Tag Archives: A Woman’s Guide to Living with Heart Disease

Typical vs. “atypical” heart attack signs in women

27 May

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters  May 27, 2018

Before I was misdiagnosed with acid reflux and sent home from the Emergency Department, the heart attack symptoms I was experiencing had seemed pretty dramatic during that eventful early morning walk. They were, in fact, what all physicians (and Dr. Google) would consider to be classic heart attack signs. 

My most debilitating symptom at the time was the chest pain that doctors know as angina pectoris (a Latin name that translates gruesomely as “strangulation of the chest”). I also felt like I was going to vomit, I was sweating profusely, and I had pain radiating down my left arm. (None of those textbook symptoms, by the way, helped to convince the Emergency physician that I was, in fact, having a heart attack. Read more about misdiagnosis of women’s heart disease here). 
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“Best narrative I have ever encountered on this topic”

4 Mar
 
Thanks to John Sawdon and his Cardiac Health Foundation of Canada colleagues for including this chapter-by-chapter overview of my new book in their 2018 Winter Bulletin.

Book Review for A Woman’s Guide to Living with Heart Disease

Written by Carolyn Thomas, a Canadian living in Victoria, B.C. and author of the blog Heart Sisters; foreword written by Martha Gulati, MD FACC, Chief of Cardiology, University of Arizona and Editor-in-Chief, CardioSmart – American College of Cardiology.  Published by Johns Hopkins University Press, 2017.

“Carolyn Thomas begins Chapter 1 with her very first heart attack symptoms and the decision to seek immediate medical help at the Emergency Department of her local hospital. She is misdiagnosed, however, with acid reflux and sent home.  This dramatic introduction is followed by what researchers tell us about women’s heart attack symptoms, and includes brief case studies of women who describe their own surprisingly varied heart attack symptoms. Continue reading

Can’t wait to start reading my book? Here’s Chapter 1!

11 Feb

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters    February 11, 2018

February is Heart Month, so here’s a Heart Month bonus for you! You can now read the full transcript of Chapter 1 of A Woman’s Guide to Living with Heart Disease (Johns Hopkins University Press, November 2017). I’m thrilled to say that my book is already in its second printing of both hardcover and paperback editions. Thank you, darling readers! Here’s Chapter 1, and here’s how to buy your own copy to read the other nine chapters – and, of course, the gorgeous foreword written by cardiologist Dr. Martha Gulati. Continue reading

The most-read posts of 2017 from Heart Sisters

31 Dec

by Carolyn Thomas      @HeartSisters

This past year has felt in turn like the most agonizingly slow year ever, and at other times like a runaway train threatening to throw me off at the next turn. Just this week during our family’s Christmas Eve dinner, for example, my daughter Larissa commented wistfully about her 2 1/2-year-old daughter Everly Rose, whose only goal in life lately is to be a big girl: “Last Christmas, we had a baby in the house, but this year I have a kid!” Why is she growing so fast? Where did that whole year go? But slow or fast, my Sunday morning blog posts continued throughout 2017. Thank you, dear readers – here are some of the Heart Sisters highlights for the past year:
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Oscillating narrative: the learned art of re-creating ourselves

17 Dec

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters

“We all re-create ourselves; it’s just that some of us use more imagination than others.”  ~ Madonna

Whether we want to or not, we often end up re-creating ourselves after a significant medical diagnosis. Researcher Dr. Kathy Charmaz calls this phenomenon the loss of self after such a diagnosis, a loss experienced while we’re learning to adapt and adjust to this strange new life as a patient. When we try to talk about this painful loss to others who haven’t ever experienced it, most have trouble taking us seriously, or they may want to jolly us out of our current reality.

Yet how we talk about this matters to how we get through it. Continue reading