Tag Archives: Dr. Richard Fogoros

How soon are heart patients safely fit to fly?

27 Dec

by Carolyn Thomas     @HeartSisters

Five months after my heart attack, I boarded a plane from the West Coast of Canada bound for Rochester, Minnesota.  Considering that I’d suffered two horrific cardiac events on another long flight just five months earlier made this trip just a wee bit terrifying for me.

Only the reality that I was headed to the world-famous Mayo Clinic in Rochester helped propel me onboard. I told myself that if anything happened to me and my heart during this flight, the cardiologists at the Mayo Women’s Heart Clinic would know exactly what to do for me. If I survived the flight, that is . . .  

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How intense grief increases your cardiac risk

28 Sep

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters

Emelyn_Story_Tomba_(Cimitero_Acattolico_Roma)My Dad died young in 1983, at just 62 years of age. His was the first significantly meaningful death I’d ever been exposed to, and my personal introduction to the concept of grief and bereavement in our family. My father died of metastatic cancer, lying in a general med-surg hospital ward bed, misdiagnosed with pneumonia until five days before his death, cared for (and I use those two words charitably) by a physician who was so profoundly ignorant about end-of-life care that he actually said these words to my distraught mother, with a straight face:

“We are reluctant to give him opioids for pain because they are addictive.”

This pronouncement was made on the morning of the same day my father died. But hey! – at least Dad wasn’t an addict when he took his last breath nine hours later.    Continue reading

Stress test vs flipping a coin: which is more accurate?

1 Mar

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

You may not have any signs or symptoms of coronary artery disease while you are just sitting there quietly reading this post. In fact, your symptoms may occur only during exertion, as narrowed arteries struggle to carry enough blood to feed a heart muscle that’s screaming for oxygen under increased demand. Enter the diagnostic stress test, used to mimic the cardiac effects of exercise to assess your risk of coronary artery disease.

During stress testing, you exercise (walk/run on a treadmill or pedal a stationary bike) to make your heart work harder and beat faster.  An EKG (aka ECG) is recorded while you exercise to monitor any abnormal changes in your heart under stress, with or without the aid of chemicals to enhance this assessment.

But consider this blunt warning from Dr. Kevin Klauer:   Continue reading

When are cardiologists going to start talking about depression?

3 Jan

by Carolyn Thomas     @HeartSisters

I can vividly remember those early days and weeks at home after surviving a heart attack, especially that cold creeping anxiety around how I “should” be feeling. I had just survived what many do not: what doctors still call the “widow maker” heart attack. (By the way, note the gender semantics there, please: doctors are not calling this the widower maker”).

I was now resting comfortably, both of my darling kidlets had flown back home to be with their Mum, our home was filled with flowers, get-well cards and casseroles delivered by the daily line-up of concerned friends, family, neighbours and co-workers.

So why was I feeling so bleak inside, and even worse, now feeling guilty for all that bleakness?  Continue reading

‘Holiday Heart’ in women

29 Nov

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

Here’s something to keep in mind as you ponder your party planner this season.  Some people are apparently so extremely sensitive to alcohol that even moderate amounts – sometimes just a single drink – can trigger episodes of the heart arrhythmia known as paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. This unusual syndrome is also what doctors often call Holiday Heart.

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common heart rhythm disturbance that can produce significant symptoms. It is a rapid and irregular heart arrhythmia, caused by chaotic electrical impulses in the atria of the heart (the two upper chambers). In many cases, AF is caused by underlying heart disease or by aging. But often, it seems to have no identifiable cause. In cases of Holiday Heart, however, the possible cause may be an unusual sensitivity to alcohol consumptionAnd in women, some Holiday Heart symptoms can look significantly different than those observed in our male counterparts.     Continue reading