Tag Archives: women and heart attack

The Grinch’s Guide to Women’s Heart Attacks (with apologies to Dr. Seuss)

23 Dec

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters  December 23, 2018

(with apologies to Dr. Seuss)

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Chest pain can make women WORRY a lot,

Yet when women seek help, some are told they should not.

“Anxiety, maybe – you’re stressed by the season!

“Your tests all look fine!” No one quite knows the reason.

 

It could be that these tests weren’t researched on them.

(And, really – aren’t women small versions of men?)

It could be that Grinch docs think women are lying

Or making up symptoms, without even trying.

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Downplaying symptoms: just pretend it’s NOT a heart attack

30 Nov

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

When a blockage or spasm in one or more of your coronary arteries stops allowing freshly oxygenated blood to feed your heart muscle, a heart attack can happen. The faster that you can access emergency treatment to address that culprit artery, the better your chances of being appropriately diagnosed.  The period of time between your first symptoms and actively getting the help you need can be divided into three phases:

  1. decision time – the period from the first onset of acute symptoms to the decision to seek care (for example, calling 911)
  2. transport time – the period from the decision to seek care to arrival at the Emergency Department
  3. therapy timethe period from arrival at the Emergency Department to the start of medical treatment

Only the first phase is the one you have complete control over. So don’t blow it.

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Eileen’s story: “When my surgeon opened up my heart, my artery disintegrated”

27 Feb

♥  It’s Heart Month!  

Watch and learn, ladies: This is the Eileen Williams Story  (2:38)

from The Heart Truth: National Heart, Blood & Lung Institute

Q: What have you done to help your own heart this month?

Carolyn’s Note, Monday, April 3, 2017:

I am very sad to learn today of Eileen’s death. She attended the WomenHeart Science & Leadership Symposium at Mayo Clinic in 2005, three years before I did.  Eileen was extremely active in her community, touching an immeasurable amount of lives with her wonderful humour and spirit.

Eileen worked 32 years with the Arlington County Police Department. She was an EMS Chief and Paramedic for the Buckhall Volunteer Fire Department, and was instrumental in launching a program with three fire departments in Prince William County to provide HeartScarves to women heart patients in their ambulances. As an EMT instructor, she delivered many WomenHeart@Work heart health presentations to paramedics, 911 operators and social service representatives. In 2015, Eileen was presented the Healthcare Heroine Award by the March of Dimes for her work as a trainer with Training 911 Inc. 

Rest in peace, my dear heart sister . . .

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The weirdness of Post-Heart Attack Stun

14 Oct

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

Jodi JacksonI‘m laughing right out loud as I type this post, although I am the last person you’d think would ever laugh at another person’s heart attack story. Usually. But I love Jodi Jackson’s concept of “Post-Heart Attack Stun” – and I just had to laugh at her delicious examples of this concept at work, both during and after her heart attack at age 42 exactly two years ago.

Although I didn’t realize until I read about Jodi that there was even an official name for this cardiology concept, I sure knew what she was talking about.   

Post-Heart Attack Stun is what Jodi calls the period following a heart attack where everything seems so surreal that you really don’t absorb what has just happenedContinue reading

The unforgettable diagnosis: “You’re having a heart attack!”

24 Mar

by Carolyn Thomas 

Jennifer Donelan was a 36-year old television news reporter for ABC News 7 in Washington, DC, covering a dramatic story one day about a local 4-month old baby girl who had been found in her crib, unresponsive. After her live shot on the 5 o’clock newscast, Jennifer was waiting near her car when she started to feel a very strange pain in her chest. We pick up her dramatic story there, as told in Jennifer’s own words:

“I remember looking at my car and thinking: ‘I need to go home and lay down.’ Then the pain started to worsen. I took a few steps and my left arm went numb.  Continue reading