Tag Archives: WomenHeart

How our girlfriends can help us get through the toughest times

25 Feb

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

Here’s the difference between men and women. Some years ago, a couple we knew announced that they were getting a divorce. We were gobsmacked! None of our friends had seen this announcement coming from what appeared (to us) to be one of those “perfect” couples. The day we heard their news, it happened that our friend Paul was scheduled to go on a long day-hike in the mountains with the soon-to-be-single husband, just the two of them. At the end of that day, Paul’s wife waited impatiently for his return to hear the scoop about the split. When he finally arrived home, she asked him:

“Well? Well?  What did he say?”

“What did he say about what?” asked her hubby.

“The DIVORCE! What did he say about the DIVORCE?”

“Oh,” he replied. “It didn’t come up.”

It didn’t come up?  It didn’t come up?  Can you imagine two close women friends hiking together for hours and the most important personal crisis of the decade “doesn’t come up”?   It would never happen. And here’s why:  it turns out that when emotions and feelings are running high, women actually respond with a neurochemical reaction that propels us to seek out our women friends to debrief what is happening to us. Continue reading

How humour can help – or hurt – your heart disease recovery

14 Sep

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

“My hubby is stuck with me for another 15 years as long as I keep following doctor’s orders.”

“I told my family that I now had a pig valve in my heart – but I was disappointed when the doctor told me I couldn’t keep the bacon.”

“I am determined to outlive my husband – because I want to clean out his garage!”

Heart patients often use humour like this to distract themselves from the high levels of stress and fear often associated with a life-altering diagnosis like heart disease – such as upcoming surgery, diagnostic tests, or even the ongoing awareness of significantly increased risk of future cardiac events. So reports Nicholas Lockwood, whose research focused on how heart patients use humour to help them cope with such a frightening condition – but ended up showing some surprising results.  Continue reading

“All the SCAD ladies, put your hands up!”

6 Sep

by Carolyn Thomas  ♥  @HeartSisters

Heart attack survivor Laura Haywood-Cory, one of my heart sisters and a fellow “graduate” of the WomenHeart Science & Leadership Symposium at Mayo Clinic, emailed me with great excitement last week:

“The Wall Street Journal interview with Katherine, me and Dr. Hayes is now live!!”

This WSJ piece tells the inspiring story of how heart attack survivor  Katherine Leon, with Laura’s help, convinced a world-famous hospital to launch research on the rare and deadly heart condition they had each survived: spontaneous coronary artery dissection, or SCAD. (See also: When Your Artery Tears).  

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Surprising trends in women’s heart disease

30 Jun

by Carolyn Thomas  ♥ @HeartSisters

During the 1980s, the American Heart Association launched an advertising campaign that asked: “If your husband had a heart attack in bed tonight, would you know what to do?” Even the AHA thought heart disease was strictly a man’s problem back then.

Offering this valuable historical perspective, Kansas City cardiologist Dr. Tracy Stevens reminds us that physicians are still practicing medicine based on cardiac studies performed mostly on white, middle-aged men.
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Apply now for the WomenHeart Symposium at Mayo Clinic

21 May

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

Are you, or do you know, a woman living with heart disease who is interested in making a real difference to women’s heart health as a WomenHeart community educator?

Are you also at least six months past your last hospitalization for cardiac treatment, have your doctor’s written permission to travel, are very comfortable speaking in public, and want to start a WomenHeart Support Network in your home community?

If so, consider applying to attend a life-altering training event called the WomenHeart Science & Leadership Symposium at the world-famous Mayo Clinic, October 7-10 in Rochester, Minnesota.  Continue reading