This is a man told by the photographer to act like he’s having a heart attack.
by Carolyn Thomas ♥ @HeartSisters ♥ May 19, 2019
One of the reasons that I knew I wasn’t having a heart attack (even while I was actually having one) was my very inaccurate stereotype of what a woman’s heart attack can look like.
I used to think that heart attacks happen only to men. Old men. Mostly out-of-shape chain smokers and heavy drinkers. Old, out-of-shape, smoking, drinking men, who one day out on the golf course suddenly clutch their chests in agony and keel over, unconscious. CPR. 911. Golf buddies yelling. Ambulance sirens. Paramedics. Defibrillator paddles. That’s a heart attack, right?
Wrong, my dear heart sisters. That’s NOT a heart attack. Continue reading “This is NOT what a woman’s heart attack looks like”
by Carolyn Thomas ♥ @HeartSisters ♥ April 28, 2019
For most of us, feelings of anxiety or panic are generally occasional, mild and brief – normal responses to being worried or scared. I never thought of myself as a person who was prone to experience anxiety or panic – until I survived a heart attack. I can now tell you quite confidently that there are few things in life that are more anxiety-producing than being in the middle of a frickety-frackin’ heart attack. . . Continue reading “The chest pain / panic connection”
by Carolyn Thomas ♥ @HeartSisters ♥ February 10, 2019
I was happy to see Katherine Leon featured in The New York Times recently. Katherine, like me, is a graduate of the WomenHeart Science & Leadership patient advocacy training at Mayo Clinic. She told the Times of undergoing emergency coronary bypass surgery at age 38, several days after her severe cardiac symptoms had been dismissed by doctors who told her, “There’s nothing wrong with you.”
She isn’t alone. Many, many studies have shown that female heart patients are significantly more likely to be under-diagnosed – and worse, often under-treated even when appropriately diagnosed – compared to our male counterparts. This is especially true for women with her condition (Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection, or SCAD) that was once considered to be a rare disease.
Dr. Sharonne Hayes is also featured in the NYT piece; she’s a respected Mayo Clinic cardiologist, longtime SCAD researcher and founder of the Mayo Women’s Heart Clinic. (You can read their story here).
But almost as soon as the Times piece was published online, I was gobsmacked to see some of the reader comments coming in – especially comments from people like these: . Continue reading “Is SCAD rare? Or just rarely diagnosed correctly?”
by Carolyn Thomas ♥ @HeartSisters ♥ January 13, 2019
I sometimes think that, during the almost 10 years I’ve been writing about women’s heart disease research, diagnostics and treatment, I’ve heard it all when it comes to women being under-diagnosed and under-treated (yes, sometimes under-treated even when appropriately diagnosed!) I thought I was unshockable by now. But a study published last month in the journal, Women’s Health Issues (WHI) was indeed a shocker. .
Continue reading “Fewer lights/sirens when a woman heart patient is in the ambulance”