How swearing during a heart attack can ease the pain

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

“Swearing can relieve pain – but only if you’re the kind of person who rarely resorts to cursing and swearing in normal life!” That’s the finding of a U.K. study presented at the British Psychological Society’s annual conference last May.

This may be particularly significant for females, a demographic that tends to swear less frequently than our male counterparts in everyday life anyway. Hubbies, in fact, are sometimes utterly shocked to hear their normally sweet-tongued wives let loose during the pain of prolongued childbirth. Ditto for heart attacks.  Continue reading “How swearing during a heart attack can ease the pain”

“I started vomiting, and it turned out to be a heart attack”


Maxine Levy was a heart attack survivor at age 41. Now in excellent health, this bank executive from Springfield, New Jersey credits her angioplasty, medication and, most of all, her healthy lifestyle and commitment to regular exercise to living well with heart disease.

She tells women to be strong. If you feel you are having a heart attack, be your own advocate, as she illustrates in this video interview.  She also says: Continue reading ““I started vomiting, and it turned out to be a heart attack””

Heart disease: “You’ve come a long way, baby!” – or have you?

Over the past decade, studies have suggested that almost twice as many women are now aware that heart disease is our leading cause of death. But awareness of this fact is still disturbingly low. For example, when cardiologist Dr. Lori Mosca of Columbia University Medical Center surveyed 2,300 women to measure their awareness of heart disease risk and to evaluate awareness trends since 1997, her results showed:

  • although awareness of heart disease has improved since 1997, one-third of women are still unaware that it is the leading cause of death in females
  • many women continue to believe that unproven therapies will reduce their heart disease risk
  • only about one-half of women said they would call 911 if they thought they were having symptoms of a heart attack, which Mosca said was “incredibly discouraging.” Continue reading “Heart disease: “You’ve come a long way, baby!” – or have you?”

What does a girl have to do to get her heart attack noticed?

by Carolyn Thomas     @HeartSisters   

Last month, some famous cardiologists gathered at a New York City heart health media event and wryly suggested it might be helpful if only women in mid-heart attack could clutch their chests, turn pale, and fall to the ground in dramatic defeat, in typical Hollywood Heart Attack fashion.

I wish I’d been there in person.

Kentucky cardiologist Dr. Melissa Walton-Shirley was, though, and wrote about this event, In The Prime Of Her Life.

She described the prestigious health care providers who gathered to participate in the event’s panel discussions as the “rock stars of cardiology”, each one specializing in the treatment of female cardiovascular diseases.   Continue reading “What does a girl have to do to get her heart attack noticed?”

It wasn’t heart disease – but what was it?

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

Her medical nightmare started during the summer of 2008 when she was just 39 and began having terrifying heart attack symptoms.  It took well over two years for this mother of three from upstate New York to finally hear a correct diagnosis. Put on your diagnostician’s cap today and consider the chilling account of her experience, told in her own words over five months. Continue reading “It wasn’t heart disease – but what was it?”

How to communicate your heart symptoms to your doctor

by Carolyn Thomas

Here’s a news flash from the Prepared Patient forum of the Center For Advancing Health: your doctor is not a mind reader. And how you describe your symptoms can be just as important as what you describe. Physicians – and experienced heart patients – say you must be as detailed and descriptive as possible. For example:  Continue reading “How to communicate your heart symptoms to your doctor”