The bumpy road between diagnosis and getting better

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters

bridge-2490738_1280You probably already know that it can be a scary road indeed leading from the moment you hear that initial diagnosis until the day you are able to start thinking of yourself as a person first, who just happens to be a patient. Until then, it’s a bumpy road with often more downs than ups, as I’ve written about here, here and here, for example. But researchers in Spain now suggest that there are actually four distinct stages that are predictably common among most patients on that road. Continue reading “The bumpy road between diagnosis and getting better”

Why taking a shower is so exhausting for heart attack survivors

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

After being discharged from hospital following my heart attack, I was utterly gobsmacked by how exhausting even the most basic of daily activities now felt.  Taking a shower was a memorable example.  It left me feeling surprisingly weak, shaky and gasping for breath.

In fact, a routine shower usually meant a 20-minute lie down afterwards just to recover. That’s when I first read about METS*.

METS stands for “metabolic equivalents.” Different daily activities are assigned different MET levels depending on how much physical energy they take to do (see the list below).  Continue reading “Why taking a shower is so exhausting for heart attack survivors”

Why we keep telling – and re-telling – our heart attack stories

by Carolyn Thomas    ♥   @HeartSisters

A woman in the grocery store calls out from the neighbouring checkout line: “Hey! You’re the heart lady, right?” She continues, in what seems a much-too-loud voice, that she had been in the audience at one of my annual Cardiac Café presentations at the university. But “heart lady?” Is this really how I want to be known and recognized for the rest of my natural life?   Continue reading “Why we keep telling – and re-telling – our heart attack stories”