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?”

Why we keep telling – and re-telling – our heart attack stories

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

A woman in the grocery store calls out from the neighbouring checkout line: “Hey! You’re the heart lady, right?” She continues, in what seems a much-too-loud voice, that she had been in the audience at one of my annual Cardiac Café presentations at the university. But “heart lady?” Is this really how I want to be known and recognized for the rest of my natural life?   Continue reading “Why we keep telling – and re-telling – our heart attack stories”

Top 10 posts from Heart Sisters for 2010

2010 has been quite the year here at Heart Sisters! The little blog that began in 2009 after my heart attack simply as “cardiac rehab for my brain” has now published 257 articles, attracting over 100,000 visitors. New articles arrive here about every four days, depending on my health, and I never run out of emerging news about women’s heart disease, cardiac research, heart-smart recipes or heart-related trivia to write about!

The Toronto-based magazine More interviewed me this year for a February 2011 feature about Canadian women who have launched health-related websites, and a number of essays here have also been picked up by other much larger health sites, herehere or here, for example. Hundreds of people now follow Heart Sisters on Twitter, repost my links on their Facebook sites, or subscribe directly via email to receive updates on new postings.   Continue reading “Top 10 posts from Heart Sisters for 2010”

The heart patient’s chronic lament: “Excuse me. I’m sorry. I don’t mean to be a bother…”

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

Two weeks before being hospitalized with a heart attack, I was sent home from the Emergency Department of that same hospital with an acid reflux misdiagnosis, despite presenting with textbook heart attack symptoms like chest pain and pain radiating down my left arm.  

At that first visit, I left for home feeling embarrassed and apologetic because I’d just wasted five hours of their valuable time. I felt so embarrassed, in fact, that I even sent the staff in Emergency a sheepish little thank you note the following day, apologizing once again for making such a fuss over nothing.

Not making a fuss is a valued trait for many of us strong women, but this tendency can cause disastrous cardiac outcomes when it makes us reluctant to seek immediate medical attention when we need it most.  Continue reading “The heart patient’s chronic lament: “Excuse me. I’m sorry. I don’t mean to be a bother…””