering some weird stuff I’ve learned over the years about women and heart disease:    .             Continue reading “Weird facts about women and heart disease”

Bucket Lists: do heart patients need them?

by Carolyn Thomas   ♥  @HeartSisters

Since my heart attack in 2008, I’ve been asked on occasion by friends and family (and even people who barely know me) if I now have a “Bucket List” – that Hollywood invention of the wonderful list of important-sounding things we must do before we kick the bucket. Nothing like a medical crisis, it seems, to remind us that life is short, and to shock us into re-examining our priority lists before we head off to that great Coronary Care Unit in the sky. Continue reading “Bucket Lists: do heart patients need them?”