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”
by Carolyn Thomas ♥ @HeartSisters ♥ December 23, 2018
(with apologies to Dr. Seuss)
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)”
by Carolyn Thomas ♥ @HeartSisters ♥ December 16, 2018
Our physicians are highly trained experts in providing medical care, but it’s their patients who have “skin in the game”. This odd phrase is believed to have originated in the financial sector to describe senior investment advisors who demonstrate their confidence in a company by putting their own money (their own “skin”) into the company in order to build investor confidence. So if stock prices fall, they stand to lose – just like their clients will. Advisors who choose not to do this may be every bit as smart, but they have no skin in the game. Continue reading “Skin in the game: taking women’s cardiac misdiagnosis seriously”