Tag Archives: coronary spasm

When thyroid problems masquerade as heart disease

27 Jan

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters

I love a medical mystery that gets solved by a patient, don’t you? In May 2009, one of my regular readers – known to me and other readers here simply as JetGirl experienced what she calls “classic heart attack symptoms” of very sudden onset, and sought help immediately at the Emergency Department of a Los Angeles hospital.  The 45-year old former airline pilot was released from hospital after a week’s stay in the Coronary Care Unit with a vague cardiac diagnosis of ischemia*.

Six months later, JetGirl once again experienced more cardiac symptoms including “massive chest pain” and shortness of breath.  This time, nothing was found.    Continue reading

Deep thoughts about death and heart disease

19 Jul

red poppies

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

This week, I’ve been reading Yale Medical School professor Dr. Sherwin Nuland’s amazing book How We Die – which is not nearly as grim as it sounds.  In fact, it’s an endlessly fascinating read. For heart attack survivors, the concept of death can become more interesting than we ever imagined it to be.

We live in a death-denying society. People don’t want to think about death, much less talk about it. As Dr. Nuland writes, death to most of us occurs “in sterile seclusion cloaked in euphemism and taboo”. We don’t even like using the ‘D’ word. Instead of ‘dying’, we prefer to “pass on”, or “pass away” or “go to be with Jesus”. Continue reading