‘Gaslighting’ – or, why women are just too darned emotional during their heart attacks

by Carolyn Thomas  ♥  @HeartSisters

I came across the term gaslighting the other day, and I immediately grasped its practical application to everyday life. (Very similar reaction, in fact, to first hearing the word mansplaining!) But I digress. The concept of gaslighting may ring bells for any woman who has been misdiagnosed in mid-heart attack, patted on the head and sent home from the E.R. in abject embarrassment. Continue reading “‘Gaslighting’ – or, why women are just too darned emotional during their heart attacks”

“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””

Getting help during a heart attack: ‘delayers’ vs ‘survivors’

by Carolyn Thomas     @HeartSisters

If you thought you were having a heart attack, would part of you worry about being embarrassed if it turned out your symptoms weren’t that serious after all? Would you dread the attention of an ambulance coming to your home?  If so, you might be considered a “delayer”.

On the other hand, would you likely call 911 immediately because you believe that embarrassment passes quickly and without long-term damage, while a heart attack does not? If so, you’d be considered a “survivor”.

Check this chart to see which category you belong in – and then take whatever steps are required to move yourself immediately from delaying to surviving.   Continue reading “Getting help during a heart attack: ‘delayers’ vs ‘survivors’”

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

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 called 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?”

Is Daylight Saving Time hurting your heart?

by Carolyn Thomas

It’s time once again, heart sisters, for the springtime ritual that welcomes something called Daylight Saving Time. This is not a good time of year if you love to sleep in. When that alarm clock buzzes you wide awake at 6 a.m., your body feels like it’s REALLY only 5 a.m. Ouch! Some studies suggest that the rates of acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) are significantly increased immediately after the transition to Daylight Saving Time every spring.

Good luck at successfully getting through that transition this year.

Continue reading “Is Daylight Saving Time hurting your heart?”