All I want for Christmas is not in a gift box

by Carolyn Thomas       @HeartSisters 

My family tells me I’m “impossible” when it comes to picking out a gift for me. I am rarely able to offer even a single helpful hint. Instead, I plead with them most years not to buy me “more stuff”.  I don’t want stuff. One only has to visit the average yard sale to witness the inevitable future graveyard of all that stuff. Bread machines. Crimping irons. Chia pets. Any kind of candle. Aside from absolute necessities of life (like groceries or my crafting supplies!), there are few things I now need, or even want.

Well, there are things I need and want, but hardly any come from a store or in gift boxes. Here’s what I really truly want Santa to bring me this year.     .        .      Continue reading “All I want for Christmas is not in a gift box”

On Call With Dr. Dave: my interview about women & heart disease

by Carolyn Thomas   ♥   @HeartSisters   

You can tell from watching this interview how much fun it was to chat with Dr. David D’Agate about women’s heart disease. Dr. Dave is a preventive cardiologist in Long Island, New York,  board-certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular disease, and nuclear cardiology – and probably best described by this personal testimonial from one of his heart patients: “extremely knowledgeable, kind and funny.”  My favourite kind of physician.         . .           .          . Continue reading “On Call With Dr. Dave: my interview about women & heart disease”

When a red dress just isn’t enough to raise awareness

by Carolyn Thomas       @HeartSisters

A decade of lost ground  is how the official commentary from the American Heart Association bluntly described the stunningly awful results of its own 2019 National Survey on women’s heart disease awareness reported last month. I wrote about my own stunned reaction to this survey in Women’s Heart Disease: an Awareness Campaign Fail?

The results were astonishing.  They suggested that women not only had a low awareness of even the most basic facts about heart disease – the #1 killer of women worldwide – but awareness levels were significantly lower than an AHA awareness survey had found 10 years earlier.    .        .    .    .   Continue reading “When a red dress just isn’t enough to raise awareness”

Women’s heart disease: an awareness campaign fail?

by Carolyn Thomas       @HeartSisters

I’ve been thinking a lot about awareness-raising lately because of a bombshell report(1) from the 2019 American Heart Association National Survey released this month.  Among other completely demoralizing findings, this report found that women’s awareness of their most common heart attack symptoms has significantly declined from a prior survey done 10 years earlier. How is that even possible?   .      .     .  Continue reading “Women’s heart disease: an awareness campaign fail?”

Dear Carolyn: “I went into labour during my heart attack”

Nicole, her husband Victor, and children Renee and William

by Carolyn Thomas   @HeartSisters

Nicole Nickerson always knew that she had a significant history of heart disease in her family: her mother had a heart attack at age 30 (due to a congenital heart defect that had been missed at birth), and her father had quadruple bypass surgery at age 40 (likely due to stress and smoking). But it was only after her 25-year old sister died of a heart attack six years ago that Nicole’s heart was checked, too.

In the ninth of our occasional Heart Sisters series called Dear Carolyn, Nicole’s letter reminds us of an under-reported and shocking reality: young women with serious heart disease:          Continue reading “Dear Carolyn: “I went into labour during my heart attack””

The Grinch’s Guide to Women’s Heart Attacks (with apologies to Dr. Seuss)

by Carolyn Thomas    ♥   @HeartSisters

(with apologies to Dr. Seuss)

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Chest pain can make women WORRY a lot,

Yet when women seek help, some are told they should not.

Anxiety, maybe – you’re stressed by the season!

“Your tests all look fine!”  No one quite knows the reason.

It could be that these tests weren’t researched on them.

(And, really – aren’t women small versions of men?)

It could be that Grinch docs think women are lying

Or making up symptoms, without even trying.

Continue reading “The Grinch’s Guide to Women’s Heart Attacks (with apologies to Dr. Seuss)”