by Carolyn Thomas ♥ @HeartSisters ♥ 1st in a 3-part series
As you know, online support groups exist for those living with just about every possible health condition. Some support communities even target very specific discussion group members like Lesbians with breast cancer or Jewish alcoholics, as well as a range of issues beyond medical conditions (e.g. parents of twins, bereavement, victims of professional misconduct).
When it comes to going online to seek information, answers or support from your peers, it does appear that there’s a lid for every pot. Continue reading “Discover. Join. Leave. The life cycle of online patient groups”
by Carolyn Thomas ♥ @HeartSisters
Having a heart attack felt nothing like I thought it would feel. For one thing, unlike sudden cardiac arrest, in which the heart stops beating and you stop breathing, during my heart attack (myocardial infarction), my heart continued beating, and I was walking, talking and conscious throughout despite horrific symptoms – so how could I possibly be having a heart attack?
Like most women, I’d never really thought about my heart – except maybe when running up that killer Quadra Street hill with my running group. Yet heart disease kills six times more women than breast cancer each year (in fact, it kills more women than all forms of cancer combined).
Women need to know all the potential symptoms of a heart attack – both typical and atypical. And by the way, I’ve stopped using the word “atypical“ to describe any non-chest pain symptom that women experience during a heart attack, because as paramedic and documentary filmmaker (“A Typical Heart“) Cristina D’Alessandro likes to say:
“Why are our cardiac symptoms called ‘atypical’ when women are more than half the population?”
I asked some female survivors to share their very first symptoms. Their heart attack stories may surprise you. If you need help translating some of the heart jargon, visit my patient-friendly jargon-free glossary of cardiology terms and abbreviations.
Read their stories