Empty beds: when heart patients are afraid to seek help

by Carolyn Thomas       @HeartSisters

Barely a month ago hey, remember a month ago? – my GP ordered a number of routine blood and urine tests following a meds review. So I booked an appointment online at my local testing lab – but within hours, I decided to cancel. All I could think about was this: “Lab waiting rooms are filled with sick people!”  There was no way I was going to put myself at further risk during this COVID-19 pandemic.

It turns out that heart patients like me are not only reluctant to walk into lab waiting rooms, but cardiologists are now reporting that many of us are reluctant to seek urgent medical care – even during a heart attack.       .       . Continue reading “Empty beds: when heart patients are afraid to seek help”

It’s okay not to feel “normal”

 by Carolyn Thomas      @HeartSisters

What is “normal” around here anyway? What the world is experiencing now during the COVID-19* crisis is unprecedented –  meaning nothing like this has happened before. A global viral pandemic is just not “normal”.  At least, to us.

We long to somehow translate each new development or warning or news report into what our brains can recognize as a return to normality. But there’s nothing about unprecedented events that should feel “normal” to any of us.    . Continue reading “It’s okay not to feel “normal””

Scary times: living with (but not IN) fear 

by Carolyn Thomas      @HeartSisters

This is my 863rd blog post here on Heart Sisters. That’s a lot of articles.  Almost all of them so far are about women’s heart disease, or translating emerging cardiac research into plain language, or what it’s like for women when we suddenly become heart patients, or when we’re mistakenly told that our heart disease is not heart disease.

Never in the 11 years that I’ve been writing this blog have I felt like I’d run out of All Things Cardiac to write about.  Until today.             . Continue reading “Scary times: living with (but not IN) fear “

COVID-19: Can facts help to minimize fears?

by Carolyn Thomas      @HeartSisters

Waiting for the other shoe to drop. The expression dates back to the early 1900s, from the description of hearing the loud ‘thump’ of an upstairs apartment neighbour loudly dropping one shoe onto a bedroom floor. It’s that state of suspended focus. Waiting. Waiting. Not knowing when that other shoe upstairs will finally drop so that you can roll over and go quietly back to sleep.

But you can’t know exactly when or even if you’ll hear that second ‘thump’. You can’t predict that outcome, any more than we can predict the emerging outcomes of our current COVID-19 virus scare. And waiting for outcomes can feel exhausting.     .    Continue reading “COVID-19: Can facts help to minimize fears?”

“Let’s all be palm trees together” in facing COVID-19

A guest post this week from Walk With A Doc* – because this says what I’ve been trying to say about feeling helpless and worried during the COVID-19 viral outbreak.
Unprecedented suckiness going on right now, there is NO doubt.
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We’re all seeing the same news and it’s shocking us all, every hour.
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When things go sideways, it never hurts to receive a care package.
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We tried to throw one together for you.     .

Is it finally time to change the name ‘heart FAILURE’?

by Carolyn Thomas      @HeartSisters

When McMaster University cardiologist Dr. Harriette Van Spall asked her Twitter followers recently to offer topic suggestions for the upcoming Heart Failure Summit, I responded with a suggestion of my own:

“Please please please can we STOP calling this condition heart FAILURE?”    .

Continue reading “Is it finally time to change the name ‘heart FAILURE’?”